Cover photo for Verne LeRoy Larson's Obituary
Verne LeRoy Larson Profile Photo
1926 Verne LeRoy Larson 2023

Verne LeRoy Larson

February 28, 1926 — August 28, 2023

Waseca, Minnesota


Verne LeRoy Larson was born on the family farm on February 28, 1926 to George Larson and Lillian Novak Larson. He passed away on August 28, 2023 in New Richland, Minnesota. Verne (Bud) grew up by Lake Thompson near Lake Preston, South Dakota.  He attended Baker #4 country school through 8th grade, then graduated from Lake Preston High School at barely 17 years of age. He attended South Dakota State University part time until graduating in 1949 with a major in animal husbandry and minors in veterinary science, agronomy and poultry science. Verne farmed with his father and was called to teach veteran agriculture classes in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota and Lake Preston, South Dakota. 

Verne married Florence Kjellsen in 1955 in Badger. To them were born four daughters:  Debra, Pamela, Jillayne and Marsha.  Florence passed away in 1972. In 1981, he married Marie Muser who passed away in 2018.

In Lake Preston, Verne helped organize the Bit and Spur Saddle Club and Kingsbury County Rural Youth. He served as president of the Kingsbury County Crop & Livestock Improvement Association.  He was on the Lake Preston Elevator Board. He was a Federal Crop Insurance adjustor, on the United Methodist Church Board and a 4-H Leader.  He was president of each organization at some point, serving for nearly 2 decades in each organization. He presented many talks and slides to South Dakota youth groups about his experiences as an International Foreign Youth Exchange student in Puerto Rico.

After moving to Yankton, SD,  he worked as a Highway Patrol carrier inspector. He and Marie moved to Rapid City where Verne worked at the Civic Center.  He enjoyed the variety of people he met at Civic Center activities, particularly Lake Preston people at the Stock Show ,  Harley Davidson  bikers.  

In 2004, Verne was selected as the Outstanding Older Worker for the state of South Dakota. In that capacity, he was recognized at the S.D.  legislature and also in Washington, D.C. 

Verne enjoyed many activities, but he most especially enjoyed time with family.  He attended every event possible, often farming into the night so he could be there for his daughters.  He advocated for special needs students to get an education.  He was known for his pot roasts, hobo stew, Larson eggs, popcorn balls, cookies and rhubarb pies.  He was quick to offer help to others.  He always kept a positive and determined attitude. He was a supportive parent, grandparent and great grandparent.

Verne is survived by daughters Debra (Curt) Wantoch-Yess, Pam Larson and Jillayne (Drew) Sumner;  and sister Luella Palmer.  His grandchildren include Matt Wantoch, Nick (Ashley) Wantoch, Andrew (Mallory) Sumner, Nathan Sumner, Garrett Sumner, Jill (Jon) Stagman, Jocelyn (Zac) Karbo and Jennifer (Colby) Schmidt.  Great grandchildren include Sawyer Stocker, Jackson Wantoch, Cecilia Wantoch,  Ella Wantoch, Maleya Sumner, Katya Sumner, Jacoby Sumner, Cameron Stagman, Kaiya Stagman, Tyler Stagman, Paxton Karbo, Hudson Karbo, Brooklyn Schmidt, Roslyn Schmidt, Adalyn Schmidt and Kendelyn Schmidt.

He is also survived by step-children Darrel (Anne) Muser, Carol Muser,  Janel (Doug) Brown, Joan (Larry) Marso; in-laws Harvey Kjellsen, Doris Kjellsen, Pat Kjellsen, George (Joan) Kjellsen, Doris (Floyd) Moe, Ellen Dinger, Leon Kjellsen, Ralph (Becky) Kjellsen, Rose Tolzin, Betty Brodahl, Merle Neu, Toni Lunde; 22 grandchildren, 53 great grandchildren, 7 great great grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wives Florence Larson and Marie Larson; daughter Marsha Larson; sons-in-law Allen Larson and Michael Wantoch; step-son Mayo Muser; sister Marlys Christensen; brothers-in-law Richard Christensen, Ralph Palmer,   Howard Kjellsen, Donald Kjellsen, Lloyd Kjellsen, Dennis Tolzin, Chester Buckland, Bill Hansen, Lyle Stearns, Bob Blachford, Floyd Buckland, Earl Kimpton, Maynard Law, Lester Buckland, Leo Bill, Leo Brodahl,, Duane Hoffman, Merlyn Newstrom, Lyman Lunde;   sisters-in-law Helen Marken, Hazel Kjellsen, Barbara Kjellsen, Judy Kjellsen, Lillian Hansen, Violet Stearns, Hazel Blachford, Dorothy Buckland, Delores Bill, Joan Hoffman, Virginian Neu, Shirley Newstrom.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, September 1, 2023 at St. John Lutheran Church, Waseca with visitation one hour before the service. A graveside burial service will also be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, September 2, 2023 at the Lake Preston, SD Cemetery with a reception at the Lake Preston Lutheran Church.  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Verne LeRoy Larson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, September 1, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Friday, September 1, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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