Larry A. Clarkson

December 11, 1936February 15, 2013

Larry Allen Clarkson was born in San Francisco, California to parents Jack Orville and Stella Pearl (Whiteaker) Clarkson on December 11, 1936. Larry grew up in Los Banos, California and he helped support his family by doing ranch work. He graduated from Los Banos High School. A highlight of his young life was his service as a pack horse guide in Yosemite National Park. At the age of 20, Larry moved to Oregon where he spent the rest of his life. His primary occupation was as Truck Driver, but in his heart he was truly a cowboy. He lived in Malin, the Roseburg area, Klamath Falls, Wilsonville, Tillamook, and Keizer. His favorite thing to do was ranch work and tending to his horses and cows. Larry was always a good provider for his family and he will be remembered as someone who always had a story or a joke to tell. He enjoyed watching the televised PBR bull riding events as well as rodeo and boxing. He was a lifelong San Francisco 49ers fan. Larry is predeceased by his parents Jack and Stella and his wife Darlene. Survivors include his daughters, Lynne Herscher (Matt) and Michele Tilley (Steve); son, Mark Clarkson (Andrea); sister, Virginia Duni (George); nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. Larry is also survived by his first wife and mother of his three children, Mary Clarkson; and his dear friends Donna Abbott and Evan Daley. A celebration of Larry’s life will take place in Skyline Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013, at 1pm. Remembrances in lieu of flowers may be made to Talking Book and Braille Services, Please visit Larry’s Internet memorial and online guestbook at

Larry Allen Clarkson was born in San Francisco and spent his first 12 years there. He and Virginia (his only sibling who is one year younger) spent their playtime with cousins Eleanor and Carol. They built go carts and free wheeled down the steep cobbled streets of the city on them. This was the start of the numerous scars and stitches he would accumulate over the years. His family moved to Los Banos where country life on a ranch commenced. He had numerous chores including feeding calves, chickens, cleaning guinea pig cages for his grandma, and helping with the Bee Keeping business, stings and all. He enjoyed helping his uncles Bill and Delbert with the horses (his lifelong love), swimming in the irrigation canals, hunting frogs, attending rodeos, and participating in Junior Bull riding. One highlight of his young life was when he and his father, Jack, rode horses in the Los Banos May Day Parade. During high school years he enjoyed running track, attending school dances with pretty girls (and invariably having a flat tire), and involvement in team roping with friends and uncles. His duties on the ranch increased to include milking dairy cows, bailing hay and helping with the family bee business. He attended Pacific Union College taking Animal Husbandry, working at the dairy farm on campus. He enjoyed football and gymnastics. During a home leave he attended the SDA Church with his family. He sat with his hearing impaired uncle Delbert who would gesture to communicate. Delbert pointed out a pretty blonde lady (Mary Clarkson) who they later found out was the new grade school teacher. Larry decided he needed to get to know her and had Delbert slip her a note. They fell in love and were married in June. They spent their honeymoon/first summer together in Yellowstone National Park where he worked as a guide for visitors riding horses on the wilderness trails, using pack mules, for supplies. His first daughter Lynne was born in Dos Palos, CA. and he would tell the story of pacing the hospital hallways awaiting the news. The desire for ranch work prompted a move to Malin, OR, where he became the proud father of his son, Mark. A year later found the little family in Myrtle Creek, where his third child, Michele was born. He worked as a tree planter for a while resulting in serious bouts of poison oak and in his spare time after work would play with his children, giving them rides around the house on his back and telling them bedtime stories. Again the family moved, this time to the Green area south of Roseburg, for him to drive truck, which became his occupation until retirement. He drove various types of trucks, sometimes long haul, but preferred jobs where he could be home every night. The only times he wasn’t working was when he had a broken arm or leg, due to horse accidents. Most of the time, he owned a few horses and cows. He enjoyed team roping with friends on the weekends, and even did some farrier work in his spare time, just to be around horses. His children and family remember him as a fun person who played with them. He would play tackle football, have boxing matches (Lynne as Powder Puff Sue, Mark as Billy Goat Kid, and Michele as Laritzio), and get on his knees to their level, lay on the floor and lift us kids up while we stood on his hands and held on to his feet. Late evening he would lay out on the lawn with his kids to look up at the stars. A Saturday night tradition was popcorn and frozen peaches. He always had a joke or trick up his sleeve and was always a kid at heart. He had a gift for storytelling to anyone who would listen and would entertain his grandchildren with tales of ice cream coming out their ears and other silly things. He had a special nickname for great niece Amanda of “Pocahontas”. Grown-ups were treated to his numerous jokes. After retirement he spent time helping others in the trailer park where he lived at Tillamook for about 10 years. He enjoyed his dog Buddy, walking along the beach, and riding horses on trail rides with friends. Due to health issues, he moved to be near his son in Salem. He liked to watch the 49’ers, PBR bull riding and rodeos, boxing, and playing WII bowling with the other residents at Riverside Assisted Living where he was loved by many. Just prior to his passing, he was asked by the doctor, “What are your religious beliefs?” and he answered, “My religion is the Cowboy way.” Dad followed the code of honor, honesty, and hard work that defined the cowboy spirit and we loved him for it.


  • Celebration of Larry's Life Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Larry A. Clarkson

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Ida Accardo

February 28, 2013

My Dear Virgina and Family,
My prayers are with you and your family at this sad time.I wish I had got to meet him ,Idabut I know that he was sweet as you are. may God Bless you and your family at this time

Carol Price

February 22, 2013

In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.Take comfort in knowing that now you have a special guardian angel to watch over you.

Larry and I met two years ago at River Road. I took care of him and enjoyed every mimute of it.

Larry and I would watch the football games together and we would say that the 49er's are going to win. We both liked the 49er's. We liked the same kind of music,Rodeo,Boxing. We had long talks and many laughs and tears.I loved his jokes. When I took his order for dinner and he wanted soup he would tell me wanted zoup he had different words for the food he wanted.He was a very careing and loveing man,He will be missed very much.
Carol Price

Darrell &Myra Coles

February 20, 2013

Larry was our neighbor and friend at the mobile home park in Tillamook. He was a sweetheart. He helped us (managers) out many times around the park and he and my husband would talk forever about just about anything. He will be missed by all here in Bay Air Mobile Home Park. Now you can rodeo on without getting hurt, Larry.

Darrell and Myra Coles and tthe rest of the gang at the park.

February 19, 2013

This is Susan a friend of Larry's at River Road Assisted Living. I enjoyed hearing Larry's jokes - he always had a good one for every occasion. He always like to say boo!! to each of us. Everyone would boo!! back. He was loved by all and will be missed.
Susan Franz

matthew herscher

February 19, 2013

Bull riding won't be the same without Larry there to give us post buck by buck:) I will never forget taking Larry out to ask him if I could marry Lynne I have never been so nervous before or after but as usual he made a joke of it. Will miss you Larry . Matt

February 19, 2013

I have worked at River Road for one year and have enjoyed Larry jokes and his smile he will be missed every day . I am gratefull to have the pleasure of playing Wii on Saturdays he had some good smart remarks while playing especially when the woman were winning. Gloria Guajardo concierge

Eleanor (Ellei) Lytsell

February 19, 2013

I willl never never forget all the good times we had growing up together and the trouble we could get into making Grandma Whiteaker mad at us, There was nothing like the farm life, May you rest in piece with no more pain.
Love Ellie