Olle T. Larson
Olle T. Larson 1920—2016 Olle T. Larson, 96, died on Thursday, October 13, 2016 on the farm that he treasured in the home he helped build south of Belvidere. The fourth of 8 children born to Simeon and Jenny (Swenson) Larson, Olle was born May 17, 1920 on a small farm named Kulla in Bollebygd, Vastergotland, Sweden. Emigrating by boat from Sweden, Olle arrived with his mother and siblings in the United States on Christmas Eve of 1924 at Ellis Island and would later reach Rockford, IL, where he would spend his childhood and survive the Great Depression. In January of 1939, Olle began his career in industry at Ed Elliot's welding shop and later that same year graduated from Rockford High School. On July 29, 1942, Olle married his beloved wife Jeanette Driscoll at the Old Stone Church in Rockton IL. In an effort to obtain his citizenship, Olle enlisted in the United States Navy in 1943 and served in the Pacific Theater as a ships fitters first class. As a ships fitter first class, Olle played a necessary role repairing many of the landing crafts used by Douglas MacArthur's forces in New Guinea and the Philippines. A bronze star recipient, Olle was honorably discharged from the Navy on December 23, 1945 and ultimately gained his US citizenship on April 15, 1947 because of his service in World War II. As a United States citizen, Olle was able to participate in the electoral process in 1948, which began a life long dedication to voting Democrat because of growing up during the era of FDR's New Deal. Olle purchased his first Farmall M tractor in 1947, which began his life long passion and career in farming that lasted over 50 years. Always a man with industry in his heart, Olle worked at G.E. in DeKalb from 1959 to 1962, and then Anaconda Wire and Cable from 1962 until the plant closed in 1983. As a man of industry, Olle worked in a variety of positions including inspection, foreman, and maintenance. As a member of IBEW 1543, Olle also served as a union rep for many years. Olle was also a dedicated member of his community. From 1965-71, Olle served on the Hiawatha Community Unit 426 School Board and was often know as the community mechanic, as many people came to him to have various things fixed over the years. At the same time, Olle was a devout Christian confirmed as a Lutheran, active as a Methodist and completing his church life as a member Covent. He walked with his Lord daily. He was a long standing member first at Kirkland United Methodist Church and then later at Hillcrest Covenant Church in DeKalb. Dedicated to his church families, Olle served on a number of church committees and boards and as a Sunday School teacher for his congregations. In 1969, Olle's beloved wife Jeanette died after a battle with cancer. In 1972, Olle was able to return to Sweden and spent 3 weeks there with his family. In 1979, Olle married Mary Lou Myers, his lifelong neighbor on Old State Road in Kirkland. They were married for 29 years until she passed away in 2008. He continued to live on Old State Road until 2010 when he moved in with his son, Alan Larson. Up until the end, Olle was a very goal directed man. Some of his final words shortly before he passed was "what's on the docket for today?" Survivors include his children, Alan Larson, Don Larson; step-children, Lee (Linda) Myers, Jack (Terry) Myers, and Dan (Lynn) Myers; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by his first wife, Jeanette Larson and then by his second wife Mary Louise Larson. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 20, 2016 in Hillcrest Covenant Church, 1515 N. First St., DeKalb with Reverend Dr. James R. Sandberg officiating. Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 19 at Olson Funeral & Cremation Services, Quiram Kirkland Chapel, 309 South Fifth St., Kirkland, IL. Memorials may be sent to Hillcrest Covenant Church, 1515 N. First St., DeKalb, IL., 60115 in lieu of flowers. Interment in South Grove Cemetery. To send a condolence or share a memory, visit www.olsonfh.com .
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