Neal C. Larson, 94
The Lord called Neal Corlys Larson home on Monday, December 5, 2016 at the White River Health Care Center, his wife Gertrude was at his side. He was born to John B. and Cora Larson on their farm in Stanton County, Nebraska on August 14, 1922 and was baptized as an infant in Stanton, NE. On March 4, 1925 he moved with his parents and sister Joyce to a farm they purchased in Todd County six miles east of Mission. He would spend most of the rest of his life working on that family farm. On May 30, 1935, he was confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Mission. Neal attended the Lone Hill School through elementary then Todd County High School when he graduated as salutatorian in 1940. Following graduation he attended Southern State Normal School at Springfield, SD obtaining his teachers certificate and then teaching school at the Fast School and Hay Stack Butte School in Todd County before being drafted. Neal was inducted into the service at Fort Crook, NE on October 24, 1942. He served overseas in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany under Gen. Hodges 1st army before becoming a part of Patton’s 3rd Army in Austria and Germany. Following a long series of battles throughout Germany, he was present to help free the surviving Jews at the Nuremburg concentration camp in Germany before going on to Czechoslovakia until the end of the European conflict. He was sent back to the states in May of 1945 to be sent on to Japan. Japan surrendered before he was to be shipped out and was honorably discharged on February 15, 1945 with the rank as a T4 sergeant, technician 4th grade. He was a member of the American Legion Post 287 since his discharge. After returning home, Neal became a farmer and helped his dad. He met Gertrude Ploetz in June of 1947 in front of the Mission Pool Hall and married her a year later on June 3, 1948 in New London, WI. From this marriage they would have seven children. He worked with his father on the farm until his father’s untimely death in 1951 when he took over all responsibilities. Neal and Gert lived on the family farm near Mission, SD until January of 2016 when their health both failed. Neal farmed and ranched on the family farm, retiring from health problems in 2009. He worked for the US Dept. of Agriculture and Soil Conservation and Weed Boards in Todd County from 1950 through 1993. He was a member of Zions Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mission his entire life and served as secretary and on the church council. He was an avid rock hound since 1963, collecting Fairburn agates and a host of other rocks and minerals. Neal had an uncanny ability to remember dates, names and events. He was very outgoing and enjoyed visiting with everyone and anyone. He loved football, playing cards, games, agate collecting, farming and family. Neal is survived by his wife of 68 ½ years Gert; five children: Mark (wife Mary Ann), Peter, Neal (wife Brenda), Jill (husband Keith), and John (wife Elsia); 18 grandchildren; 31 great grandchildren; sister, Noma Sazama; 14 nieces and nephews and their families; “son” Robert Tate; and many close friends and neighbors. He was preceded in death by both parents, sisters, Joyce and Corinne, twin infant sons, Neal Paul and John Henry and great grandson, Braeden. Funeral Services were held at Zion Lutheran Church in Mission on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. with interment in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Mission. Holmes Funeral Home of Valentine, NE was entrusted with the arrangements. Online guest book at www.HolmesFH.com.