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The Eric Larson Scholarship Endowment

Eric Larson Bio

Eric's Bio

Eric was always a darling -- charming and smart .

And he was drawn to music at a young age. At around 6 years old, Eric told his mother that he wanted to take piano lessons like his older sister. His mother told him no, that she thought he was too young. He continued pestering her to allow him to take lessons until finally she told him, "Go ask the piano teacher. If she'll take you, fine, but I think you're too young." So he followed his sister to her piano lesson and was immediately accepted as a new student.

Musically, he never looked back. He went on to play piano, organ, guitar and even tuba. He wanted to join the band in junior high school, but he could only join if he learned the tuba -- it was the only instrument they needed. He immediately agreed and went on to play tuba for both his high school and the UW Marching Chiefs.

Even as a child, Eric loved being in stage and musical productions, both at school and at church. He typically knew everyone's part, and even as a little boy, couldn't help but jump in with reminders when they hesitated or missed their cue. He particularly enjoyed being the mostly mute king in his high school's production of "The Princess and the Pea"

Growing up on a farm, Eric was also active in both the local 4-H and FFA clubs throughout his youth. He raised and showed cattle, and even partially funded his college career by selling the horses he had raised from colts.

Just shy of 10 years old, he complained to his parents that his legs hurt. They assumed it was from climbing and jumping out of trees -- which he'd been doing quite a lot. But it didn't go away, and the day he couldn't stand on his legs, they took him to the doctor. A first and later a second opinion diagnosed Eric with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Not to be slowed down, Eric tried football, baseball and eventually settled happily on wrestling as his sport of choice. He was a very good wrestler, and during his high school career competed in state-level competition. In 2000, he was also inducted into the Mauston High School Wrestling Hall of Fame, and traveled back to Wisconsin to accept the honor.

Eric graduated from Mauston High School in 1973 and attended college at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. In 1976, he and his young family moved to Albuquerque. Here he lived and worked tirelessly for the next 28 years.