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Posted on Sep 9, 2020
Empty Saddles

Lyle Larsen 1943 -2020

 Lyle D. Larsen was born to Paul and Anna (McCloud) Larsen on February 1st, 1943 in Oakland, Nebraska. Lyle went home to his Savior on Saturday, February 8th in Omaha, Nebraska.

Lyle grew up on a farm west of Decatur and graduated from Decatur High School. It was there that he met his “good-hearted woman” and wife of 58 years, Patricia (Winingham). They were married at Holy Family Catholic Church in Decatur on October 29th, 1961 and together, they raised five children: Lisa, Aleta, Lauree, Lyle Dennis and Brian. A true cowboy, Lyle was happiest on the back of a good horse, wherever it took him. Blessed with a keen ability to sense a horse’s potential, “there was never a sharper eye at the sale barn than his.”

Lucky for Lyle, he was always able to find a way to combine his passion for horses and roping with his passion for having a “good time”. He looked forward to every cattle drive and roping at the Larsen Arena as an opportunity to be with friends and of course, to share a dance with his wife. To Lyle, sharing his stories, knowledge, and whatever he had with those around him was second nature. “He would give you the shirt off his back, minus the sleeves.”

Of course, there was also a tougher side to the “Mountain Man” or “Bodie,” as his friends knew him. Among his proudest achievements were his three Nebraska Wrist Wrestling Championship titles. When he team-roped, “if he couldn’t dally, he’d stop the steer with the strength in his arm alone.” Even on bad days, “there was nothing he couldn’t get through if he had a jug of ice water, a packet of red-man, and some peach schnapps.” Described by his team-roping buddies as “sharp as a tack,” Lyle had an uncanny ability to remember run times, how each steer would run and calculate payouts before entry fees had even been paid. Lyle single handedly set the team roping handicaps for the state of Nebraska in year one of the USTRC.

Later in life, Lyle’s greatest joy was spending time with his kids and grandkids. He enjoyed sharing his stories with them and attending their horse-shows and sporting events. He always reiterated to them that he was proud of his family above all else.

In Heaven, Lyle will be greeted by his parents and his son, Lyle Dennis Larsen II. He is survived by his wife, Pat, his sisters: Connie Syata and Phyllis Larsen; his children: Lisa (Todd) Maly, Aleta Jessen (RuVan King), Lauree (Jeff) Heine, and Brian Larsen (Lisa Sampson); grandchildren: Amanda Pond-McCarter (Ben Jensen), Samantha (Calvin) Shaw, Cheyanne Jessen, Mariah Jessen, Dylan Larsen, Derek Larsen and Evan Larsen; great-grandchildren: Dalton McCarter, Payton Pond, Hailey Jo Jensen, and Lani Shaw; as well as many other precious nephews, nieces, cousins, and dear friends.

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