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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Arthur Q. Larson, longtime Westmar professor, Le Mars historian, dies at 87

Monday, January 7, 2008

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Arthur Q. Larson, 87, of Sauk Rapids, Minn., and formerly of Le Mars, died Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, at St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minn.

Arthur Quentin Larson was born May 4, 1920, at LaGrange, Ill., the son of Arthur Q. Larson, Sr., and Ada (Schoessel) Larson. Following high school, Art attended Northwestern University at Chicago, Ill., where he studied law. He served his country during World War II in the United States Army from 1942 to 1946, primarily as an engineering clerk with an AAF Liaison Plane Squadron at Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan. Following his discharge from the service, Art continued his education at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, receiving his bachelor of arts degree in 1948, master of arts in 1949, and a PhD in 1952. While working toward his PhD, Art made two research trips to France, to study the political scene during the Joan of Arc period.

Arthur began his teaching career at Westmar College in January 1953 and was there until his retirement in 1985. He served as chair of the Department of History from 1964 to 1981. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he had also served as the golf coach, sponsor of the Young Republicans and was active in student government as the advisor to the Associated Students of Westmar College. He was also the faculty advisor to the Model United Nations activities for several years.

Art was united in marriage to Betty Lou Ratliff on June 10, 1967, in Le Mars. Betty Lou was also a member of the Westmar Faculty. Together they became the parents of a daughter, Laura Ann.

Along with his academic achievements, Art also was a published author, having authored "Le Mars: The Story of a Prairie Town" for the centennial celebration. As well as authoring publications on the histories of The Le Mars Rotary Club, Presbyterian United Church of Christ, Le Mars Community High School, he published another book, "Westmar College: Story of a Prairie College."Art was also an accomplished poet; in the later years of his life he was compiling his poems.

Art composed a musical, "Gateway: Le Mars Is Born." The musical was performed by the Le Mars Community Theater in 1997. Art worked on this play for eight years, telling the story of the founding and naming of Le Mars. Art wrote the complete libretto as well as the 15 songs which his wife Betty Lou helped arrange for voices and piano accompaniment.

Art was a member of the Presbyterian United Church of Christ, American Legion, Le Mars Rotary Club, and the State Historical Society of Iowa.

Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Betty Lou of Sauk Rapids, Minn.; a daughter, Laura Ann Good, also of Sauk Rapids; one sister-in-law, Dorothy Smith of Camden, Ind.; and 15 nieces and nephews.

Arthur was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur Q. Larson, Sr. and Ada (Schoessel) Larson; a brother, Robert K. Larson; and a sister, Barbara A. Larson.

Funeral services were at 10:30 a.m. today (Monday) at the Presbyterian United Church of Christ in Le Mars. Visitation was after 4 p.m. Sunday at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with the family present to greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday evening at the funeral home. Visitation continued Monday morning at the church from 9:30 a.m. until service time.

Pallbearers were Jerry Scholten, Rod Scholten, Wayne Marty, Virgil Brockel, Don DeJager and Eddie Martfeld. Honorary pallbearers were Paul Knudtson, Frank Summerside and John Baack.

Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.



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