Obituary: Paul Frederick Larsen
Paul Frederick Larsen of Shelter Island, New York, formerly of Montclair, died peacefully at San Simeon by the Sound nursing and adult day care center in Greenport, New York, on Nov. 18, 2022. Three weeks earlier he’d celebrated his 100th birthday at home on Shelter Island with his family.
Mr. Larsen and his twin brother, Peder, were born in 1922 to Louis Heckman Larsen and his wife, Anna (Leek) Larsen, at home in Caldwell. The twins and their older brother, Richard, grew up in Caldwell.
They were one of the earliest pairs of twins to earn the Eagle Scout rank in New Jersey. They graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Caldwell, and both matriculated to Tusculum College in Greenville, Tennessee.
After a year and a half, with the outbreak of World War II, the twins left college and enlisted in the Air Force in 1942 and received their wings as pilots at the same time. The Air Force then separated them for the first time in their lives, sending Paul to the Pacific theater and Peder to the European theater.
Mr. Larsen served in the South Pacific with the 6th Emergency Rescue Squadron of the Army Air Corps, flying air-sea rescue missions piloting a PBY “Flying Boat,” with rescue flights ranging from the Philippines to Japan and Korea. One of his last flights was to take media photographers over Hiroshima and Nagasaki to photograph the devastation.
Mr. Larsen returned to college after receiving his discharge from the Air Force in 1946, graduated in 1949 and joined the family insurance firm P. Larsen & Sons in Montclair. He became a Realtor in Montclair and expanded the family business to include real estate sales.
In 1955 he married Doris Clegg at Central Presbyterian Church in Montclair. They settled in the township, where they raised three daughters.
Mr. Larsen was a member of the Optimist Club of Montclair for many years, and also was a member of Central Presbyterian Church. He was an avid boater and nature enthusiast, tinkerer and craftsperson with many interests and talents.
His family had for several years during his youth rented vacation homes on Shelter Island. In the 1930s his family purchased land and in the 1940s constructed a vacation home on Menantic Creek. In 1963, Mr. Larsen and his wife purchased a home next to the Larsen family home.
In 1990, the couple retired to Venice, Florida, and Shelter Island. In 2015, they moved permanently to Shelter Island to be closer to their daughters and their families. His wife died five years ago at age 96.
Mr. Larsen is survived by his daughters, Alice Deupree (Marvin) of Montclair and Shelter Island, Linda McCarthy (Peter) of Shelter Island and Suzan Newcomb (Mark) of Harwich, Massachusetts; his grandson, Lucas Deupree; his granddaughters, Morgan McCarthy, Kenna McCarthy and Lindsay Newcomb; his nephew, Peder Larsen, and his family of Shelter Island, and his niece, Deborah Larsen, of North Port, Florida.
He was predeceased by his brothers, Richard and Peder.
A memorial service will be held on Shelter Island, with the date to be determined, and interment was in Caldwell.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Mr. Larsen’s memory may be made to the Shelter Island Ambulance Foundation, PO Box 547, Shelter Island, NY 11964.
Arrangements were by the DeFriest-Grattan Shelter Island Funeral Home.