Milton Larsen, 93, passed away Sunday, March 5 at 11:37am, peacefully in his sleep, as his daughters held his hands. He had lived with heart disease for several years. He was born June 3, 1929, the first boy, and the 5th child of seven children, to Jens and Luella Larsen in Morgan, MN. Milton grew up on the Larsen Family Farm which was 3 miles south of Morgan, MN. When he was 14 years old, his father died from cancer. Milton and his siblings took over farming the 160 acres. Milton married Ardis Friton from Sleepy Eye in 1953. He served in the army 1954-1956. Their first child, Lynette was born in 1954 (Thomas Koehl, Minneapolis, MN), Daniel was born in 1955 (Debra Kramer, wife of 38 years passed away in 2016, St Paul, MN).
In 1956, upon finishing the service to his country, Milt, and Ardis, and their two children, returned to farming. In 1959 Polly (Jon Lewis, Denver, CO) was born. In 1960 there was Gwendolyn (Kevin Cummings, New Berlin, WI), and in 1963 the baby, Marlene Larsen (Milwaukee, WI) arrived.
Milton, Ardis, and their five children farmed from 1957-1968. After 11 years of farming and a few years of losing crops to drought, flooding, and hail, Milton decided to quit farming and went to school in Minneapolis. He thought he would try to get job in the modern world of the new computer technology and hoped it would be more lucrative and stable than farming. He was way ahead of his time and ended up landing a job in Milwaukee, WI. This transition required a long period of time away from family while training in New York. In 1968 he moved his family from Morgan, MN to Milwaukee, WI.
Milton has thirteen grandchildren, six (soon to be seven) grandchildren-in-law and six great-grandchildren. Milton is also survived by two sisters, Bernice (and her husband Donald DeLeeuw in Cosmos, MN) and Gladys Otto (Redwood Falls, MN). Milton is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Milton was preceded in death by his parents, Jens and Luella Larsen, three of his sisters and their husbands, Florence and Donald Dickmeier (Franklin, MN), Eunice and Joseph Hale (Marshall, MN), and Vivian and Lloyd Maude (Rapid City, SD). His brother, Wilton Larsen (Morgan, MN) and Gladys Otto’s husband, Bud Otto (Morgan, MN), also passed away.
On the Friton side, those that have passed away would be Ardis’ mom and dad, Palmyre and Edmund Friton. Her sister Avis and husband Vernon Buckmeier (Fairmont, MN) and her brother, Paul Friton (Sleepy Eye, MN) who was married to Joy (Graham). Joy still survives.
Milton loved playing baseball. We learned through many stories told and retold, that our dad was quite a baseball player. His bigger claim to fame was his skill at pitching horseshoes. He started pitching at about 10 years old on the farm. He was an avid, competitive horseshoe pitcher through all his life up through his eighties. In 1981, he won the Championship in the World Horseshoe Tournament class N1 with a large fan base rooting for ringers!
Last October, Milton and Ardis Larsen celebrated 69 years of marriage. They shared a love that was precious and everlasting. What a testimony and a witness for us kids.
Milton Larsen was a wonderful man. Hard working, humble, honest, you could count on him. He was great fun and above all very loving. May all your pitches now be ringers.
Heavenly Father, we ask for your mercy and grace for Milton as he begins his journey into eternal life. Please bring him into your loving arms and grant him peace and rest. We also pray for those who are left behind, that they would find comfort and hope in your presence and the promise of seeing their loved one again. Amen.”
Milton’s life will be celebrated April 1, 2023, at Sturm Funeral Home, 301 3rd Ave SW, Sleepy Eye, MN 56085. Visitation will begin from 11-12 with a service to follow at 12:00. Reception will be held at Faith United Methodist Church at 1:30. Faith United Methodist Church is located at 321 1st Ave S, Sleepy Eye, MN 56085. Interment will be at Home Cemetery, Sleepy Eye, MN.
Milton loved farming and baseball so in lieu of flowers please send donations made out to Cedar Mountain-FFA or Cedar Mountain-summer rec to support their baseball program. Send donations to Gwen Cummings at 21890 W Tolbert Dr, New Berlin, WI 53146. She will take care to deliver them.