Dorrell Cole Larsen
The Idaho Statesman, 11/07/13
Dorrell Cole Larsen, beloved husband of Dona Faye Larsen, was born on May 16th, 1927. He was the son of Ethel Cole and Willard Urven Larsen of Fairview, Idaho. He passed away in Boise on November 2nd, at the age of 86, with his loved ones surrounding him. Dorrell was raised on a farm on the Idaho-Utah boundary line in Fairview. He graduated from Preston High School and honorably served in the Navy during World War II, and later in the Air Force Reserves. He served a successful mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to England, returning to graduate from the University of Idaho with a degree in Agricultural Engineering, later earning a Masters degree from Utah State University. On August 11th, 1950, he married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Dona Faye, in the Logan LDS Temple. Together they built a life of faith and purpose, ultimately welcoming ten children into their family.
Dorrell and Dona Faye spent the first few years of their married life in Moscow, Idaho, and in Toppenish, Washington, where Dorrell worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for three years to improve irrigation practices on the lands of the Yakima Tribe. Dorrell and Dona Faye then moved to Boise in 1956, where Dorrell spent 35 years with the University of Idaho Extension Service as an Irrigation Specialist, traveling to all regions of the State of Idaho, working with farmers and ranchers to improve their irrigation methods and educating Idahoans about water and soil conservation. Dorrell became one of the world's foremost experts on the irrigation of potatoes, traveling to Russia and Poland to provide technical assistance, and holding annual meetings in Boise for agricultural experts from other countries. He was at the forefront of the environmental education movement in Idaho in the 1960s, establishing and chairing from 1962 to 1991 the first residential summer environmental workshop for young people in Idaho, known as the Natural Resources Workshop, attended by thousands of Idaho's youth. Dorrell was a founder of the Idaho Irrigation Equipment Association and received its Service to Industry Award in 1989. He was a member of the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers and generously contributed his efforts and expertise to several Idaho agricultural organizations. Dorrell was actively involved with Dona Faye in the enterprise of raising their large family of six daughters and four sons in Boise, and participated for decades in church, sports and community affairs. He was a lifelong devoted member of the LDS faith and a member of the Boise Foothills East Ward. His many callings included serving in the Bishopric of the Toppenish, Washington, and Boise Seventeenth Wards and for many years as Bishop of the Boise State University Ward. He and Dona Faye also served an LDS service mission to the First Nations people of Canada. Dorrell served as PTA President at Highlands Elementary School and Central School, President of the Boise Toastmasters Club, and he was active in supporting secondary and college athletics in Idaho. Dorrell loved spending time at their cabin in McCall, where he was the founder and president of the Garnet Street Neighborhood Association, and later at their winter home in St. George, Utah. Dorrell was a fourth generation Idahoan and he took great pride in his pioneer heritage. He imparted his intellectual curiosity and his passion for ideas, learning, history and travel to each of his children. With his warm personality, genuine interest in others, and his intellect, he was a life force that could fill any room. He loved his children and grandchildren deeply and was enormously proud of them, enjoying nothing as much as attending their activities and spending time in the company of his family and good friends. Remaining to cherish his memory in addition to Dona Faye are their ten children: Melodie, Cindy (Mark Anderson), Debra (David Huber), Kim (Susan), Jay (Angela), Darla, Laura (Michael Graff), Mark (Suzzie), Michael (Jennifer) and Holly Larsen; 31 grandchildren (Braden, Davis, Ivy, Alyssa, Nathaniel, Alexander, Austin, Brock, Skyler, Alexis, Agatha, Larsen, Clara, Hannah, Logan, McCall, Sinclaire, Cole, Sydney, Jamison, Vincent, Logan Tyco, Kincaid, Riley, Grace, Daniel, Luke, Lars, Liam, Gunnar and Carter); and seven great-grandchildren (Isla, Claire, Landon, Noah, Haley, Ruby and Grayson). Dorrell's family would like to thank the staff and veterans at the Idaho Veteran's Home for their caring and friendship. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 9th at 11:00 a.m. at the Boise East Stake Center, 2290 Warm Springs Avenue, with visitation from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Friday, November 8th, at Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 N. Latah Street, and at the Boise East Stake Center one hour prior to the service. Following the service, grave dedication will occur at Pioneer Cemetery on Warm Springs Avenue. Remembrances may be made to the Dorrell Larsen Memorial Fund, University of Idaho Foundation, 875 Perimeter Drive MS 3143, Moscow, Idaho 83844-3143 for the benefit of the Natural Resources Workshop.
Published in Idaho Statesman from Nov. 5 to Nov. 7, 2013