Memorial Graveside Services for Dean Larimer, age 96, of Lenox, who passed away Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at Vintage Park in Lenox will be held Tuesday, July 12, 2022 at 11:00 AM at the North Fairview Cemetery in Lenox with military honors. Visitation will be held Monday, July 11, 2022 at the Ritchie Funeral Home in Lenox from 5 to 7 with the family greeting friends. Instead of flowers the family requests memorials be directed to the Disabled American Veteran’s. Memories may be shared with the family at www.ritchiefuneralhome.com under Obituaries. Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Bedford where we ‘Celebrate Life’.
Willard Dean Larimer, the son of Hubert and Thelma (Haynes) Larimer, was born September 15, 1925, in Lenox, Iowa. Dean entered eternal rest on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at Vintage Park Apartments in Lenox, Iowa, at the age of 96 years, 9 months, and 7 days old.
As a young boy, Dean enjoyed playing with his three younger brothers. His family moved to Des Moines, Iowa, when he started 3 rd Grade. Dean would tell a story about the times they would walk to the Iowa State Fairgrounds and sled between the fence posts. He played football at Valley High School. Dean quit school and lied about his age so he could join the United States Navy in World War II, as most young men did at that time.
Dean served as a gunner’s mate on the U.S.S. Lexington from 1943 to 1945. The U.S.S. Lexington was an aircraft carrier and participated in numerous operations and raids in response to Japan’s attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor in 1941. After Dean returned from the service, he moved back to Lenox. He married Gweneth Arlene Stapleton on June 8, 1946, in Atchison, Kansas. Dean and Gwen were childhood friends when they lived across the street from each other in Lenox before Dean’s family moved to Des Moines. Together they shared 71 years of marriage. Two sons were born to bless this union, Terry and Dick. Dean worked as a mechanic in Creston, Iowa. He was a local carpenter before becoming a partner in the Lenox Lumberyard. Dean built many houses in Lenox. He has been a member of the American Legion for 75 years. He was also on the Board for low income housing in Lenox. Some of his hobbies were golfing, fishing, dancing, bowling, and playing cards. He was somewhat of an inventor and could build about anything. He came up with new gadgets all the time to make things work better.
Dean and Gwen were on a bowling league and a couple’s golf league for many years. Most days, you could find Dean on the golf course playing 18-36 holes a day and then fish in his spare time. Dean and Gwen loved to dance and spent many Saturday nights going to dances all over the area. Dean’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were the joys of his life. They also adored him. Even at 96 years old, Dean played catch with his great-grandson and loved it.
On May 22, 2022, Dean received an honorary high school diploma from Lenox High School.
Left to cherish the memories of a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather are his two sons, Terry Larimer and wife Paula of Indianola, Iowa; and Dick Larimer and wife Vicki of Urbandale, Iowa; seven grandchildren, Brandon Larimer and wife Andrea of Norwalk, Iowa; Aaron Larimer and Erin Blair of Des Moines, Iowa; Amanda Larimer of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Avery Larimer of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Danielle Baker and husband David of Ankeny, Iowa; Zach Larimer and wife Emily of Boone, Iowa; Natalie Larimer and fiancé Benjamin Valpey of Urbandale, Iowa; six great-grandchildren, Bryce Larimer of Norwalk, Iowa; Brody Larimer of Norwalk, Iowa; Trenton Baker of Ankeny, Iowa; Cody Baker of Ankeny, Iowa; Ada Larimer of Boone, Iowa; and Harper Larimer of Boone, Iowa; along with many other family relatives and friends.
Preceding Dean in death is his loving wife of 71 years, Gwen Larimer; his parents, Hubert and Thelma Larimer; and his three brothers, Harold Larimer, Milton Larimer, and Jay Larimer.
We will forever hold the precious memories of Dean in our
hearts. We thank you for your prayers and kindness
and for helping us celebrate his life.
May he be at peace in God’s loving care