Larry Lee Elit, 80, of Rushford, MN, died on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at his home in rural Rushford.
Larry was born to Irene (Seefeldt) and George Elit on April 7th, 1937, in Austin, Minnesota. He lived on the family farm in Elkton, MN. He moved to Dexter, MN in 1946, with his mother and grandparents. In 1949, Larry's grandpa, Leo Seefeldt, introduced Larry to Dale Rossow. Dale said, "This boy needs to go hunting", so they taught Larry how to handle firearms. They took him deer hunting up North that year and Larry shot his first deer. Dale was a boy-scout leader and also taught Larry how to canoe, fish, camp and appreciate literature. Dale was a constant influential person in Larry's life. They were lifelong friends and hunters. Dale passed in 2013.
Larry graduated from Elkton High School in 1955. He then joined the United States Air Force and was active duty for four years. Larry was stationed mostly overseas. He was in the 417th in France as a jet aircraft mechanic primarily on the F-86 and also the F-100. Larry's Commander was General Chuck Yeager. He also was stationed in California.
In 1959, Larry was hired at IBM in Rochester, MN where he worked for the 35 years. He married Elaine Drugg in 1961. In 1966 he re-enlisted and served with the 96th Tactical Airlift Squadron, "Flying Vikings", Air Force Reserve. Later two of sons would also serve with him in the 96th in the late 1980's. He served 30 years with the reserves until his retirement in 1990. He flew on the C-119 and then transitioned to C-130. His final rank was a Master Sergeant as a Load Master. He served multiple world tours of duty over the years including, a Vietnam tour from November 1972-February 1973, Germany, Peru, Panama and several calls to duty within the United States.
He was an avid sportsman along with gardening, research, literature, woodworking and geology. Larry had many other hobbies as well. He also enjoyed traveling extensively through the years exploring his interests. One of his many projects included building his own log cabin during retirement. In 2005 he obtained 165 pine plantation trees and built a 16x24' cabin solely on his own. He completed this little gem in 3 years. It brought new meaning to the word "chinking". This was quite a project but definitely an accomplishment that he admired.
Larry and Elaine (Drugg) Elit married in 1961. From this 27 year marriage came four children: Brian Elit of Peyton, CO, Wayne Elit of Hanover, MN, Erich (Mendie) Elit of Castle Rock, CO, Dawn Elit-Arnett (Darrell Calhoun) of Cedaredge, CO. He has four granddaughters and one grandson.
In 1989 he married Priscilla (Adams) Elit. They were later divorced. from this marriage they had one child, Laura Elit of San Antonio, Texas and another granddaughter.
His companion Penny Hatlan has resided with him and cared for him throughout his illness.
Preceding him in death are his parents, George in 1969, Irene in 1997 as well as a son-in-law and a daughter in law.
There will be a funeral service for Larry at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 10, at Hoff Funeral Home in Rushford with the Reverend Allen Hanson officiating. Interment will be on Monday at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, MN. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
Leave a memory of Larry and sign his online guestbook at www.hofffuneral.com
To read the full obituary, please click here: http://www.hofffuneral.com/obituary/244007/Larry-Elit