12/8/1936 - 3/31/2020
OBITUARY Reverend Rolf Eide Larsen, 83, of New Hyde Park, NY passed away Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Rolf Larsen was born in Flekkefjord, Norway on December 8, 1936. He was joyfully welcomed by his parents Otto and Lise Larsen and his four older sisters, who landed in America in 1939, settling on 57th Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY. Rolf attended Brooklyn Technical High School and studied engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (currently, NYU Tandon School of Engineering). Recognizing a call to ministry, Rolf then headed to Taylor University in Indiana, where he received a B.A. in Biblical Studies, then he attended The Biblical Seminary in New York (currently, New York Theological Seminary), where he received a Master of Sacred Theology. During seminary he met Willa Frances Hughie and married her on September 7, 1963. They had four children and eight grandchildren, all of whom he cherished, loved, protected, and provided for, especially his “Franny”, the love of his life and the apple of his eye. He began his ministry as Youth Pastor at 59th Street Lutheran Brethren Church, Brooklyn, NY, where he had been confirmed, and at the age of fifteen made a decision to trust Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. He then served as Christian Education Director at the First Presbyterian Church in Babylon, NY. In 1965 he was called to Bethany Bible Church, New Hyde Park, NY where he served as pastor for forty-three years. He was a professor of Greek and theology, a preacher, a pastor and a respected leader in his community before “retiring” at the age of seventy-two. He spent his remaining years preaching at various churches and nursing homes, performing concerts with his wife Fran and enjoying time with his family and friends. He was especially gifted at befriending people in the community and visiting and praying with those in need. Rolf loved a good joke and never missed an opportunity to have a good laugh. When you were with Rolf, you felt like you were the only person in the world at that moment. If you called him on the phone, the first thing you would hear was “So nice to hear your voice”. He loved people, he loved life and he loved Jesus. Rolf loved learning: mechanics, electricity, biology, physics, geology, and just about anything he could get a book about at the local library – and he didn’t mind telling you all about it if you were willing to listen. He loved to invent things - “the cat bell”, “the bike buggy”, “the doorbell ignition switch” and so on and so on. He loved to memorize and study scripture. He loved to play guitar, sing and write songs. And just about anyone who knew him has heard him yodel with his classic Gibson L-7 guitar that “got stepped on by a horse when he was out riding”. His character, his legacy of faith and his care for people left an indelible mark on all who met him. He will be fondly remembered, deeply missed and forever cherished. Missing him dearly are his loving wife of fifty-six years, Fran Larsen, his four children, Luanne (Chris) Gallagher of Huntington, NY, Scott (Cathy) Larsen of Brandon, MS, Todd (Tina) Larsen of Glenmoore, PA, Wendy (Scott) Edwards of Exton, PA, eight grandchildren, Trevor (Shelly), Bryant (Amber), Holly (Ethan), Ben, Lise, Crystal, Jason and Laurel, and his sister Oddfrid Tokle of Rockaway, NJ. Rolf is preceded in death by his parents Otto and Lise Larsen, and three sisters, Helena, Synnøve and Gerd. Donations can be made in the name of Reverend Rolf E. Larsen to The Bowery Mission in New York City, www.bowery.org.