Timeline of Edward Mark Larson’s life

Aug 23, 1932 Edward Mark Larson born in Belleville Kansas, Hospital and Home to Elmer C and Mary Vietor Larson.

Mark grows up on various farms in southern Republic County Kansas.  He started school when he was six.  For a while he went to city school and then a country school.  Graduated from 8th grade in 1946.

Mark attends Belleville High School where he participated in dramatics and choral arts. (Accomplishments: College Prep Course, Kays: 1-2-3; Charter Member Thespian Troupe No. 933, 3-4; Latin 2-3-4; President 3; Glee Club 1-2-3-4, Robed Choir 4; Junior Play)  He graduated in 1950.

Mark started at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina Fall of 1950.

He is drafted into the Army in his Jr. year.  June 23, 1953  He has brown hair, hazel eyes, stands 5 ft 10 inches tall and weighs 185 lbs.

Basic Training at Ft. Riley, Kansas Co. B 4th Infantry Regiment  (Light Weapons)

Stationed at Ladd Air Force Base, Fairbanks Alaska.  Travels around Alaska, taking photographs.

Receives honorable discharge June 23, 1955.  receives National Defence Service Medal.  Still is obliged to serve 8 years in the reserves.

Does some traveling around the northern states.

Returns to Kansas Wesleyan.  Participates in civil rights actions. Graduates in 1956, major in history, minor in education.

-1956-57   Teaches in Colby Ks, Junior High Social Studies

In 1957 attends University of Kansas thanks to the GI Bill. Participates in integration sit-ins.

Works in Kansas City Mo while going to KU.  In 1964 he buys a house in Lawrence at 706 Illinois which he rents out.

1964 Teaches at Lamar State College of Technology  at Beaumont Texas, Intro to American Government and Texas Government

Receives his masters degree in political science from KU  June, 1, 1964  He is a member of Delta Phi Sci

1965-66  Teaches at Sam Houston State College, Huntsville Texas, Intro to American Government and Texas Government

1967  Attends classes toward a PhD from University of Arizona, at Tucson.  He terminates this but stays on in the area substitute teaching junior and senior high classes thorough 1968

1968 Moves to Escondido California.  Cleans out water canals and then drives taxi in San Diego

1971   Buys land in La Plata County Colorado as an investment.  He sells this in the 1990’s

1976 Moves back to Lawrence to his house at 706 Illinois where he lives the rest of his life. He rents out the upper storey of the house and sometimes has a housemate living in his apartment.  He frequently gives shelter and other aid to homeless people and people in crisis.   He works around construction and starts his own home insulation business.

He traveled extensively around the continent (the one luxury he allowed himself).  Mark is a founding member of the Appropriate Technology Center of Lawrence Kansas.  In 1981, after attending a bioregional gathering in the Ozarks (Ozarks Area Community Congress) he helps found the Kansas Area Watershed Council, a local bioregional group.

Mark participates in a number of social and civil rights causes.  Is a member of the Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice.  Is a founding member of Kansas Health Care for All.  Is a member of the Lawrence-El Papaturro Friendship Committee, Nuclear Freeze group, Radioactive Free Kansas, Kaw Valley Organic Gardening Society and many other groups.

Mark became and avid practitioner and advocate of Re-evaluation Counseling or Co-Counseling and traveled the country participating in workshops and had many Co-counseling partners who he talked with on a regular basis.  He also loved to visit with friends and family and was a very good conversationalist.

He is noted for his well researched and cogent letters to the editor and writes extensively on many issues to national leaders.

He retired in 1994.  Spent three winters in Minnesota

July 21, 2010 he dies two days after knee surgery in Topeka.

He is buried in the green burial section of Oak Hill Cemetery of Lawrence Kansas.



Obituary of Edward Mark Larson

Graveside services for Edward Mark Larson, 77, Lawrence, was held at 10a.m. Saturday, July 24, 2010 at the green burial section of Oak HIll Cemetery in Lawrence.  A Celebration of Life will be held in mid August at the Unitarian Fellowship.

Mr. Larson died Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka following knee surgery.

He was born Aug 23, 1932, in Bellville, the son of Elmer C and Mary E. Vietor Larson.

He graduated from Belleville High School in 1950.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas Wesleyan University and his Master of arts degree  in political science from the University of Kansas.  He also studied at the University of Arizona.  He taught school in Texas, worked for the city of Kansas City, Mo and installed home insulation.  Mr. Larson was an avid gardener, naturalist and environmentalist, and was an active participant in the Re-evaluation Counseling (C0-counseling) community.

Mr. Larson was a noted Lawrence social activist and was known for his cogent and elegant letters to the editor of the Journal World.  He was an active member of many organizations including the Kansas Area Watershed (KAW) Council, Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice, Lawrence-ElPapaturro Friendship Committee, Appropriate Technology Center and Radioactive Free Kansas, among others.  He was an active member of the Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence and received the Unitarian Universalist Association’s  Social Justice Adult Award in 2004.

Survivors include two nieces, Ann Swenson, Wichita and Nancy Fricke, Nashville Tennessee; and two nephews, Bruce Larson, Edinburg, Virginia and Kim Larson, Turlock, California.

The family suggests memorials to Lawrence-El Papaturro Friendship Committee, Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence or the Community Foundation (Parents as Teachers fund), sent in care of the Warren -McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th St, Lawrence Ks, 66044.  Online condolences may be sent to warrenmcelwain.com.


Mark Larson, age 44 (1976)

Education:  B.A, history, Kansas Wesleyan, 1956, M.A., political science, University of Kansas, 1964, Additional graduate work, University of Arizona, 1966.

Teaching experince:

1956-57-Colby, Kansas, Junior High, social studies

1964-65-Lamar State College of Technology, Beaumont Texas, introduction of American government and Texas government

1965-66-Sam Houston State College, Huntsville, Texas, introduction to American government and Texas government.

1967-68-substitute teaching in Tucson area junior and senior high schools.

In Tucson I decided not to continue to work toward a doctorage.  While continuing to live there I did substitute teaching. This substitute work taught me a lot about working with students of these ages, and how to handle these classes.  My teaching methods involve both presentation of basic material to the class, and class discussion where appropriate. I attempt to relate classroom material to situations and events of day to day life, to point up the meaning and need for the information in point.


Autobiography written for 2000 Bellville High School class reunion

Spent years in school as a student and teaching, roughly from age 6 to 36, then got out to see what the rest of the world was about.  I did earn an MA (political science) and spent two years in the Army during this time.  Since age 36 I’ve mostly worked in construction, including doing home insulation about 10 years.  I’ve long continued an interest in political and social affairs, and am now active in a US-El Salvador network.  I enjoy gardening (lots of tomatoes this year) and opportunities to be out in the country, out of towns, hiking, canoeing, picnicking.

Teachers such as Vi Houdek and George Saip (a character more than a teacher) and Kenneth Guthrie “keep it down to a low roar”.  I remember the general friendliness (I was shy).  I also remember feeling disappointed at not being allowed to go out for football, but having to work instead.  The work at Joe’s Cafe and Hall’s grocery was a generally good experience–it was just that I couldn’t participate in some school activities.

ALL ABOUT ME  written for 2006 anniversary of Kansas Wesleyan University Class of 1956

I came to KWU in the fall, 1950, and with two years in the army, graduated in 1956.  During the interval in the army I decided to switch majors to history with a minor in education.  When I asked the education professor, “What about discipline?” he commented, “Discipline will take care of itself.”  It didn’t.  I taught one year of 7th and 8th grade in Colby, Ks.  With some saving and GI Bill I was back in school, fall, 1957 at KU in Lawrence.

With several years working in a construction company office, and then in Kansas City, Mo City Hall, I finally received an MA in political science from KU in 1964.  During the next two years I taught introductory government courses in college in Texas.  No discipline problems there.

Thinking I wanted to continue teaching college level, I began course work in government at the University of Arizona, Tucson.  After six months I dropped out.  I was unwilling to repeat a Marxist professor’s views word for word!  For over a year I did substitute teaching in junior and senior high school in various districts around Tucson.  I learned how to handle discipline!

In Tucson I participated in my first protest march, against continuation of the Vietnam War.  Since then political activity in one form or another has remained constant.  I currently stand weekly vigil with others opposing US War in Iraq.  I’ve walked many precincts handing out candidate literature, contributed money and so on.  We get the government we’re willing to put up with!

In May, 1968 I moved to Escondido, CA.  It was hard to find work there, and after several months found employment working on canal repairs in the mountains.  Later I worked around construction in North San Diego County.  With a network of friends and their children, and a comfortable living situation in a big roomy house (formerly a hotel) I greatly enjoyed my years in and around Escondido.  In fact I’ve continued to visit Escondido friends about every three years since moving back to Lawrence KS in November 1976.

That winter in Lawrence I applied for three or four teaching positions open in high schools in northeast Kansas.  I was told I needed more education courses before I’d be allowed to teach here.  I didn’t want to spend more time taking course work and didn’t follow that route.

One good result of my teaching in Colby was the retirement funds deducted from my paychecks.  In 1964, since I wasnt teaching, the retirement board suggested I withdraw my funds:  I did so, receiving about $650.00.  That money became the down payment on a house in Lawrence, bought in 1964, shortly after leaving for Texas.  In 1976, when I returned to Lawrence I had a place to move into, and it was first recently paid for.  That $600.00 investment undoubtedly has been the best I ever made!  In Lawrence I continued to work out of doors around construction, until i finally began doing home insulation work on my own.  I continued political activities, also.

I retired from more regular work in 1994 at age 62 and I began spending more time in various volunteer efforts that interested me.  Currently I’m treasurer of a couple of local organizations.  In one I’m organizing a petition drive for single payer health insurance.  In Kansas about 45% of our health insurance premiums go for administrative costs and projects.  I believe we can do better than that!

P.S. I remain single.       July 2006  Mark Larson (Ed)

Autobiography, written for a family reunion

I am Edward Mark Larson, youngest child of Mary Elizabeth Vietor and Elmer Carl Larson.  I was born August 23, 1932 in Belleville, Kansas.  Mama was born in Christman, Illinois, the youngest child of Minerva Jane (Jenny) Ford and John Bernard (Barney) Vietor.  Dad was born near Kackley (Republic County) Kansas, the second child of Johanna Charlotte (Lotte) and John Oscar (J.O.) Larson.  They were both born in Sweden and naturalized in 1869.

My parents met in rural Woodward County, Oklahoma.  They married Sept. 11, 1910 in Wichita and lived all their married lives on rented farms in Republic County, Ks.  Feb. 1936 we moved from east of Courtland to the Scotch Plains community south-west of Belleville.  These friendly, generous Scotch and English farm folk soon included us in their community life.  I remember with pleasure the monthly church potlucks to celebrate birthdays, and the annual procession of the threshing outfit and crew from farm to farm,  In winter the men would repair the barbed wire telephone line.  Grace West at the Rydal elevator would relay information from calls on the commercial line to us on the community line.

I looked forward to school when I was six and rode with my next older brother, who was a junior in high school, into Belleville to first grade.  Unfortunately the boys mostly ran in opposing gangs.  In a few weeks I was moved to Miss Kennedy’s room, where she taught the country kids and kids from “the wrong side of the tracks”.  In a few more weeks Miss Kennedy told me to slide my desk over to the corner, where she left me for three weeks for not understanding that I Had to do arithmetic.  I wanted to read instead.

Forth through eighth grades I walked to country schools, which were educationally and socially much more friendly situations.  There were school plays for Halloween and Christmas programs, and there were district potlucks with lots of food and a crowd of talkative people.  I learned basic grammar listening to the eighth graders recite when I was in fourth grade.

During high school I was away from home, rooming in town.  I worked after school and on Saturdays to pay for my room and food.  In college in Salina I contrived to work my way through school, until I was drafted into the army after my junior year.  Out of the army I finished college on the GI Bill, then taught one year in Colby.  I came to KU and Lawrence in 1957.  As in Salina, I joined a group working to open public facilities to all races.

Except for social and political issues I was without clear focus to my life.  I dated, but was afraid of the constraints of marriage.  After receiving my Masters degree in 1964 I taught college classes two years in Texas.  After that I substitute taught in Tuscon two years, then moved to Escondido, California in 1968.  There I quickly found friends and in a few months work in the mountains on canal maintenance.  I enjoyed the out-of-doors and my companions and friends very much.  Out of work in 1976 I returned to Lawrence and to a house I’d bought in 1964.  The house was just then paid for, and I’ve lived there at 706 Illinois since returning except for three winters in Minnesota.  I continue to work out-of-door and I continue social and political actions and commentaries with friends and community acquaintances.

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