Shirley Jean Lange Larson

Honored by:Linda Lange Larson and Diane Elizabeth Larson
Brick location:A:2  map

Our mother is a brilliant and remarkable woman although she considers herself quite ordinary. Her honesty and tolerance run so deep that she is not conscious of their rarity. By her example, we grew up so unaware of divisions between races or ethnic backgrounds that it was not until we were adults that we realized that many people classified others by their last names or skin shades.

The only thing our mother cannot tolerate is lack of effort. She has boundless energy and expects the same of her family. Despite her fine intellect, in her 20s and 30s, she, like so many women of her generation, sacrificed a potentially rewarding career in order to devote herself fully to our and our brothers' upbringing and education. In her 40s she became a feminist and went to college, graduating summa cum laude. In her 50s she started her own small business and was invited to teach an ongoing course at a local university. In her 60s she continues to grow and change.

From our mother, we have inherited her need for independence, her irrepressible explosive laughter and her unquenchable thirst for knowledge. A voracious and eclectic reader with a phenomenal memory, she has never slowed her pace of learning. She continues to influence our lives and the lives of her grandchildren.