On May 29, 1968, the LORD God blessed Paul Larsen and his wife Kathleen nee Healy with the gift of a baby boy, Joel Andrew. Joel was born in Winner, South Dakota and was fourth in a family of two girls and three boys.
Psalm 23:1-3 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.
The most precious gift God gave is His handling of sin for Joel. The Savior’s death on the cross of Calvary and triumph over death on Easter removed the sin of all the world. Joel’s soul was refreshed when his sins were washed away by God’s Spirit through Baptism at Peace Lutheran Church of Mission, SD on June 9, 1968. Joel was confirmed in the Christian faith on May 22, 1983 (Pentecost Sunday) at Berea Lutheran Church in Inver Grove Heights, MN and was spiritually nourished through a life-long study of God’s Word and use of the Lord’s Supper. Joel graduated from Immanuel Lutheran High School in Eau Claire, WI in 1987 and furthered his studies at Immanuel Lutheran College.
Psalm 23: 4-5 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Joel traveled through many hills and valleys through life, first following his parents in their work to Corpus Christi, TX; Ketchikan, AK; and Jamestown, ND before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 1992.
The LORD blessed Joel with a devoted and loving Christian wife, Jennifer Dawn Campbell, on June 28, 1997 in Independence, MO. He added the blessing of children to this union; Benjamin, Meghan, and Samuel. Jennifer faithfully kept Joel grounded and out of mischief (no small task), and created a safe and loving home life throughout.
Joel faithfully served our country through a career in the Marine Corps. Jennifer and their young family supported him throughout his service, which included Okinawa, Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton, Fort Leonard Wood, and Kansas City, MO settling in Lee’s Summit, MO. Joel thrived as a Marine, played for the Marine baseball team, and served for a number of years recruiting other young men and women to join the Corps – where they would gain the same life changing experience and develop lifelong bonds as he had. Joel retired from the Marines as a Chief Warrant Officer in August, 2012. Following retirement from the Marine Corps, Joel worked with the Marine Corps as a civilian contractor, and then as a Federal Protection Officer for the Department of Homeland Security.
Joel was born to compete – he was a gifted athlete, especially in baseball, and passed that passion along to his sons, Ben and Sam. Joel was proud of the way his daughter Meghan used her God-given talents in music and voice. Joel kept every gathering lively, dishing out a constant stream of Marine stories, giving all a good-natured hard time, and sharing his deep belly laugh. Joel and his family were also active in their church families at Beautiful Savior and most recently at Christ Lutheran.
In late September, Joel contracted Covid-19 and battled the virus for four weeks before his body succumbed to it on October 21, 2021 with Jennifer and Pastor Russ Peterson at his side. He died at the age of 53 years, 4 months, and 22 days. Joel’s soul is with his Savior Jesus and his body will be laid to rest at Leavenworth National Cemetery in Kansas, where it will await the resurrection to eternal life on the Last Day, as Jesus – who is always faithful – promised. Semper Fi!
Psalm 23:6 Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Joel was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Kathleen Larsen, and his nephew Paul Larsen
Still in the time of grace are:
Joel’s beloved wife Jennifer and their children Benjamin, Meghan, and Samuel
his sister Lisa (Timothy) Noeldner of Eau Claire, WI
his brother Jonathan (Karen) Larsen of Three Way, TN
his brother Aaron Larsen of St. Paul, MN
his sister Rachel (Marchel) Krieger of Jamestown, ND
his father and mother-in-law, Bill and Connie Campbell of Grain Valley, MO
his brother and sister-in-law, Chris and Becca Campbell of Lee’s Summit, MO
an extended family of many nieces, nephews and relatives and friends, especially from the U.S. Marine Corps and his church family at Christ Lutheran of Overland Park, KS
Joel’s family would like to thank the staff at Lee’s Summit Medical Center and at Research Medical in Kansas City for their tender care.
The family suggests that memorials may be designated for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The family respectfully requests that those attending wear a mask, vaccinated or unvaccinated. We have lost a beloved member of our family and we want to protect all of our loved ones
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