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Patricia Pruess ‘Pat’ Larson

Patricia Pruess ‘Pat’ Larson
Patricia Pruess ‘Pat’ Larson

November 25, 1931-May 18, 2013


Patricia Pruess “Pat” Larson, 81, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Urbandale, Iowa on Saturday, May 18th, 2013. She was born November 25th, 1931 to Earl and Ethelwynne (Norris) Pruess in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Glenbard High School in 1949.

While visiting her brother at Iowa State University, Pat met his fraternity brother Elvin J. Larson. After a whirlwind courtship she and Elvin were married on March 21, 1953. Patricia made the transition from Chicago city life to small-town Iowa farm wife near West Branch, Iowa. The family subsequently moved to Elkader and then to Sterling, Illinois before settling down in Independence, Iowa where she taught English for ten years after graduating from State College of Iowa in 1966. In 1976, after moving to Adel, Iowa, Pat was a substitute teacher before selling Real Estate for Highland and Century 21, and owning Swan Creek Consignment for three years. She then went to work at the Salisbury House, in Governmental Affairs for ISEA and her final career move was to the Drake Center for Law and Civic Education at the Drake Law School. Patricia was involved with progressive politics throughout her life, early on focusing on civil rights and the Women’s Rights Movement. She was a member and volunteer for the Iowa Democratic Party. Until recently she was President of the Iowa Chapter of Compassion and Choices. Some of her happiest times were spent hiking the mountain trails of Rocky Mountain National Park. She especially loved spending time with her granddaughters. Other things that gave her joy were her many cats, collecting antiques, gardening, reading, and a good single malt scotch. Pat was a member of the Great Books Club and the Bus Barn Book Club. She joined countless organizations over her lifetime. She is survived by her two children: Tobin (Jana) Larson of Granada Hills, CA, and Elizabeth Larson Demuth of Des Moines, IA; granddaughters Christina Demuth and Adriane Demuth; and brother Earl “Dick” Pruess of Pasadena, CA and many loving friends and family. She was preceded in death by her parents and by her husband Elvin Larson.

As were her wishes she was cremated. A memorial celebrating her life will be held on Saturday, June 8th, 2:00 pm at the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, where Patricia was a member.

Memorial contributions in Patricia’s name can be made to First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, Compassion and Choices of Iowa, or Planned Parenthood of Iowa. Online condolences may be expressed at