April 8, 1921 - January 2, 2015


Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sauk Rapids for Valerius B. “Larry” Haakonson, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and United States Navy Veteran who died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on Friday, January 2, 2015. Rev. Ralph Zimmerman will officiate and burial will be in the parish cemetery. Family and friends may call from 4-8 p.m. Monday at Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home in Sauk Rapids and one hour prior to the services on Tuesday at the church. Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 622 will pray at 6:00 p.m. followed by Sauk Rapids American Legion Post 254 at 6:30 p.m. and parish prayers at 7:00 p.m. Monday at the funeral home in Sauk Rapids.

Larry was born April 8, 1921 in St. Cloud to Haakon & Susanna (Yaeger) Haakonson. He attended school in Sauk Rapids, and had been a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Sauk Rapids since he was a child. Larry served in the Civilian Conservation Corp. (CCC’s) before enlisting in the United States Navy. He served his country as an Aviation Metalsmith during WW II in Panama and Honduras. On December 27, 1950 he married Collette Theisen at St. Anthony Catholic Church in St. Cloud. Larry and Collette raised their family in Sauk Rapids and lived there until the time of their deaths. Larry was a skilled welder and worked at his trade building bridges and dams. He retired from Johnson Brothers Construction in 1982. Larry also owned and operated for many years, Superior Welding in Sauk Rapids with his oldest brother, Clarence. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Sauk Rapids American Legion Post 254 and Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 622 of St. Cloud.

Larry was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Collette who he loved dearly, his parents and 9 siblings. Survivors include his children, John of Sauk Rapids, Joann (Kevin) Boyle of Minneapolis, Jerry (Christine) of Burlison, TN, Joel (Pam) of Zimmerman, and Jean (Mark) Baker of Duluth; grandchildren, Christopher, Tara, Valerie, Alissa, Emily, Chelsea, Jessica, Barrett, Josh, Ivar; step-grandchildren, Christopher, Trevor and Kaley Donovan; great grandson, Jordan; brother, Eugene (Mary Ann) of Green Bay, WI; brothers-in-law, Dan Snyder of Sauk Rapids and Angelo Gambrino of St. Cloud; sisters-in-law, Sally Haakonson and JoAnn Seal of Sauk Rapids, Anne Haakonson of Oklahoma City, OK; and scores of nieces and nephews.

Larry was a kind and generous man who cherished his family above all. He will be remembered for the pride he took in his craft, his wit, sharp memory, twinkle eyed smile and how he thoroughly enjoyed telling stories about his childhood with 10 siblings and many experiences in Central America during WW II. He taught his children well the lessons of life and about grace in dying.

At the end of his life Larry received hospice care from St. Cloud Hospital CentraCare Hospice. The family thanks Darlene, Jan, Kelsey, Pam and Tom for their loving care and kindness.

Memorials to CentraCare Hospice are preferred.