Donald Larsen

Donald B. Larsen, 90, of Oro Valley, Ariz., and longtime Storm Lake resident, died Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 at his home in Oro Valley.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. at Hope Evangelical Free Church in Storm Lake. Visitation will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake. Burial will be in Lone Tree Cemetery in Sioux Rapids.

Donald B. Larsen was born on Aug. 5, 1928 in Sioux Rapids, the son of Earl and Edith (Carlberg) Larsen. Don was the youngest of three sons. He was baptized and confirmed at the Congregational Church in Sioux Rapids.

Don was a member of Mountain Shadows Presbyterian Church in Catalina, Ariz. as well as Hope Evangelical Free Church in Storm Lake.

Don graduated from Sioux Rapids High School in the class of 1946. He received a bachelor of science degree from Buena Vista University in 1950 and a master of science degree in theoretical mathematics from University of Notre Dame in 1965. Additionally, Don attended the University of Kansas, and supplemented his studies at Drake University, Iowa State University, the University of South Dakota and University of Northern Iowa.

In 1948, Don met Frankie F. Heikens, of rural Everly, on a blind date at the Cobblestone Inn in Storm Lake. They were married on July 30, 1950 at the Congregational Church in Sioux Rapids. Together, they were blessed with two sons, Steven and Bruce. The family spent its early years together in Linn Grove and Laurens before moving to Storm Lake in the summer of 1960.

Don taught high school mathematics for 33 years, including four years at Linn Grove, six years at Laurens, and 23 years at Storm Lake  before assuming the position of Associate Professor of Mathematics at Buena Vista College in 1983. He taught mathematics and computer science at BVU until his retirement in 1993. Don’s students were always the first priority in his professional life. He thoroughly enjoyed watching them grow in their knowledge of mathematics by building their confidence and challenging them to excel. A talented classroom instructor, Don was known and appreciated for his disciplined and methodical approach to education.

Don volunteered his time by serving on the Storm Lake Airport Commission. He was a member of the Lions and Optimist Clubs. He also gave freely of his time to various church activities.

Don took pleasure in many hobbies. His favorite pastimes included woodworking, fishing, bowling, golfing, playing cards, coin collecting, genealogy, gardening, reading, photography, designing and making stained glass windows, and following his favorite college football and basketball teams. Donald loved traveling the world with Frankie, especially to Alaska, Canada, China, Europe and Hawaii. In retirement, the couple enjoyed spending winters at their Oro Valley, Ariz. home.

Don will be remembered as a caring husband and father whose family was at the center of his life. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

Those left to cherish his memory include his children: Steven Larsen of Tucson, Ariz. and Bruce Larsen (John Mandelbaum) of Highland Park, Ill.; extended family and many friends.

Don was preceded in death by his wife, Frankie; his parents; and his brothers, Dale and Earl “Doc”.

The family suggests memorials to the Don and Frankie Larsen Endowed Scholarship Fund, Buena Vista University, c/o University Development and Alumni Engagement, 610 W. 4th St., Storm Lake, IA 50588.