Josephine (Jo) D. Larson

Josephine (Jo) D. Larson, 100, passed away on Sunday, February 19, 2023 at Mission at Castle Rock in Green River, Wyoming. She was a resident of Superior and Rock Springs, Wyoming for the past 78 years, Superior for one year and former resident of Horseheads, New York.

Josephine, affectionately known as Jo, Jo-Jo, or Josie, was born on her grandmother's birthday, April 5, 1922 in Elmira, New York to James Beardsley Donahue and Laura Kluge Donahue. She attended schools in Horseheads, New York graduating with class of 1940. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Elmira College in Elmira, New York in 1944.

Growing up Jo read Zane Grey novels and dreamed of living in the west, so Jo boarded the train to Superior, Wyoming where she taught high school English, History and Journalism and also served as sponsor of the school newspaper, the Kibibonokka during the 1944-45 school year. She loved to talk about how she was told she would ride a real stage with horses on her first trip from Rock Springs to Superior but it turned out to be a bus. Jo was thrilled with the history of the area and that Superior was located in the Horse Thief Canyon where the outlaws once escaped.

Josephine married Robert Larson June 28, 1945 in Horseheads, New York and moved to Rock Springs. After her three children were in school, she returned to teaching in 1958 at Lincoln Elementary School and retired in 1980. As a teacher Jo shared her knowledge and experience with the children and adults alike. She had the knack of inspiring students to learn and would develop ways to make sure everyone understood so no one was ever left behind. Jo was known as a dedicated teacher who loved her students and many came back as adults to visit with her and share their life experiences.

Josephine loved the outdoors and spent many days in the summers at the family cabin near Atlantic City exploring, hiking, birding, and fishing with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who all loved her dearly. She had an adventuresome spirit and loved traveling all over the world to see archaeological sites, museums, and birds. She was an environmentalist who was concerned with protecting mother "Mother Earth" and all wildlife, especially the many dwindling bird species. She supported several organizations in that endeavor. She was interested in everything and was an avid reader. Josephine had a zest for life and had an immediate rapport with everyone she met.

Josephine and her husband organized the first meeting of the Sweetwater Chapter of the Wyoming Archaeological Society in 1965 in their home. She was also a member of the Wyoming Outdoor Council, Wyoming Wilderness Society, American Birding Association, and several other organizations.

Survivors include her daughter, Julie Farr and husband Les of Rock Springs, Wyoming; and granddaughter, Josephine Elise; her son Terry and wife Diane, grandson Todd and wife Heidi, and great-grandchildren Evalyn and Torrin; her son Ron and wife Mary Lu, grandchildren Chess and wife Jill, great-grandchildren Kylie and Dane; grandson Chris and great-grandson A.J .; granddaughter-in-law Lisa Larson; granddaughter Erin Reilly and husband Greg, great-grandchildren Desmond and Quinn; sister Anita Donahue; niece, Sharon Houch (Ray) and two nephews, Bill Donahue (Pat) and Tim Donahue (Amy).

She was preceded in death by her husband May 31, 2004, her parents, two brothers, James F. Donahue and The Reverend Canon Ray L. Donahue; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as may loving friends.

The family respectfully requests donations be made in Josephine's name to Hospice of Sweetwater County, 330 Broadway Street, Suite 220, Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901 or Young at Heart Senior Center, 2400 Reagan Avenue, Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901 or Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, New York 14850.

Cremation has taken place; a celebration of Josephine's wonderful life will be held at a later date.

Condolences may be left at http://www.vasefuneralhomes.com.

 

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