James Irving "Jim" Larsen 1940-2015

James Irving “Jim” Larsen 1940-2015

James Irving Larsen, a beloved resident of Flatwoods, KY, died Wednesday, January 13, 2015 at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, KY following complications from surgery.  He was 74 years young.

He was born March 18, 1940 in Hartford, Connecticut to wonderful parents, the late Mae and Harry Larsen and also preceded in death by his brothers Richard (Dicky), Thomas (Tommy) and William (Billy).

Jim often referred to himself as a “jack of all trades” taking great pleasure in participating in family, friends and community events. He was the family go-to guy for help, advice or hearty political debate!  He enjoyed snowmobiling, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, NASCAR, country music, Jimmy Swaggart and the University of Miami Hurricanes in both good and bad seasons. He also starred in the movies The Hackers and Black River Monster.

Growing up in Connecticut as one of seven brothers, Jim could be the teddy bear and the terror of the Larsen clan.  After high school, Jim joined the United States Air Force and completed training in Savannah, GA.  It was during this time that he developed a life-long love of music and entertainment and one of his favorite duties was entertaining the troops as part of TOPS IN BLUE, the oldest and most widely travelled special unit of talented amateur performers of the United States Air Force.

On November 3rd, 1961, he wed Patricia Ann Boney of Wallace, NC and they recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.  Jim’s wide personal and professional interests and talents took him from working at his brother’s gas station, a sales career in insurance and lighting products, stock car race driver, Pioneer Sugar Factory worker, restaurant owner, politician, football and baseball coach, recording artist (I Can’t Stop Loving You / I Know What It Means To Lose A Dream) , Country Music Association-Connecticut Chapter President entertaining with Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn and many others, to his most cherished role, loving father of four children.

In 1972, Jim and Ann moved to Croswell, MI where he became active in community events and eventually joined the Croswell City Council and became the Chairman of the Sanilac County Republican Party hosting a visit from President Ronald Regan.  He was a football coach for Cros-Lex High School and head coach for Deckerville High School taking them to a state championship.  He also coached little league and took his Babe Ruth baseball team to a state championship as well.  As a business entrepreneur, he opened Industrial Lighting and Paisano’s Restaurant, serving the best homemade pizza in ‘The Thumb’.  His band, Jim Larsen and the Sounds of Country, entertained throughout Michigan and on any given weekend could be heard rocking out local wedding receptions and community events.

As a devoted father, Jim was an active and enthusiastic supporter of his children’s participation in Cros-Lex school events including cheerleading, football, softball, basketball, track, volleyball, band, choir, drama, homecoming and family church events.

In 1991, Jim and Ann moved to Palm Coast, FL.  Jim worked for the United States Chamber of Commerce out of Washington, DC and continued to entertain touring with Legends of Country Music. He also continued his sales career selling product for NSA Water Systems, Amway, Melaleuca Products, and Monavie Nutritional Products.  During this time, Jim was also introduced to his new favorite role, grandfather. In the years to follow, 12 grandchildren would join the family and he was now known to all as “Pop”.

After having open heart surgery in Jacksonville, FL; Jim and Ann moved to Flatwoods, KY.  After a brief ‘retirement’, Jim returned to work as the Regional Director of Veteran’s Outreach for the tri-state area.  He was so proud of his employee team and his office in the Grayson Court House.  On almost every weekend, you would find Jim dressed in his favorite red, white and blue shirt and cap asking; “would you like to help a veteran with a small donation?”  If he missed speaking to you going in, he would always catch you coming out!  Jim and Ann travelled throughout the tri-state area to event venues to raise funds to support veteran needs.  Jim and Ann stayed busy traveling between their grandchildren’s events in Ohio, Kentucky and Florida.  Jim was an enthusiastic supporter of Russell High School events including orchestra and choir concerts, academic meets, basketball, volleyball, soccer, football and his favorite, softball games.  Once a coach, always a coach; Jim was often heard coaching his grandchildren and their teammates.

Pop loved his family, friends and his faith and never met a stranger.  He is survived by his wife Patricia Ann Larsen and four children and 12 grandchildren:  Kimberly Susan Gross and husband John, and grandchildren Jorden, Arden and Loren of Ashland, KY; Sherri Ann McClure and husband Carl and grandchildren Shane, Austin, and Carly of Moscow, OH, James Irving Larsen Jr. and wife Denise, and grandchildren Briitany, Tomlin, James Irving III of New Smyrna Beach, FL, and Linda Gail Cheatham and husband Chris and grandchildren Logen, Kendell and Christopher of San Mateo, FL.  He is also survived by brothers Harry Larsen (Joyce) of Stonington, CT, Jay Larsen of Hurricane, WV and Robert Larsen of Haddam, CT and a large group of beloved nieces and nephews.

Services to celebrate his life will be held Monday, January 19 at The First Pentecostal Church, 1110 Bellefonte Road, Flatwoods, KY at 6:00 p.m. with Pastor Shane Cox officiating.  Internment will be at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Northeast in Grayson, KY at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 20th. Military Rites will be performed by the Greenbo Detachment of the Marine Corps League.  Bailey Family Funeral Home in Flatwoods, KY has been entrusted with arrangements.

If preferred, in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be directed to Ann Larsen, P.O. Box 485, Flatwoods, KY 41139.  Online condolences can be expressed at baileyfamilyfuneralhome.com.




#8 Kathy Larsen Wright 2015-01-19 18:53
I wish I could be there. I loved Uncle Jimmy so much. He and Aunt Ann were wonderful to me when Dad died. Uncle Jim was heartbroken to lose his brother and buddy so suddenly. He had the biggest heart and the kindness of souls. My love and condolences to Aunt Ann, Kim, Sherri, Jimmy and Linda and their families.
God Bless!
#7 Debbie Billias 2015-01-19 01:34
My deepest sympathy to your family! You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Your dad was such an amazing guy. He was so friendly and caring and funny and I know you will all miss him terribly. I was glad I got to know him and will remember him fondly.
#6 Margie Campbell 2015-01-19 01:30
Please accept my sincere sympathy on the loss of Jim. He was a great guy and will be remembered by so many friends. He left so many great memories for everyone who knew him.
Love and prayers for your family from ours.
#5 Karen Larsen Watkins 2015-01-19 00:05
My thoughts and prayers are with Aunt Ann, Kim, Sherri, Linda and Jimmy during this difficult time. Uncle Jim was and always will be a great man. He was like a second father to me and also my music mentor. If I only had 1/2 of his talent. My heart is so heavy but I know that he is in heaven with my dad and his brothers as well as his mom and dad. I will see you again one day Uncle Jim. I am part of such a wonderful family and I wouldn't change that for anything. I miss my family so much! My cousins are so blessed to have such wonderful parents. May god give you the strength and peace you need,
#4 Sue Ellen Larsen 2015-01-17 21:33
My heart goes out to all of you. I know I've lost touch with you over the years but I love you all dearly. I have so many fond memories of Jimmy. He lived life to its fullest. -Aunt Sue
#3 Kelly Sholar Gabel 2015-01-17 14:50
My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I pray for peace and comfort as you go through these difficult days ahead and days to come. Lean on each other! I wish we could be there for support and to give hugs! We love you sll. DJ, Kelly and Brody
#2 Lynn and Ginny Fergu 2015-01-17 01:04
So so sad to hear about Jim. He was such a great guy and such a lover of he girls when they played softball !! Always excited for each game !! And always the first to cheer !!! Love to Ann and Kim and the girls and the rest of the family !!
#1 Veterans Outreach 2015-01-16 14:34
Jim....It seems that we just got things started in Kentucky. Your passion and drive to help our vets was second to none! We always will remember you as a true champion to our Mission "to honor and serve"! Thanks again for your service to your fellow veterans through Veterans' Outreach.

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