Evelyn Josephine Larson

Evelyn Josephine Larson, age 88 of Westby, died Sunday October 6, 2019.


Sample Image   Evelyn (Haugen) Larson was born in La Crosse, WI. She grew up on a farm outside of Westby, WI. She graduated from Westby High School before attending WWTC in Audio Visual Communications and completing the Dale Carnegie course in public speaking. She had also been a member of the National Wildlife Federation for many years.


  Evelyn enjoyed the beauty of nature and wildlife and included them in many of her paintings and designs. She was also an illustrator and cartoonist, and drew a weekly cartoon called “The Trollsons” for the Westby Times. She had designed the bulletin covers for the Westby Coon Prairie Lutheran Church for 16 years.


  A self-taught artist, Evelyn worked with oils, acrylics and water color. Evelyn began painting on mirrors and selling them in1951. There is one in a showcase at the Snowflake Building in Timber Coulee. It’s now over 60 years old. Mirror painting turned into sign lettering in 1954. From 1956 to 1960 there were 58 trucks and 423 signs lettered.


  In 1961 she went to work at Tri-State Breeders, now Accelerated Genetics, working in the laboratory for 14 years. During this time she had the opportunity to illustrate the covers for I-A Digest magazine out of Columbia, MO, and The Sheepman magazine, plus some graphic design.


  1968 was the year Westby placed three Velkommen till Westby signs along the highways leading to town. She was asked by Mayor Palmer Rude to design two Nisse to go on these signs. Not knowing much about Nisse at the time, she came up with a happy little fellow, learning later, in Norway they are portrayed a bit gloomy and dressed in dark clothes.


  Evelyn taught classes in rosemaling and landscape painting for several years at Gallery E and Western Wisconsin Technical College in La Crosse. In 1980 she opened her own ceramic shop, holding classes and doing shows. This closed in 1999 when they moved back to Westby. 


  Evelyn is best known for the literally hundreds of Nisses she had produced, and the Syttende Mai buttons that she had designed. In May of 2012, her 44th button was unveiled, today who knows how many.


  Evelyn is survived by her husband, Orin; her daughter, Judy (Loren) Holte of Prairie du Chien; and her grandchildren, Justin (Susan) Holte and Jamie (Chris) Richardson; as well as five great-grandchildren, Macy and Jaylin Holte, and Logan, Dillan and Ella Richardson.

She is preceded in death by her parents.


Funeral Services for Evelyn will be Friday, October 11, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. at Westby Coon Prairie Lutheran Church in Westby. Pastor Dan Wollman will officiate with burial following the service at Coon Prairie Cemetery outside of Westby. Friends may call during Visitations, Thursday evening, October 10, 2019 at the Vosseteig Funeral Home in Westby from 4:00 until 6:00 P.M. or at the church Friday the 11th for an hour before the service from 10-11 A.M.


In lieu of flowers or plants, memorials may be directed to Bethel Home and Services in Viroqua, or Norseland Nursing Home in Westby in Evelyn’s name.


On-line condolences may be left at www.vossfh.com

The Vosseteig Funeral Home, 708 S. Main St., in Westby is serving the family, (608) 634-2100.

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