Jay Alfred Larsen, late of Radville, SK, passed away June 6, 2020 at the age of 89 years.
He was predeceased by his parents, Alfred and Bertha Larsen; brothers, Harvey and Dan; his sister Adele; in-laws, Fred and Flora Bouchard; brothers-in-law: Gerard, Louie, Eugene, Ernest, William, Raymond, Rene Bouchard, Don Soli and Tony Fauth; sisters-in-law: Theresa Fauth, Rose and Ida Larsen.
Jay is survived by his loving wife Margaret; son Mark (Gwen) and their family: Alfred, Bronwyn, Owen; his daughter Mary Jayne (Danny) and their family Jordan (Taylor) and Christopher; sisters-in-law, Ann Mellon and Simone Bouchard; brothers-in-law: John and Gilbert Bouchard; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Jay Alfred Larsen was born August 28, 1930 at home on the original farm homestead some 15 km SSW of Radville in the Soda Lake District. His parents were Alfred and Bertha (née Bundus) Larsen. He had two older brothers, Harvey and Dan, and a younger sister, Adele.
Jay attended Great West School through Grade 8, when wartime labour shortages dictated he was needed back on the farm. (In later years he was particularly proud the grandchildren all were able to attend university and earn degrees.) With no end to the tasks available to the ambitious, he expanding the area under cultivation by breaking prairie and experimenting with crops in a mixed farming operation, after purchasing the farm from his parents. A life-long learner he continued with his informal education becoming proficient in rough carpentry, blacksmithing and mechanical repair. He worked his way through a correspondence course in electronics and started a side business in TV antenna repair.
In July 1955, Jay married Margaret Bouchard, daughter of Fred and Flora (née Bourassa) Bouchard of the Souris Valley area SE of Radville. Jay and Margaret were married for nearly 65 years. Together they raised two children, Mark and Mary Jayne. Jay and Margaret continued to farm until 2005 when they moved into Radville full-time.
While Jay was definitely a farmer at heart, he was a keen observer of the land around him and interested in all forms of natural history. A self-taught student of the Great Ice Age and of Native History, Jay undertook guided tours inspiring many with the beauty of his beloved south country creating an awareness of the various land forms and the phenomena that caused them. In 1995, he compiled “Exploring the Missouri Coteau –a self-guided Motor Tour”. Some of the signs Jay made indicating points of interest in the Big Muddy area are still standing.
Jay was a key figure involved in saving and restoring the Radville CN Station anchoring the base of Main Street. He enjoyed researching the railway and its contribution to the prosperity of Radville; eagerly sharing this knowledge with his volunteer companions.
Always an active member of his community, Jay contributed in many ways to local projects and organizations. Among other roles he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Rural Telephone Committee, Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Delegate, Radville Co-op, Soda Lake Community Club, Missouri Coteau Museum, both Radville-Laurier History Book Committees, and a member of the Holy Family Parish.
Due to Covid 19 concerns, there will be no public service.
For family and friends so wishing, charitable donations in memory of Jay may be made to the Radville Marian Health Care Auxiliary, Box 310, Radville, SK, S0C 2G0 or Tourism Radville, “Station Legacy Fund,” P.O. Box 21,Radville, SK, S0C 2G0.
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