On Friday, May 5th, 2023, Rhea Ann Larson, age 70, passed away at her home in Clitherall, MN, after a little more than a year-long struggle with pancreatic cancer. Her strength of character and authenticity were known to those closest to her. She was always kind and her sense of humor never faded. Until her final days she was full of love and care for those around her.
Born on January 23, 1953, in Staples, Minnesota, Rhea was the third of five children born to Ernest and Marlys (Marcotte) Weber. She was baptized and confirmed at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She grew up in Staples and graduated from Staples High school in 1971.
Rhea met her first husband and friend, Ross Jacob Miller, when they were classmates together. In the late spring of 1971, following graduation Rhea and Ross married. Though the relationship wasn’t permanent and they parted ways in 1981, they had two children together: Jason and Darcy. Several years later, Rhea met Bruce Larson, and on March 15, 1986, they married; including Bruce’s son Greg, creating a blended family.
Rhea had a passion for horses she shared with her parents, Ernie and Marlys Weber. Together they became involved in the operation of the Er-Mar Arabians horse farm near Staples. They raised purebred Arabians, for approximately 20 years, showing them at various Class A shows throughout the upper Midwest and National show circuit. As they phased out of the Arabian horse industry, Rhea picked up making porcelain dolls with her mother Marlys and eventually taught classes out of her home.
Family was most important to Rhea. She travelled to Kentucky to spend time with her son and grandchildren -rocking a babe, playing dress up with a kiddo- attending either of their sporting events as they grew. At home she cared for sick grandchildren (lovingly referred to as ‘the infirmary’) so their parents could go to work, attended their concerts and sporting events or graciously hosted lake parties that her grandchildren often requested. She would also drive to the Twin Cities to attend concerts, go shopping, assist with gardening and home projects at her daughter Darcy’s -or cheer her on in one of her road races. Rhea was always willing to make her family smile. It was not uncommon to find her enjoying lake activities in or on Clitherall Lake with family and friends.
Throughout Rhea’s life there was rarely a time where she didn’t have a dog or two by her side. Her love for her pets kept a grin on her face and warmth in her heart.
Rhea was an avid gardener and enjoyed working in her beautiful flower gardens. She was always happy to share her love and knowledge of flowers and plants with anyone who asked. Rhea also spent her time knitting, maple syruping, quilting, attending the Minnesota State fair annually with friends and family; as well as, and traveling with her husband Bruce. Together they crossed the ocean and visited family in Norway and Sweden. The two took a cruise with cousins to and through the Panama Canal. They visited history in Boston, MA. Rode an Amtrak train through the upper United States with friends to visit friends in Seattle, WA. They also made stops in Las Vegas, NV and Catheys Valley, California to visit family.
Rhea was very involved in her Church community, chaperoning a youth group trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, serving in the Mary circle, coordinating the Church plant sale fundraiser, hosting the Church Choir Picnic and assisting with the fall Friendship dinner, among other activities. Rhea further enjoyed spending a few months with Bruce, in Arizona at her winter home and catching up with family and friends there.
Wherever she went, Rhea made lifelong friends with whom she was able to grow and love until her final days. Family and friends found Rhea to be a wonderful person who was always there when needed. She was very kindhearted and loved by many. Over the last year she fought a brief and swift battle with pancreatic cancer. Rhea represented genuine love, humor and kindness for us all. She had a strong faith in God. It is with both joy and relief that her family knows she has gone home to her Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
Preceding Rhea in death were her parents Ernest and Marlys Weber, sisters AnMarie Weber and Mona Johnson, brother Ernest Edmund (Jay) Weber II, and step-daughter Elise Larson.
Forever remembering Rhea will be her husband, Bruce; son Jason Miller of Georgetown KY, daughter Darcy Miller of Champlin, MN, step-son Greg (Tammy) Larson of Parkers Prairie, MN; grandchildren Alisha (Joe) Nustad, Elizabeth (Jackie) Cluxton, Benjamin Miller, Graham Larson and Aiden Larson; and five (soon to be six) great grandchildren; Zoey, Emma and Henry Nustad and Louis Cluxton, Lincoln Cluxton and (soon to be baby girl Cluxton); brother, Rick (Carol) Weber of Minneapolis, MN; along with many loving nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Memorials may be directed to the Eagle Lake Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, Roger Maris Cancer Center, Project Purple, or a charity of your choice.
Family Flowers are through Petals and Posies 218-862-5630
Prayer Service/Visitation: 5 p.m.-7 p.m., Thursday, May 18th.
Celebration of Life: 11:00 a.m., Friday, May 19th, 2023, at Eagle Lake Lutheran Church of Battle Lake, with visitation one hour prior to the service.
All events are at Eagle Lake Lutheran Church. The service will be streamed online.