Elmer “Al” Larkin

September 19th

Elmer “Al” Larkin, 80, of Syracuse, passed away on Saturday, September 18, 2010 at

his residence. He was born on July 20, 1930 in Burt, Michigan (Saginaw County) to Ellsworth and Mary Grace (Near) Larkin.

On October 16, 1954 he married Patricia Ann Kirby (divorced in 1975).  On August 21, 1979 he married Mary Helen (Fox) – she preceded in August 2006.

Al resided in Saginaw County Michigan for 37 years (3 years in Big Rapids, MI) before

moving to Syracuse in 1973.  He was raised on his parents farm in Saginaw Michigan.  After graduating high school in 1949 he worked as a Mack Truck mechanic in MI for several years. He joined the Air Force in 1951.  He served his country from 1951 – 1955 traveling to Libya, Rome, Greece, Italy, France and Germany starting new generator versions for F80 and F86 aircrafts.  Upon discharge from the Air Force he purchased a 180 acre farm which had grown to 700 acres by 1968.  His farm produced sugar beets, navy beans, soy beans, pickles, corn and wheat.  He eventually acquired health problems and sold the farm.  In 1968 he went to work for Aero-Craft Boat Company in St. Charles, Michigan as Mold Room foreman and was later foreman of boat assembly.  When Aero-Craft was sold to Browning he became partial owner and plant engineer of Michi-Craft Canoe Company from 1970-1973.  In 1973 he joined Sea Nymph as General Superintendent and he remained there for 19 years, retiring in 1992.

He was a life member and former chaplain of the V.F.W. in Syracuse, a member of the Eagles in Syracuse, and a member of the American Legion of Syracuse.  He loved to collect and restore old John Deere tractors. He belonged to two tractor clubs: The Northern Indiana Two-Cylinder Club and Echoes of the Past which he co-founded in 1992.  Al has entered his tractors in many shows and parades winning several awards.  He started a business, “Fenders by Midwest” building reproduction tractor fenders, to support his hobby of restoring tractors.

He is survived by 5 daughters and 1 son: Kathleen (Gordon) Comer of Tampa, FL; Colleen (John) Rosso of Manchester, MD; Annette (Jeri) Good of Elsie, MI; Robert Larkin of Syracuse, IN; Janine (Robert) Freier of Birch Rum, MI; Linda (Jim) Freeland of Richland MI,  Step daughter, Diann Garnell of Augusta, GA and Step-Sons: Curt (Beverly) Smith of Syracuse, IN and Dean (Aimee) Smith of Waterford, MI. 21 Grandchildren; 14 Great Grandchildren; Brother, Bruce (Patricia) Larkin of Burt, MI; Sister, Alice (Jerry) Breiski of Burt, MI.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife ,Mary, 4 sisters: Margaret, Geraldine, Lula and Wilma and his brother Howard Larkin. Also a special friend Wilma Kurtz.

Services will be held Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 1:00 PM at Eastlund Funeral Home in Syracuse. Pastor Harlan Steffen will officiate.  Burial will follow at Syracuse Cemetery with full Military Graveside Service. Friends may call from 2-4 and 6-8 PM on Tuesday at the funeral home and 1 hour prior to services on Wednesday.

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