Robert Larsen, 88, of Culbertson, MT, passed away Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at Deaconess Medical Center in Billings, MT. Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home of Williston, ND is assisting the family.
Robert Dean Larsen was born on July 26, 1929 to Willie and Elvina Larsen on their family farm in Dane Valley. At the age of five, ‘Bobby’ was struck by lightning. He was assumed dead and as his Uncle Holger Hoffman was loading him into the truck he began to breathe. It is apparent that The Lord had bigger plans for Robert and his journey through life. He attended Dane Valley School for eight years, and then proceeded to Culbertson High School. In 1951, Robert was drafted into the US Army to the Artillery Division. He lost vision in his left eye while participating in the Korean Conflict while on active duty, and he was honorably discharged. Upon return from serving his country he joined his father’s business at Larsen Construction. He married Annetta Cox in 1956 at Dane Valley Lutheran Church. They remained married for 59 years until her passing in December 2015. Robert’s son, Brien Larsen, worked alongside of him for many years. One of Robert’s biggest prides in life was to be able to share his family business with his own son. At Larsen Construction, Robert specialized in cabinetry, welding, mechanics, and concrete finishing. His company built many of the houses in Culbertson, as well as several churches, farm houses, grain bins, and commercial buildings throughout the community. One of Bob’s treasured memories was working alongside his father Willy, his brothers LeRoy and Arlie, and his cousin Wayne.
Robert served on the Board of Directors for Custom Built Feeds for many years, as well as, the Treasurer for the Culbertson Community Improvement Corporation. He was a lifetime member of The Elks and he volunteered for over 20 years on the Culbertson Fire Department. Along with his wife Annetta, Bob served as the co-director of the Miss Northeastern Montana Scholarship pageant and served as a judge for several state pageants.
Robert’s construction business built his family home in Culbertson in 1970, where he included a beauty shop for Annetta. His lifelong love of his garden was a family trademark, and his mantra was, “Sow, Grow, and Show”. His garden was a labor of love that provided vegetables for many delicious family meals. Watching his garden grow yearly was a good motivator to make it through the long Montana winters, not to mention reading the Gureny’s Magazine from cover to cover. Some of his grandchildren’s fondest memories with him are eating peas straight off the vine in the garden and enjoying grandpa’s famous homemade ice-cream.
His favorite day of the week was Sunday, often spending it at the family farm after Church. In his leisure time Bob would make his grandchildren tables, dressers, toy boxes and toys.
Robert and Annetta Larsen spent their winters in Arizona for over 20 years, enjoying the warm weather and comradery of the rest of their family and friends that migrated south in the fall.
Robert is survived by his son Brien Larsen and his daughter Brenda Cozzens (Kelly); his six grandchildren, April Callaway, Calen Larsen, Bailey Esposito (Stephen), Kacey Cozzens, Christopher Larsen, and Cody Larsen; three great-grandchildren; his siblings Glen, Della, and Gloria; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, six siblings (Pearl, Rueben, Dorothy, Eugen, LeRoy, and Arlie), his wife Annetta and daughter Bobbi.
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