By: JOSEPH W. “JODY” LARSON
(Ever the practical man, he had written his own obituary prior to his death)
I was born into pioneer ranching and farming families in Arizona in 1921. I did my undergraduate study at what is now Northern Arizona University. I took a dual degree in Elementary Education and in Music. I immediately went into the service for World War II, and spent four years in the Navy – in Iowa! I was a member of a band at the pre-flight training station there.
I began my teaching career in Arizona, doing mostly Instrumental Music in High Schools. Using summer schools and one sabbatical year, I took a Master’s Degree in Musicology and Organ at Northwestern University in Illinois. Shortly thereafter, I took an extended three-year sabbatical to work as a travel agent and tour director for Thos. Cook with assignments all over the world. I was a member of the Cruise Staff for the first round the world cruise after WWII using the Cunard liner “Caronia”. And, I met my future wife, Fran, during a tour of the United States.
In 1955, I returned to teaching and took a job doing Elementary Music for the schools of Hollister, California. In 1962, I joined the faculty of Carmel Schools to teach music in their new Middle School. In 1969, I returned to San Benito County and did a “free-lance” arrangement of various classes at Gavilan College and the rural schools of the county.
I have been president of California Teachers Association chapters in both San Benito County and in Carmel. After retirement in 1982, I have served in offices for the California Retired Teachers Association in local, area and state positions.
During my retirement, I have served in various positions for the Area Agency for Aging in San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. I was active with the SIRs organization, volunteered at both Southside and Northside Hospital and at Whispering Pines retirement home and frequently played at the United Methodist Church in Hollister.
I have two daughters, Mary Pat and Cathy. Mary Pat does free-lance marketing and accounting work in Hollister/Gilroy, where she lives with her husband, Kurt; and Cathy is a free-lance musician in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband, Roger. My former wife and dear friend currently resides in Morro Bay and I have numerous relatives remaining in Arizona.
The family plans memorial service to be held later this summer.
Throughout his life, Jody enjoyed sharing his gift of music with other people, traveling the world and enjoying a cup of good cheer with friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Mr. O’s Music Academy in Hollister, CA.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, 521 Monterey Street, Hollister