1922 ~ 2013|
Melvin Larsen was called home November 26th, 2013 at the age of 91.
Melvin lived an extraordinary life in the service of his country, family and church. America has lost one of its "Greatest Generation" and we have lost a truly great father, grandfather and friend. Melvin was born in Ogden, UT to Holger Marius Larsen and Rachel Suhrke Larsen on September 13th, 1922. Melvin was the youngest of five siblings Howard, John, Elmer, Delores Shaw and Lillian Collette.
Melvin is survived by his three children Debra Brandon (Arlen), Kevin Larsen (Barbara Sherwood), and Rebecca Dowdell (Daryl); and five grandchildren Jeff Larsen (Megan), Scott Larsen, Brett Larsen, Katie Larsen, Heather Larsen, and 1 great grandchild Eliza Jane Larsen.
Melvin began life in Ogden but the family moved to Logan, Utah where he attended elementary school. Melvin's Father, Holger Marius Larsen was called to serve as the Mission President of Denmark where he had grown up, so the family moved to Copenhagen where Melvin spent his youth living in the mission home and attending Danish schools. When the family returned to the US after 5 years, Melvin had to re-learn how to speak English in Jr. High School. Melvin then attended West High School where he graduated and was actively involved in ROTC training.
Melvin was drafted in 1943 to serve in WWII. Melvin completed his basic training at Fort McCain, Mississippi and was then deployed to the European Theatre to join General George Patton's army as part of 346th Infantry Regiment of the 87th Infantry Division, Company E. Melvin traveled to Europe on the Queen Elizabeth I which was converted to troop transport at the start of WWII. Melvin was involved in 3 of the major battles in Europe. The Landing at Normandy, The Belgian Bulge, and the Siegfried Line. Melvin's unit met the Russians in Czechoslovakia after 3 long years of combat. Melvin was honored as a War Hero with 5 Purple Hearts, and a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster for heroism in battle. After Melvin returned home he understood the importance of donating blood and donated hundreds of pints of life saving blood over his lifetime.
Upon returning home from WWII Melvin met the love of his life, Nancy Jane Furguson and they had a 58 year love affair on this earth until Nancy passed on in 2007. Melvin was heartbroken and has now joined his sweetheart to resume their incredible partnership. Melvin and Nancy lived in Sugarhouse and were members of the Imperial 2nd Ward.
After returning from WWII, Melvin went to work for Chevron Oil in Salt Lake City. Melvin then owned and operated a Chevron Service Station in Salt Lake City for the next 25 years. Melvin knew all his customers by name and loved working with them. Melvin then worked at the University of Utah in the Motor Pool and the Key Shop until his retirement. Melvin was an avid fan of Utah Athletics.
Melvin held many church callings in his life always in the service of others. Melvin was passionate about scouting and worked for many years teaching and helping young men learn life lessons. Melvin was awarded Scouting's highest order the "Silver Beaver" for his 50 years of dedicated service.
Melvin Larsen was a Hero to many in our community but he was a great father, confidant, and friend to his family. We loved Mel very much for his devotion to country, family, church and community. Everyone knew that you could always count on Mel to do what he said he would do. Melvin will be missed by his family and friends, but his legacy of service will live forever. His record of service has been captured by the University of Utah and is in the Library of Congress.
Melvin spent his final two years of life at the Utah State Veterans Retirement home on the VA campus in Salt Lake City. The family would like to thank the incredible staff at the VA for the excellent care, the love and the dignity they showed our father. The Staff became family to Melvin and he loved you all.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, November 30th, at Wasatch Lawn Mortuary 3401 South Highland Drive. A viewing will be held at 10:00 a.m. prior to the Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m. followed by a graveside service at the adjoining Wasatch Lawn Cemetery.
Published in Deseret News on Nov. 29, 2013