Remembering My Friend Don Larson

I am remembering my friend Don Larson who was one of my greatest and closest friends that meant a lot to me. There are so many things that I have learned from this great person over a 13 year period and we always hung out almost every single weekend. He had so many great people in his entire life that are family and also many friends.

He was born Donald Curtis Larson on November 14th, 1924, in Evanston Illinois and was the 3rd born of 4 siblings that have past a while back. He also served in World War 2 but was only in charge of supplies and did not fight in battle.  In August of 1951, he married his wife Hildy that he was married to for 50 plus years and they had 4 children, 2 boys, and 2 girls. Don was also a history teacher at a High School In Salina Kansas and retired in 1984. He moved to Mesa AZ. in January of 1991 with his wife Hildy and lived in Leisure world for over 20 years. They celebrated 50 years of marriage in August of 2001, but sadly Don’s wife passed away on February 21st, 2002 due to cardiac arest.

In September of 2004, I was at a local McDonalds in Phoenix Arizona when I was living there at the time for lunch. Every table was used up but one so I went and grabbed it and a moment later this elderly gentleman asked me if he could sit down because there were no seats and I told him to go ahead and sit down. he did and we got to talking and I said Oh by the way I’m David and he says I’m Don and from that day we became the best of friends. A few months later I introduced him to my mom, and two of my brothers and in 2008 my oldest brother and brother in law got to know him as well. I got to meet his oldest sister and all 4 of his children. I even met a few of his Grandchildren and they all welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like I was a part of their family. His family is great.

I have hung out many weekends at Don’s place and when he was living in Mesa AZ. I helped him move twice and we have also gone on plenty of road trips. We have been to Laughlin a few times and other places as well plus when I hung out at his home on weekends I would help him with whatever I could because he had back problems and C.O.P.D  and doing basic home cleaning was hard for him to do. I did that for him because he was a great friend and I knew that he needed help around his place. My friend at one time was thinking about moving up to Eugene Oregon to be closer to his family because all of his siblings have past on and he had no family in Arizona. In November of 2014, Don celebrated his 90th birthday and we took him out for an early 9oth Birthday celebration.

At the end of March of this year, Don moved to Eugene Orgon to be closer to his family and we still kept in contact and I told him hopefully someday to get up there to visit him and his family. On November 13Th of this year, I had a voicemail from the retirement community where Don was living and they said Don had a stroke and is being sent to the hospital. I called his daughter to tell her what I found out and she said she was gonna call. She called me back a little later and verified that it was a stroke and he was going to be put in I.C.U. I called him on his 93rd birthday that was on November 14th and he could barely speak at all and as the days progressed his condition was getting worse. Ar one point it seems like he was gonna pull through and then I was told it got really bad and was told that he was in his final hours. His grandson gave me his number so I called him and he held the phone to Don’s ear so I can say my final words. I told him that he was one of the best friends I have ever known and said I loved him and we will meet again one day. On November 22nd at 2 Am Don past away at the age of 93 years of age. Don”s memory will always live on and I have so many great memories of him. Don, you are truly missed and will always be remembered.