When you meet Glen Larson you are struck by his sharp wit, warm, engaging personality and his zest for life. Glen was from a large farming family of 13 kids. He started school when he was 7 years old because his parents decided that a 3.5mile walk was too much for a 6-year-old. He attended Clonmel and Rokeby one room schools in Saskatchewan.
In 1946 the family moved to an 80 – acre farm near Tappen. The move necessitated due to Glen’s Father’s diseased heart. The doctor felt almost anything would be easier than farming a section of land in Saskatchewan. The 80-acre farm also proved too much for Mr. Larson’s heart and in 1948 the family moved to 1 1/3 acre in Sunnybrae. The property was on a hillside and once again on doctor’s orders, move to a flat 5-acre property in South Canoe was necessary. This move occurred in 1951 the following year Glen graduated form Salmon Arm Consolidated High School.
Glen had ambitions to become a lawyer. His plan was to work and save money for 2 years and then go to UBC. This plan came to naught when Glen’s father died of heart attack in 1953. Now Glen became the provider for his widowed mother and a younger brother still in High School. In 1954 a workmate of Glen’s needed a place to stay, Glen consulted with his Mom and with her OK Slim moved into their home and paid room and board.
In 1956 Glen accepted an offer to go to Technical school in Montreal. The most important aspect of the offer was that a two-year course was to be compressed into a one-year course. To achieve these objective students attended class eight hours six days a week. In addition to that one had to study at least two hours each evening. Relatively few made the grade after just one year, Glen was one of them. He left with a First-Class Radio Operator Certificate, training in Meteorology, and training in Electronic Design and Repair and Civil Engineering. Upon graduation Glen went to work for the Federal Government as a Radio Operator, Weather Observer and Electronics Technician. He fixed his first radar in 1957.
Glen and Hana were married for 59 years and theirs is a love story most of us can only dream of. Glen met Hana in 1954 when he was helping Hana’s brother spray strawberries on the family farm. Their first date was at a wind-up party for the softball team that Glen played on and Hana’s brother coached. Hana was teaching school in Surrey, but she and Glen dated when she came home to visit her parents. When Glen went to Montreal in 1956, they maintained contact via Canada Post. When Glen returned to BC in 1957, he quickly looked up Hana and the romance resumed, they were married on August 1, 1959.
As a government employee Glen was often transferred to other postings so the family saw a lot of BC. While stationed in Terrace Glen had to attend a 10-week radar course at Clinton Ontario, this was the longest time they were apart. Shortly after returning from that course the family moved to Princeton, Hana resumed teaching and they bought a 52-acre farm, the family was now integrated in the community. Glen busied himself with various volunteer roles serving on the Regional District Board, the Princeton & Regional Hospital Board whilst being the Officer-in- Charge / Maintenance Supervisor for Princeton Airport and associated telecom facilities. The 8 years in Princeton holds a special place in the heart of the Larson family.
In 1976 Glen was transferred to Victoria Airport as Electronics Supervisor for telecom and navigation aids for Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii and up coast as far a Bella Bella and Bella Coola, the Larson family live in Sidney during this time.
In 1984 Glen was transferred to Vancouver regional office where he became a Technical Consultant for the Radar Modernization Program (RAMP). In 1989 Glen retired and he and Hana moved to the Shuswap area finally settling in Salmon Arm in 2012. Hana had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2008. In 2014 Hana entered care at Mt. Ida and remained there until she passed away on November 19, 2018. For nearly 5-years Glen visited Hana daily bringing her treats, feeding her and making sure she was well cared for.
Glen and Hana Larson valued education and had always wanted to give back to the community of Princeton and so the Larson Family Endowment Fund was established in 2018 to provide a bursary to School District No. 58 (Nicola – Similkameen). Each year starting in 2020 a student graduating from Princeton Secondary School in Princeton, BC who intends to pursue further academic or vocational education or training at an accredited post-secondary institution will receive a bursary to help them achieve their goal of higher education.
Glen continues to call Salmon Arm home and has entrusted the Shuswap Community Foundation to manage the Larson Family Endowment Fund in memory of Hana, Jill and Spencer.