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Esther “Phyllis” Larson, 80

Esther “Phyllis” Larson, 80, died on Friday, September 2, 2011 at the Thief River Care Center.
Memorial services will be 2:00 PM, Friday, September 9, 2011 at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Strandquist, MN with Rev. Curtis Matz officiating.   
Visitation will be 5-8 PM on Thursday, September 8, 2011 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN with a Prayer Service at 7:00 PM.
Esther Phyllis Erickson was born on March 4, 1931 on the family farm in Augsburg Township, Marshall County to Erick and Freda (Johnson) Erickson.  She spent her early years on a farm in rural Stephen, MN.  Her family moved to Karlstad, MN when she was 11 years old.  She was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church near Stephen and received her confirmation at Bethel Lutheran Churchin Karlstad, MN.  She graduated from high school in Karlstad in 1948.
She was united in marriage to Walfred “Wally” Larson on April 13, 1949 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Karlstad, MN.  They started out their married life on a farm in West Valley Township.  In the mid 1950’s, they moved to a Norris’ Camp for pulp logging.  In the 1960’s, Phyllis worked as a cook for a combining brigade, working their way from Texas and North.  Wally and Phyllis started a trucking company in the mid 1960’s.  She did the bookkeeping for the company.  In the late 1960’s, she worked at Land O Lakes in the turkey plant in Thief River Falls.  She worked here until the late 1980’s.Phyllis worked at Digi-Key for a few years before retiring in 1996.  She moved to Thief River Falls about four years ago.
Phyllis was a devoted mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.  She enjoyed painting, reading, and ceramics and even had her own ceramics business for a short time.  She also created and decorated many cakes for baptisms, weddings, graduations, and confirmations.  Phyllis was proud of her Swedish heritage and enjoyed cooking traditional foods, like spritz, krumkaka, and rommegrot.  Christmas was a special time for Phyllis and she always made her home a wonderland to remember.  She was an active member of the Bethesda Lutheran Church and was active in the Ladies Aid.  Phyllis and Wally were members of a square dancing club and she belonged to the Strandquist Homemakers Group.
Phyllis is survived by three children: Sheila (Robert) Bielski, Franklin, MA, Ginger (Patrick) Passa, Newfolden, MN, Wayne (Patricia) Larson, Strandquist, MN, seven grandchildren:  Brooke Oliver, Jovan Bielski, Devon (Lindsy Mann) Passa, Roger (Jessica) Passa, Abigail Larson, Katherine Larson, and Rebecca Larson, four great grandchildren:  Brian Oliver, Tyler Oliver, Blake Passa, Calub Passa.  She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.  
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband Wally in 2001, her parents, one brother Elmer, two sisters:  Deloris Erickson and Irene Lehrer.

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