Mary Larson-Heetland
Mary Larson-Heetland
Mary Larson-Heetland
Mary Larson-Heetland
Mary Larson-Heetland

Obituary of Mary Lois Larson-Heetland

Obituary of Mary Lois Larson-Heetland

On the 1st of January 2022 Mary was called to her heavenly home, exactly 42 years since she married her husband, Sidney Ray Heetland.  She is survived by her husband Sid, their children Joshua, Timothy, and Paulina.  Joshua married Kalyn and together they have given Mary and Sid four wonderful grandchildren – Landon, Dakota, Levi, and Addalyn.  Mary’s full brothers Paul and Dan Larson and their families also survive her.  She was preceded in death by her parents Herman and Pauline Larson, and her half siblings Douglas, Emma, Sofie, David, Ruth, and Herman.

Mary was born on 1 Dec 1955 in Red Oak, IA.  Her father Herman, who served many years as a missionary to China during the years of the Boxer Rebellion, died when Mary was just one and a half years old. Pauline proceeded to raise her family single-handedly in Skandia, MI.  In 1979, Sidney was stationed by the Air Force near Mary’s home, started attending Pauline’s church and in May 1979 was introduced to Mary who was home for a brief vacation.  Their romance proceeded rapidly via mail and phone.  When the Air Force proposed shipping Sid to Korea or Japan, they decided to move their planned wedding date up to 1 Jan 1980 so that they could be together in Japan.  Before their wedding, they had only 20 days physically together for “courting” because Mary had gone back to Tacoma, WA for college and work.

Their son Joshua was “Made in Japan” (born in Oct 1984 at Yokota Air Base, Japan).  In Jan 1985, they moved to northern Virginia where Sid served in the Pentagon.  After 4 years in Virginia, they moved to Montgomery, AL for Sid’s school in Aug 1989.   Mary’s mother Pauline had a major stroke in the fall of 1989 and Mary traveled to Michigan to be with her.  Thus Tim was born at K.I. Sawyer AFB, MI.  A month later Mary, baby Tim, young Joshua, and Grandma Pauline moved to Alabama to rejoin Sid.  Grandma Pauline lived with Mary and Sid’s family for the next 17 years and blessed their lives with her great love for God and family.  Paulina was born in Dayton, OH in Nov 1992.  Mary, Sid and family spent over 25 years at various locations around the world while active in the Air Force. 

Sid retired from the Air Force in Jan 2006 and eventually found a job back in the Northern Virginia area where they rejoined their congregation at Living Savior Lutheran Church in Fairfax Station, VA.  Mary is remembered for her gracious love and welcoming nature that touched the heart of every person she met.  She led the summer Vacation Bible School at Living Savior for nearly 15 years, faithfully sang in the choir, worked many fellowship events, and was the backbone of the Lutherans for Life Northern Virginia Chapter.  Every year she coordinated housing and dinners for the 20 to 40 Concordia Mequon college students coming for the annual March for Life. Somehow, she always knew the best way to recruit people and get everyone working together joyfully.  Mary once told her daughter Paulina, “I see a need and I do it.  Everyone else sees a need and forms a committee.”

Mary loved the time spent with family, especially her many trips to Iowa to be with her beloved grandchildren.  When Kalyn, her daughter-in-law was injured, she dropped everything to drive the 1200 miles to Iowa to spend many weeks and months helping with the grandchildren. Her love for all children was again exhibited during her final days in the hospital when she was unable to speak because of the life support systems, but she texted Paulina reminding her to prepare the preschool children’s Christmas gifts and deliver them to church.

Mary’s love for Jesus and Christian witness is an example to everyone. She will be greatly missed.


Our celebration of Mary Larson-Heetland’s life on this earth and funeral service will be Saturday 8 Jan 2022 at Living Savior Lutheran Church (LSLC), 5500 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, VA 22039.  


Friday 7 Jan 2022 

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm  - Public viewing of Mary Larson-Heetland and meeting with their family  


Saturday 8 Jan 2022

1:00 pm  - Public viewing @ LSLC open to all at

2:00 pm - Funeral Service

For those of you who would prefer to not travel, we will also be live streaming the 8 Jan 2022 funeral service for Mary on our church website:

~ 3:30 pm - Reception follows at LSLC in Klein Hall open to all – likely a potluck with sandwiches, snacks, desserts

Mary will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Valentine's Day, 14 February 2022.  Services will start at 3:00pm in the Old Post Chapel at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.



In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to any of these three charities:

· Lutherans for Life, 101 5th Street, Nevada, IA 50201-1816  (Supports Life Issues)

· Divine Mercy Care,  4001 Fair Ridge Drive, Suite 305,      Fairfax, VA 22033-2917 (Local OB-GYN care linked with Crisis Pregnancy Centers)

· LCMS Mission Central, 40718 Highway E16, Mapleton, IA 51034-7105 (LCMS Missionaries world wide support)

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Mary
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Advent Funeral and Cremation Services - Falls Church
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