|Willis E. "Gene" Larson, 77, of rural Altona, died at 9:22 PM, Saturday, February 16, 2013 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 AM, Thursday, February 21 at Messiah Lutheran Church in Galva. Rev. Linda Winkelman will officiate. Visitation will be held from 5:00-8:00 PM, Wednesday, February 20 and from 9:30 AM until the time of service at the church. Gene wished to have his body donated to science and upon completion of those studies his remains will be buried at Galva Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Galva FFA, Knox County 4-H, Illinois AgriAbility or to E.L.C.A. World Hunger. Rux Funeral Home in Galva is in charge of arrangements.
He was born August 18, 1935 in Walnut Grove Twp., Knox County, IL, the son of Wesley R. and Myrtie M. (Dillingham) Larson. He married Ann Louise Nelson on September 5, 1964 in Altona. She survives, as well as their children, Jon (Sandra) Larson of Winthrop Harbor, IL, Kirsten Wager of Kewanee, and Andrew (Colleen Lewis) Larson of Bishop Hill, seven grandchildren, Nathan Wager, a Senior at University of Illinois, Alex Wager, with the US Navy, stationed in San Diego, CA, Hannah Larson, a junior at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Nigel Larson of Winthrop Harbor, IL and Knute, Drew and Cal Larson, of Bishop Hill and students at Galva Elementary and Jr-Senior High School and two brothers, Willard R. (Karen) Larson of Lees Summit, MO and Wesley Larson Jr. (Anna) of Lenexa, KS. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Walter M. Larson and a sister, Lucille Theesfeld.
Gene was a member of Galva High School, class of 1953. He had worked for the City of Galva, Dixline Corp., was a labor foreman for the Illinois Department of Transportation and farmed the family farm. He was a member of the Messiah Lutheran Church, was a Knox County 4-H Leader for several years, and had been a Lynn Township trustee. He enjoyed playing fast pitch softball and pitched hundreds of games for the Bishop Hill Swedes. He also collected farm toys and coins and enjoyed traveling and going to the local coffee shops to listen to and tell stories. He was especially proud of his children and grandchildren and enjoyed their activities and interests. This obituary may be viewed and private condolences left at www.ruxfuneralhome.com.