Bob was born April 1, 1923 to Ted O. and Alveda (Johnson) Larson in Wausa, NE. He attended schools in Wausa and Wayne State College before serving in the Army Air Corp from 1941-1945. He attended Amherst College and University of Nebraska at Lincoln where he met Ann Adams, his future wife, and was ‘won over by her smile’. He earned his BS and MS degrees with distinction. Bob and Ann were married in West Point, NE, in the summer of 1948 and soon made Des Moines their home.
Bob joined Bankers Life Company, which became Principal Financial Group, in 1948 and retired in 1988. He held a number of management positions, including Executive Vice President Chief Operating Officer prior to being named Vice Chairman in 1986.
Bob was on the board of Grand View College, United Way of Central Iowa, the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Iowa Public Television, Children and Families of Iowa, and the Iowa Comprehensive Health Care Plan. He was a member of Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity, Rotary International, and Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Bob was a tireless fundraiser. He chaired the record-breaking United Way Annual Campaign in 1987 and the capital campaign for Children and Families of Iowa in 1988. He also contributed to, advised and assisted with raising money for Grandview, the West Des Moines Library, and many more. The NSFRE named him outstanding fundraiser for Central Iowa. He received the United Way Alexis de Tocqueville award and West Des Moines “Citizen of the Year”.
Bob enjoyed reading, growing tomatoes and watching sports. He and Ann had season tickets to ISU football, Drake basketball, and the Des Moines Community Playhouse. Bob was president of the residents’ board at Deerfield, involved in establishing the scholarship fund, and a participant in many Deerfield activities. He worked on perfecting his Wii bowling game and enjoyed competing at ping pong.
Bob had a wonderful sense of family and his presence will be missed greatly but his influence will survive. Survivors include his children: Jim (Jan) Larson of Montgomery, TX, Jane Larson of Arden Hills, MN, Jean Larson Mineart of West Des Moines, six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild, and brother, Paul Larson of Murrieta, CA. Bob is preceded in death by his wife, Ann, brother, Roger Larson, and sister, Marilyn Larson George.
Memorial contributions may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church or the Deerfield Scholarship Fund of the Lifespace Foundation.
ARRANGEMENTS BY ILES ~ WESTOVER CHAPEL.