John P. Larson, 67, was born December 17, 1954 in St. Cloud, Minnesota to parents Frank Schaeffer and Adeline “Pat” Emily (Wirtzfeld) Schaeffer. He died February 23, 2022, at the VA Hospital in Prescott, Arizona. John received his GED diploma from Moorhead Technical College in 1975. This same year, he entered the United States Navy and spent time in California and overseas protecting our country on various missions.
Upon his honorable discharge from the United States Navy, John returned to Moorhead, Minnesota and pursued a Class A Boiler’s License at Moorhead Technical College. Upon receipt of his license, John worked for a variety of school systems in the region, including Binford and Walhalla, North Dakota, where he utilized his technical expertise.
In 1975, John met Marilyn Mattson from Moorhead, Minnesota. On December 4, 1976, John and Marilyn were married at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Moorhead. John and Marilyn had two children, Brandon Lee Larson, born on June 25, 1978 and Danae Kristyn Larson, born January 14, 1982.
During John and Marilyn’s marriage, John worked for Norwest Banks (Wells Fargo) in Fargo as a Maintenance Manager. In his position, John managed many of the HVAC systems, including large boilers at their retail banking headquarters. During this time, John and Marilyn purchased a home in north Moorhead. This is the home that Brandon and Danae would grow up in, attending Moorhead Public Schools and enjoying a wonderful childhood.
At 32 years of age, John began his career at the Fargo Post Office as a Mail Clerk. John and Marilyn divorced on February 2, 1988. In 1990, John married Ronda Severson (Fargo) and they purchased a home together in south Fargo. They were divorced in 1995.
John continued his postal career for 17 years until his retirement in 2005.
Always up for an adventure and new location, John moved to Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 2010 to be next to Brandon and Kelly Larson and their three children, Lucas, William, and Clark. Altogether, John has six grandchildren, which include Danae and Justin’s children, Brienna, Kelsey, and Easton.
As “Grandpa John”, as they fondly called him, he was the life of any project, task, or cleaning mission. If toilets were dirty, he cleaned them. If faucets were broken, he repaired them. If the lawn was not mowed, he’d say with a smile “you need to mow your lawn” and he would begin. With Clark (Clark is a redhead), he would say, “Clark your hair isn’t red enough, shall I find some red paint?”, this statement is an example of John’s sense of humor as well as the relationships he cherished with his grandchildren.
Throughout his life, John enjoyed his many “toys”. This love for power sports or “things that go” carried immediately down to his grandchildren when he delivered a “Go-Kart” to Grand Forks in May of 2021. All of the grandkids had their turn. Sipping coffee, John loved every minute.
One of Brandon and Danae’s favorite childhood memories was fishing at West McDonald Lake with their Dad and Grandma & Grandpa Larson (Curt and Pat Larson). John would start the day by getting up at the crack of dawn to get fresh donuts from Quality Bakery in Fargo. After the drive to the lake, the day was spent on the boat reeling in sunfish. John’s time was spent untangling fishing lines, baiting hooks and teaching his kids how to fish. The day would conclude with a big fish fry at John’s where he prepared the fish to perfection.
The Larson’s love to cook. John shared this passion with his entire family, but especially with his sisters, Susie, Mary Jo, Jeanne, and Janet. John (Dad) loved to prepare meals for everyone. His homemade chili, vegetable beef soup, spaghetti, and chocolate chip cookies were among several hits with our family.
John is survived by his son, Brandon (Kelly) Larson, daughter Danae (Justin) Holland, grandchildren, Lucas, William, Clark, Brienna, Kelsey, and “life of the party” Easton. Sister(s) Janet (Jack) Antil, Susie (Rick) Ludwig, Mary Jo (Ken) Abel, Jeanne (Chuck) Erickson. Brother David (Esther) Larson, Curt “Bud” (Yvonne) Larson, and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Curtis and Adeline “Pat” Larson and brother Frank (Frankie) Larson.