Leland "Lee" Larson Obituary

Lee Larson
Leland "Lee" Larson

February 21, 1921 - April 12, 2014
Born in Stanton, IA
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Leland Carmel "Lee" Larson was born February 21, 1921 and died April 12, 2014 at Calvin Community in Des Moines. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, August 4, 2014 at Douglas Avenue Presbyterian Church in Des Moines. Burial will be at the Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery, Omaha, NE.

Lee was born in the little "white city" of Stanton, Iowa, to Carmel and Freda Larson. As with many of the citizens of Stanton, his grandparents had immigrated from Sweden and settled there.

When he was eight years old, his family moved to Onida, South Dakota. Lee graduated from Onida High School, attended Mankato Business College and worked for Armor and Co. in Omaha. He then entered the electrical field after attending Bliss Electrical Institute in Washington, DC. He worked for Midwest Equipment Co. in Des Moines and Davenport, then founded his own electrical equipment company in Omaha, which he operated until retirement. In retirement, Lee worked part time selling fixture whips (which a friend in Omaha manufactured in his garage) to electrical contractors in the Des Moines area.

Lee enjoyed big band music, dancing and particularly relished playing card games with family and friends. His favorites were bridge, cribbage, hearts and "dirty" gin rummy. He was an active member of the Shriners.

Lee loved automobiles all of his life, which led him to build a 1937 SS-I British Roadster from a kit. He installed a Pinto engine in it and upon completion drove it proudly around Omaha and Des Moines. He later donated it to the Des Moines school district. He also served as a chauffeur for a limousine service operated by son-in-law John Major.

Lee married Ruth Hill in 1949. They raised three daughters, Linda, Karen and Judy. The Larson family enjoyed many vacations with Ruth's family in Iowa and Florida, and Lee's family in South Dakota. Ruth passed away in 1989.

Lee married Mary Ellen McQuern in 1992. They made their home in Des Moines and were members of Douglas Avenue Presbyterian Church. Lee and Mary enjoyed traveling and one year traveled to the small farm in Sweden from where one of his grandfathers immigrated.

Along with Ruth, Lee was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Donley Larson of Pierre, SD.

Lee is survived by his wife, Mary; daughters, Linda (Dave) Rhein of Urbandale, Karen (Larry) Hamilton of Buffalo Creek, CO and Judy (John) Major of Omaha, NE; six grandchildren, Brad (Alice) Rhein, Washington, DC, Laura (Sean) Sires, Cedar Falls, IA, Jon Rhein, Urbandale, John Michael Major and Michelle Major, Omaha and Emily Hamilton, Buffalo Creek and two great grandchildren, Maxwell and Felix Sires of Cedar Falls.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Douglas Avenue Presbyterian Church, 4601 Douglas Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310.

Click here to view memorial folder"

Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel




Douglas Avenue Presbyterian Church
4601 Douglas Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Monday, August 4, 2014
11:00 AM


Douglas Avenue Presbyterian Church
4601 Douglas Avenue
Des Moines, IA