Friends and family of Harvey Larson are invited to pause and remember a life of service, love, bravery and good humor. Always depended upon to brighten any occasion with an appropriate joke or one-liner, Harvey was in demand as an emcee, high school commencement speaker, a president, a board member, administrator, tour guide, a dedicated Bobcat fan, a proud American, and a devoted husband and father.
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Harvey Larson was born Jan. 19, 1923, and raised on the family farm near Barrett, Minn. After starting college, his plans were altered by World War II as he left to work in an aircraft assembly plant where he was inspired to apply for selection in a naval aviation flight training program in 1942. His training and service as a Marine Corps flight instructor took him to bases around the country over the next four years. Later Harvey was recalled for active Marine Corps duty during the Korean War where he piloted helicopters in an air/sea rescue unit based in Hawaii. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps as a lieutenant colonel.
A cornerstone of Harvey's life was set in place in 1945 when he married LaVille Henjum, six years after their first chance meeting in 1939. The two were joined in love, but their union also merged the two extended families into a closely linked network that provided adventure, support and companionship throughout their 66-year marriage.
Between military stints, Harvey returned to Minnesota to resume his education and he eventually earned three degrees including a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. His career as a teacher and administrator included positions as a high school teacher in Floodwood, Minn., president of Dawson Junior College in Glendive, and a long and distinguished career at Montana State University.
From his first MSU role as an assistant professor teaching business courses, Harvey was soon tapped to head the School of Business. Under his guidance, enrollment grew from 200 to 1,600 business majors and the school became a college. He retired as the dean of the College of Business in 1984, and then served two years with the MSU Foundation, obtaining support for programs and student scholarships.
Numerous professional and service organizations benefited from Harvey's leadership. Among these are Rotary International (president and district governor), Bozeman Chamber of Commerce (president), Bozeman Little League (president for nine years), Sons of Norway (president), Campus Christian Center Corporation (president for 30 years), Hope Lutheran Church Men's Club, Senior Fellowship, Bozeman Senior Social Center, and many more.
Harvey received numerous special recognition and awards such as the MSU Blue and Gold Award in 1988, the Chamber of Commerce Guy Sperry Award for Community Service, and Big Sky Retired Teachers 1997 Community Service Award.
Harvey is survived by his wife, LaVille Larson; children: Reed (Cheryl) Larson of Parker, Colo., and granddaughter, Marissa; Rachel (Jeff) Long of Billings, and granddaughter, Jenni; Robb (Teresa) Larson of Bozeman, and grandsons, Scott and Austin; brother, Ellard (Joan) Larson of Barrett, Minn.; sister, Janice (Don) Allen in Belleville, Ill., and a large extended family.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 W. Graf St. off South 19th, Bozeman.
Memorial contributions may be made to Bozeman Senior Center, 807 N. Tracy Ave., Bozeman, MT 59715; to Hope Lutheran Church Music Department, 2152 W. Graf St., Bozeman, MT 59715; or to a
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Oct. 21, 2011