Ray Emerald Larson, 93 years of age, of Holdrege

Memorial Services for Ray E. Larson will be conducted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the Fridhem Lutheran Church in Funk, Nebraska with Reverend Darrel Wissmann officiating. Private family interment will be in the Fridhem Cemetery prior to the services at the church. Military honors will be provided by the Martin-Horn American Legion Post #66 of Holdrege in conjunction with the United States Army Military Honor Guard.

Ray Emerald Larson, 93 years of age, of Holdrege, passed away on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at the Holdrege Memorial Homes. He was born August 25, 1920 on the family farm northeast of Funk in Phelps County, Nebraska, the third of four children born to Carl and Francis (Lundquist) Larson. He received his primary education from rural schools near Funk until 10th grade and then attended Holdrege High School, where he graduated with the class of 1938.

Following graduation, Ray enlisted in the United States Army and served his country during WW II from 1942 until his honorable discharge in 1945. Following his service, Ray returned home to the family farm east of Funk, where he continued farming on the same farm from 1947 until 2000.

On June 3, 1947 he was united in marriage to Arlene Fern Swanson at the Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Holdrege and to this union three children were born: Bruce, Steve, and Sheila. The couple celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary in June of 2012. Arlene passed away in July of 2012.

Ray was a faithful member of the Fridhem Lutheran Church, where he was involved in many different capacities. He was also a member of the V.F.W., the Funk Lions Club, served on the Tri-County Water Users Board, the Funk CO-OP Elevator Board, served on the Senior Citizens Center Board, and Township Board. Ray was also proud to have been a charter member and assisted with organizing the Phelps County Feeders Association.

He enjoyed playing horseshoes, loved the many hours he spent playing pool at the Senior Center with his friends, and most recently enjoyed playing Bingo at Holdrege Memorial Homes. He was an avid sports enthusiast and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the pride and joy of his life.

Besides his parents, and beloved wife, Arlene, Ray was preceded in death by two sisters: Millocent Besco and her husband, Lawrence, and Hildur Forsberg and her husband, Harold; one sister-in-law, Charlotte Larson and one brother-in-law, Charles Harrington.

Survivors include his three children: Bruce Larson and his wife, P.J. of Brevard, North Carolina, Steve Larson and his wife, Mardell of Funk, and Sheila Grieb and her husband, Chris of York, Nebraska; 7 grandchildren: Kurtis Larson and his wife, Erika, Travis Larson and his wife, Trish, Kyle Larson and his wife, Lindsay, Ryan Grieb and his special friend, Lauren Cable and Brett Grieb and his special friend, Brittany Schipman, and Brittany Larson and Sara Larson; 7 great-grandchildren: Hunter, Piper, Colton, Nolan, Hayes, and Katelyn Larson and Willow Maese; one brother, Earl Larson of Holdrege; one sister-in-law, Betty Harrington of Kearney, Nebraska; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held at the Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege on Monday, December 16, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with the family greeting friends form 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

A memorial has been established in Ray's honor and kindly suggested to the Fridhem Lutheran Church or the Phelps County Senior Center.

Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at www.nelsonbauerfh.com

The Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege is in charge of arrangements.

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