Obituary of Richard Kenneth Larson
Richard Kenneth Larson, 64, of Tenino, Washington, passed away on October 21, 2018 due to complications from pneumonia. He was born October 5, 1954 in Renton, Washington to Howard R. and Shirley M. (Soper) Larson. The family moved to Scott Lake when he was in grade school.
Rich, or Dick as he was known to friends, graduated from Tumwater High School and then joined the United States Army in November of 1972. In 1973, he was deployed to Germany to serve with B Battery, 1st Battalion, 2 Division Field Artillery Operations and Intelligence. During his service, he was awarded The National Defense Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, The Sharpshooter M16 Award and several Certificate of Appreciation Awards for Attaining a Higher Standard of his Unit. At the completion of his service, he had achieved the rank of Sargent. In 1978, Rich received his Honorable Discharge. He had many stories he would talk about while in the Army, one story being funnier than the next.
The Army instilled in Rich the attitude of being a professional through and through. He took great pride in himself and his country. He was a leader. He set the example in professional competence and dedication. He was only satisfied with outstanding performance and results. He would accept nothing less than the best. These carried over into how he lived his life.
Rich had a keen mind and could figure out how to do just about anything he set out to do. He built his first Go-Kart when he was only five years old out of scrape material he had found. It truly was a work of art and it went fast, so fast that he couldn't stop. When his father came home from work that evening, they had to pick up the pieces. Rich said he had done everything he knew of to build this fine Go-Kart but knew nothing about brakes!
As a young boy, he fished, hunted and loved water skiing. When he returned home from military duty, he went to work logging and clearing land with his father. In 1981, he joined the Operating Engineers, Local 612. He was a gifted "Dozer" hand. Climbing into the seat wasn't just a job; it was a challenge...a challenge to be the best he could be. He loved his work and made many good friends in the industry. Rich could operate any piece of equipment on a job site very well but the "Cat" was his baby. Whether it was on flat ground or hanging vertically from a strap, he was the best. He retired from the Operating Engineers in 2011.
Rich was always quick with a smile, and he had a twinkle in his eyes. When he wasn't working, Rich loved to golf and fish for halibut in the Straits of Juan De Fuca. When he wasn't golfing or fishing, he was working at home, which he enjoyed more than anything. Whether it was hanging out in the shop, riding the mower or tractor around, or just sitting in the house enjoying the many hours of work he had put into it, he was content. With many years of always being on the go, he found his quite place in his home. Rich was generous, always giving a helping hand when someone needed it. He had an amazing ability to grill a steak to perfection at gatherings with family and friends. Rich was a one of a kind man. He will be dearly missed.
A beloved son, brother, uncle and friend, Rich was preceded in death by his father, Howard R. Larson. He is survived by his mother, Shirley M. Larson, of Olympia; his partner, Nancy Goodfellow; son, Shane Kauzlarich; sister, Nancy Rawlings (Rod); brothers, Craig (Patti) Larson, Glenn Larson, Mark Larson, and Eric Larson; and numerous nieces and nephews.
There will be a celebration of Rich’s life on Saturday, November 10, 2018, 12:00 p.m. at the Scott Lake Community Center.