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David "Stanley" Brian Larsen of Merrill, Michigan
Beloved husband, father, papa, brother, uncle, and friend passed away peacefully at his home with his family by his side. He was 68 years old. David Brian Larsen was born on February 25, 1955, in Saginaw, Michigan, to the late James and Pauline (Alice) DeWinter. He was a 1973 graduate of Merrill High School. Athletic throughout school, David excelled in all sports, especially in baseball, basketball, track, and as the quarterback of the varsity football team. Following graduation, David attended Hillsdale College and then transferred to Saginaw Valley State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education. He met the love of his life, Louann Naessens, while in High School. They dated, fell in love, and were united in marriage on November 7, 1975; she survives him. In 1978, David began a 34-year career with the St. Charles Community School including their sports program where he had the opportunity of a lifetime to mentor countless athletes throughout his lifetime. Known as "Coach", he used his love of sports to serve the school district coaching middle school track, middle school boys' and girls' basketball, varsity cross country, and his greatest success - high school girls track and field. Though he was proud of his athletes' achievements by holding multiple schools, state qualifier, and state championships, the role of his lifetime was to be a loving and devoted husband, father, and papa. David was a lifetime member of St. John XXIII Parish, Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He enjoyed spending time running, biking, swimming, and golfing. An avid men's fastpitch softball player, David and his team, sponsored by the Mayan Agency, won the state championship in 1982. He was the organizer of the annual ping pong tournaments, as well as the cousins cup, and became affectionately known as "Sheetman" by the players for all the personal letters he had written over the years. To say he was the biggest Michigan State University fan is an understatement, simply put, he was their greatest fan and biggest supporter of all time. David's little piece of heaven was being able to spend 30 years at his cabin known as "Bass Lake Lodge", then coming back to the corner of Dice and Chapin "to be somebody". He loved taking his family to his parents' place on the Algonquin Lake in Hastings. He will forever be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor, for his joke telling abilities, for his charisma in lighting up a room, for taking his dog "Todo" for car rides, and for truly living an amazing life filled with many beautiful memories, stories, and a Busch Lite in hand.
Surviving are his wife of 47 years, Louann Larsen of Merrill; two daughters: Bridgette (Brian) LaJoice of Merrill; Julie (Rebecca) Zimmerman Saginaw; three grandchildren: Kaelin LaJoice and her boyfriend, Joel Tack, Landin LaJoice, Emersyn Zimmerman; brothers and sisters: Bob (Linda) Larsen of Saginaw; Tina (Matt) Eddy of Merrill; brothers- and sisters-in-law: Chris (Wes) Garno of St. Charles; Bill Naessens of Wheeler; Mary (Mark Davis) Schafer of Freeland. Also surviving are many nieces, nephews, extended family, and dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Jim and Pauline Larsen; sister, Karen Stadler; nephew, Scott Stadler; father- and mother-in-law, William and Catherine Naessens; sister- and brother-in-law, Peg (Bruce) Ingersoll; sister-in-law, Wendy Naessens. At David's request, please wear Michigan State University apparel to the visitation and funeral service.
A Funeral Liturgy will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 25, 2023, at St. John XXIII Parish, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 419 S. Midland Street, Merrill. Rev. Fr. Jim Siler will officiate. Honoring David's wishes, cremation will follow the service. Friends are welcome to visit with the family at the W. L. Case & Company, 201 N. Miller Road on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Wednesday, May 24, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A Vigil Service will be held on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m., followed by the Rosary led by the Knights of Columbus #2291. David will lie in state at the church on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the Mass. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to St. Charles Community Schools Athletics Department, Cardinal Hospice, and St. John XXIII Parish - Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Please share your thoughts and memories with he family at the funeral home, church, or through www.casefuneralhome.com.