Raymond (Ray) Barber Larsen 1931- 2020 Raymond (Ray) Barber Larsen
Born March 1, 1931 in Rawlins; died December 17, 2020 in Fort Collins.
Raymond Barber Larsen was born March 1, 1931, in Rawlins, Wyoming, the grandson of four Danish immigrants from the same town.
He married Estella (Teddy) Mae Bales two weeks after they met and had four children together.
He died on December 17, 2020, in Fort Collins, Colorado, at the age of 89.
Survived by his sister Nancy Larsen Malone; his second wife Ute Schneider; his children-Elizabeth von der Ahe, Tory Larsen, Sundell Larsen and Sabin Larsen, two stepchildren, David Schneider and Telsey Gourley, seven grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Ray was preceded in death by his father Chris Larsen, his mother Martha Hansen Larsen, his first wife Teddy Bales Larsen, his older sister Denise Larsen Gove and his brothers Bobby, Peter, Boyd, and Charles. He will be missed very much by family and his long-time friends.
Ray loved the Peter Hansen Ranch, founded by family in 1905, south of Rawlins. He spent time there every year, panning gold, fishing, and "horsing around" with family and friends.
Ray was a renaissance man, involved in many things and relentless in all his efforts: He was awarded the following patents; many of which were seminal in the development of the computer industry.
Several of these he manufactured as well:
US-3900094-A Matrix printer with overlapping print dots
US-3198331-A Serial card reader
US-4005772-A Automatic justifying typewriter having pitch changing and line spacing apparatus
US-3569942-A Nd apparatus for processing data
US-3579211-A Read-after-write verification of data on magnetic storage medium
US-3514679-A Digital pulse motor control circuit
US-3684208-A Coaxial reel tape transport system
US-4436085-A Solar collector assembly and frame
US-3142749-A Reading machine
US-3552685-A Tape transport assembly
CA-1158120-A Solar energy collector assembly
US-3354463-A Frequency coded digital recording system
US-6122132-A Disk drive head position encoder
US-D236900-S Magnetic tape cartridge
US-D414482-S Computer cursor controller
US-3548404-A Frequency coded digital recording system
GB-951067-A Improvements in or relating to reading machines
CA-876321-A Digital pulse motor control circuit
DE-1524921-A1 Datenverarbeitungsgeraet (Data Processing Device)
These inventions included a magnetic disk storage (predecessor of the hard drive); read-after-write verification of data on magnetic storage medium, which is now used by any entity that stores electronic data; timesharing terminals which led to computer networking; high speed punch card reader- the high speed input required for the first computer (1958), then manufactured in Riverton Wyoming; a frequency-coded digital recording system (1963); matrix printer with overlapping print dots, which became one of the first on the market (1975);"; solar energy collector-to heat water -that may still feature that highest per square foot heat collection efficiency of any panel (1978, 1980); the Felix, a computer mouse controlled by your finger instead of your whole hand and shoulder; manufactured in Rawlins, Wyoming and tested in one of the NASA space shuttle missions.
As a young man Ray built a sawmill run by a car engine, with his brothers Bob and Peter at the Peter Hansen Ranch. While in the Air Force, Ray worked on the development of the guidance system of the Snark Missile at Cape Canaveral (formerly Patrick Airforce Base) during the Korean War. He was featured in the film: Storm of the Century, the Blizzard of '49, from Wyoming PBS. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl6Iz4dXGdg
- his appearance is at about minute 33:02.) He was one of the men who helped feed the starving livestock by dropping hay to them after the storm.
Later he worked with his brother, Charles, to develop a self contained dairy that was bought by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, (Faisal died before it was implemented) - a precursor of systems used in some modern dairy farms.
Ray was a skilled stand up bass musician, who played with numerous groups in Riverton Wyoming, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis, including Bud Shank's group. Ray once backed up Miles Davis. He brought Bud Shank, Shelly Mann, Laurindo Almeida, Ray Brown, Frank Rosalino, and other musicians to the Riverton, Wyoming, school system to provide jazz workshops. They also performed in the community at Svilar's Restaurant in Hudson, the Teton Hotel in Riverton.
Ray built and drove racing cars and jalopies, built a 3 story houseboat in Sausalito, and was a skilled cabinet maker. Many remember wild trips to pan gold in the dune buggy with the portable dredge. Ray, following in his father's footsteps, dug and panned for gold over a lifetime. He conscripted gangs of family and friends to toil for gold in the creeks at the Peter Hansen Ranch.
He was an avid cook and is remembered for some of his favorites, epic curries, duck shot and deboned by hand, and traditional family dishes for Thanksgiving such as burnt cabbage and rum pudding.
Ray survived lung cancer, after surgery for an 'incurable' small cell lung cancer at San Francisco General Hospital in 1982.
Ray was a truly, unconditionally, loving, fun dad to 4 children and uncle to 15 cousins and many third and fourth generation children. A charmer of young children with whistles, amazing duck noises and jokes. Anyone who was close to him received the gift of absolute, unconditional, love.
His ashes will be shot up in a rocket at the Peter Hansen Ranch sometime in summer 2021. He is off to his next adventure-is the universe ready for him?
Published by Rawlins Times from Apr. 28 to May 2, 2021.