Calvin “Cal” L. Larson, age 85, of Ripon, WI passed away on Monday, May 8, 2023 at his home surrounded by his family. Cal was born on April 28, 1938 in Chicago, IL; the son of John and Vivian (Johnson) Larson. He attended Taft High School in Chicago, IL before joining the service. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1958-1962 and then graduated as an Operating Engineer. On January 26, 1962, he was united in marriage to Judith Fishleigh in Chicago, IL.
Cal was a member of the Operating Engineers Union Local 139. He worked in construction for many contractors as a Crain Operator in Milwaukee from 1962 until he retired in 2002. He was inducted into the WI Draft Horse Association Hall of Fame as well as the Clydesdale Breeders of the USA Hall of Fame; Director of the WI State Horse Counsel, member of the WI State Draft Horse Association, Director of WIAA, member of Clydesdales Breeders of the USA; President of the Local 139 Retiree’s Group, and most recently he was a dedicated weekly member of the Ripon McDonald’s coffee group.
Cal was a member of Bethel Reformed Church in Brandon, WI. He and Judy owned and operated Larson’s Famous Clydesdales in Ripon for over 50 years. He broke and trained horses and in 2010, one of his greatest dream was achieved, driving a 6 horse hitch made up of full siblings that he raised. Above all, he was happiest when he was on a wagon driving the horses he raised and loved for over 45 years.
Cal enjoyed being on the lake, swimming, and boating. He was a lifelong roller skater and enjoyed being the Guard of the Skating Rink. He loved spending time with his family and grandchildren, watching Westerns and Game shows. His favorite past-time is to read the Draft Horse Journal, WI State Farmer, Country Today, and Clydesdale news.
Cal is survived by his loving wife, Judy; a son, Terry Larson of Madison; 3 daughters: Joy Larson of Ripon, Sandy (Drew) Ness of Minneapolis, MN, and Linda (Dave) Hirsheimer of Scottsdale, AZ; 6 grandchildren: Paxton, Kagan, Maizy, Declan, Delaney, and Riley; brother in law, George Legg of Chicago, IL; nephew, Matt (Alessio) Legg of Chicago, IL; cousin, Jane (Larry) Nelson of Bradenton, FL; special friends: Mr. and Mrs. Paul Dolata, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Sina Sr., and Joe Wrzinski; other relatives and many dear friends. He is preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Nancy Legg.
A Celebration of Life service for Cal will be held at 4:00PM on Friday, May 19, 2023 at Bethel Church of Brandon, 305 W. Main Street, Brandon, WI with Pastor John Tilstra officiating. A light dinner and social to follow. In lieu of flowers or trees, donations to the horse fund are appreciated. Divine Passage Funeral Home in Ripon is proudly serving the Larson family. Divinepassagefunerals.com
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