John Theodore “JT” “Ted” Larson, a lawyer and longtime California resident, died on January 9, 2021 at age 73 at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka.

JT was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota on July 30, 1947 to Helen and Lowell Larson. His family lived in Morris, Minnesota, where he survived polio at age 8, until moving to Northridge, California at age 11. He attended California Lutheran University earning a degree in Philosophy and Theology in 1969, during which time he spent a year studying at the University of Tübingen, Germany. JT continued his education at the University of California, Berkeley and earned a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Philosophy of Religion in 1973. From 1973-1975 he worked as a chaplain at the University California San Francisco Hospital; there he comforted the sick, the dying, and their loved ones. A Rhodes Scholar candidate, JT received his Law Degree from the University of California Hastings’ College of Law in 1977. After passing the California Bar Exam he began his career as a civil litigation attorney at the Law Firm of Phinney, Caccia, and Larson in San Francisco, where he stayed from 1977-1989. After moving to Eureka with his previous wife and two young sons, JT began a private law practice in Old Town where he had an office for 30 years.

JT was a son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather, and devoted outdoorsman. He loved Humboldt county’s rivers, oceans, and forests, which he knew well. As much as he loved the natural beauty of the area, he truly loved Eureka and the local community. Not only a hunter and fisherman, JT was also an avid gardener and amazing cook. He loved sharing food and drink with friends and was always up for a good time and adventure!

If you knew JT then you’ve certainly laughed with him. His remarkable ability to tell a joke was only surpassed by his ability to quote philosophers and songwriters; E.E. Cummings and Bob Dylan were among the many that brought him insight because his connection to poetry captured his love for life and spirit. For those who spent time around the Lost Coast Brewery, you couldn’t miss him in his red suspenders and blue jeans. JT always had time for people; his free legal counsel and good humor will be greatly missed. In true JT fashion, we share with you with a favorite piece by Wendell Berry:

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
and I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Ted is survived by his wife, Patricia Fitzgerald; his children Jake and Mike Larson; his siblings Carol, Thom, Eric, and Evan; his grandsons Grayden and Landon. Other family members through marriage include Victoria, Keith, and grandson T. Maurice.

There will be a memorial celebration later in 2021 on a brighter day.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of JT Larson’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.