In Memory of David Larson

October 16, 1942 - May 19, 2024

Our dad, Dave Larson, a man of many talents, passed away on May 19th at the age of 81, from the effects of a debilitating stroke.

Dave was born on October 16, 1942, in Worthington, MN to Ted and Marie Larson. He was the 4th child in a family of 13 kids. His life of hard work began early; he started driving the tractor on the family farm when he was 5 years old. He attended Catholic School in Wilmont, MN until his family moved to the farm near Tracy, MN in 1951. He attended country school until 6th grade. He graduated in 1961 from Tracy High School, where he was the FFA King during his senior year. After graduation he moved to Minneapolis and worked at a Gambles store and enlisted in the National Guard.

In 1965 he married Dorothy Donahue and a year later had a daughter, Mary Lou. They farmed near Currie until 1969 when they moved to Appleton, MN, where he worked for Minnesota Valley Breeders Association and owned the Reno Theater.

Dorothy passed away from complications from pneumonia in 1970.

In 1973 Dave married Mary Mohrenweiser and their son Dan was born. The family moved to Graham Lake near Frazee, MN in 1974, where Daren and Cindy were born.

In 1978 he started a new business, Larson Brothers Hoof Trimming. The family moved to Spooner, WI in 1991, where he lived out the remainder of his life. He retired from hoof trimming in 2017 at the age of 75.

In 2006 the family purchased Whiskey Creek Restaurant, which had recently been badly damaged by a fire. No challenge was too big for Dave to take on, and together with the family he rebuilt it and turned it into Tracks Bar and Family Dining. Tracks became a popular gathering place with many customers who became not just friends but family. The Larson family owned and operated Tracks until 2021.

Dave never met a stranger. He was outgoing and made friends everywhere he went. He was hardworking and creative, productive, stubborn, and opinionated.

He was also a man who liked to keep busy. He loved to work with wood and in his lifetime, he built poker tables, bars, decks, docks, cribbage boards, and furniture, including most of the tables for Tracks restaurant. He was a proud co-owner of a sawmill at the time of his stroke.

Dave loved feeding and entertaining guests. In Minnesota he hosted poker parties and family weekends at the lake house. For many years he hosted an annual Testicle Festival (a rocky mountain oyster feed) in his shop in Spooner. He built hog roasters and had a side business roasting pigs for special events, including the annual Tracks Customer Appreciation Dinner. On Thanksgiving, he filled the roasters with turkeys. He was always looking for new business opportunities and projects to supervise.

Dave Larson was a jack of all trades and a master of quite a few. In his lifetime, Dave was a pin setter, a farmer, a cattle breeder, a theater owner, and a cattle hoof trimmer. He was an electrician, a plumber, a butcher, a bait shop owner, a gardener, a canner, a restaurant owner, and a welder. If you needed someone to help raise a shop, pour some concrete, plow some snow, butcher an animal, brand, dehorn or castrate a bull, or bus some tables, he was your guy. If Dave was around, things got done! He was a creative problem solver who was up for any challenge. He always knew how things should be done; he was the foreman on every project and his way was the only way.

In December 2022 Dave suffered a stroke that left him wheelchair bound. He spent the last 17 months of his life at Maple Ridge Care Center. We thank the staff who cared for him and the many friends and family who visited and made his days more enjoyable.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Dorothy Donahue Larson; his brother, Leroy; his parents, Ted and Marie Larson; brother-in-law, John Kosse; and niece, Angie Dokken. He leaves behind his wife, Mary; four children, Mary Lou and husband Scott Willits; Daniel and wife Cathy; Daren; and Lucinda; and 4 grandchildren, Christopher, Trevor, and Karissa Willits, and Ivy Schlapper. He is also survived by 11 brothers and sisters; many nieces and nephews; and countless friends.

A celebration of Dave’s life will be held at Tracks Restaurant in Spooner, Wisconsin on July 27th from 12-3 PM. His ashes will be placed at the family farm near Tracy, Minnesota on August 3rd.

Last Update: May 24, 2024 1:46 pm CDT

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