Monday, January 18, 2010

 Son of former La Crosse, Wisconsin bishop presumed dead after Haiti earthquake

“Ben was a person that made the world a better place,” said Mike Esser, former choir director at Central High School. “No matter what he was doing, no matter where he was.”
    Ben Larson loved music but answered a greater call. A seminarian and son of former La Crosse ELCA Bishop April Larson, he went to Haiti earlier this month to help the newly established Lutheran church there.
    He is presumed dead after Tuesday's massive earthquake destroyed the building where he was staying, according to an e-mail the Rev. Larson sent members of her Duluth congregation.
    Larson, 25, was in his final year at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He had gone to Haiti with his wife, Renee, and cousin, Jonathan Larson, also seminarians, to teach lay ministers. All three were staying at the St. Joseph's Home for Boys on a mountain near Port-au-Prince when the earthquake struck and the building collapsed.
    Renee and Jonathan escaped. Ben did not.
    The next morning, Renee and Jonathan went back up the mountainside but couldn't find him.
    The international Red Cross estimates 45,000 to 50,000 people were killed in the magnitude-7 quake.
    Larson's parents said they learned just after midnight Thursday their son was dead. The church's global mission is working to find and bring him home, they said in the e-mail.


    1. Maureen, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of this fine young man. Praying that God will comfort his family and friends.

    2. This is so horrific, just brings tears to my eyes. God bless this young man.

    3. This is so VERY sad...I can only imagine how his young wife and family very tragic.


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