Edna Marie “Eddie” Larsen was born on January 8, 1911, at the family home in Rapid City, South Dakota. She graduated from Rapid City High School in 1929. Upon graduation she attended the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and a business school in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In the early 1940′s during World War II, Eddie took the civil service examination at the Rapid City Air Army Base. When she was hired, she was the only female at the base to work in civil service.
Eddie was known as a vibrant and very active person throughout her life. She enjoyed ice skating, swimming and tennis. Her family owned a ranch near Hermosa and Hermosa was very special to Eddie. She was a longtime supporter of the Hermosa American Legion and she loved the Custer County Fair. Eddie was an astute business woman and rancher and she was active in the Rapid City Business Women’s Chapter for many years. She had a great passion for travel and experiencing new places and making new friends. Eddie traveled extensively to Europe, Alaska, Hawaii and all over the United States.
Eddie was an extremely giving person and she was very active in the Ellsworth Lioness Chapter and she was known as a very generous supporter of local service organizations. She served as a pianist and lay minister in her church and she was very active in several local senior citizen centers.
Eddie cherished her family and friends and she was known as a gifted storyteller and a local historian. Before her death on July 12, 2004, at age 93, Eddie endowed a memorial trust in honor of her mother’s family and her parents, with the express purpose of establishing a park for the community to enjoy for generations.
The 300 plus acres of mountain biking, hiking and running trails in downtown Rapid City, now commonly known as The Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park (HLMP) is Edna Marie “Eddie” Larsen’s visionary legacy. This beautiful green-space, in an urban setting, will memorialize Eddie and her family in a way that not even Eddie could have dreamed of!