Peter Ellsworth Larson, 73, of Homer, Alaska died surrounded by his family on Jan. 20, 2014. Born to Pearl and Arnold Larson in Sioux Falls, S.D., Feb. 10, 1940, he grew up and graduated from high school in Mandan, N.D., in 1958. Peter attended college and received a bachelor of science in education from Dickinson State University in 1963 and taught mathematics one year in Mandan High School. Subsequently he served six years in the U.S. Air Force as navigator/electronic warfare officer on the B-52 Stratofortress. Peter loved to fly and eventually earned his commercial pilot’s license.
Peter married Florence Putnam in 1968 and together they moved to Alaska in 1969.
Peter’s education culminated in a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Oregon, Eugene. He served on staff at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for a year and in the Kenai Peninsula schools for nearly 20 years, retiring in 1990, after which he was an administrator in international schools in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia until 1998.
“Peter read continually throughout his life, never stopped his quest of technology after his Air Force days and loved to sing. We will miss his beautiful voice! He was a community-minded person and loved volunteer work, whether it was his cherished Rotary or helping others in any way. A people person, to the end he never lost his sense of humor and his gentle gratitude for others,” his family said.
Throughout his life Peter was involved in many community organizations, including AFS, Rotary, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra/Choir and Hospice of Homer.
Peter is survived by his wife, Flo Larson; mother, Pearl Larson; sons, Erik and Bjorn Larson; daughter-in-law, Sasha Raupp; grandsons, Phineaus and Ignatius; brothers, David and Mark Larson; sisters, Karen Syvrud and Susan Larson, and many nieces and nephews.
A service will be held in the late spring to commemorate Peter’s life with family and community. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either Hospice of Homer or one of the other aforementioned community organizations.