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Obituary: Robert Gabriel Larson

March 13, 1929 – April 24, 2024

Robert “Bud” Gabriel Larson passed away peacefully in the early morning of April 24, 2024 at his home in San Diego surrounded by family.  He was born on March 13, 1929 on his Grandpa Alfred Anderson’s farm in Sister Bay.. He grew up in Des Plaines, Illinois, graduating from Maine East High School, where his three children would later attend as well.  Bud worked as a mechanic at Palwaukee Airport and got his pilot’s license. He attended Northern Illinois University where he studied Industrial Arts and Coaching. Bud was involved in basketball and football, both during high school and University, and continued being active through his adult life.  

He enjoyed going to Door County where he met the love of his life, Dottie Isaacson at 10 years old. They were married in 1950 at the Old Baptist Church. They were blessed with 74 years of a loving and happy marriage. Their first son, Terry, was born in Sister Bay. They lived in Sister Bay while Bud worked for the Isaacson’s Lake and Bay View Bus line in many different capacities. Eventually, they moved to Illinois where Bud started his own construction business. Their daughter and second son, Dora and Rody, were born there.  They always returned to Sister Bay in the summers, where Bud worked on many projects helping his dad Harold with additions on their summer home in Baileys Harbor and with Ernest Isaacson building the Rainbow cottages. One of Bud’s favorite building projects was a home at Europe Bay. For 22 years it was a great spot for family gatherings with bonfires, fish boils, swimming, sailing and canoeing. He was accomplished in many things, and possessed natural skill and ability to fix and build anything.  Their love of travel kept them active with many adventures across the states as well as visiting relatives in Sweden and Norway and several cruises. They enjoyed a wonderful trip to France with the Des Plaines Ski Club. Bud enjoyed taking his children and then his grandchildren on ski trips and camping in the RV.  His grandchildren were very special to him. He enjoyed long rides with Dottie on their tandem bike with their dog (Pal) in the dog wagon. Bud loved water sports and golfing. He never missed an opportunity to spend time on their boat for water skiing.  His greatest joys were his family and his deep faith in God. He also enjoyed singing in the male chorus of the church and the orchestra with his trombone and a male quartet.  Bud loved the outdoors and spent a lot of time hunting and snow skiing in many of the western states.  While living in Illinois, Bud and Dottie started Campus Den, a pizza restaurant close to Northwestern University. After 10 years in the restaurant business and success in Amway, the Ski Mountains of Park City were calling.

Bud worked very hard building and rebuilding multiple homes while making time to ski often. At times, the whole family was involved in his building ventures.  Bud and Dottie were an inseparable team, working and playing together throughout their lives.

Bud was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, and uncle. 

Bud will be missed by his wife Dottie; his children, Terry Larson, Dora Sanderfer (Dave), and Rody Larson; his grandchildren, Larson Sanderfer and Tava Corshack (Garrett). He came from a large family of 6 sisters. He was preceded in death by his parents Harold and Gertrude Larson and his oldest sister Claudia Hardy. Surviving sisters are Trudy Ullmann, Dorothy Hartwig, Lois Kilroy, Cynthia Martens (Bill), and Carol Pinkalla (Wayne).

Bud will be forever remembered for who he was, what he stood for, and how he lived his life with integrity, strength, and love.