Russell Orvin Larson was born on October 7, 1943, in Fergus Falls, MN to Orvin and Melvie (Westrom) Larson. He grew up on the family farm near Elbow Lake and graduated from high school in 1961. Russ attended Concordia College in Moorhead and was a member of the NAIA National Champion Football Team and received Little All-American Honorable mention in football, graduating in 1965.
Russ taught PE and coached football and wrestling in Fairfax for four years. He then worked on the North Slope of Alaska in oil exploration. Russ served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War in Atomic Demolitions and Munitions. Next, he completed his graduate studies and 6th year specialist degree in educational administration at Minnesota State University Mankato. He worked as High School Principal and Athletic Director at Graceville, MN.
Russ married Arlene Hanson at Christ Church Newman Center, St. Cloud on September 21, 1974. The couple first resided in Chokio, MN where Russ worked as a Superintendent. They then moved overseas to Tripoli, Libya to work at the Oil Companies School which hosted students from around the world. Upon their return they lived in Hancock, MN where Russ was Superintendent and they raised their three children: Scott, Tammy and Ryan. Russ and Arlene retired to Alexandria, MN in 2000. They were married for nearly 47 years.
Russ enjoyed family and time with his five grandsons. In earlier years, he enjoyed skiing, tennis, hiking, biking, golf and travel. He was dedicated to his Neuro-Fit Parkinson’s class for years. He had a great sense of humor and was always ready to tell a joke or tease someone. He was a member of Retired Educators and a very active member of the Golden Kiwanis. He took great interest in Kiwanis activities and fund raising. Russ and Arlene especially enjoyed exploring the states as well as international adventures to all seven continents.
Russ died on Monday, August 23, 2021, at Grand Arbor in Alexandria at the age of 77, under the care of Knute Nelson Hospice. He is survived by his wife, Arlene; children: Scott (Camille) and grandson, Wesley of Kingman, AZ, Tammy and grandsons: Abel, Oliver & Ezra of Duluth, MN, Ryan (Rian) and grandson, Zackary of Salmon, ID; brother, Jerold (Gail). Russ was preceded in death by his parents and infant brother, Donald.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 2:00 PM on Saturday, August 28, 2021, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria. Visitation will be held for one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.
A live stream and recording of the service will be available 2:00 PM on Saturday, August 28, 2021, on the funeral home website.