The Reverend Doctor Paul Larson passed away on Nov. 2, 2012 after a three year battle with brain cancer at the age of 78. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9 at the Wight, Comes & Sogn Funeral Chapel in Watertown. Memorial services will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer.
Paul Myron Larson was born Sept. 27, 1934 to Joseph and Galena (Raaen) Larson in Sisseton. Paul spent his formative years on his parents farm in Sisseton. He graduated from Sisseton High School in 1952, and went on to study at Concordia College, Moorhead, graduating with Class of 1956. The years in Sisseton and Moorhead grew his faith and love of community and country.
He studied at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, MN, earned his Bachelor of Theology degree in 1960 and became an ordained minister. While attending school there he had met Constance Ann Weaver, who was in nurses training at Bethesda. They married on May 31, 1958 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN, then served a parish in Long Island, NY. The couple had a great interest in serving the church as missionaries, and when Paul learned that there was a shortage of doctors on the mission field, he felt called to begin a new chapter in their lives. While serving parishes near Meckling, Paul earned his Bachelor of Science in Medicine from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion. He did his internship in Sioux Falls, SD. They moved to Denver, CO where he earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Colorado, then completed residency in Fargo, ND.
In 1968 Paul and Connie served in Madagascar through the ELCA for six years. Paul served two mission hospitals, Manambaro and Ejeda. He loved, and was loved by the Malagasy people and made lifelong friends with missionary families as well. Paul and family returned to the United States while he earned his Urology degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI. Then they returned to Madagascar for two more years.
When their term in Madagascar was over, Paul and Connie settled in Watertown. He established a urology practice and worked as a physician for the hospitals there. He served as chief of staff for two years at Prairie Lakes Hospital and was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.
Connie and Paul spent many wonderful years on Harmony Hill, and in 1989 returned to Madagascar for another year. They made several more mission trips to both Madagascar, Cameroon, and Nicaragua. They were very involved with the South Dakota Synod and as members of the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer. Paul served on many boards, including the hunger task force and global missions.
Paul and Connie both had a passion for serving Global Health Ministries, and organization that collects medical supplies to send to mission hospitals around the globe. He served six years on the board of directors. He spent countless hours speaking at churches, collecting and organizing donated supplies, and even more hours driving back and forth to the Global Health warehouse in Fridley, MN. Paul never really "retired". Just prior to retirement age, he started another urology clinic, called "The Water Works," in Pierre. Paul did not abandon his call to be a pastor, either. He served parishes in Hayes, Bergen, Castlewood, and filled in for many others. When he returned to Watertown, he began working for VA hospitals in Fargo and in North Carolina.
Paul's interests and hobbies included pheasant/duck hunting, fishing, raising animals, gardening, painting, writing, singing, literature and the arts. He also had his pilot's license. Paul was involved in the Kampeska Corral, barbershop quartets, the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, Rotary, Karing Kapers, Ducks Unlimited, Lutherans Outdoors, and was an active member of Lutheran Church Our Redeemer, where he sang tenor in the choir.
He loved his deep roots in family and his Norwegian heritage. Paul and Connie both were members of Sons of Norway in Brookings for many years. For their 50th anniversary, their kids sent them on a trip to Norway, which they loved. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, pastor, doctor, and friend. He will be sorely missed.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Galen Larson.
He is survived by his daughter, Robin Larson and her sons, Donovan and Sergey; his son, Bryan Larson and his children, Mark and Sara Larson, Kevin Larson; his granddaughter, Morgan Larson; and his daughter, Lorna Larson.
Arrangements by Wight, Comes & Sogn Funeral Chapel, www.wcsfc.com.