September 1, 1933 ~ March 14, 2017
Otis Carl Larson, Jr. passed away on March 14, 2017, at 83 years old. It was just a few short months after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. He was born on September 1, 1933, to Otis Carl Larson, Sr. and Julia Sanders in Milnor, North Dakota.
He is survived by his wife, Sandi Larson; children: Carl (Valerie) Larson, David (Leslie) Larson, John (Kim) Larson; and his stepchildren: Tom (Dana) Heiner, Susie (Terry) Bates, Ben Heiner, Daniel (Kara) Heiner; 18 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Orlin Larson; and three sisters: Grace Ophaug, Verna Rice and Burl Dick. He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters: Nadine Anderson and Mervyne Olson; and one granddaughter.
Otis learned the importance of hard work on the family farm in North Dakota. After graduating from high school, he used that work ethic to earn a Bachelor of Science degree, in Mechanical Engineering, from North Dakota State University in 1958. He later furthered his education with a Master of Science degree, in Management Science, from the University of Southern California in 1969.
He met and married Maria Pena in 1958. They had three sons whom he was so proud of. He and Maria later divorced.
He worked for Rocketdyne, Boeing, TRW Systems and Northrup Grumman. During his career with these companies, he worked very closely with the United States Air Force on the defense systems that protected the United States. He worked on the Minuteman and ICBM missile systems. He received multiple accommodations for his efforts and knowledge on these defense systems. Otis received the Commanders Award from the Air Force for his work on the ICBM missile system.
Otis transferred to Ogden, Utah, for TRW in 1979. A few years later, he met his sweetheart, Sandi, adding four teenagers instantly to his life. After he and Sandi were married, they took their first trip to Alaska; they would return to Alaska twice more, once to volunteer at Denali National Park, then again to work for the Air Force for a year. He worked for Canyonlands National Park as a park ranger. Years later, he worked at Yellowstone National Park for a while.
He spent his career working in a professional setting, but he loved the outdoors. His personal time was spent camping, hiking, exploring and gardening. No matter how many times he moved, or what adventure he was on, Otis almost always had a garden.
While living in Mesa, Arizona, Otis and Sandi were called to serve a Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. He loved serving others and had a strong faith. He was honorable and a true Christian.
Through the many years since his retirement, he moved throughout the West, including Utah, Arizona and California. He moved so many times, seeking adventures and meeting new people, that his family is not certain the total number of times he and Sandi moved. He always enjoyed staying busy so, even in retirement, he held jobs to fill his days. His last time volunteering was at the Ogden Nature Center, he truly loved his time there.
The family would like to thank the team at IHC Hospice for their care of Otis these last few months. They were wonderful in their understanding, help and compassion of how quickly he went from diagnosis to leaving us.
Viewing and funeral services will be held at Myers Mortuary, 845 Washington Blvd., Ogden, Utah. Friends and family may call on a viewing to be held Friday March 24, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m. and again on Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The service will begin at 11 a.m. Internment to be at the South Morgan Cemetery, where Otis enjoyed the view of the Wasatch mountain range.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Ogden Nature Center in Otis' name at: ogdennaturecenter.org
Condolences may be sent to the family at: