Amelia Larson 1916 – 2019

PIERRE, SD – Amelia Larson, 103, of Pierre, SD, died Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Memorial Mass will be at 11:30am on Friday, August 30, 2019 at St. John’s Catholic Church, with inurnment to follow at Scotty Philip Cemetery in Fort Pierre, SD. Online condolences may be written at: www.isburgfuneralchapels.com
Amelia Apollonia Valasek was born March 13, 1916 to John and Katherine Valasek in Polk County, NE. The sixth of seven children, Amelia grew up and attended school at St. Bartholomew’s in Columbus, NE. She was an excellent student, even helping tutor other children. From early childhood on, she loved animals, both pets and wildlife. She rescued an injured pigeon and kept it for several years. It would ride to school on her shoulder every morning, fly home and wait for her to come home. This was one of many, many pets she would have in her lifetime.
After graduating, Amelia moved to Omaha where she had several different clerical positions. She married Gordon William Larsen on May 21, 1949. To this union, six adorable children were born who, according to Amelia, “could do no wrong”!
Gordon, with Amelia’s help, secured a position with the Corps of Engineers and moved their growing family to Pickstown, SD. In 1956, they moved to Yankton. Amelia kept very busy with family, growing beautiful fruit gardens and canning huge quantities of vegetables. She was a really good cook and an incredible baker, often feeding many of the neighborhood children as well as her own.
In 1970 Gordon, Amelia and their three youngest children transferred to Starbuck, WA. During this time, Amelia and their youngest son moved to Custer, SD where she owned and operated a motel called the Home Auto Court for about 5 years. After which, she and Gordon retired to a beautiful mountain just outside of Orofino, ID. While on the mountain, she continued raising gardens and Sheltie dogs. She was thrilled when her family came to see her. The more family surrounding her, the happier she was. Amelia was a positive person who always looked for the good in others. She volunteered for several charities such as the American Cancer Society. She loved playing cards, games and any activity involving her family. She loved the outdoors, rock collecting, camping, hunting and fishing. She was loved the outdoors, rock collecting, camping, hunting and fishing. She was the first one in the family to catch a proud angler fish at age 73.
Amelia and Gordon moved to Pierre, SD in the fall of 2005. After Gordon passed away in 2007, she lived with her daughter, Rose. She is survived by her children, Gilbert (Laurie) Larsen of Bloomfield, NE, Gordon (Judith) Larsen of Ft Pierre, SD, Jim (Anita) Larsen of Hot Springs, SD, Rose Anderson of Pierre, SD and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, her husband Gordon, daughter Kathy, son Bill and grandson Erik.