Lester Charles Larson, 86, of Cleveland, Illinois, died on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, surrounded by his loving family, at Genesis Medical Center – Illini Campus, in Silvis. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 22, at Vandemore Funeral Home & Crematory, Geneseo Chapel, and Rev. Dr. Christopher Ritter will officiate. Burial will follow at Dayton Corners Cemetery in Colona, where military honors will be accorded by the Colona American Legion. Visitation will be held on Sunday, Oct. 21, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Lester Larson Memorial Fund.

Lester Charles Larson, 86, of Cleveland, Illinois, died on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, surrounded by his loving family, at Genesis Medical Center – Illini Campus, in Silvis. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 22, at Vandemore Funeral Home & Crematory, Geneseo Chapel, and Rev. Dr. Christopher Ritter will officiate. Burial will follow at Dayton Corners Cemetery in Colona, where military honors will be accorded by the Colona American Legion. Visitation will be held on Sunday, Oct. 21, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Lester Larson Memorial Fund.

Lester was born on Oct. 12, 1932, the son of Kenneth and Hazel (VanKlaveren) Larson, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He is a proud veteran of the United States Navy. Lester married the love his life, Lillian Bekerian, on July 3, 1955, in Boston, Mass., recently celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary. Nicknamed Kong, due to his size, he worked as a welder for many years and was later employed as a foreman at John Deere Harvester Works while installing HVAC in his spare time. After retiring from John Deere, he worked with his son’s, Mark and Chuck, and their successful arm’s manufacturing business, Rock River Arms in Colona. Lester was a

member of the Colona American Legion Post 1233, where he was a commander, helped add on to the building after a fire, and volunteered his time as a cook. He enjoyed fishing and mushroom hunting, as well as wild black raspberry picking and farming sweet corn. He was an avid sports fan, cheering on the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, and back to his “Bostonian” roots, the New England Patriots. Lester enjoyed entertaining his family and friends with large meals including henny penny chicken, kibby, homemade vegetable and clam chowder soups, taking things easy by gathering at Frank’s Pizzeria.

Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Lillian, children; Linda (Jim) White of Colona, Lisa (Gary) Sides of Cleveland, Illinois, Mike (Debbie Tyner) Larson of Carbon Cliff, and Chuck (Melissa) Larson of Geneseo, grandchildren; Chad, Jennie, Matt, Jeremy, Sara, Katie, Kenneth, Kassandra, Kyle, Jake, Trenton, and Logan, and great-grandchildren; Kaya, Gage, Paige, Bradlee, Elyn, Kinsley, Brinley, and Maddison. Lester is also survived by his siblings; Vivian Martins of Geneseo, Keith (Carol)

Larson of Colona, Charles Larson of Geneseo, and Garold Larson of Kewanee.

Lester was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Hazel, his son, Mark Larson, and one brother, Herman Larson.