In memoriam: Jim Larsen

       Pleasant Valley resident Jim Larsen, 72, a retired Fire Department battalion chief who was serving on various civic boards, died Aug. 7. Retired Battalion Chief Jim Larsen (third from left) swaps stories with firefighters from Stations 3 and 5 during the 
Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) Picnic at Bancroft Park July 29. He died Aug. 7.
Westside Pioneer photo
       The reported cause of death was a heart attack.
       He was born March 8, 1935. His wife Carol survives him. The names of other surviving family members were not available at press time, nor was information about memorial services.
       Larsen's fire career lasted from 1964 to 2005, including 27 years as a batallion chief. At his death, the volunteer boards he was on included the Organization of Westside Neighbors, the city's Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee and the El Paso County Emergency Services Agency.
       Larsen was remembered by Deputy Fire Chief Steve Cox as “kind of a throwback to a bygone era. I would call him a cowboy. He had a simple cowboy way of appreciating life, and this was related to his integrity, his modesty and how he conducted himself.”
       Cox had known Larsen since he was a pre-teen, through his stepfather, Dale Boyd, who was also a firefighter.
       Also remembering Larsen with fondness was Westsider and County Commissioner Sallie Clark, who had first worked with Larsen 10 years ago in the effort to save the Westside's Fire Station 3. “He had an incredible sense of dedication to the city and its citizens,” she said.
       His support for keeping Station 3 put him at odds with Fire Chief Manuel Navarro, but this did not deter Larsen. “He felt like he didn't work for the Fire Department, he worked for the citizens,” Clark said. “He was never afraid to step out of his comfort zone… I will miss him a lot.”

Westside Pioneer article