Cover photo for Doreen Joan Larson's Obituary
Doreen Joan Larson Profile Photo
1935 Doreen 2021

Doreen Joan Larson

November 8, 1935 — November 3, 2021

Doreen Joan Larson passed away at age 85 on November 3, 2021 in Rochester, Minnesota. Joan, most known by her middle name, was born in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada on November 8, 1935, to Hazen and Mary (McLean) West. She grew up in a faith filled family during challenging economic times, including WWII. She completed business college in Moncton and was employed by the T. Eaton Company of Canada and A.P.M. Ltd of Moncton. Joan married the Reverend Eugene Dawson and served alongside him as a pastor's wife in church ministry in eastern Canada, Illinois, New York, Maine and Michigan. After moving to Michigan she was an administrative assistant in the College of Human Ecology at Michigan State University, employed there for 19 years. Upon her retirement she served on the missions team at East Lansing Trinity Church. Her husband, Eugene, passed away in 1988 and in the early 1990s she married her second husband, Homer I. Larson, M.D. Their marriage joined two families together and they enjoyed their many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They spent time between Michigan and South Carolina for many years. Joan will be remembered for her storytelling, her love of the Canadian maritime provinces, a sharp mind and quick wit, her deep faith and the ability to make friends at the drop of a hat. She loved music, crafts, writing, spending time with friends, keeping up with family happenings and anytime a bagpipe was played. She shared many stories of a long-gone lifestyle like playing pump organs in farmhouse parlors, family gatherings at country homesteads, Scottish ancestors settling on Prince Edward Island and church life in small towns. Joan became a US citizen in her 70's, even pledging to bear arms on behalf of the US. Surviving is her husband, Homer I. Larson, M.D. Also surviving are her three children: Brian (Stacy) Dawson, Cheri (John) Hart; David (Amy) Dawson, and four step-children: Cal Larson; Chuck (Kris) Larson; Lanette (Brian) Wood; and Larry (Dolores) Larson. She is survived by 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Her brother, Kenneth (Lorena) West survives her. She was preceded in death by her parents, Hazen and Mary West, brother Floyd, and first husband Dr. Eugene Dawson. Joan will be buried in her beloved New Brunswick province to rest next to her first husband, her parents and older brother. An online memorial service will be held at a future date. We extend a special thank you to her Mayo Clinic Hospice caregivers, her Visiting Angels and those who visited and called Mom during this past year. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be sent to the missions program at Autumn Ridge Church, 3611 Salem Road SW, Rochester, MN, 55902. Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Larson family; to share a special memory or condolence please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com
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