On Monday, May 12, 2003, Pastor James G. Larson went to be with his Lord and Savior. Pastor died at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital following a heart attack at home.
Funeral services will beheld at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 17 at Concordia Lutheran Church, 11th and Pine Streets, Hood River. Graveside committal services will be at Idlewild Cemetery, immediately following; with Pastor Cory Hahnke officiating.
Pastor’s lifetime of service to the Lord began on September 14, 1934, in Pierre, S.D., when he was born to Pastor Hugo and Josephine (Rahn) Larson. Pastor’s father’s ministry moved the family to parishes in Pierre, Redfield, Parker, Doland, and Utica, S.D.
At the age of 13, Pastor left home to attend high school and college at St. John Lutheran School in Winfield, Kan. He then attended Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., graduating in 1960.
In 1952, his father’s ministry called the family to Wilmot, S.D., where on a summer break, Pastor met and courted Donna Hecht, a local schoolteacher. On June 5, 1960, they were married — on the same day Pastor was ordained a minister.
In September 1960, the young couple boarded a cruise ship bound for Australia, for Pastor’s first assignment in Cairns, Queensland. During their stay, Donna gave birth to three daughters — Linda, Ingrid, and Catherine. They also met several lifelong friends, and led many souls to faith in the Lord. After five years down under, the growing family moved back to the U.S., ending up in Hood River, where Pastor accepted a call to serve Immanuel Lutheran Church here and Our Savior’s in Bingen, Wash.
Four years and three sons later, Pastor left Immanuel to start a new congregation. Divine Word Lutheran Church began in the service garage in the building that now houses Little Bit Ranch Supply. Pastor managed a Philips 66 gas station and pizza parlor out of that same building to help feed his family.
In 1972, Pastor and his congregation moved into the old First Baptist Church building on the heights. The church would later be renamed Concordia Lutheran Church. Most of his career in the ministry would be spent there.
In 1976, Pastor realized his goal of opening a Christian Day School in the church building. He was proud that his children received not only their diplomas, but daily instruction in the Lutheran faith. He was especially proud that his own mother was one of the first graduates. There were many other young men and women who graduated from the school before its closure in 1990, when asbestos abatement would make the school too expensive to run.
During his ministry, Pastor led a successful effort to bring a large group of Vietnamese refugees to the U.S. Most of the children attended the school, and were introduced to Christianity. Many now live in California and are successful in the medical profession, and most still keep in touch like part of the family.
Pastor continued his ministry in Hood River after the school’s closure. He not only served the Hood River congregation, but served as a vacancy Pastor for churches in Roseburg, Hillsboro and The Dalles. He helped to open a new church in Gresham. He continued in this capacity until his semi-retirement in 1996, and continued to assist new pastors in the district, covering vacations and such.
Pastor’s love of the Gorge scenery and the road led him to become a courier for Airborne Express. He was assigned to The Dalles and Mosier, and occasionally Goldendale. This allowed Pastor the opportunity to meet people and make new friends. Though he no longer had a church building, Pastor continued to minister to everyone he could. It was important that everyone he talked to knew that Jesus died for them. In fact, he never signed a form, check, or official document without a crucifix scribbled also. There are some people who thought his last name was Ephesians 1:7, as he often signed this as well.
Pastor was also a defender of the rights of unborn children, and was deeply involved with the Pro-Life movement with his good friend, Josie Roberts. He participated in many marches and jog-a-thons. Most of his cars were held together by bright orange “Adoption-not abortion!” bumper stickers.
Besides his Love for the Lord, Pastor loved his family. Pastor and Donna raised five of their own children, and still had enough love to adopt 10 more, from Korea, The Philippines, Chicago, and twins from Portland.
His favorite places to go were the wheat fields in Dufur, the Long Beach peninsula, and his favorite spot was just west of the intersection of Clear Creek and Laurance Lake roads.
He is preceded in death by his parents and youngest brother, Steve.
Besides his loving wife, Donna, Pastor is survived by his proud children, and their spouses: Aaron and Heidi Larson of Tamuning, Guam; Cheye and Verneta Larson of Seattle; Linda and Mike Quade of Wilmot, S.D.; Ingrid and Jack DeLeon of Odell; Catherine and Lewis Teatsorth of Lincoln Park, Minn.; Timothy and Janene Larson of Tigard; Nathan and Debbie Larson of Odell; Thomas and Adrienne Larson of Portland, Peter Larson of Seattle; Glen Presswood of Rammstein AFB, Germany; Rachel and Kevin Strange of Portland; Raphael Larson of Washington, D.C.; Stephen Larson of Seattle; James R. Larson of Seattle; and David Larson of Hood River.
He will be missed by his grandchildren, Sean, Nicole, and Joseph Larson; Zia Larson; Bobby, Allen, and Melinda Quade; Gabriela, Tatiana, Sofia, and Jillian DeLeon; Zachary, Samuel, and Emily Larson; Jonathan, Jeffrey and Joshua Larson; Cameron, Isaiah, and Andre Larson; Joshua and Lukas Presswood; Justin, Megan, and Luke Strange; and Michael, Corey, and Andrew Larson.
Pastor is also survived by his brothers, sisters, and their spouses; Hugo and Ann Larson, Watertown, S.D.; Vince and Linda Larson, Carlton Ore.; John Larson of Eugene; Ingrid and Victor Settje of Odell; Grace and Bill Gustafson of Gresham; Josie and Carl Coolidge of Boring; Naomi and Richard Conrad of Wilmot, S.D.; and Angela Settle of Seattle.
Arrangements are made through Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont, Hood River, OR 97031.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Pastor James Larson Memorial account at Bank of America, 115 Oak Ave., Hood River, OR 97031.
Hood River resident Edna M. Morgan died Sunday, May 11, 2003, at the Hood River Care
Center. She was 82 years of age.
A Tribute Service for
her husband, George, and Edna was held Friday, May 16, 2003, at Anderson’s Tribute Center. Interment followed at Idlewild Cemetery.
Edna M. Morgan was born July 3, 1919, to Walter L. and Eunice (Matheny) McGarvin in Odell, Ore. She was raised and educated in the Hood River Valley graduating from Odell High School in 1937. Following her schooling Mrs. Morgan went to work in a local orchard where she met her future husband. In 1942 Edna married George Morgan.
Edna worked in the local fruit packing plants until they started their family and then she stayed home and raised her children full time. In 1964 Edna opened a day care nursery in her home, which she ran until around 1977 when she and her husband retired.
In their retirement Edna enjoyed reading, watching television, gardening and cooking. She was also very active with the Christian Missionary Alliance Church.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Hood River Library Foundation c/o Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont, Hood River, OR 97031.
George Lyman Morgan, a longtime Hood River resident, died March 17, 2001, at the Hood River Care Center. He was 86 years of age.
A tribute service was held for his wife, Edna, and George at Anderson’s Tribute Center on Friday, May 16, 2003.
George L. Morgan was born Dec. 29, 1914, in Grove, Okla., to Henry and Etta (Maynard) Morgan. He was raised and educated in Oklahoma, leaving there in his early twenties to work in the orchards in Odell, Ore., area. In 1942 he and Edna McGarvin were married.
George went to work for the Oregon Washington Telephone Company (now Sprint) and worked for over 30 years, retiring in 1976.
Mr. Morgan had been an active member of the Wy’east High School PTA and had served as treasurer. He was an avid reader and enjoyed the outdoors, camping, hunting, fishing and hiking. He also enjoyed fishing in Alaska.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Hood River County Library Foundation c/o Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont, Hood River, OR 97031.
Longtime Cascade Locks, Ore., resident Ivy Marie McDonald died May 14, 2003, at Columbia Basin Care Facility. She was 84 years of age.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 24, 2003, at Cascade Locks Community Church, Benson and Watts Streets, at 1 p.m.
Marie was born June 1, 1918, in Chanie, Okla., to Oscar Lee and Samantha (Bruce) Reynolds. At an early age she and her family moved to New Mexico where she was raised and educated. In 1937 Marie and her husband moved to California where they farmed grapes and cotton.
In 1948 Marie moved to Cascade Locks, where she later owned and operated Marie’s Drive-In (now Eastwind Drive-In) for many years. Mrs. McDonald moved to The Dalles, Ore., where she lived until her passing.
Mrs. McDonald’s hobbies included quilting in the winter months and growing and tending to her garden in the summer months. Her family remembers her for always staying busy and being an extremely hard worker.
Marie is survived by her daughter, Dessie Bilyeu of The Dalles, son Royce McDonald of Halfway, Ore., sister Wynona Kawyer of New Mexico, eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society c/o Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont, Hood River, OR 97031.
Alden L. “Mac” McNerney, a Parkdale, Ore., resident, died May 11, 2003, at Brookside Manor. He was 90 years of age.
Services will be held on Friday, May 23, 2003, at 1 p.m. at the Parkdale Community Church.
Private interment will be at Upper Valley Cemetery in Parkdale.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, Hospice of the Gorge or a charity of your choice c/o Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont, Hood River, OR 97031.
A full obituary will appear in the next edition of the Hood River News.