Out of Big Sky Country
You couldn't take the Montana out of the boy, at least not entirely. Adam Larson went East for college and stayed, yet he did what he could to keep his home state in his life — taking his two children back to Big Sky country for horseback riding at a dude ranch, and even carting his family to Yankee Stadium and Camden Yards in Baltimore to cheer his beloved Minnesota Twins. (When you're a teenager in Cut Bank, Mont., the concept of a local team has to be pretty elastic.)
Still, his job as a senior vice president at Aon, and his suburban life in Colonia, N.J., suited Mr. Larson perfectly. His wife, Patti, talked of the cinnamon pancakes he made for the children every weekend, the boogie boarding at the shore near her family home in Brigantine, the coaching of his daughter's school basketball team, which is adding a patch in his honor to its uniforms this season.
The family moved into a new house in July, and Mr. Larson, 37, had not finished work on the backyard. Since then more than 100 family members, neighbors and local firefighters and police officers have pitched in to build perhaps the only treehouse in North Jersey decked out in the vibrant purple of the Minnesota Vikings.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 6, 2001.
Adam Larson, family man, Vikings fan
His two children had picked out the treehouse they wanted and John Adam Larson had planned to start building it behind the family's house in the Colonia section of Woodbridge.
Instead, his buddies from the Green Street Athletic Club in Woodbridge will pick up the project.
"The kids picked (the treehouse) out. They knew exactly what they wanted," said John McCormac of Colonia, a member of the athletic club and a close friend of Mr. Larson. "It was his dream to do that for his kids, and we are going to make sure his dream becomes a reality."
Mr. Larson, known as Adam, was working on the 103rd floor of Two World Trade Center when a hijacked plane hit the building Sept. 11. Mr. Larson, 37, was a senior vice president for Aon Risk Services Inc. and worked as an insurance broker.
Born in Butte, Mont., Mr. Larson moved a lot as a child and ended up attending the University of Delaware, where he received a degree in finance in 1986.
When he wasn't working, Mr. Larson devoted himself to his children, Kelly, 9, and Joseph, 6, said his wife, Patricia Larson. During the summer he would take the family to dude ranches in Montana or to the beach in Brigantine, where Patricia Larson grew up.
"He always took my son hiking in the park near our house," Patricia Larson said. "And my daughter enjoyed going on roller coasters with him. They just had done that the other day. That's what she is so worried about now, who will she go on roller coasters with?"
Mr. Larson was an avid sports fan who played basketball at least once a week and was devoted to the Minnesota Vikings.
Yesterday, he was supposed to take a few of his clients to Chicago to see the Vikings take on the Chicago Bears, his wife said.
In addition to his wife and children, he is survived by his father, Leroy, of Choteau, Mont.; two brothers, Luke of Billings, Mont., and Matt of Juneau, Alaska; and a sister, Therese Dusenberry, of Tucson, Ariz.
Contributions may be made to the Adam Larson's Children Trust Fund, c/o John McCormac, 94 Green Street, Suite 102, Woodbridge, N.J. 07095.
Profile by Jennifer Del Medico published in THE STAR-LEDGER.