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Colonel Richard Nobel Larsen (Ret.), 90 years old, died Thursday, January 26, 2023 at The Reading Hospital.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 67 years, Betty Laman Larsen of Wyomissing, PA; a son, Richard E. Larsen (Karen) Lopatcong, NJ; daughters, Debra L. Thornley (Tim) Jacksonville, FL; Linda S. Hope (Earl) Wyomissing, PA; Sha’ L. Toon (Joaquin) Goodlettsville, TN; grandchildren Jessica Bruns, Travis Thornley, Christopher Larsen, Daniel Larsen, Jennifer Gracias, Heather Enright, Matthew Hope, and Joshua Toon; great-grandchildren Zackary, Reilly, Cooper, Tucker, Elijah, Liam, Finnian, Madeline and Tate; three nephews, one niece and several cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, Nobel and Anna Larsen and his sister and brother-in-law, Virginia and Thomas McCarthy of Binghamton, NY.
Colonel Larsen was born on February 29, 1932 in Binghamton, NY. He graduated from Binghamton North High School in January 1950 and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, New York, where he majored in Chemical Engineering.
Colonel Larsen was commissioned in June 1955, beginning an Air Force career that spanned nearly 30 years. During his time, he served in Bermuda; South America; Ethiopia; Vietnam; Okinawa, Japan; the Azores,
Portugal; and many stations throughout the United States. In Ethiopia, he trained the Imperial Ethiopian aircrews on counter-insurgency tactics. While at Nha Trang Air Base in Vietnam, he flew 1,219 combat sorties, logging 1,475 combat hours for the 5th Air Commando Squadron. He was a C-130 Instructor Pilot and Squadron Operations Officer as well as Chief of Maintenance of the 603rd Military Airlift Support Squadron during his various deployments in Okinawa. He was assigned to the Azores, Portugal as Vice Commander of the 1605th Air Base Wing and Chief of Staff US Forces Azores while stationed at Lajes, AFB. He ended his military career as Deputy Chief of State/Logistics, Headquarters 22nd Air Force at Travis, AFB, CA.
Throughout his career, he held many operations and maintenance positions at several US bases including Fairfield AFS, Charleston AFB, and McGuire AFB. Colonel Larsen was a Command Pilot with over 5500 hours of flying time. Among his military decorations are the Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with seventeen Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Vietnam Service Medal with nine Bronze Stars.
After retirement, he and Betty resided in Georgetown, SC for more than 23 years before moving to Wyomissing, PA where he resided until his death. He was a member of Lincoln Park Community United Methodist Church. He was also a member of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) and was awarded the Order of Merlin by the IBM in 2003. He was a founding member of The Grand Strand Society of Magicians which became Ring 334 of the IBM and served as Ring President for two years. Colonel Larsen was also a founding member of the American Air Museum in Britain, which honors American airmen who served during World War II.
Visitation will be held at Bean Funeral Homes & Crematory at 3825 Penn Avenue, Sinking Spring, PA 19608 on Friday, February 3 from 5-7 PM.
Memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 4 at Lincoln Park Community United Methodist Church, 1 Carlisle Avenue, Lincoln Park, PA 19609 at 10:30 AM. A short visitation will begin at 10 AM prior to the service. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, PO Box 840692, Dallas, TX 75284-0692 or the American Diabetes Association, PO Box 7023, Merrifield, VA 22116-7023. Online condolences may be made at www.beanfuneralhomes.com
Friday, February 3, 2023
5:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)
Bean Funeral Home - Sinking Spring
Saturday, February 4, 2023
10:00 - 10:30am (Eastern time)
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Starts at 10:30am (Eastern time)
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