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Thomas G. Larson

Thomas G. Larson    Former Montana and Madras, Ore. resident Thomas Gary Larson, 68, a retired Physical Therapist, died of complications from infection May 18 at his daughter’s home in Vancouver, Wash.
    Cremation has taken place under the direction of Evergreen Staples Funeral Home in Vancouver, Wash.  Services will be planned in mid-July at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Conrad, followed by placement of his ashes in the Hillcrest Lawn Memorial in Great Falls.
    Survivors include daughters Christy (Rob) Wedlake, of Aloha, Ore.; Kelley (Steve Needham) Larson, of Vancouver, Wash.; Tina (Mike) Garrett, of West Jordan, Utah; Lisa Deiley of Portland, Ore.; a son, Kevin (Connie) Larson, of Milbank, S.D.; a sister, Sue (Gene) Nowlan, of Anchorage, Alaska; a brother, Kenneth (Linda) Larson, of Great Falls and 16 grandchildren.  Preceding him in death were his wife Linda in 2004 and his parents, Nellie and Walter Larson.
    Tom was born May 7, 1939 in Great Falls.  He attended local schools, graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1957 and received a B.S Degree from the College of Great Falls in 1961.  Following his undergraduate work, he attended the Mayo Clinic School of Physical Therapy in Rochester, Minn. and received his license to practice Physical Therapy in 1964.  While in college and Therapy training, Tom served six years in the Montana and Minnesota Air National Guard units.
    He married Judith R. Anderson in Great Falls in 1961.  They divorced in 1977.  He married Linda L. Deiley in 1978 in Butte.
    Tom first practiced at Aberdeen General Hospital in Aberdeen, Wash. from 1964 to 1965.  He then became the Director of Physical Therapy at St. James Hospital in Butte in 1965, practicing there for the next 25 years.  In the fall of 1989, he moved to Conrad, as the Director of Physical Therapy at the Pondera Medical Center.
    While living in Butte, Tom was a longtime member of the Butte Rotary Club. In 1982, Governor Ted Schwinden appointed Tom to the Montana State Board of Physical Therapy, a position he held until the late 1980s.  In cooperation with St. Michael’s in Conrad, Tom performed a regular prison ministry at the Shelby Correctional Facility.  While living in Madras, Ore. during the past couple of years, he volunteered at the Madras General Hospital, providing his expertise in his field.
    Tom was an avid, lifelong hunter, fisherman and coin collector.  He had a love for railroads and was intensely proud of the careers of his father, uncles and grandfather, who combined for a total of 350 years service on the Great Northern/Burlington Northern Railways.  He also loved his dogs and his faithful companion Zane was forever by his side.    
    His battle with Diabetes began at age 29 and he became disabled by the disease in late 1998.  He was forced to retire and began kidney dialysis.  In January of 2000, his oldest daughter Christy gave him the gift of additional life by donating a kidney to him.  Tom spent his final days in a home Hospice setting surrounded by his loving family at his daughter Kelley’s home in Vancouver.  He was ever “the gentleman” and will be loved and remembered as such by all those who knew him.
    Memorials are suggested to the American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org.