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LARSON, Janet L., age 0

Died: Friday, August 10th, 2018

At her request, a funeral service will not be held


Janet L. Larson was called home on Friday, August 10, 2018, at the age of 86. She was born to the late Clyde K. and Ione E. (King) Sundby on a chilly day in March 1932, joining her brother Clyde, making this family of four complete.

Penny always laughed when asked how she came about her nickname. She and her brother would get their allowance at the same time. Clyde spent his money right away, but frugal Penny would always have money long after his pockets were empty. Frustrated that she had money and he did not, he began to call her "penny pincher" and the name stuck. 

Penny was born and raised in Eau Claire, attending local schools. Growing up on Randall Street, the long winters brought the snowy, ice-covered hills of Half Moon Beach which were always at the ready for a sled or toboggan ride. And the summer brought the warmth of the sandy beach and fun in the sun. The family most looked forward to their summers visiting Grandma and Grandpa Sundby at their cottage in Prairie Lake, Wisconsin. 

While working at a car dealership, Penny spotted a handsome young man who was visiting his brother who also worked there. In no time she managed a date with her crush, leading to marriage to Raymond Larson, also of Eau Claire. They moved to Minnesota where they raised their three children. The family had many pets over the years; Penny especially loved the cats' antics as they played, always providing for a good laugh.

Throughout high school and well into adulthood, Penny was active in many sports. She played softball and volleyball and bowled league. She was quite the athlete! She was an avid fan of the Chicago Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks. She also enjoyed watching hockey, especially the Minnesota Northstars, and NFL football but never let on if she had a favorite team. Rick took her to stock car races where she always had a great time.

Penny was always learning. When she picked up a newspaper she read it! Article after article, front to back.  She was an avid reader and never passed up an interesting book, crossword puzzle, or new monthly book of games/word-find challenges.

Penny was a trusted office worker and bookkeeper, at one time working full-time in the principal's office (to Rick's chagrin). At that same time, she tended to all the needs of the motel she and Ray owned in Big Lake, MN. She was painter, laundress, housekeeper, maintenance person, bookkeeper, and whatever needed to be done. In 1978, after the children were gone from home, Penny and Ray moved to Tucson, AZ where they resided until retirement. Then they hit the road in their motorhome, traveling throughout the US for 10 years.  Deciding to slow down a bit, they again bought a home in Arizona, this time in the sleepy town of Pearce.   Unfortunately, Ray passed away quite soon after they moved in. Penny wasn't sitting home though! She got out on the town and made many new friends, taking turns driving carpool to the Tucson casinos and meeting up for bingo nights at the community center. Oh yes! Penny loved a casino but her frugal nature held strong and she stuck to the nickel machines and enjoyed every minute! She relaxed over a beer or two with friends at the local VFW now and then. 

After a couple of years on her own in Pearce, Penny returned to Eau Claire to be closer to her children, first in an apartment at Good Shepherd Senior Living and later moving to assisted living at Grace Edgewood in Altoona. The family thanks Sue Cary and the entire staff at Grace Edgewood for the loving care they provided to Penny.

She is survived by her children, Roxanne (Klaus) Hoch, Ricky (Cindy) Larson, and Kathleen Larson; and several nieces and nephews. Penny was preceded in death by her husband, Ray (who lost his parents as a young boy); brother, Clyde (Kari); brothers-in-law, Herb (Jen) and Mike (Myrt) Larson; and sister-in-law and best friend, Evvy (Elmer) Witkus.

Penny enjoyed life, and life enjoyed Penny!

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