Iola Larson

Date of Birth

April 4, 1918

Date of Death

October 16, 2021

Iola (Ebba Marie Iola Wackelin) Larson was born to Ebba Elizabeth and Harold Leander Wackelin April 4, 1918 in Chicago, Illinois. She was baptized three months later and became a child of God thereafter.  During the fall of 1918, Iola was sent to her grandparents’ in rural Indiana to protect her from the pandemic.  Her cherished “little brother”, Harold, was born in 1923.  They enjoyed a happy childhood and spent many weekends and vacations at their grandparents’ farm in the Indiana Dunes.

When Iola was in her teens she met Forrest Larson at a church basketball game.  They were married in 1942 in Seattle, Washington.  Iola worked in the U. S. Navy Shipyard in Bremerton and Forrest was stationed at an Army Artillery Coast Defense Installation nearby.  Their first child, Judith, was born in 1943.  After Forrest was discharged they set up a home in Chicago and were active in Salem Lutheran Church.  David was born in 1949 and Ralph in 1955.  In 1951, Iola’s father died.  Soon afterwards the family moved into the bungalow owned by Iola’s parents.

Iola began a career in credit union management and continued in that field for 40 years.  During that time Iola became the treasurer of the HEW Federal Credit Union in Chicago.  Upon her retirement, Iola received a congratulatory letter from President George H. W. Bush for her loyalty and dedication.

In 1968 the family moved to the Beverly area of Chicago and joined Ridge Lutheran Church.  Iola was active in the congregation serving as church council secretary and assisting minister; she delivered altar flowers and communion to hospitalized and shut-in members.  In 2009 Iola moved to The Samarkand retirement community in Santa Barbara, California.  She joined Trinity Lutheran Church, where she served as lector and participated in Bible study.  She took classes at the Wake Center in Santa Barbara and at The Samarkand, where she made enameled jewelry and mosaics.

Iola is survived by her children, Judith Kinder (Gary), David Larson, and Ralph Larson (Carol).

Memorial contributions may be made to Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 20th at 10 am at Trinity Lutheran  Church in Santa Barbara.


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