Sen. Grant Larson. Photo: Wyoming Legislature

JACKSON, Wyo. — Sen. Grant Larson passed away on September 11. The longtime state legislator served 16 years on the state Senate. He was 87 years old.

Born June 2, 1933, Larson came to the valley as a teenager when his parents moved to Jackson in 1950. They started up the Silver Spur restaurant. Every summer off from attending University of Utah, Grant would help his parents out at the popular eatery, bussing tables, washing dishes—whatever it took.

Grant met the love of his life, Maralyn, at a college dance, and the two married in 1954. After college graduation, Grant joined the Air Force as a pilot and the couple moved around a lot for a few years, but the tug of Jackson Hole had them back before long.

After the passing of his father, Grant sold the Silver Spur but he and Maralyn continued to operate numerous business ventures in Jackson—motels, bars, knickknack shops, a theater and a drive-in—building them up and selling them off.

The couple owned the office supply store The Valley Shop for two decades. They ran a cafeteria at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort the year it opened in 1965.

Service, to his community and his state, is what marked the man. Larson served on the Wyoming Highway Commission and the Jackson Hole Airport Board. He was elected to public office as a Teton County Commissioner, the County Chairman for the Republican Party, and, finally, as a Wyoming State Senator from 1994-2006.

In the state legislature, Larson served as Senate Vice President from 2001 to 2002. He later served as GOP Majority Floor Leader from 2003 to 2004. Larson became President of the Senate in 2005 and served in this position until 2006.

Larson also volunteered as both a board member and subsequent president of the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and Golf & Tennis Clubs. He served on the Board of Jackson State Bank for over 30 years, including a term as Chairman of the Board.