Final Departure of Daniel Lyle Larsen

(June 9, 1942 - August 30, 2019)
Thursday, September 19, 2019
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During a 77-year journey from the red rocks and sagebrush of tribal Northern Utah, to high peaks and glacial waters, on to the Western Coast and, at end, the Beartooth’s of Montana, Daniel Lyle Larsen (aka Dan’l, Papa Dan and PD) never shied from adventure nor lacked zest for a challenge. 

Known for his thirst for knowledge, he prided himself on the minutia of clouds and meteorology, geologic sedimentation and volcanic, rocket fuel and aeronautics and pastries with a modicum of butter.  He dedicated his life to both learning and teaching.  Architecture, management, outdoor survival, and rocketry were among many fields in which he was not only proficient but attained mastery. No fish was immune to his art on the end of a fly rod.

A man rich in experience, he thrived on thrill-seeking opportunities. On expeditions, he navigated across the Pacific Ocean in a sailboat; and nearly reached the summit of Denali, defying death and witnessed what the rest of us only see in the movies. He could dig a snow cave at 16,000’ in -20 F weather, traverse a ravine, Tyrolian-style and launch a hand-crafted rocket mile into the air. Among his many other talents, he kept the cleanest kitchen, the shiniest vehicle and had the most exact penmanship. He always managed with the help of his vast creativity and never lost his sense of humor, albeit unique. 

Beneath that external layer of engineering ingenuity and façade of not caring, Dan’l had an enormous heart full of love for his family and mother nature. He was reluctant to show it very often nor to many but for those of us in his wake, we knew it well.  He will be terribly missed by his kin, Piney, Bluesette, Jessica, Chris, Ron, Luane and Sheri along with many past adventurists, students, colleagues and cohorts.

It is with great sadness of your absence, but relief for your serenity that we send you back to your native roots knowing that you are listening to the rhythm of your own drum.


“A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought-evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought, and as he develops a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect, he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene.”

--James Allen, As A Man Thinketh