Dannie Larsen

Dannie Darrel Larsen was born in Gordon, Neb., Jan. 13, 1942, to Lena and Melvin Larsen, Dannie grew up playing and working in the Sand Hills with his oldest brothers—Gene, Dean, and Dwayne.
Dan, known for his hard work and perfectionism, moved to Rapid City, S.D., in 1960. It was there that he met the love of his life Francie.
Dan and Francie were married Aug. 6, 1961, and were blessed with children Carl and Cathy. Carl and Cathy were Dan’s pride and joy. He loved them unconditionally and made many sacrifices so that each of them could have a better life than him.
Dan worked as an auto mechanic, contractor and painter before starting his painting and drywall business in 1971.
He was known throughout the Black Hills for his superb work ethic, attention to detail and master craftsmanship. Dan helped restore many of the Black Hills’ historic artifacts and historic buildings, with the restoration of two statutory casts for the Borglum Story Museum being the highlight of his restoration work.  
Another highlight of Dan’s career was the 10-1/2 years he worked for the South Dakota Department of Corrections as a roofing and construction supervisor.  Dan personally invested in the lives of the inmates and strove to help each of them individually.  Many of these men credit Dan for helping them change their lives.  
Whoever Dan was around benefited from his teaching, work ethics, and strong will for perfection – “It’s my way or else…!”
Dan loved the outdoors.  After his retirement, Dan spent his time outside tending Larsen Acres ranch.  Dan had a way with animals and could often be found hand-feeding his cows or in his tractor tending to the cows. Many fond memories were made over the years spending summer days fishing or camping at the lake and fall weekends hunting.  Dan knew the Black Hills well and looked forward to any opportunity exploring God’s beautiful creation.
Dan’s six grandchildren (Rhett, Clarissa, Rheann, Victoria, Rheo and Sophia) and one great-grandchild (Brexlee) were his delight, and the saying “If I knew how much fun grandchildren were, I would have had them first” could not be more accurate. He loved spending time with them, whether it was working, playing or just sitting together. As his grandchildren got older, he loved hearing about their jobs and what was new in their life.
Dan loved deeply and wove himself into the hearts of family and friends. He had a “heart of gold!”  Dan’s love for others was so deep because of his love for his Savior.
Dan received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in September 2002.  Dan loved being around God’s people and loved his church, Bethel Baptist Church in Rapid City.
Dan, of Custer, S.D., passed away Oct. 29, 2023, after fighting a courageous battle to overcome lung and kidney cancer. He was lovingly surrounded by his family and friends. He was 81.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Francie (Wheeler) Larsen; children, Carl Larsen and Cathy (David) Sutton; grandchildren, Rhett (Laura) Larsen, Clarissa Sutton, Rheann (Jake) Vukovich, Victoria Sutton, Rheo Larsen and Sophia Sutton; great-granddaughter Brexlee Vukovich; brothers, Jerry (Jeannie) Larsen, Jim (Dori) Larsen and Bill Larsen; sisters, Beverly (Ken) Jenner, Judy (John) Dryer and Janice (Bob) Sanchez; sisters-in-law, Jolene Larsen, Donna MacAloney and Bev (Dave) Morgan; and numerous nieces and nephews.    
Dan will be greatly missed, but his memory and influence will live on in each of our hearts.
Visitation will be Wednesday, Nov. 1 from 5-7 p.m. at Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home in Custer.
Funeral services will be held at Custer Community Church Thursday, Nov. 2 at 11 a.m., with a committal service to follow at the Pringle (S.D.) Cemetery.
Memorials may be sent to the Pringle Volunteer Fire Department or Bethel Baptist Church in Rapid City.


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