Established By:
Date Established
Criteria: US or Canadian citizens; 1st pref students in the National Guard
Background: Joseph E. Larson was born August 3, 1966 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the first born son of Ronald E. and Olive M (Crosson) Larson.

Joseph attended University Montessori Academy in Minneapolis, MN, followed by grade school in Saskatoon, Sask., and Alvin, TX. In 1979 the family moved to Brookings, SD where Joseph attended middle and high school.

While in Texas, he earned the Eagle Scout Award with three palms and Brotherhood in Order of the Arrow in Troop 499.

Joseph played hockey in Minneapolis, MN; Saskatoon, Sask., and in Brookings, SD.

Following graduation in 1984 from Brookings High School, Joseph served three years with the first Special Forces Group stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. In 1985 he graduated from Airborne school at Fort Benning, Georgia, receiving his parachutist badge and in 1986 was awarded the Korean parachutist badge. In 1985 he was he was awarded a certificate of achievement for exceptionally meritorious performance of duty from the Department of the Army. In 1986 he participated in the Seattle Air show as a parachutist. In 1987 he successfully completed infantry Combat Winter Survival at Fort Greely, Alaska. Following an Honorable discharge from the Army in the summer of 1987, Joseph attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD then in 1988 transferred to major in geology at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD where he also was a member of the South Dakota National Guard, 109th Engineer Group.

Joseph died January 23, 1989, due to car accident in Rapid City, at the age of 22. Joseph is remembered by numerous friends and family as a quiet, dignified, kind, courteous, faithful, brave, honest, unselfish, God-fearing, tall, handsome young man who loved his country, was concerned about world environment, loved sports especially hockey, loved animals, had talent as an artist and writer with limitless interest and knowledge concerning geology.

Joseph was loved and remembered by his father, Colonel Ronald E. Larson who was an associate professor in the College of Pharmacy at King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; mother Olive (Crosson) Larson who was an assistant professor in the College of Nursing at South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD; brother Jon and sister Roshawna.

Joseph can never be replaced
Yet all that is left is the memory of his face
Which is etched in our memories
Lasting through all eternity.
We realize how precious life can be
And we cannot make believe
That one careless, reckless moment
Has claimed a life so fragile
So important, so loved.
Nothing can ever soften this blow
Of such a life taken as my brother Joe.
-- Roshawana – Joseph Larson’s Sister

SDSM&T Foundation

306 East Saint Joseph St., Ste 200, Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone: 605.394.2436 / 800.211.7591 | Fax: 605.394.6679

© 2010 SDSM&T Foundation