Larry Lee Elit, 80, of Rushford, MN, died on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at his home in rural Rushford.
Larry was born to Irene (Seefeldt) and George Elit on April 7th, 1937, in Austin, Minnesota. He lived on the family farm in Elkton, MN. He moved to Dexter, MN in 1946, with his mother and grandparents. In 1949, Larry's grandpa, Leo Seefeldt, introduced Larry to Dale Rossow. Dale said, "This boy needs to go hunting", so they taught Larry how to handle firearms. They took him deer hunting up North that year and Larry shot his first deer. Dale was a boy-scout leader and also taught Larry how to canoe, fish, camp and appreciate literature. Dale was a constant influential person in Larry's life. They were lifelong friends and hunters. Dale passed in 2013.
Larry graduated from Elkton High School in 1955. He then joined the United States Air Force and was active duty for four years. Larry was stationed mostly overseas. He was in the 417th in France as a jet aircraft mechanic primarily on the F-86 and also the F-100. Larry's Commander was General Chuck Yeager. He also was stationed in California.
In 1959, Larry was hired at IBM in Rochester, MN where he worked for the 35 years. He married Elaine Drugg in 1961. In 1966 he re-enlisted and served with the 96th Tactical Airlift Squadron, "Flying Vikings", Air Force Reserve. Later two of sons would also serve with him in the 96th in the late 1980's. He served 30 years with the reserves until his retirement in 1990. He flew on the C-119 and then transitioned to C-130. His final rank was a Master Sergeant as a Load Master. He served multiple world tours of duty over the years including, a Vietnam tour from November 1972-February 1973, Germany, Peru, Panama and several calls to duty within the United States.
He was an avid sportsman along with gardening, research, literature, woodworking and geology. Larry had many other hobbies as well. He also enjoyed traveling extensively through the years exploring his interests. One of his many projects included building his own log cabin during retirement. In 2005 he obtained 165 pine plantation trees and built a 16x24' cabin solely on his own. He completed this little gem in 3 years. It brought new meaning to the word "chinking". This was quite a project but definitely an accomplishment that he admired.
Larry and Elaine (Drugg) Elit married in 1961. From this 27 year marriage came four children: Brian Elit of Peyton, CO, Wayne Elit of Hanover, MN, Erich (Mendie) Elit of Castle Rock, CO, Dawn Elit-Arnett (Darrell Calhoun) of Cedaredge, CO. He has four granddaughters and one grandson.
In 1989 he married Priscilla (Adams) Elit. They were later divorced. From this marriage they had one child, Laura Elit of San Antonio, Texas and another granddaughter.
His companion Penny Hatlan has resided with him and cared for him throughout his illness.
Preceding him in death are his parents, George in 1969, Irene in 1997 as well as a son-in-law and a daughter in law.
There will be a funeral service for Larry at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 10, at Hoff Funeral Home in Rushford with the Reverend Allen Hanson officiating. Interment will be on Monday at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, MN. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
Leave a memory of Larry and sign his online guestbook at www.hofffuneral.com
3 people have supported the family by purchasing them flowers or gifts from the Healing Registry.
Buy Gift Now
So sorry for your loss.I did bulldozing for Larry and enjoyed our long visits.Larry was a very kind interesting man.I enjoyed listening to his stories!He always sent me home with a bag full of garlic from his garden.Rest in peace Larry.....
your friend Tim Nelson
Thank You for all the kind words and memories posted for Dad. I appreciate you all sharing your memories.
I met Larry at the air base when I would pick up my husband Jim King -- he and Jim were good friends and had a lot of laughs together. I know Jim thought highly of Larry and I am sure the two of them are having a few laughs now.
I had the honor and pleasure of flying with Larry many times during our service in the 934th. By the far the hardest working guy in ANY crew position - yet always the easiest to get along with. RIP, Larry.
Navigator, 96TAS (long retired!)
Pleasure to fly and work with Larry at the 934th/96th. He never complained about anything that I can remember. Rest in Peace Larry.
Rick Klick Crew Chief. 934 MXS.
I had the good fortune to fly with Larry for fifteen years in the Air Force Reserve. He was a good friend, an excellent instructor and an outstanding loadmaster. He was a collector of many things, many friends and knowledgeable of many others. Since retirement we've only seen each other a few times, but he will be missed.
Happy landngs, Larry!
Larry was one of the "go to" guys in the 96th who could always be relied upon. He was a pleasure to work with and to crew with over the years. I am saddened by his loss, but he leaves a great legacy of accomplishment and service! Tim Anderson
Larry..One of the good guys!!! A pleasure to work with and travel with..Hard worker..Gone too soon..Jack Warren
PhotosAdd a photo
Have a floral question? Call +1 888-640-1035
Healing Registry Unavailable at the Moment!