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Howard Larson

1934 - 2011, Santa Barbara

December 26, 1934 - May 31, 2011

Howard Larson was born on December 26, 1934 in Los Angeles. He grew up in Studio City and attended North Hollywood High and UCLA. He was in the Navy Reserve for 8 years and always had a deep love and respect for the American flag. Howard spent two summers during college working in Alaska. While at UCLA he was affiliated with Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. In 1957, Howard met Sharon, on a blind date, at an All Cal weekend. That date was motivation for Howard to travel to Santa Barbara on week-ends, for the next three years, to see Sharon who was attending UCSB.
In 1959 Howard graduated from UCLA and went to work for the LA County Board of Supervisors in the graphic design department.

In 1961, after Sharon graduated from college, they were married in North Hollywood. Santa Barbara had become such a special place to both Howard and Sharon, they decided to try to find work and leave LA. Howard, took a job in the design department of American Machine and Foundry {AMF} , and Sharon found a teaching position, so their hope was realized, and they moved to Santa Barbara in 1962. Howard had the dream of starting his own advertising agency, and his plan took shape in 1964. He found a used printing press, rented space and the agency business began. With accounts like Santa Barbara Savings and Sambo's, business grew, as did the agency. By 1978, there were 72 employees, 2 partners and Larson, Bateman, and McAllister was flourishing. In 1981, Howard became president of Amin {Advertising & Marketing International Network}.

During these years, Howard was a member of Downtown Kiwanis and had happy memories of cooking pancakes at the Fiesta pancake breakfast.

When Howard retired from LB&M, he helped foster the creation of the Maritime Museum and designed the logo for the Maritime flag. He took art classes at UCSB and concentrated on fine arts, after years of commercial art. He served on the board of the Santa Barbara Arts Commission for many years. Howard had three art shows in Santa Barbara and also began to do computer graphics, as well as a lifelong interest in photography. Howard and Sharon were able to travel extensively, which was wonderful.

Howard was a strong, compassionate man who had a zest for life and energy to spare. He valued family above all else and found ways to enjoy adventures with the family. Howard had a passion for boating and took thirty years of family trips sailing and diving at Santa Cruz Island. Skiing was also a much loved sport, and the family enjoyed many years of trips to Mammoth. When the grandchildren came along, Howard and Sharon enjoyed trips to Hawaii as family togetherness. Howard, known as Papa, loved being with the grandkids and doing as much as possible with them. All the family are members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

Poor health had plagued Howard the last number of years, but he never complained and always kept a positive attitude. He was painting in his studio the last week of his life.

Howard died at home on May 31, 2011 from complications of pneumonia. He was surrounded by his "sweetie," children, grandchildren, and the family dog, just as he would have wanted.

Howard leaves behind his wife and best friend, Sharon; his children Donna and Justin Ayscough of Goleta; John and Traci Larson of Santa Barbara; grandchildren, Alexandra and Michael Ayscough; Ryan, Nicole, Erik, and Kyle Larson. Howard's brother Hal and wife Dorie of San Luis Obispo, a niece, a nephew, and many cousins.

He was an inspiration to all and he will be greatly missed. A service and celebration of life will be held on June 20, 2011 at 4:00 at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club. A private burial will be at the Santa Barbara Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Parkinson's Foundation - 1501 N.W.9th Ave. - Bob Hope Rd. - Miami, Fl 33136 or Transition House - 425 E. Cota St - Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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