Rev. Dana Larson, age 92, of Cambridge died December 9, 2013 at GracePointe Crossing Gables West. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, December 13th at First Baptist Church in Cambridge with Rev. Bob Jonsson and Rev. Earl Lassen officiating. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in Isanti Union Cemetery.
Dana Mason Larson was born on May 29, 1921 in Akron, Ohio, the son of Swedish immigrants, Axel and Christine Larson. He had an older sister, Louise, who predeceased him. Encounters at revivals and youth camp led him to lasting Christian faith. Though possessing creative flair and a keen mind he gave up ambitions in civil engineering for a calling to Christian ministry leading to theological studies at Bethel Seminary. There he met and married Ruth Rask of Isanti, MN.
They set sail with infant son, Jonathan, in late 1947 arriving in India as Gandhi’s assassination shook the country. They lived as pioneer workers for 20 years when eight more children were born, Timothy, Bette, Mark (died in infancy), Martha (deceased of cancer), Sara, Andrew, Samuel and Stephen.
Dana excelled in mastering language and culture, living close to the people he came to serve. A voracious and disciplined reader of the Scriptures he came to see the greater work of the Spirit as the real mission story, though he left India in 1967 harboring misgivings about the effectiveness of his own work.
But the ardor of his early call having reasserted itself, Dana and Ruth accepted an assignment to NW Argentina in 1968. While on their southbound journey, they discovered that their youngest son, Stephen, suffered a harrowing brush with kidney cancer, an illness he miraculously survived.
Dana and the family spent 18 years in settlements along the eastern slopes of the Andes where Dana was popularly known as Senor Biblia, Mr. Bible, for encouraging a largely Catholic society to rediscover the Scriptures. They retired in Sept., 1987 when they returned to Minnesota.
In 1993 Dana and Ruth revisited the communities they had first served in India where they were greeted by great throngs and learned of the many churches that sprang from what had seemed like fruitless efforts.
Dana laid down his earthly life after growing weakness and dementia on Dec. 9, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; seven children, Jonathan (MaryKay) Larson of Atlanta, GA, Timothy (Cindy) Larson of Arden Hills, Bette (Gordie) Dean of Arden Hills, Sara (Jim) Wiegner of Ephrata, PA, Andrew (Jodie) Larson of New Brighton, Samuel (Peter Duffin) Larson of Jersey City, New Jersey, Stephen (LaDonna) Larson of Cambridge; 20 grandchildren; six great grandchildren; two nephews, David and Dale Henry of Ohio; niece, Fern Spurlock of California; and son-in-law, Jeff Thomsen. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Martha Thomsen; a son, Mark; and grandsons Joel Dean and Colin Larson.