Cover photo for Loretta Larson's Obituary
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1930 Loretta 2023

Loretta Larson

November 20, 1930 — August 17, 2023

Loretta Larson, 92, of Pelican Rapids and Perham, MN, passed away Thursday, August 17, 2023, at her cottage on Crystal Lake with loving friends and family by her side.

Loretta was born in Enderlin, North Dakota on November 20, 1930 to parents Chris and Laura (Holm) Pederson. Her Enderlin schoolmates Jack, Sally, LaRue and Mary Ann remained close and cherished friends for her entire life. She attended Concordia College, graduating in 1952 as a rare female math major. She also met her beloved husband Cal there, and Concordia gained a couple dedicated to Concordia and its mission.

After her graduation she taught school in Osakis, Minnesota. Cal visited from the Naval Station in Norfolk, VA to be her date at the Osakis high school prom, and to propose to her. They married in Enderlin on August 28, 1955, and enjoyed nearly 68 years of married life together.

Loretta and Cal enjoyed brief times in Norfolk, Bismarck, ND and St. Cloud, MN before making their home in Fergus Falls in 1960. There Loretta enjoyed close friends and service to the community, including active membership in Bethlehem Lutheran Church. She enjoyed baking, needlepoint and knitting. She knitted Christmas stockings for countless children of family and friends (and a few special adults) and loved receiving pictures of the children and stockings over the years.

Cal and Loretta also spent 30 winters in St. Paul, many while Cal served in the state legislature. To remind others in St. Paul of the high regard due to those of Norwegian heritage, she prepared rommegrot for legislators on the 17th of May. Loretta traveled widely with Cal and friends, including several visits with relatives in Norway and time in nearly 30 other countries.

Summers were for Crystal Lake, starting in childhood with rented cottages in the 1940’s and continuing with today’s cottage that her father bought in 1950. Water skiing (and teaching generations of others to ski), time in the water, cards with neighbors, taking care of kids and dog Muffin, and later her bridge groups passed many summer days.

Most important to her was family, her joy and priority. Her mother passed away while Loretta was in college, and her father lived with the family until his final years. She was a tremendous mother to Laura and Peder and they enjoyed her complete devotion to them, until the grandkids started arriving. Then she was the devoted “Grammy” to six grandsons, showering them with love, support, and occasional advice. They will cherish the memory of her aebleskivers for breakfast at the cottage. She slipped them occasional cash, and they knew her admonition that “you’ll turn green if you spend it on beer.”

Loretta is survived by husband Cal, daughter Laura (Tommy) Merickel, son Peder (Jill) Larson and grandsons Harry (Katie) Merickel, Duke (Abby) Merickel, T.C. Merickel, Pete (Kristine) Merickel, Calvin Larson and Robbie Larson.

She is preceded in death by her parents and brothers Raymond (Lael) Pederson and Chris Pederson.

Memorials preferred to Zion Lutheran Church on Franklin Lake, Pelican Rapids, MN or to Pelican Rapids PRAY (Pelican Rapids Area Youth).

Memorial Service: 11 a.m. Friday, August 25, 2023 at Zion Lutheran Church on Franklin Lake, Pelican Rapids, MN. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.

Clergy: Reverends Jeff McCracken and Tom Olson

Burial: Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Pelican Rapids, MN

Arrangements provided by Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, August 25, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Zion Lutheran Church of Franklin Lake

24876 Franklin Lake Road, Pelican Rapids, MN 56572

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Friday, August 25, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Zion Lutheran Church of Franklin Lake

24876 Franklin Lake Road, Pelican Rapids, MN 56572

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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