FORT MOHAVE, Ariz. — James Merlyn Larson, 78, of Fort Mohave, Ariz., passed away Sunday, October 4, 2020, in Arizona after a long battle with cancer. His family thanks Hospice of Havasu for their help in caring for Jim during his final days. A Celebration of Life will be held in Pipestone, Minn., in 2021; date yet to be determined.
James Merlyn Larson was born October 30, 1941, in Garretson to Helge and Alma Louise Brovold Larson. He graduated from Pipestone, Minn., high school in 1959. He and first wife Marion Fritz had four children.
He married Mary Kathleen Fuoss in 1977. They lived in various places in South Dakota until retiring and moving to Fort Mohave, Arizona permanently in 2012.
He was involved in trucking, farming and ranching his entire life. He began working with his father while in high school, continuing with his own trucks in the 1960s and early ’70s. In the late ’70s he worked for various trucking companies hauling livestock and grain. In the early ’80s he managed a cattle ranching operation in South Dakota. In the 1980s and ‘90s he hauled cattle locally, produce nationally and operated a sheep operation with Kathy. They also raised and showed rabbits professionally.
In 2000, they moved to Sioux Falls, where he supervised and dispatched a fleet of trucks delivering mail between post offices. The routes were various but the main schedule was from Sioux Falls to Huron. He retired from that position in 2009, but continued to help during the next three summers before the permanent move to Arizona.
Jim was a wonderful father and husband. He loved working with youth in 4-H and rodeo and was a member of the S.D. Extension Board in the 1990s. In 1998, the SD State 4-H Finals Rodeo was dedicated to Jim and Kathy for their service to the event and the youth involved. In 1999, he was recognized at the Governor’s Conference on Philanthropy for outstanding service to Hughes and Stanley County 4-H Programs. He loved to play cards with family and friends. He became an avid duplicate bridge player and loved going to tournaments with his wife and friends in Arizona.
Jim is survived by his wife Kathy; four children, Laurie (Doug Solem), Janine (Dave Lloyd), Joyce, and Todd (Amy); eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; brothers Claire and George; sisters, Arlene Heidebrink and Linda Winters; many nieces and nephews; and other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Vernon and Dennis; sister, Donna Fuson; sisters-in-law, Myrtle and Patricia; and brothers-in-law, Mitch Heidebrink and Clyde Fuson.