Donald John Larson, 86, of O'Neill died Sunday, May 17, 2020 at his home in O'Neill.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, May 21, 2020 at Biglin’s Mortuary in O’Neill. Due to the current pandemic, Don’s family will not be present for the visitation and urges everyone to practice safe social distancing.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 22, 2020 at Christ Lutheran Church in O’Neill.
Burial will be in the O'Neill Cemetery in O'Neill at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.
Donald was born on Feb. 4, 1934 to Leonard and Matie (Sydow) Larson in Norfolk. He grew up in Holt County and attended country school at District 5. He later moved with his family to the Wheeler County line and went to school at District 29. Don graduated from Wheeler Central as valedictorian of his class in 1951.
He continued his education at Wayne State receiving a bachelor’s degree in education in 1955. While in college he was a member of Pi Omega Pi, a scholastic honor society for business students . He began his teaching career at Creighton where he taught for a year and a half before joining the military.
Don enlisted in the U.S. Army, following training he spent 15 months overseas doing intelligence work, including a stint in Okinawa, Japan. After two years of service, he was honorably discharged in 1958, he moved to O’Neill and began teaching at the O’Neill Public School.
Don married Sharon Hartronft in Clearwater on Dec. 27, 1959. To this union three children were born Rick, Greg and Kathy. The family made O’Neill home where Don continued teaching at O’Neill Public Schools.
He taught many subjects through the years including shorthand, keyboarding, computers, business and accounting. Don took on a variety of different extracurricular roles as well. He was the senior class sponsor many years, quiz-bowl instructor, yearbook instructor, aerie staff, National Honor Society and even spent one year as athletic director. He also worked as an instructor for Northeast Community College for a time. Don retired in the spring of 1998.
Don was a member of the Christ Lutheran Church since 1959 and enjoyed being very active in his church.
He enjoyed gardening, woodworking and spending time with his family. Don was a member of the NEA and the NSEA.
Don would want his former students and fellow teachers to remember him as an individual that lived up to the motto, "Teaching touches a life forever."
Don is survived by his wife of 60 years Sharon Larson of O’Neill; three children Rick (Tammy) Larson of Omaha, Greg Larson of La Vista and Kathy (David) Crook of Kearney; six grandchildren Travis (Chrissy) Larson, Jon Larson, Rebecca (Joshua) Miller, Tori Crook, Tristan Crook and Taylor Crook; six great-grandchildren; and one sister Dorothy Mlinar of Atkinson.
He was preceded in death by his parents Leonard and Mattie Larson, one brother-in-law Harold Mlinar and one niece Nancy Funk.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.biglinsmortuary.com.