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Surnames: Larsen, Speirs
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Logan Herald Journal, 03/27/08
LOGAN, Utah: Ray John Larsen, age 79, returned to the arms of his Heavenly Father,
peacefully, at his home, surrounded by his family on March 23, 2008, after a long illness.
It was on Easter afternoon and the sun was shining.
He was born Feb. 2, 1929, in Kemmerer, Wyo. He was the youngest child of Hans and Vilate
Larsen. He had one sister and two brothers. Shortly after his birth, he and his family
moved back to their home in Montpelier, Idaho, where he grew up and lived for 41 years.
As a young man, his interests soon were directed to sports and music. He played basketball
and football for the high school and sang in the choir. He served as the freshman and
junior class president. He started playing clarinet when he was in junior high at the
encouragement of his parents and his older brother's example. He was a member of the
band as well as a jazz orchestra. On his own, he learned to play a tenor sax. The summer
before his sophomore year of high school, he started playing in the Jack McGlaughlin Band.
Ray attended Idaho State in Pocatello for one year and received an associate degree in
accounting. While attending there, he played on their basketball team and also played in a
jazz band. He then went back to Montpelier and went to work for Bear Lake Motor Company.
On Aug. 21, 1950, he married his high school sweetheart, Frankie Speirs, in the Logan
In 1953, he started his own band called the Ray Larsen Jazz Combo. He enjoyed playing for
many years at New Year's Eve dances, high school dances and wedding receptions. When
the new music of Elvis Presley and the Beatles became popular, the demand for a jazz band
declined, and so he eventually dissolved the band. Ray also had a wonderful voice and sang
in a quartet for many years.
While living in Montpelier, he also worked for Central Farmers Fertilizer Co. and then
Stauffer Chemical. His career took a swing when he became executive vice president of the
Yellowstone Savings and Loan and president of a satellite company, the Realty and
Insurance Mart. He started his own tax practice and had many clients that trusted and
Ray always wanted to get his degree, so in 1970, he moved his family to Logan where he
went to work at USU as the office manager in the College of Engineering. He continued his
tax practice, went back to school, and eventually graduated with his bachelor of science
degree in accounting and then got his master's in business administration. He then
became the Director of Purchasing where he worked until he retired in 1994. He also taught
some accounting classes and tax classes for the university. He loved belonging to the USU
NBA (the noon basketball association).
He is survived by his spouse, Frankie; and four children and their families: Chris Parkin,
Cathy Smith (Gary), Bob R. Larsen (Cindy), and Drew H. Larsen (Julie). He has 17
grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He also has two sisters-in-law, Helen Rae Larsen
and Barbara Larsen, and many wonderful neices and nephews.
Ray believed you had to work hard, but you also had to play hard. He loved to hunt, fish,
golf, snow and water-ski. He loved having his family around and they took many wonderful
He was an eternal optimist, a friend to everyone, and always lived by the motto, "Why
get mad? You'll only have to get glad again."
He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in
two bishoprics, was the Seventies Stake mission counselor and then stake mission
president, basketball coach for the 24th Ward Young Men's team, Sunday School teacher,
Activity chairman, High Priest group assistant, and enjoyed working in the temple for many
years. At the time of his death, he was a High Priest in the Lundstrum Park 3rd Ward.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Dean and Jay; and his sister Fern.
We would like to thank Hospice, his physicians, and all those who took such wonderful care
Funeral services will be held at 12 p.m. Saturday, March 29, 2008, at the Lundstrom Park
3rd Ward Chapel. Friends and family may call from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday at Allen-Hall
Mortuary and from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday at the church prior to the services.
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.allenmortuaries.net
Published in the Logan Herald Journal from 3/26/2008 - 4/2/2008.
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