James Emery “Swede” Larson, 74, died Nov. 9, in Milton-Freewater at his daughter’s house after a battle with illness.
Swede was born Feb. 15, 1938, in Burns to Harold and Silvia Larson. He graduated from Burns Union High School in 1956.
In 1960, Swede was recruited in to the Oregon State Police (OSP) and was a second-generation state trooper. He was first assigned to The Dalles OSP Office. In 1961, he was drafted into the National Guard and served six months before returning to his police duties with OSP. He transferred to the Pendleton office in 1966 where he met and married his wife of 47 years, Meredith “Duffy” Larson. The couple had one child while living in Pendleton, Robin Delano.
In 1968, Swede transferred to the OSP John Day Outpost. During his time in John Day, he had two more children, Stephanie Brown and Jodi Kimball.
After a 16-year career with the Oregon State Police, he left to pursue a job at the Hines Lumber Mill in Seneca.
In 1982, he returned to police work as a patrolman for the city of John Day. He was promoted to Chief of Police in 1990.
He served as the Chief of Police for 11 years and retired in 2001 with full honors. During his career with the John Day Police Department, he received eight letters of commendation and one life-saving award.
After retiring, he pursued his life-long passions, which were camping at the Snake River with his wife, family and friends and spending a lot of time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Swede is survived by his wife, Meredith Larson of Mt. Vernon; sister, Connie Erickson of The Dalles; three daughters, Robin Delano of Canyon City, Stephanie Brown of Milton-Freewater and Jodi Kimball of Milton-Freewater; grandchildren, Brian Delano, Nathan Delano, Donavan Smith, Joshua Brown, Andrea Brown, Kirk Brown, Meghan Kimball and Seth Kimball.
Graveside funeral services were held Nov. 17 at the Canyon City Cemetery in Canyon City.
A celebration of life was held directly following the service at the John Day Elks Club in John Day.
Condolences for the family can be sent to the John Day Police Department. For more information, call the John Day Police Department at 541-575-0030.