Elwood Kenneth Larsen

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Former Juneau resident Elwood "Ken" Kenneth Larsen, 78, died April 6, 2003, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

He was born March 24, 1925, in Bellingham, Wash. He served in the U.S. Navy as a radio telegraph operator, specializing in Morse code, during World War II. He moved with his family to Juneau in 1968 and to Anchorage in 1972.

He was a telecommunications pioneer for more than 40 years. He began his career at General Telephone in Everett, Wash. He joined Continental Telephone in 1964 and progressed through the management ranks to state manager for all Continental properties in Alaska. He ended his career in 1988 with Alascom as director of connecting company relations. He continued to act as a consultant within the industry for several years.

He volunteered time with the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Court Appointed Special Advocate. His botanical accomplishments have been featured as part of the annual Anchorage Garden Club's tour. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, and jazz, classical and opera music. In 1997, he took up cycling and later completed the 2002 Seattle-to-Portland Bicycle Classic.

His family said he "was a beloved husband, father and grandfather whose proudest accomplishment is the bonds of strength and love he nurtured within his family. His special sense of caring and unconditional kindness brought out the best in others, and his ability to find a silver lining in any cloud made him truly a giving soul. He shared his wisdom, a generous heart and wonderful sense of humor with all he touched."

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Wilma Larsen of Anchorage; sons, Bob and John Larsen; daughters-in-law, Catherine Bixby and Kate Danyluk of Anchorage; daughters, Kass Friend and Nance Larsen; sons-in-law, Steve Ex and Michael Mergen of Eagle River; eight grandchildren, Eric Friend, Brendan and Ashlin Bixby Larsen, Elliott and Avery Larsen, and Kierin, Teagan and Allegra Mergen; sister-in-law, Betty Larsen of Everett; and cousin, Beverly Gregory of Mount Vernon, Wash.

A private military service will take place at Fort Richardson. A celebration of life took place April 11. Memorial donations may be made to Children's Cancer Center at Providence Alaska Medical Center or Children's Hospital in Seattle.

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