Astoria and Seaside
Feb. 22, 1934 — May 29, 2018
An automobile accident on the evening of May 29, 2018, brought the life of a greatly loved man to an abrupt end.
Dale Larson was born Feb. 22, 1934, in Astoria, to a Swedish immigrant father, Karl E. Larson, and a Civil War descended mother, Florence E. Brace. He had an older brother, Allen Larson, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 86, and a recently discovered half brother, Richard R. Larson Sr., who passed away in 2008.
At age 17, Dale dropped out of high school to work in the woods as a logger with his father. At about age 22, he became a longshoreman alongside his father-in-law. It was a job he truly loved, and he was a member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union for over 40 years.
He married Yvonne J. Enbusk on June 5, 1955, and together they had four children, Dave, Dennis, Robin and Dean. Yvonne continues to reside in the Clatsop Care Memory Community, suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s.
Dale began the Lewis and Clark Shake and Shingle Mill, during his years as a longshoreman, on the farm property owned by his parents. After his retirement from longshoring, he continued his business/hobby at the cedar mill, which became the perfect place to instill pride of work in his children and grandchildren.
Dale’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the joy of his life, and he was so proud of their accomplishments.
Dave Larson and his wife, Lancey, own and operate High Life Adventures and Larson Construction Co. They have three children, Katie (Jake), Jana (Shane) and Heidi (Cameron), and seven grandchildren, Austin, Kiara, Alivia, Savana, Ava, Kayla and Colton.
Dennis Larson and his wife, Deon, own Dennis Larson Excavating, and have two children, Neil (Colleen) and Haley, and one grandchild, Ryan.
Robin Jensen works as a civil engineering specialist with the Oregon Department of Transportation, and is married to Doug. They have four children, Tia (Alex), Dale, Courtney and Madison, and two grandchildren, Irelynn and Cleo.
Dean and his wife, Evie, own Custom Excavating and Trail’s End Recovery. They have three children, Kurstin, Rachel and Wyat, and four grandchildren, Carson, Kira, Cohen and Yuri.
As his wife’s Alzheimer’s progressed, Dale worked tirelessly to provide for her every need, all while ensuring they attended every family gathering possible. He heroically took on this challenge, only giving over her care to others when it became detrimental to his health, yet he still visited and cared for her at every chance until his final day.
A little over two years ago, Dale met Nita Thomson of Seaside, and with his gentle smile and comforting small talk they soon found support in each other while caring for their ailing spouses. Nita became a widow, and soon their friendship bloomed into a loving companionship. Dale told Nita, “we don’t have much time,” so they packed the next two years with as many adventurous vacations, work projects and family gatherings as humanly possible. There was joy, laughter and a wonderful light in their lives once again.
At age 84, Dale continued to arrive for work every day with a lunch pail in hand, and a smile on his face. Working alongside his grandson, Dale, for the past several years, he took pride in the product they produced.
He was a constant presence and guide in the lives of his children and grandchildren, and they will tell you his recipe for success was work hard and play hard. Their youth was filled with hard work, camping, boating, jet skiing, snow skiing, family picnics and many wonderful adventures. He was especially fond of his granddaughter, Tia, whose mission was to ensure he had every opportunity to continue to do that.
Dale was admired by the community, and deeply loved by everyone who had come to know him, and he genuinely cared for every person he met. Many have commented that he was their second father or grandfather. He was known as “Papa Dale” to hundreds, and he loved that. He was a true gentleman.
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, June 9, 2018, at 11 a.m. at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds.
To honor Dale’s memory, we can all practice his simple truth: A genuine smile and some small talk can make the world a better place.