Stevensville - Rev. Raymond Everet Larson, Sr, entered paradise on Christmas Eve with faithful confidence, delivered by the Holy Spirit, in his salvation, offered by the Grace of our Father who art in Heaven and purchased by the sufferings and death of His Son Jesus Christ. Ray, age 80, of Stevensville, MT, was surrounded by his family as he died on December 24, 2022, at the Providence St Patrick Hospital in Missoula, MT. He was born on October 27, 1942, in Glendale, CA, to Cecil Walter and Dorothy Elaine (Traynor) Larson. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, January 4, 2022 at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 184 Pine Hollow Road, Stevensville, MT 59870. They will start with a viewing at 11:00 am followed by the service at noon, officiated by Pastors Eckert and Forke. The day will continue with Ray’s Joyous Reception Luncheon from 1:15 to 2:30 pm. The interment will occur at Hamilton Riverview Cemetery, 99 Westridge Road, Hamilton, MT 59870, from 3:15 to 3:45 pm. After the interment, the reception will continue back at the church. To list all that Ray accomplished with his life would be an accomplishment in itself. It can all be summarized, though, with one word: service. Ray firmly believed in God and lived to serve Him. He preached often that the best way to serve God was to serve others. Ray served his country as a Marine for 10 years, including two tours in Vietnam. He served God’s people in Boyceville, WI, as a minister with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, for six years. During that time, he served the people of Wisconsin in the National Guard. He combined these services as a chaplain in the Army for 20 years, stationed at Fort Riley, KS, Mannheim, Germany, Fort Monmouth, NJ, Fort Irwin, CA, and Grafenwoehr, Germany. After retiring from 35 cumulative years of military service, he returned to the office of the ministry to serve God’s people in Stevensville, MT, for another seven years. Although he officially retired from the ministry, Ray continued to preach, teach, and serve as interim pastor, missions chairman, circuit counselor, and Lutheran Heritage Foundation representative, among other functions. He entered the world of politics to serve the community of Stevensville as a Lone Rock School Board member. Ray even used his love of history and habit of avidly reading as much as he could, especially of early American history, to serve those he conversed with by educating them about this great nation he loved. Prior to joining the Marine Corps and again while studying to be a minister at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA, and Concordia Seminary in Springfield, IL, Ray served his local communities by performing a myriad of jobs. He would be the first to tout the importance of each of them, because each of them was needed by someone. While society might denigrate some professions by saying things like, “You want fries with that?”, Ray would point out that a hungry person would want fries with that and it is an honorable thing to provide them with what they need. Service to others in all its forms is service to God and a right thing to do with joyous intent. Ray/Dad/Grandpa/Poppa is survived by the extensive family whom he loved so dearly and was dearly loved by in return. His wife of 61 years, Rosanne (Amundsen), lives in Stevensville. His children, Sonja, Rosemarie, and Anna, and their spouses, Rich Theobald, Matt Hinerfeld, and Jerry Kernes, respectively, live in California; Raymond splits his time between California and Montana; Danette and her husband, Dale Mondary, travel the country from their base in Florida; and Christopher lives with his wife, Lupe (Castillo), in Arizona. These children extended his family with a total of 17 grandchildren who have themselves been extending the family with seven great-grandchildren and one on the way….so far. The grandchildren, great-grandchildren, Ray’s brother, Clifford, and two sisters, Charlene and Debbie, live with their families all over the country. After God’s assurance of forgiveness and salvation, Ray deemed the family to be God’s greatest gift to us. Not only was his family a tremendous source of joy, his most fervent belief was that the family is a model of our relationship with God Himself. Raymond was a quiet man of huge impact. It was his nature to observe and listen before speaking and acting. Long after the things he did are lost to living memory, the love, guidance, joy, and comfort he gave freely to family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances will be perpetuated by all those who felt that impact. It is clear that he lived the life of the “good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21) and that his final act of service was to demonstrate how to fearlessly trust God when He says, “Be faithful even unto the point of death and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10). Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.