Richard Lee Larson was born on Nov. 13, 1954, first child of Beverly and Jack Larson, in Bishop, Calif. He grew up an Air Force brat, living in Mississippi, England, Anchorage, Alaska, and Wyoming, a Boy Scout all the while. He eventually earned his Eagle Scout award. The family moved to Alaska in 1966. Richard attended (West) Anchorage High School, though graduated from Cheyenne Central High School in 1974. He returned to Alaska shortly thereafter to work on the construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline and seek a life of outdoor adventure. Richard was the first in his family to go to college. He graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from University of Alaska Anchorage. Richard turned his BFA degree and talent into his own business, Larson Graphics, which he ran for 30-plus years as a home-based business doing photography and design on his many generations of Macs. Richard was an early adopter of the fat tire bike (mountain bike). His book, "Mountain Bike Alaska: 49 Trails in the 49th State" was published in 1991. Richard was one of the organizers of the Iditabike winter race, founded in 1987. He rode the race once, but was better known as race director of Iditasport, a multi-sport winter endurance race, which he promoted and organized for many years. He was married to Kathy Foster from 1981 until 1990. He met his second wife, Marge Stoneking, on a mountain bike tour of the Denali Highway in 1990. They married on Aug. 3, 1997, at Kennicott Lodge in the Wrangell Mountains. Shortly thereafter, their family was completed by two beautiful daughters, Olivia and Beverly. Richard died in Tucson, Ariz., where he spent the last six years of his life, struggling with chronic alcoholism and suffering from liver disease. He was preceded in death by his parents, Beverly Leichty and Jack Larson. He is survived by his two treasured daughters, Olivia and Beverly Larson; their mother, Marge Stoneking; brothers, Ivan (Steph) and Bill Larson of Tucson; and nieces, Madeline and Hillary Tschappat Larson of Anchorage, Alaska. Photos, memories and condolences are welcome, sent to margestoneking(at gmail) or email for mailing address. Memorial gifts for the education of Richards daughters can be made at Credit Union 1, account #524241. A celebration of Richard's life will be held at Russian Jack Chalet on Saturday, April 15, 2017, at 4 p.m.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Feb. 10, 2017.