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Daniel Ove Larson

| April 20, 2007 12:00 AM

In Loving Memory of Daniel Ove Larson

November 11, 1942 - April 7, 2007

Libby, Montana

Daniel Ove Larson, born November 11, 1942, to Ove and Florence Larson in Spokane, Washington, died at St. John's Lutheran Hospital in Libby on April 7, 2007, of cancer. He was 64 years old. Daniel Larson lived life with great abundance! He worked hard, played hard and lived life to the fullest.

He was the oldest of three children. Along with his sister Barbara Irene and his brother Herbert Rodney, Dan lived in Libby, near Pioneer Park, and then in Troy, Montana. Dan graduated from Troy High School with many honors - Boy's state, Danforth Award, lettered in basketball, football and track, student body president and football scholarships at Whitworth, Washington. After one year he transferred to the University of Montana, Missoula where he majored in Forestry. Dan was member of the SAE fraternity, and received his degree from the University of Montana in 1965.

During his student days, Dan met and married fellow student Kay Marie Baldwin, the head majorette for the Montana Grizzlies. They married on June 13, 1964.

After graduation, they lived in Paramas, New Jersey; Atlanta; Denver; and Tacoma Washington Dan built his career in the wood products industry. Dan worked for St. Regis-Champion Lumber Company as a salesman at Atlanta, Denver, Seattle, Klickitat, and Libby. Dan served as lumber manufacturing manager at the Libby facility and Manager of Champion's Klickitat operations before becoming the Manager of Champion International's Libby facility in 1988. "You are the backbone of Libby and Troy," Dan Larson told Champion's Libby employees. "Nobody can move into western Montana and hope to operate a mill without people like you."

Dan served on numerous boards in the community, including the Chamber of Commerce, St. John's Lutheran Hospital, the Cabinet View Country Club, the Lincoln Couny Port Authority, Kootenai Business Park Industrial Board, and on Church Council at Christ Lutheran in Libby.

In 1986, Dan was appointed to the board of directors of First National Bank and Holding Company. He served as Chairman of the board of directors for First National Bank of Montana from 1994 until 2007.

In 1995 Dan bought Coffman Motors of Troy, Montana, expanding his parents' strong business which became Larson Lumber Company, Inc. He is a third generation owner of the 93 year old family business. Larson Lumber Company, Inc. is the major retail building supplies dealer serving Lincoln, Sanders and Flathead counties and north Idaho.

In 1999 Marc Racicot, Governor of the State of Montana appointed Dan to be a member of the Transportation Commission for the State of Montana in which he served several terms.

Upon the closing of the Libby Champion-Stimson mill, Dan worked with Lincoln County Commissioners John Konzen, Rita Windom and Marianne Roose toward the purchase of the former mill site from Stimson Lumber Company. Many professionals, volunteers and agency representatives participated in the process. Stimson Lumber Company donated the 400 acre industrial site to the Lincoln County Port Authority for economic development of the Libby, Troy and Eureka communities.

Daniel's life would not have been complete without the family and loved ones he spent his life with. Dan said his single greatest moment was when his eyes saw Laurie, his beautiful newborn daughter. Laurie studied at Harvard and Stanford Universities becoming a Lutheran Minister. She, her husband Drew Caesar and their daughter Sophie live in Portland, Oregon.

Their family was also blessed by the birth of Marcia. Dan appreciated that Marcia was a great compliment of both parents. He delighted in Marcia's "okay, Dad"response to his instruction while she continued right on with what she was doing. Marcia studied at the University of California at San Diego and Oxford University earning a law degree with special emphasis on estate planning.

She and her husband, Mark (Zaroogian) Larson are the proud parents of Anna Hope Larson and Erin Larson. During Dan's illness, Marcia's love and care was a tremendous comfort.

Dan was very proud of Marcia, Laurie and his grandchildren. His saved telephone messages include months of messages and singing from his granddaughters.

Dan was a Biblical scholar. He enjoyed a good theological discussion, enthusiastically sharing his knowledge in a way others enjoyed and understood. As a member of Christ Lutheran Church, he offered Bible study classes for decades.

Dan married Bonnie Lynn Kittleson at Kootenai Falls near Troy on March 10, 2007. Bonnie has been Dan's business partner and co-owner for ten years. Bonnie continues to own and operate Larson Lumber Company, Inc.

He is survived by wife Bonnie Lynn Larson of Troy; two daughters, Laurie Larson Caesar and her husband Andrew Caesar of Portland, Oregon; and Marcia Annette Larson and her husband Mark Larson of Escondido, California; three granddaughters, Sophie Anna Larson Caesar, Anna Hope Larson and Erin Nicole Larson; his parents Ove and Florence Larson of Troy, Montana; his sister Barbara and her husband Frank Bain of Turner, Oregon; his former wife of forty-two years, Kay Larson, of Missoula, Montana; new daughers shared with wife Bonnie, Dawn Lynn Opland and husband Tori of Troy, Kristine Kittleson and fiance James Kurtzenacker of Seattle; grandchildren, Breanna and Sean Opland, Bonnie's mother, Carol Cooper, brothers Allen and Art, Art's finance, Kellie Hudson and many beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends in the Libby and Troy community and beyond. He was preceded in death by his younger brother Herb, who died at the age of 14, in 1964, of bone cancer.

The wife and family of Dan Larson would like to thank the outstanding medical professionals and many individuals for their support during the time of his illness. Thank you so much Sandy Matheny Fennessy and Mark Fennessy and Les and Margy Nelson for their unending care. You made this walk bearable.

Let us celebrate Dan's life, and may we live each day as he did - Christ-centered and willing to serve others. Thank you so much for your kind words and support through the loss of our loved one and friend, Daniel O. Larson.

Memorials may be made to organizations of your choice. Dan financially supported St. John's Lutheran Hospital, Christ Lutheran Church Endowment for Education and Children's Heart Institute of San Diego, California.

Services will be held at Christ Lutheran Church, 200 West Larch Street in Libby on Friday, April 13 at 11:00 am, officiated by Pastor Steve Benson.

Following a private burial at the Libby Cemetery, please join in a celebration of Dan's life at the Memorial Center scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at the Mark Schoknecht Memorial Center, 111 East Lincoln Boulevard in Libby.