Larry Nelson

larry nelson
A livestream of the service will be viewable below shortly before the service:
Larry E. Nelson, Fargo ND, 80 years old, passed away peacefully Saturday, February 26, 2022 at St. Catherine South. He was attended by his loving wife, Gail, and sister-in-law Lyn Haring. Larry Edwin Nelson was born July 9, 1941 to Kline and Anita (Rainy) Nelson in Pierre, SD. He attended school in Pierre, graduating in 1959. After a few years in college, Larry enlisted in the Army and served as a Pharmacy Technician at a hospital in Bremerhaven, Germany. Honorably discharged with a rank of Specialist E5 in 1966, Larry returned to NDSU to continue his studies in Pharmacy-- graduating in 1970. After passing State Boards, he began his Pharmacy career at Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, SD. Larry met Gail Bartkowski when he returned to Fargo in 1972 to attend graduate school at NDSU. They were married in February of 1973. Larry and Gail moved to San Diego where Larry went to work for the Veterans Administration. After becoming licensed in California, he also worked per diem at various pharmacies in and around San Diego. In 1985 he became the Director of Pharmacy for Vista Hill Psychiatric Hospital in Chula Vista CA for 5 years. Larry retired from Kaiser Permanente at the Bonita Clinic in San Diego after 21 years. Larry was baptized a Methodist and confirmed a Lutheran in Pierre SD. He converted to Roman Catholicism in 1982. He had the privilege of being a lector at St. Charles Catholic Church in Imperial Beach, CA, Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Pierre SD, and Sts. Anne & Joachim Church in Fargo. Larry grew to love the Catholic Church and its long history. After returning to Fargo in 2012, Larry was asked to serve on the PharmAssist Committee of the ND State Board of Pharmacy. He was an active member of the Kappa Psi Fraternity and a member of the Alumni Board. Larry also served on the Board of Share House. His hobbies included photography, bicycling, half marathons and long walks. Larry had a serious drinking problem, but joined Alcoholics Anonymous while in Yankton. Throughout the 50 years of Larry’s sobriety he felt a deep gratitude for the many people who helped him along the way. His triumph over alcoholism spirited him into a life of service to others. His life was marked by his tireless efforts to maintain and give away the tools for sobriety that were so generously given to him. Because he and Gail were unable to have children, they had time to devote their lives in service to others. Their service was local, national and ultimately international in scope. Their life together was full, filled with God’s blessings. For the last five years Larry lived with Alzheimer’s Disease. Larry and Gail regularly attended weekly meetings of Memory Café of the Red River Valley. Presentations on nutrition, exercise, music, crafts, and socialization gave them support and encouragement for the difficult times ahead. Larry lived at home with Gail until December 2021 when he became a resident of Kinder Care Assisted Living. After a stay in the hospital in February, Larry was moved to St. Catherine South. Larry was preceded in death by his parents, mother-in-law and father-in-law Dorcas and August Bartkowski, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Ruth and Les McKay, and brother-in-law Greg Haring. He is survived by his wife, Gail, of 49 years, sisters-in-law: Lois Mousseau and Lyn Haring, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Mary and Paul Molick, several cousins, and many nieces and nephews. Funeral services are 10 AM on Friday, March 4, 2022 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in West Fargo. A Rosary prayer service will be Thursday, March 3, at 7 PM at Boulger Funeral Chapel. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery South in the spring.

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  1. So sorry to hear of the loss of Larry. He was always a delight to visit with. He will surely be missed by many people. Gail you are in my thoughts and prayers,

  2. Gail,
    Always enjoyed Larry. He had great insight and always enjoyed our visit’s. I know it’s hard to say goodbye but he will be treasured in Heaven…

  3. Dear Gail and Lynn, I’m so sorry to read of Larry’s passing! May his soul rest in peace with God, and I pray for you during this time. God bless, Joan Smithwick

  4. Larry and I had known each other since first grade in Pierre. We were in Sunday School, scouts, band and other school (and out of school) activities. I’m glad we had a chance to share coffee and conversation the last time I was in Fargo. Gonna miss my old friend.

  5. Gail, Lynn and family

    My prayers and thoughts are with you all. May your memories bring smiles to your heart. Larry was such a kind man. Blessings to you all.

    In Faith
    Lori Lyson

  6. Gail, Words cannot express how much we have always enjoyed spending time with you and Larry. He was such an inspiration and considerate gentleman. He will surely be missed. God bless!!

  7. Gail, I am deeply sorry for the loss of Larry. He will be missed by many who sat around a table sharing their stories with him. His smile was always endearing.

  8. Farewell Larry!
    What a wonderful influence you have been in my life!
    You’ll be seated with the heavyweights for sure.
    Love and gratitude from Australia.
    Mark Whitelaw

  9. Cousin Gail,
    My heart is with you as services are held today and tomorrow to honor and remember Larry. I pray that you are sensing the presence of our Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.

  10. Cousin Gail,
    My heart is with you as today and tomorrow you honor and remember Larry. Praying that you sense the presence of our Father of Compassion and the God of all Comfort.

  11. Gail, so very sorry to hear of Larry’s death. I really enjoyed visiting with both of you at Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church. Larry reminded me of my dad (who’s name is also Larry) because of his demeanor and size. Prayers, Karla Schell

  12. I was so sorry to read that Larry had passed away….Larry & I were in pharmacy school at NDSU and also spent a summer session at the College of Pharmacy in Boulder Colorado. He was always a fun enjoyable class mate and I remember many fond excursions with Larry and his VW . Memories last forever & they will always be with me. Gail ..I am sorry for your loss. Les Odland , Jamestown

  13. Oh Gail,
    My heart breaks for you. Gail and Larry or Larry and Gail – your names seemed as one they were said so often together. I can’t help but smile every time I hear either of your names. Memories of the car filled with people, one more person Larry stopped to talk with, the time it could take Larry to cross a room! Everyone wanted to speak with Larry and we felt as though each of us was all that mattered at that moment. He has left big shoes to fill and I think of him often these days. I will look for his nudge from now on. Thank you for sharing the love of your life with us, he beamed in your presence, a look I will never forget. I am holding you close in prayer.

  14. Sending Love, memories, and many smiles thinking of some “Larry moments”
    He called me in 2007 for a heartfelt congratulations and thru his tears , I heard such gratitude , and excitement for “your journey” he said 🙏
    Thank you Larry for spreading the good news of your life in love and service
    Thank you Gail for the combination of you two
    I think I saw you last in Grand Forks
    Hugs and Love ❤️

  15. Gail
    Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for having Larry in my life. He will be missed. My prayers are with you on your loss.
    Dennis Jones

  16. Our heartfelt and sincere condolences to you, Gail. You and Larry are so much a part of our lives it’s hard to imagine what we would be like had we not met you two. Larry gave of his time, his talents, and his treasure to a fellowship that not only saved his life, but gave him a life he would never would have had. His legacy of love and service lives on in us, and we have passed it on to many who will never know him directly. “They in turn might work with others…”

  17. Your smiley face and loving kindness will be remembered in the AA community and everyone else you touched with your compassion and words of wisdom. Farewell well friend & see you later 🌷.

    “Death is our friend precisely because it brings us into absolute and passionate presence with all that is here, that is natural, that is love… Life always says Yes and No simultaneously. Death (I implore you to believe) is the true Yea-sayer. It stands before eternity and says only: Yes.” -Rainer Maria Rilke-

  18. Dear Gail,

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Larry’s work was so important to our well being and will stay with us forever. Love, Beth and Gary

  19. Wonderful smile. Always a favorite , was lucky enough to have him as “one of my delegates” Larry had a wonderful giggle and was a hard working servant for us all. RuthJ

  20. Larry, you were a giant in a small package. You helped me out so much in finding my path to a Higher Power by showing me what true, humble service to others looked like. You were a good friend and a great guy. I’ll miss you. Rest In Peace, my friend.

  21. Larry was a good friend and my stalwart supporter when I was chair of the AA General Service Board. I recall our last meeting when he was here at our farm for lunch after a Regional Forum.
    our condolences to Gail at this very sad time.

  22. Our loss of Larry is the Angels gain for eternity. A good example of who we should be. Kind and of service.

  23. Gail, my heart is broken for you and your family. The world has lost a great servant. I well remember meeting you and Larry at the Old Town Study Group in San Diego in 1974. I recall with fondness, a tear and a smile Larry’s enthusiasm and passion for life. May God bless his every step! Love, Paul Cleary

  24. Dear Gail,
    Thinking and praying for and with you and Larry today. Your dear husband was a friend to all he met – and what a frat team you have been! Godspeed Larry to his sure place in heaven; and shine the light of Jesus on you both. Our deepest condolences to you. Love, Eileen and Gary.💐

  25. Dear Gail,
    I am sending my heartfelt sympathy to you. Larry shared his experience and ideas freely and cheerfully. He was truly a servant leader.

  26. I met Larry in 1956 at the St. Charles Hotel in Pierre SD. We both had a marvelous journey. Thoughts to you Gail.

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