Michael Larsen walks on at age 64

01.16.2013 Ron Karten Walking On

Michael "Mike" Larsen

Aug. 6, 1948 - Jan. 14, 2013

Tribal Elder Michael J. "Mike" Larsen, a resident of Willamina, Ore., walked on Monday, Jan. 14, at Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville.

Mike was born on Aug. 6, 1948, in McMinnville, the son of Edward and Verna Riggs Larsen. He graduated from Willamina High School in 1966.

The Grand Ronde Tribal Council issued a statement that said, in part, "Mike was a beloved Tribal Elder and member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde family. Mr. Mike Larsen, 64, has walked on. It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to a man who influenced many and played a pivotal role in the formation of the community we have today. Mike meant a great deal to many and always offered and extended a hand to those in need. He helped countless Tribal members seek and gain employment, mentored those who needed help and helped keep them on their paths. Mike was a proud Navy veteran and had worked for the Tribe in various positions for more than 20 years before retiring on June 29, 2012."

Mike has been the interim general manager of Spirit Mountain Casino. He served on the board for 12 years and was board chair for seven years. He later served as facilities manager where he oversaw all grounds and building maintenance on the Tribal campus. He married Karen Hargill. He enjoyed playing softball and interacting with people, and he loved his grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, Karen; children, Jeff Larsen, Joey Larsen, Jennifer VanScoyk and Craig VanScoyk; 10 grandchildren, Devin, Kenna, Corey, Nick, Caden, Ray, Edi, Bobby, Imarianah and Isaiah; brothers, Eddie and Kenny Larsen; and sisters, Susie Gilliam and Carol Larsen. He was preceded in death by his sister, Jeannie.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, in the Grand Ronde Tribal gym to be followed by a meal service in the Elders' Activity Center. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, in the Dallas Mortuary Tribal Center in Dallas, Ore.