Larry Lynn Larsen, a resident of Cortez since 1988, passed away Wednesday, May 30, at 12:15 a.m. at Mercy Medical Center in Durango where he was an I.C.U. patient for about one week. He died from multiple internal organ failure, after removal of life support systems, as was his wish.
Larry led a very complex and satisfying life. Born in Houston, Texas, September 3, 1939, he grew up in Houston; Winnetka, Illinois; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Pasadena, California before moving to Cortez at retirement where he had his beloved ten acre alfalfa farm.
Larry began his adult career with a “bang” as one of the original “Mouseketeers” on the Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Club television series. This followed with several TV and movie appearances while beginning his education as a mechanical engineer. He transferred to New Mexico State University at Las Cruces, New Mexico where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. He began working for North American Rocketdyne in California, assigned to the NASA project which developed the first “Gemini” space capsule. Upon completion, he transferred to the Los Angeles Air Pollution District as an emissions-pollution control expert. He then worked with KVB Engineering as an emissions monitor, partly on the Four Corners Power Plant in Farmington, New Mexico. He then returned to school at M.I.T. and California where he completed his Master’s Degree in Engineering.
Larry became acquainted with the Colorado Plateau area and decided to move for retirement over twenty years ago. He loved to explore various Anasazi ruins and the “goosenecks” of the San Juan River on raft float trips. His home included ten acres of alfalfa pasture, which became his pride and joy. He improved his irrigation district water links and irrigation system. A few years ago he developed kidney and internal organ problems, which led to five hospital admissions, the last at Mercy Medical Center in Durango.
Larry transitioned from TV-Movie child actor to mechanical engineer to irrigated hay farmer and local woodworker’s guild member, dance studio participant, tai-chi student, and friend to many long-time locals. A very diverse life, but he loved it all.
Memorial visitation will be held at Ertel Funeral Home in Cortez from 4 - 6 p.m., Friday, June 8.