Balaton loses a ‘bright light’

Residents of the Balaton area this week celebrated the life of Bruce Larson, a pillar of the community whose loss has shaken the small town.

“I learned a lot of my work ethic from Bruce,” said Taylor Onken, whose godparents are Stanley and Jean Larson, Bruce’s parents. “If my parents weren’t home, Bruce or Stan would pick us up from the bus. Even now when I have my own kids, he stepped up and helped me pick up my kids. He’s always been kind of the community caretaker, always helping other people.”

Larson, who was 48, died in a grain bin accident on May 14. The Murray County Sheriff’s Office said Larson became submerged in the bin and was unable to free himself. Larson was extricated from the bin, but lifesaving measures taken by emergency responders were unsuccessful.

This week, Larson was remembered as someone who was always there for anyone who needed a hand.