Former KGFX Radio Announcer Vern “Mule Skinner” Larson Passed Away Saturday


PIERRE SD – Vern “Mule Skinner” Larson passed away on Saturday. Skinner was a basketball player back in the day of TF Riggs and went on to become a radio announcer in later years and worked KGFX in the late 70’s early 80’s announcing 6pm-10pm on KGFX and also sporting events as the #2 play by play guy.

Larson lived in Pierre most his life and continued to work in the town doing various jobs.  Vern Larson was a well liked man by the entire community and will be missed by many for his quick wit and caring personality.


FUNERAL ANNOUNCEMENT : Vernon “Skinner” Larson, 63 of Pierre, SD passed away on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN from complications of Marfan Syndrome. Visitation will be 5-7pm, Thursday, March 16 at Isburg Funeral Chapel with a Rosary at 7:00pm. Services will be at 10:30am, Friday, March 17 at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church with burial at Riverside Cemetery

Arrangements have been placed in the care of Isburg Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at

Skinner was born April 17, 1953 to Leo and Rose Ann (Lunders) Larson in Hoven, SD. He graduated from Riggs High School in 1971 where he dunked many a basketball to the delight of the fans. Sports were his passion. After high school he attended the Brown Institute in Minnesota to study broadcasting culminating into a long career as the “Mule Skinner” with KGFX radio in Pierre. When you were “riding with the Mule” you were sure to be entertained. He had a wonderful voice, an easy style, and always a keen sense of humor. He went on to work for KELO radio in sales; State Radio as a dispatcher, where he made many a friend in law enforcement (which saved him a few speeding tickets), and most recently Hills View Golf Course where he enjoyed the golf course and the warm summer sunshine as he mowed the greens and fairways. During the winter months Skinner enjoyed playing golf on the pool table with his buddies at the Adult Day Care Center, otherwise known as the bowling alley. He loved to play cribbage with his son-in-law and was kind enough to let him win now and then. He enjoyed spending time with his Uncle Boyd and cousin Cameron at the family ranch in Spearfish.

He married Sandi Lopez on February 18, 1989 in the beautiful Black Hills. In 1987 they purchased his child hood home from his parents and raised two wonderful daughters there. Skinner took extra pride in having the neatest home on the block. Both Skinner and Sandi enjoyed traveling to Lincoln, NE and Sioux Falls, SD to visit their grandchildren, they were of great pride and joy to him.

Skinner never met a stranger and was loved by everyone that was lucky enough to have met him – during his long illness even his caregivers came to love him as much as we did. He was larger than life with a heart of gold and will remain our best friend forever.

Those who will be forever grateful for sharing in his life include his wife, Sandi of Pierre; two daughters: Jennifer (Bret) Madson of Lincoln, NE and Sonya Lopez (Shane Kennedy) of Sioux Falls, SD, grandchildren: Delaney, Hadley, and Cash of Lincoln and Shayne of Sioux Falls; sisters: Mary Pickett and Barbara (Richard) Smith of Prescott, AZ and Leah Hamilton of San Diego, CA; his brothers: Ronald (Sherry) Larson of Sioux Falls, SD and Gary (Judy) Larson of Pierre; nephews: Jody and Cameron Larson and niece Tammy Larson of Sioux Falls, SD, Chad of Williston, ND and Colin Larson of Pierre, SD, and Marcus Smith of Silver City, NM and Nicholas Smith of San Diego, CA.

He was preceded in death by his parents Leo and Rose Ann and brother-in-law Richard Pickett

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