Lena M Larson

April 8, 1932 - January 18, 2022

Lenamaegates

Lena Mae Gates Larson, age 89, went home to Christ on January 18, 2022. She is now celebrating with her love, John August, and her son, John Stephen. She passed away in the home she shared with her daughter Marianne and son-in-law Dean in Carl Junction.

Lena was born on April 8, 1932 to Freda and Joe Gates in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated from Sarcoxie High School in 1949.

Lena met John August Larson when she was 18. They married on May 5, 1951. They had five children Stephen, Susette, Mark, Marianne, and Lisa. Lena had a strong devotion to her family, education, and her community. She was active in her church her entire life. She was always a leader in her church and was a member of Carthage United Methodist Church.

Lena began her teaching career early in Reeds, MO, prior to getting married. After her children were older she returned to teaching at Carl Junction Schools teaching 3rd grade from 1978 until she retired in 1995. She earned both a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree. She emphasized education to her children and grandchildren such that every child and grandchild (including those married into the family) have earned Bachelor’s degrees. In addition six earned Master’s degrees and 9 have earned PhDs or Specialists. Lena was incredibly proud of every member of her family.

Lena is survived by her children, daughter Susette and Scott Taylor, son Mark and Kim, daughter Marianne and Dean Wilson, daughter Lisa Larson and Art Konar; nine grandchildren Kristen and Todd Pfeil, Stephanie and Collin Baer, Courtney Houser, Zach Larson, Cory Larson, Erin and Charles Oppelt, Sara and Brian Grieb, Josh and Ileanna Hernandez-Konar, and Dylan Larson-Konar. She is also survived by her 15 great-grandchildren, Anika, Maya, Micah, Oliver, Ellery, Aubrey, Alaina, Anna, Maggie, Isaac, Ethan, Trevor, Lauren, Kyle, and Rachel. Survivors also include her siblings Nellie (Tom) Mustain, Bob (Carol) Gates, and Carl Gates. She leaves behind many beloved friends, teacher colleagues, and hundreds of students.

Lena was respectfully and compassionately cared for in the last six months by ladies from Cornerstone, specifically Megan and Trinity, and Bri and Teri, who became like family. In addition, the family would like to thank Good Shepherd Hospice, specifically Rachel.

Funeral services for Lena Larson will be 10am Saturday, January 22nd at the Carl Junction United Methodist Church with pastor Rick Flinn officiating. Graveside services will follow at Twin Groves Cemetery. At the request of the family, due to the resurgence of COVID-19, masks and social distancing will be required. Pallbearers are Zach Larson, Brian Grieb, Chris Cummings, David Wilson, Matthew Wilson, and Gary Hirshey.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to the Carl Junction School Foundation in honor of John and Lena Larson.

Services are under the personal care and direction of Simpson Funeral Home of Carl Junction. Friends and family are encouraged to visit the funeral home’s website at www.simpsonfh.com to share memories, photos and more.