Col. Roger G. LARSEN

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Col Roger G. Larsen Roger was born August 28, 1935 in Aurora, Utah to Grant and Leda (Curtis) Larsen and he passed away on August 11, 2014. Roger attended Provo High, and he valued his years there. He was active in sports and was on the football, basketball, track, and wrestling teams. He also enjoyed singing and was a member of the choir. He graduated as a valedictorian in 1953. After graduating high school, Roger married his high school sweetheart, Donna Naylor, on June 25th, 1953 (later divorced). Throughout the years following his graduation, his connection with the school was never broken. Roger looked forward to each class reunion with enthusiasm, and enjoyed reconnecting with his classmates. He attended as many reunions as he could, to include the 60th reunion in 2013. Roger continued his education, attending Utah State University and earning a Bachelor of Science degree in the Journalism/English field. While working towards his degree, Roger was a part of the journalist team for the campus newsletter and contributed several articles. In recent years he was thrilled to learn that some of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren held the same interest. Roger next earned his Master of Business Administration degree in Information Technology Management at American University, in a time when the technology was still in its infancy. In his well-known satirical humor, he often joked of how much simpler it was to dismantle and reassemble a computer in 1965 than it is now. Roger's interest in serving in the military started with being a member of ROTC while at Utah State University. Once Roger obtained his MBA, he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. His long and distinguished career included assignments in Vietnam, multiple assignments in Germany, and stateside (to include Stuttgart, Bamhaulder, Ft. Lewis, and other locations), culminating in a position at the Pentagon as a Colonel. Roger married the love of his life, Shirley Dudder, on November 17, 1962. After sharing a transient life in the military, Roger retired and they made their final home in Tacoma. Although Roger was retired, he continued to stay busy, working part-time as a tax preparer and working several years in construction. Shirley would often brag about him carrying two bags of concrete while all the other young whipper-snappers would only carry one. Roger joined the VFW (Post 10018) and served as an officer during his membership. He also liked to pass time discussing politics and football with neighbors, and enjoyed spending time on his computer, using it as a mechanism to reach out and keep in touch with all his friends and family. Roger was preceded in death by his loving wife, Shirley Larsen. He is survived by his children and their spouses, stepdaughter Sharon (William) Dallas, stepson Warren C. (Gayana) Yost II, son Larry R. (Lynda) Larsen, daughters Karen (Ken) Wlodarczyk, Laura (John) Andrade, and Kathryn (Gary) Lawson, over 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his brothers Dennis Larsen, Keith (Jeannie) Larsen, and Randy (Barbara) Larsen. His sisters Norma (Reid) Williamson and Barbara (Guy) Humphries preceded him in death. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, in New Tacoma Cemetery's Chambers Creek Chapel, University Place, WA. Remembrances in Roger's name may be made to Post 10018 VFW, 4741 N Baltimore St., Tacoma, WA 98407, or call (253) 759-0817. Please visit our guestbook at
Funeral Home
New Tacoma Cemeteries, Funeral Home & Crematory
9221 Chambers Creek Rd. W.  University Place, WA 98467
(253) 564-1311
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Aug. 17, 2014
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