James Richard Larsen, the son of Jens and Agnes (Hansen) Larsen, was born on March 30, 1927, in rural Kimballton, Audubon County, Iowa. He attended Audubon Country School through the eighth grade. On March 14, 1948, James married Verda Mae Petersen at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, Iowa. The couple farmed and made their home in Jackson Township, Shelby County, Iowa, for 15 years. They then moved to their current home in Center Township, north of Harlan. James was a lifelong farmer; he also worked helping Gary Allen in his plumbing business for ten years.
James was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan, Iowa. He loved to garden and took great pride in keeping his machinery, livestock, and homestead in good condition. James was a quiet and reserved man who preferred to lead and parent by good example.
James R. Larsen died on Friday, October 14, 2011, at his home in rural Harlan, Iowa, at the age of 84 years, 6 months, and 14 days.
James was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Norman Larsen; and one sister, Joann Larsen, at age 11. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Verda Mae Larsen of Harlan, Iowa; one daughter, Marie (Warren) Madsen of Audubon, Iowa; two sons, Philip (Genene) Larsen of Fontana, California, and Scott (Jeanine) Larsen of Harlan, Iowa; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.
Memorial services were held on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan, Iowa, with Pastor Steve Chellew officiating. Marge Ahrenholtz served as the organist, and Diane Kastens was the soloist. Burial of ashes was in the Harlan Cemetery in Harlan, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left online at www.burmeisterjohannsen.com.