Jack L. Larson
Dr. Jack L. Larson, 86, family-man, educator, and love ambassador, died Friday, September 30, 2016, at The Good Shepherd Hospice House in Manhattan.
He was born on July 18, 1930, in Salina, Kansas, the son of Harold and Ardis Larson. Jack grew up in Lindsborg, KS graduating from Lindsborg High School in 1948. One of Jack’s cherished memories is playing on the undefeated Fighting Vikings football team in 1946. Following high school, he attended college at Kansas Wesleyan, earning his B.A. in Psychology and History.
In 1951 Jack married Donna Sasnett and joined the Air Force. He served his country in the Mapping and Charting Corp until 1955. His tour of duty included one year in Italy and he received the National Defense Services and Good Conduct Medals.
When we measure our service to America’s youth -- Jack sets the highest standard for all to achieve. A school teacher from 1958 – 1960 and then a School Administrator from 1960 – 1978. He served as Principal at Northview Elementary School and then at Manhattan Junior High School. In 1971 he moved to Olathe as the Assistant Superintendent for three years before he moved to Derby as the High School Principal until 1978. In 1973, he received the National Secondary Educator Award. Jack also served as President of United School Administrators of Kansas and the President of the Junior High School Principals of Kansas.
In 1978 Jack married Marian House and returned to Manhattan to serve as the Director of Academies for The MASTER Teacher. He traveled across the U.S. and Canada speaking, facilitating workshops, and providing consulting services to educators. His message always inspired his audience. He also served as the Editor and the Author of View, Insights, and Perspectives, a leadership publication written for school principals. Jack co-authored two educational books and wrote many journals. During this time, he also received his Ph.D. in Education Administration from Kansas State University.
Jack’s love for working with students and faculty was always his passion, so in 1987 he moved to Apache Junction, Arizona and returned to “school” to be the High School Principal until his retirement in 1992. After his retirement, Jack and Marian returned to Manhattan in 1996. Even after retirement, in 2000, Jack jumped at the opportunity to return as the interim Principal at Susan B. Anthony Middle School for one year. He really loved that school year!
Throughout his life, Jack was an energetic member of the church and served as an elder of the University Christian Church. Plus, he served numerous community organizations that supported education and youth. For his diligent efforts, he received numerous awards, including the Service to Mankind Award for working with the rehabilitation of juveniles, Federation of Handicapped Children Service Award, and Professional Service Award of Kansas. He also served as Treasurer of the Manhattan Area Retired Educators Association and as the Treasurer of the Manhattan Chapter of AARP. He was a member of Lions Club, Riley County Association of Mental Health, and Rotary Club.
Jack has been happily married to his wife Marian for nearly 38 years. She resides at their home in Manhattan.
Surviving are Jack’s four children: Janelle (Larson) Womack and her husband Greg, Lakewood, CO; Janette (Larson) Roberts and her husband Brad, Manhattan, KS; Lance Larson and his wife Lili, Ft. Collins, CO; Kirk Larson, Lawrence, KS. Six grandchildren: Shelby (Enns) Kinner, Brock EnnsFigueroa, and Skylar Enns; Brett and Spencer Roberts; Riley Larson. Five great grandchildren: Owen and Gavin Kinner; Emma and Jack Roberts; Rowan Roberts. Jack’s first wife, Donna (Sasnett) Larson, lives in Lakewood, CO.
Four step-children: Ken House and his wife (Barbara), Cleveland, TN; Karen (House) Austin and her husband Gary, Whitmore Lake, MI; Janine (House) Fowler and her husband Jay, Overland Park, KS; Claudia (House) Gaeddert and her husband John, Hailey, ID. Ten step-grandchildren: Mike and Kyle House; Dylan, Evan, and Darren Austin; Nate, Whitney, and Madeline Fowler; Brita and Laurel Gaeddert; Three step-great grandchildren: Lauren, Nathan, and Charlie House.
Jack is also survived by one sister: Dixie Pearson, Lamar, CO; one brother Bill Larson, Cheyenne, WY; his beloved Aunt Jean and many nephews and nieces.
A private interment, with military honors, will be conducted at the Kansas Veteran’s Cemetery in Manhattan prior to the memorial service. Memorial services will be held Friday, October 28, at 1:30 P.M., at the University Christian Church Auditorium, 2800 Claflin Road (lower Northwest corner of the property) in Manhattan, Kansas. Pastor’s Jack Sweany and David Pape will officiate. The family will meet with friends at the church after the service.
On-line condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website located at www.ymlfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for the University Christian Church, The Good Shepherd Hospice House, Inc. and for the Manhattan Area Retired Educators Association (MAREA). Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.