Vernon LARSON

Vernon Howard Larson passed away peacefully in Penticton Regional Hospital December 30, 2009. He suffered a stroke December 28 and never recovered. His son, Bob and daughter-in-law, Beth were with him at the time. Born in southern Saskatchewan, on a homestead west of Tribune, March 27 1919, the fourth child of homesteading parents George and Esther Larson. As a teenager he moved with the family to east central Saskatchewan in 1934, to the small community of Rokeby. Always an athlete, he was competitive and excelled at hockey and baseball. Being a crack shot, he remained an avid hunter of waterfowl and big game well into his 80’s. Vern enlisted in the army in 1940 and completed his basic training with the 1622nd Saskatchewan Horse Light Infantry, at Dundurn, SK. In 1945 he married Joy Sharpe and they moved to the west coast where he was employed by Canada Post, Vancouver. Joy and Vern had two boys, Bob (Beth) of Kamloops, BC and Bill (Terry) of Surrey, BC. In April 1967 Joy suffered a stroke from which she never recovered. Vernon worked for McMillan/Bloedel in the sawmills along the Fraser River from 1948 to 1975, a period of 27 years. He never lost his love for the land and all things agricultural. For many years he was a 4H Club Leader in the Langley and Surrey areas. Seeking a lifestyle change, Vernon bought an acreage at Malakwa, BC in 1972 where he and Rietta took up residence in 1975. Rietta had bountiful gardens and beautiful flowers. Vern had his livestock, registered Hereford cattle, many pigs and numerous chickens. It was a strenuous existence as they raised most of their own food, but it was soul satisfying and they were happy doing it. In early 1980, while working with the cattle, Vernon suffered a severe back injury which required surgery. This necessitated another lifestyle change and downsizing. They bought a small acreage in Summerland. Vern was happy to be away from the deep snow of winter and the tormenting mosquitoes of summer associated with the Malakwa area. Predeceased by two brothers, Gerald and Richard and four sisters. Beatrice, Marion, Irene and Phyllis, he is survived by his wife Rietta of Summerland, her three daughters, Kathleen (Hugh) of Vernon, BC Paddy (Dave) of Surrey, BC and Kelley (John) of Surrey, BC. His two sons Bob and Bill, three sisters, Violet of Tappen, BC, Joyce of Kamloops, BC and Florence of Pritchard, BC. Also three brothers, Bruce of Prince George, BC, Glen of Vernon, BC and Cort of Summerland, BC. Also surviving are several grandchildren and great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. We have lost a husband, brother, father, step-father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Most of all we have lost a loyal friend. Special thanks to Dr. G. Fullard, BC Ambulance, Kim and the staff at PRH. At his request there will be no funeral. A memorial will be held to celebrate his life, March 27, 2010, at the family home in Summerland. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation, 550 Carmi, Penticton, BC V2A 3G6.