Wendell Gene Larson

October 13, 1929December 21, 2018

Wendell Gene Larson (Swede) 89, passed away Friday December 21, 2018 in San Diego, CA. Cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service will be held Thursday, January 10th at 2:00pm at Clairemont Lutheran Church: 4271 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. San Diego, CA. Military Memorial Service will be held on Friday, January 11th at 9:30am at Miramar National Cemetery: 5795 Nobel Drive San Diego, CA.

Wendell was born October 13, 1929 to August and Blenda (Peterson) Larson on the family farm near Bremen, ND. He attended school in a one room school house through the 8th grade. He then attended Sheyenne High School and graduated in 1947. Wendell attended North Dakota Agriculture College for 2 years then worked for the Wells County Road Crew and worked for area famers during busy times.

Wendell married Arlene Westerhausen in 1952 and to this union brought five children. In January of that same year, Wendell joined the United States Navy and served during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He attended various Navy Schools to become an Aviation Electrician working on F4 Phantom Jet Aircraft spending time with the 7th Fleet in the South Pacific. Wendell completed West Pack tours on the USS Midway, Hancock and USS Constellation. In July 1970, he married Linda Gadberry Pippen and together they raised Linda’s three children. He continued his service until he retired in May of 1973 with 21 years 4 months of service retiring as an Aviation Electrician Chief Petty Officer. In June of 1973, Wendell was hired as a Postal Carrier and retired with them in 1988 after 15 years of service.

Wendell loved life, in the morning you could hear him whistling as he got ready for the day and as he made his first cup of coffee. In the afternoon in the garage he would be whistling tunes that he loved to listen to on Willies Roadhouse on his XM radio.

Wendell enjoyed sitting in the sun outside in his backyard with his showcase of beautiful flowers and vegetables that he loved planting and taking care of. He adored his cats JR, Punker, Pee Wee, and Oreo. He loved walks on the Ocean Beach Pier and the drives that he always took his visitors on around San Diego ending the day with homemade BBQ chicken and ribs. Wendell loved baseball, football and the horseraces and the many great friends he met along the way. He was always ready for a game of checkers with his grandchildren, maybe a hand or two of Pinochle, a good long game of Dominoes and a mean game of bean bags in the backyard.

Wendell cherished his visits back home to ND for family reunions, class reunions, weddings, all the family get togethers and The Chicken Dance. He never missed sending birthday and Christmas cards and he always wrote a letter in each one of them. He loved his church and church family at Clairemont Lutheran. Today we celebrate and thank God for Wendell’s life of 89 years!

Wendell is survived by his wife Linda of 48 years of San Diego, CA; children Dan (Shelley) Erickson of Denver, CO, Virginia (Gene) Collings, Pam (Keith) Oyloe, Bob (Cleo) Erickson and Mike (Lori) Erickson all of Williston, ND; stepchildren Debbie Pippin of San Diego, and Randy Pippin of Andover, OH; 14 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren; sister-in-laws Marion Larson of Mayville, ND, Betty Daniels and Viva (Jake) Lotz of Hemet, CA, brother-in-law Howard (Tina) Gadberry North Little Rock, AR; and his many nieces, nephews and their families.

Wendell was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Merle (Ardith) Larson and Ralph Larson, sisters Laverne (Clarence) Moe and Bernice (Arvid) Fransen, stepson Scott Pippin, and brother-in-law Jerry Daniels.

In lieu of flowers, Wendell prefers you donate to the charity of your choice.


  • Memorial Service Thursday, January 10, 2019

Wendell Gene Larson

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Debbie Sykes DeBerry

April 4, 2019

I ‘ll never forget Wendell. He was like an uncle to me. His friendship with my parents, Roy and Bea Sykes, was enduring.
He taught me to make true hobo coffee, eat pickled herring, cook Tuna Hot Dish and I enjoyed watching him make milk toast with gusto (though he never got me to like it).
I loved listening to baseball on the radio with him and going to the race track in Tiajuana with he and my father.
I adored Linda from the first time I met her.
Wendell’s was a joyous spirit that lit my life.

American Cancer Fund

December 30, 2018

The staff of the American Cancer Fund at is sorry to hear of Wendell’s passing. We have received a memorial donation in his name and our sincere condolences go out to his family.