James Larson Obituary

James R. Larson
James R. Larson
James R. Larson

December 31, 1923 - October 20, 2006
Born in Newman Grove, NE
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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James R. Larson, 82, died Friday, October 20, 2006, of lung cancer at home. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Tuesday, October 24, at Faith Lutheran Church. Cremation will follow the service with burial at a later date in Lincoln, Neb.

James was born on Dec. 31, 1923, in Newman Grove, Neb., to Casper and Minnie (Kolden) Larson. He was a graduate of Newman Grove High School and the University of Nebraska where he majored in journalism. He served in the U.S. Army as a tank sergeant in the European Theater during World War II. While attending college he worked for the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper and after graduation in 1949 continued working there full time. He accepted a position with The Des Moines Register in 1955.

Jimmy, as he was known at the Register, worked at the paper for over 50 years. For 19 of those years, he was the news editor. He retired in 1984 from the news editor position, but continued to work part-time until April 2006 when he left the newspaper due to declining health. During his career he not only influenced the state with his choice of news content but also as a well-loved curmudgeon, mentoring young reporters around him. He dedicated himself to reporting news that was fair, accurate and grammatically correct. Jimmy was honored this past December at the Register’s holiday luncheon for his 50 years of service.

He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church and enjoyed Nebraska Huskers Football.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Dorothy Larson of Des Moines; a son, Jeffrey Larson of Des Moines; a daughter, Kristen (Ken) Tharp of West Des Moines; two grandchildren, Lindsey and Andrew Tharp; both of West Des Moines; a brother, Robert (AnnaMarie) Larson of Everett, Wash.; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Christopher Tharp, parents and eight siblings.

The family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, October 23, at Iles Funeral Homes-Dunn’s Chapel.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Hospice of Central Iowa or Faith Lutheran Church.


Click here to view memorial folder




Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Monday, October 23, 2006
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Faith Lutheran Church
10395 University Avenue
Clive, IA US 50325
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
11:00 AM


Hospice of Central Iowa
401 Railroad Place
West Des Moines, IA
Faith Lutheran Church
10395 University Avenue
Clive, IA