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By Pam Reinig
Register Editor

Though his military career took him across the globe, Carroll Larson never forgot his Northeast Iowa roots. Prior to his death in late 2016, Larson made arrangements for a $20,000 gift from his estate to Central Community Hospital. Announcement of the gift was made Thursday in a gathering of hospital officials, foundation representatives and Larson family members. Stories and memories of Carroll were freely shared.
“We are all so proud of Carroll and what he accomplished in his life,” said his niece Sandra Larson. “No matter where he lived, this was his home. He spent summers here after his mom died, and intended to retire here permanently. This town was so special to him.”
Carroll enjoyed fishing in near-by streams and he liked played card games, especially with younger members of the Larson clan. Debbie Crane, another of Carroll’s many nieces, shared a story about her now 15-year-old granddaughter Morgan teaching a card game to Carroll. He was proud of himself for winning the first hand but his victory was short-lived. “I know you’re kinda’ old so I let you win,” Morgan told him.
Family was important to Carroll. His brother, Donnie Larson, said Carroll remembered everyone’s birthday, often asked to see recent photos of family members and was eager for news about what everyone was doing.
Though pleased with his decision to leave a gift to CCH, family members aren’t certain why Carroll chose to do so.
“I would guess that he was happy with the treatment his mother received when she was hospitalized here,” said Sandra, “and since he planned to retire in Elkader, he probably knew he would use the hospital, too.”
Carroll was born in rural Elkader in 1943. He graduated from Central Community High School in 1961, and later earned an undergraduate degree at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, WI. Carroll then attended Golden Gate University in San Francisco where he earned his MBA.  
Carroll served in the United States Air Force from September 28, 1967, to January 10, 1991, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He was a Vietnam veteran, serving in 1969 and 1970. He was a military officer in the USAF while on active duty. Carroll also worked for the USAF at the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles for 30 years.
In accepting the gift for the hospital, CCH Foundation President Keith Garms said the money would be used when a need is identified. The Foundation is currently raising funds and accepting donations for a new mammography unit but Garms isn’t sure the Larson gift would be put towards that effort. However, he did encourage donations to that project, specifically, of the hospital in general.

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