New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Obituary: Wendell Larson


January 7, 2019

Wendell Gene Larson (Swede), 89, passed away Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 in San Diego, Calif. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held Thursday, Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. at Clairemont Lutheran Church: 4271 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego. A military memorial service will be held on Friday, Jan. 11 at 9:30 a.m. at Miramar National Cemetery: 5795 Nobel Drive, San Diego.

Wendell was born Oct. 13, 1929 to August and Blenda (Peterson) Larson on the family farm near Bremen, N.D. He attended school in a one room schoolhouse through the eighth grade. He then attended Sheyenne High School and graduated in 1947. Wendell attended North Dakota Agriculture College for 2 years then worked for the Wells County Road Crew and worked for area farmers during busy times.

Wendell married Arlene Westerhausen in 1952 and to this union brought five children. In January of that same year, Wendell joined the U.S. Navy and served during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He attended various Navy Schools to become an Aviation Electrician working on F4 Phantom Jet Aircraft spending time with the 7th Fleet in the South Pacific. Wendell completed West Pack tours on the USS Midway, Hancock and USS Constellation. In July 1970, he married Linda Gadberry Pippen and together they raised Linda's three children. He continued his service until he retired in May of 1973 with 21 years and 4 months of service retiring as an Aviation Electrician Chief Petty Officer. In June of 1973, Wendell was hired as a postal carrier and retired in 1988 after 15 years of service.

Wendell loved life, in the morning you could hear him whistling as he got ready for the day and as he made his first cup of coffee. In the afternoon in the garage he would be whistling tunes that he loved to listen to on Willie's Roadhouse on his XM radio.

Wendell enjoyed sitting in the sun outside in his backyard with his showcase of beautiful flowers and vegetables that he loved planting and taking care of. He adored his cats JR, Punker, Pee Wee and Oreo. He loved walks on the Ocean Beach Pier and the drives that he always took his visitors on around San Diego ending the day with homemade BBQ chicken and ribs. Wendell loved baseball, football, the horse races and the many great friends he met along the way. He was always ready for a game of checkers with his grandchildren, maybe a hand or two of Pinochle, a good long game of Dominoes and a mean game of bean bags in the backyard.

Wendell cherished his visits back home to North Dakota for family reunions, class reunions, weddings, all the family get togethers and The Chicken Dance. He never missed sending birthday and Christmas cards and he always wrote a letter in each one of them. He loved his church and church family at Clairemont Lutheran. Today we celebrate and thank God for Wendell's life of 89 years!

Wendell is survived by his wife Linda of 48 years of San Diego, Calif.; children Dan (Shelley) Erickson of Denver, Colo., Virginia (Gene) Collings, Pam (Keith) Oyloe, Bob (Cleo) Erickson and Mike (Lori) Erickson all of Williston, N.D.; stepchildren Debbie Pippin of San Diego, and Randy Pippin of Andover, Ohio; 14 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren; sister-in-laws Marion Larson of Mayville, N.D., Betty Daniels and Viva (Jake) Lotz of Hemet, Calif., brother-in-law Howard (Tina) Gadberry of North Little Rock, Ark.; and his many nieces, nephews and their families.

Wendell was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Merle (Ardith) Larson and Ralph Larson, sisters Laverne (Clarence) Moe and Bernice (Arvid) Fransen, stepson Scott Pippin and brother-in-law Jerry Daniels.

In lieu of flowers, Wendell prefers you donate to the charity of your choice.


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