Juanita Larson passed away at her home on May 3, 2008 from cancer. She was born April 9, 1933 in Ackerman, Miss., to Luther and Pearl Spurgeon.
Juanita, or Mrs. Larson as she was better known to me, was an artist who lived and raised her family in Klamath. She was married to Alvin Larson and together, they owned and operated Requa Boat Dock and Klamath Jet Boat Kruises for nearly 30 years.
Their son, Jon and I went to Margaret Keating School together. We eventually graduated from Del Norte High in 1978.
Four years earlier, I was busy helping with the writing and editing of our eighth grade classes yearbook. It was a simple booklet, filled with pictures and the standard juvenile fare, photocopied and stapled between two heavier pieces of paper.
What makes this yearbook special is the fact that Jon was able to talk his mother into creating the cover art for both the front and back of the booklet. Without her help, the yearbook would have looked rather bland.
On the front, she drew a cluster of Serviceberries, which is indigenious to Del Norte. On the back—what else—a Golden Bear, the schools’ mascot. She even figured out a way to incorporate our class-motto, Being Closer Together,” into the artwork.
In the end, Mrs. Larson created something very personal and worth treasuring.