Patricia A. "Pat" Larson, age 69, Mandan, died unexpectedly on December 8, 2016 while visiting family in Roseville, MN.
A funeral service will be held at 1:00 pm on Friday, December 16, 2016 at First Lutheran Church, Mandan, with Reverends Lee Herberg and Christina Martin officiating. Burial will be at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 pm on Thursday, December 15, 2016 at Buehler-Larson Funeral Home, Mandan, with a prayer service at 7 pm. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.
Pat was born August 18, 1947 in St. Paul, MN, the oldest of five children, to Robert and Edna "Eddie" (Koski) Tonkin. Raised and educated in St. Paul, she graduated from Moundsview High School in 1965 and went on to attend Augsburg College in Minneapolis for one year. On January 4, 1971 Pat married Gary Larson in Minneapolis. They later moved to in Neenah, WI where Pat received her Sociology Degree from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. They then moved to Chicago where Gary finished mortuary school while Pat worked as an insurance adjustor for GAB and State Farm Insurance.
In 1979 Gary and Pat moved to Mandan where Gary worked for Buehler Funeral Home. Pat continued her insurance career for Dakota Fire and TriState Insurance. Pat and Carol Metzger later operated Metzger-Larson Insurance. In 1989 Gary and Pat purchased the funeral home from Warren Buehler and Pat worked as the Office Manager and alongside Gary for many years. A generous and caring heart made Pat a wonderful fit for her position in the funeral home. She greeted grieving families and helped them through the heartache after losing a loved one. Her genuine care for the families they served led Pat to many long friendships with families. Pat retired in 2010 due to her health. Her retirement did not diminish her fondness for shopping on QVC.
Until recently, Pat and Gary were season ticketholders to the Minnesota Vikings. Tickets that Pat's family bought when they first became available many years ago. Pat's greatest passion however, was the Minnesota Twins. She watched every game and loved her team, win or lose.
Pat had several great memories in 2016, events that she treasured. Her 50 year class reunion, attending the wedding of a special niece, and spending a week at the lake home she and Gary owned on Lake Sakakawea brought Pat great happiness.
From a young age Pat had a love for animals, especially dogs. She had many four legged friends over the years, loving and treasuring each one as a member of her family. Never to turn down a pup in need, Pat was known to "adopt" a dog unexpectedly if its owners could no longer care for it. Her most recent dogs, fondly known as "The Girls", kept her occupied and entertained each day.
A love for reading, Pat was always in the middle of a book. She received a Kindle from Gary several Christmases ago and that opened up an endless library that she thoroughly enjoyed.
Blessed to have shared her life is her husband of 45 years, Gary Larson, Mandan; her mother, Edna Tonkin, Roseville, MN; brothers, Ross (Sue) Tonkin, Phoenix, AZ, Jeff Tonkin, Roseville, MN, and Jon (Debbie) Tonkin, Bloomington, MN; one sister, Penny (Andrew) Hoffman, Roseville, MN; 9 nieces and nephews; and 5 great nieces and nephews; as well as Gary's family which includes sister-in-law Viv (Rob) King, Bismarck and brother-in-law, Bernie Pellenwessell, Minot; and her beloved dogs, Tillie, Trooper, and Lacie.
Pat was preceded in death by her father, Robert Tonkin; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Sam and Grace Larson; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Rich (Mardie) Larson; and sister-in-law, Jeanette Pellenwessell. Pat was greeted in Heaven by numerous dogs who she'd cared for until their last day.
Memorials are preferred to the Central Dakota Humane Society or the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.