Gordon Joseph “Joe” Larson was born in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin on April 3, 1931 and died in his home in Federal Way, Washington on February 2, 2013. Joe grew up on dairy farms in the area surrounding Monroe, Wisconsin and graduated from Winslow High School in Winslow Illinois in 1949. He joined the Air Force and met Madonna Herner, his wife of 59 years, while stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane. He served in the Strategic Air Command and was a veteran of the Korean War. Joe retired from Northwest Airlines in 1993 after 36 years of service as an airline mechanic. He was also proud to be one of the original members of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Joe and Donna have lived in Federal Way since 1967. They were both integral in the success of Federal Way Little League in the early 1970s with Joe serving as a coach and the league’s equipment manager responsible for purchasing and maintaining the equipment of all 96 teams while Donna served as Women’s Auxiliary President. He was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish since 1967.
Joe is survived by his wife Madonna K. Larson (Herner) as well as three sons and three daughter-in-laws, Mark and Sherri (Dobson) Larson of Auburn, WA, Dave and Debby (Berntson) Larson of Federal Way, WA, and Todd and Sandy (Eagan) Larson of Auburn, WA. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, Nicole Larson (Nick Millus) of Covington, WA, Shane Larson (Erin Ferrill) of Bellevue, WA, Amanda Larson of Renton, WA, Kaitlin Larson of Auburn, WA, Andrew Larson of Federal Way, WA, Zachary Larson of Auburn, WA, Riley Larson of Auburn, WA, Joshua Larson of Federal Way, WA, and one great-grandchild, Austin Millus of Covington, WA. He is also survived by brothers Allan Larson and his wife Teresa of Juda, WI and Doug Larson and his wife Nancy of Browntown, WI, sisters JoAnn Wilde of Monroe, WI and Mary Erickson of Blanchardville, WI, and sister-in-law Brenda Larson of Neosho, MO. In-laws Mercedes Fraase of Tacoma, WA, Gabriel and Sheila Herner of Kirkland, WA, George and Delores Herner of Mount Vernon WA, Ron Berry of Bonners Ferry, ID, Marjorie Hopewell of Spokane, WA, and Lawrence Hoerner of Grand Coulee, WA, also survive him. Uncle Joe was also loved and respected by 84 nieces and nephews, 94 great nieces and nephews, and 24 great great nieces and nephews at the time of his death.
He is preceded in death by his father Luther Larson, his mother Ingeborg (Steensland) Larson, his daughter Kathryn Larson, as well as brothers Richard Larson and Don Larson (died on January 27, 2013), and his sister Christine Larson. He is also preceded in death by his father-in-law Frank Herner and mother-in-law Elizabeth Herner as well as niece Kelly Moen (Larson), nephew Greg Green, nephew Chad Bacon, and niece Debbie Durgan (Herner). He is also preceded in death by 8 sister-in-laws (Rose Hoerner, Lena Cheney, Deanne Berry, Terry Green, Bette Jones, Joan Herner, Berta Burkhart, and Lois Bacon), and 9 brother-in-laws (Duane Erickson, Lee Wilde, Frank Herner, Jr., Merle Jones, Myron Green, Fred Fraase, Reid Hopewell, Howard Cheney, and Walter Bacon).
A Vigil will be held at 7:00 pm on Friday February 8, 2013 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church at 30525 8th Avenue South. A Catholic Burial Mass will be held at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Parish on February 9, 2013 at St. Vincent de Paul. Burial will be at Gethsemane Catholic Cemetery in Federal Way following a reception at the church.