Larry Lee Larsen

(Dec. 28, 1940 - Feb. 14, 2019)


Photographer, painter, ceramic sculptor, boilermaker, bon vivant, and iconoclast, Larry Larsen passed away peacefully on Valentine’s Day in Seattle, Washington. Born in Billings, Montana, to Oscar Larsen and Ethelyn Hines, the family moved to Powell in 1947. After high school graduation, Larry left for Minneapolis, Minnesota, and then San Francisco, California.

Larry married Sharon Backstrom in 1960 and had daughter, Dana. He graduated from San Francisco State in 1965 with a degree in fine art.

He married Leslie Boles and had two sons, Eric and Chris. For 30 years, Larry worked as a boilermaker welder, but he always made art in his free time. A true perfectionist, he worked steadily on restoration of his 1917 Wallingford Craftsman and garden. He had several notable early trips to Europe, India and Japan as an adjunct to his art and design interests and spiritual questing.

With his partner of 20 years, Ruth Quinet, Larry traveled around the world several times, going to most European countries, Russia, China, Southeast Asia, Africa, and to many of their favorite U.S. cities. He was a connoisseur of art and photography, jazz (but with an uncanny memory for 1950s and 1960s pop lyrics), orchids and bamboo. Larry was also an excellent cook. Larry and Ruth hosted countless dinners for friends and family, with Larry preparing complicated main-course extravaganzas. Larry was involved in several neighborhood efforts over the years to calm traffic, ease parking and high-density issues, and was an involved Democrat.

Larry leaves behind his partner, Ruth Quinet; Ruth’s son Derrick Quinet; daughter Dana Vermilion (Mark) of Kent, Washington; sons Eric (Tarina Yasmoothr) Larsen of Fairfax, California, and Chris (Meg Cary) Larsen of Seattle, Washington; his grandchildren, Megan and Lauren Vermilion and Cyrus and Alma Larsen; his sisters, Jean Paul (Ernie) of Powell and Paulette Johnson (Terry) of Ogden, Utah; and many other family members and friends.

Good friends Dean Forbes and Kevin Purcell will miss their bi-weekly “chinwags” at the Elysium with him. Always a radical, Larry lived life on his own terms until the end. He was an introspective, thoughtful, and well-intentioned man, and we are very happy to have been a part of his life.