Eugene Larson Obituary (2022) – Farragut, TN

FARRAGUT, Tenn. – Eugene P. “Gene” Larson Sr., 92, of Farragut, a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, went to be with his Lord & Savior on July 6, 2022.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Rev. Leonard J. and Alice N. Larson; three brothers, Rev. Quentin D. Larson, Leonard N. Larson, Dr. Warren L. Larson; two sisters, Muriel Forsberg, and Alyce Mae Hawkinson.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ellen Rose Scherer Larson, and four children, Mark Alan Larson (Carrie) of Richmond, Virginia; Rosalie Jean Larson Hadley (Stanton) of Knoxville; Eugene Paul Larson, Jr. (Cherie) of Knoxville; and Elisabeth Ann Larson Phillips (Grant) of Columbia, South Carolina. There are nine grandchildren, Dr. Aaron Hadley (Chanary); Dr. Ashley Larson (Ross); Mary Ellen Cole (Conner); Dr. Emily Elliott (Andrew); Caroline Long (Sam); Sarah Jean Dutton (Steven); Rebecca Wade (John); Arden Stone (John); and Crawford Phillips. There are eight great grandchildren: Kepler, Della, and Vana Hadley; Elouise and Xavier Cole; Nathan Elliott; and Koa and Oakley Dutton. Gene’s one surviving sister is Phyllis Johnson, of Ft. Worth, Texas.

Born in Oakland, Nebraska, to recently returned missionaries in China, Gene spent his childhood in Kansas City, Missouri, living with his large family in the parsonage next door to his father’s Covenant church. He attended public schools and junior college there before enrolling in the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy at Rolla, Missouri, in 1951. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and was licensed as a Professional Engineer.

After Rolla, he began a 40-year career at the Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Kentucky. Shortly after arriving there, Gene’s father played cupid by getting a cute young nurse in the church to start writing Gene letters. This long-distance courtship blossomed and the two were married in 1954.

Only two months into their marriage, Gene was called into the U.S. Army Chemical Corps and was stationed at the Biological Warfare Laboratories at Ft. Detrick, Maryland. After discharge, he and Ellen moved back to Paducah where they started a family.

His career continued with Union Carbide and Martin Marietta as a leader in the Maintenance, Plant Engineering, Purchasing, and Finance and Materials departments. He spent one year on a special design project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and received three patents for his work there. When Gene retired in 1992, he was department head over Project Engineering and Construction Engineering at the Paducah Plant.

Gene was a strong Christian and very involved at the First Baptist Church of Paducah, Kentucky, where he served as a deacon chairman and building committee chairman. He was part of the Sanctuary Choir and loved to sing tenor.

Gene gave of his time generously and was a role model of servant leadership to his children and others. He was particularly known for two special things: wearing bright red socks and baking Swedish rye bread – giving away perhaps 4000 loaves through the years. He served his community for 23 years on the Paducah Board of Adjustment, being chair most of that time.

After retirement, the Larsons moved to Farragut, to be nearer to their children. Gene and Ellen found First Baptist Concord in Farragut and became active in Sunday School, Seniors’ Ministry, and the Storying Scarf ministry. Never one to sit still, Gene volunteered for the Town of Farragut Engineering Department and was an officer in the Shiloh Homeowners Association.

The family will receive friends from noon – 1:30 p.m. Monday, July 11 at Click Farragut Chapel with a 1:30 p.m. service to follow.

Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. at Pleasant Forest Cemetery with full military honors conferred by the United States Army and the East Tennessee Veteran’s Honor Guard.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made by check to North Park University, 3225 W. Foster Avenue, Box 6, Chicago, IL 60625; or online at https://connect.northpark.edu/give to support the Rev. Leonard J. and Alice N. Larson Scholarship Fund; or Mission of Hope, Knoxville, TN, https://www.missionofhope.org/donate.

Published by The Paducah Sun on Jul. 9, 2022.

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