Seniors of the Week: Don and LaRue Larsen
Don was born in Cleveland on October 22, 1921 to Louis and Mary Jane "Matt" Larsen. He was one of seven children. His dad owned a farm north of Elmo. They lived on the farm on weekends and in Cleveland during the week. The farm gave all of the Larsen children a chance to learn to work hard. After their father died in 1966, the children continued to run the farm. Don has always had farming in his blood and worked on the farm from a very early age until the family farm was sold in 2000.
Don went to work in the Spring Canyon coal mine when he was about 20 years old. He also worked for a short time at the McKinnon Mine in Huntington Canyon. Don employed at Kaiser he held many jobs such as a motor operator and loader operator. He became a face boss, mine foreman and mine superintendent before his retirement from Kaiser.
He also worked on the new long wall mining machines and was sent to Germany and England to learn about the operation of these revolutionary new mining machines. After his retirement from Kaiser, he was hired by American Coal as a long wall consultant at the Deer Creek Mine when the first machines were being installed there.
LaRue was born on Jan. 4, 1926 to Ernest and Effie Stevenson. She was born in Columbia and was raised there along with her four sisters, Viola, Jean, Barbara and Eileen. Her father was a coal miner in the local mines.
She lived in Columbia until she was married. Don and LaRue were married Sept. 29, 1943 in the Manti Temple. They lived in Cleveland until 1946 when they moved to Sunnyside. They lived there until 1956 when they moved to Price.
After their children were older, LaRue went back to school to get her degree in elementary education. She was an honor student when she graduated from CEU in 1965. She then went to Utah State University to complete her degree.
LaRue taught second grade at Price Elementary until her retirement. She touched the lives of many students and many students still remember her with invitations to weddings, graduations, etc.
In 1996 Don and LaRue decided they wanted to spend their retirement back in Cleveland. Along with the help of family members, they tore down their old family home and put a new modular home in its place. Don lost one brother and two sisters in childhood and more recently, a brother Kay. One of the blessings of living in Cleveland is being able to spend time with his brother, Dee Larsen and his sister Sherma Gardner and their families.
Don and LaRue have three children, Judy Rowley of Huntington, Dr. Brent Larsen and Brad Larsen both of Scottsdale, Ariz. They have 11 grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.
They spend their free time helping family members, working in the Church, landscaping their yard and visiting with family and friends. LaRue always has time to fix big family meals including her wonderful homemade bread and rolls. She also finds time to share her talents in writing and poetry. Don has enjoyed restoring his 1949 Hudson.
They are enjoying being back in Cleveland.