Larry Emerson, age 94, of Weme, MN and Fosston, MN, passed away on Friday, February 19th, at Essentia Health Living Center in Fosston. Funeral services will be held at a later date with interment in Oak Park Cemetery, rural Clearbrook, MN. Military Honors will be provided by the Naval Honors Team. Arrangements are with Carlin Family Funeral Service of Fosston and messages of condolence may be shared at www.carlinfuneral.com.
Memorials are preferred to Oak Park Church or cards may be sent to Lori Becker, 3311 W Mequon Rd, Mequon, WI 53092.
Larry Earl Emerson, 94, the self-proclaimed Mayor of Weme, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on February 19, 2021 at Essentia Health Living Center in Fosston, MN.
While official records state otherwise, Larry was born on August 27, 1926 in Brandsvold Township of Polk County, Minnesota the youngest of eleven children born to Edward and Vernie (Hilliard) Emerson. The US military mis-recorded his date of birth as August 29 when Larry enlisted and instead of arguing with the government, Larry did what he has done throughout his entire life – adapt. He simply chose to celebrate his birthdays over the course of three days. He was baptized on May 22, 1927 at Zion Lutheran Church in Fosston, MN. He was orphaned as a young boy before 2 years of age and was subsequently raised by his siblings before settling in with the Sigurd and Ella Melbo family of Trail, MN. He attended school in Trail, and was confirmed on May 25, 1941 at Sand Valley Lutheran Church.
Larry entered the U.S. Navy in 1944 and served as Seaman 1st Class working as a gunner in the Pacific during World War II. The latter part of his service involved transporting POWs from Japan back to the United States. He was honorably discharged on June 19, 1946. Upon his return he found work with American Motors, as a Merchant Marine on the Great Lakes and in the gold mines of Alaska. Larry eventually settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, joining his brothers Charles, Curtis and Willis.
On December 23, 1956, Larry married Norma Berg Evje in Clearbrook, MN. They made their home in Milwaukee, WI. where they raised their four children. Larry would spend 31 years working with the Department of Public Works in Shorewood, WI, along with operating a small lawn and landscape business in the evenings and on weekends before retiring to Norma’s family farm in Weme, MN in the fall of 1987.
A jack of all trades, there was little that Larry couldn’t figure out how to do. Larry spent retirement busier than ever, working on his farm, fishing, traveling, reading several newspapers each day, volunteering and cheering on his favorite Wisconsin sports teams. As he aged, he constructed ways to maintain his independence, whether it was his modified walker (the “Cadillac”), his golf cart or various contraptions. He was a neighbor in the truest sense, always there to lend a hand to family and friends. His prolific phrases and wit will never be forgotten.
Larry is survived by his children Lori (Ken) Becker of Mequon, WI; Michael (Jan) Emerson of Minneapolis, MN; and Stacey (Steve) Grey of Oshkosh, WI., his grandchildren Ryan (Shea) Schneider of Alt, CO; James (Brandi) Becker of Grafton, WI; Megan (Cody) Kloeckner of Verona, WI; Adam Becker of Milwaukee, WI; Lauren (Ben) Brugger-Emerson and Elliot Emerson all of Minneapolis, MN; Kaitlin, Alex and Erik Grey all of Oshkosh, WI; great-grandchildren Sabina (Tristan) Peart of Salt Lake City, UT; Gavin and Charley Schneider of Alt, CO; Aybree and Easton Becker of Grafton, WI; and Hailey and Addison Kloeckner of Verona, WI. He is further survived by his sister, Joyce (Melbo) Monty of Grand Meadow, MN and sisters-in-law, Yvonne Enerson of Little Falls, MN and Sybil Bergman of Bemidji, MN. He also leaves behind several nieces, nephews and the residents of the beloved “family” he and Norma built in Weme.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents and siblings - Charles, Leslie, Edna, Lillian Fjerstad, Effie Handy, Kenneth, Amy, Curtis, Willis and Noble; foster family Sigurd and Ella Melbo and their children Bjarne, Emma Nyland, Stella Kothenbeutel, and Naomi Hedlund; his wife, Norma (Berg) and daughter, Vicki Nakamura. Larry has been especially eager to rejoin Norma for happy hours and to resume their epic cribbage and SkipBo matches.
A special thanks to Dayna Bruggeman, Julie Weems, Denny and Roxie Hazelton, Terry and Faye Sorenson and especially Dave and Sue Dalager for the loving support of Larry over the years. Their care and concern for Larry allowed him to live as he wished on his farm until he was 93. Thanks also to Prairie Pines Assisted Living and Essentia Health Living Center for their good work over the last 18 months.
Private family services will be held. Interment will be at Oak Park Cemetery in Weme, MN.
A celebration of life will be planned for a future date on the family farm.