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Shelter Island Reporter obituary: Paul Frederick Larsen

Paul Frederick Larsen, 100, died peacefully at San Simeon by the Sound in Greenport on Nov. 18.

Only three weeks earlier, Paul celebrated his 100th Birthday at home on Shelter Island with his family.

Paul and his twin brother Peder were born Oct. 27, 1922 to Louis Heckman Larsen and his wife Anna (Leek) at home in Caldwell, N.J.

The twins and their older brother Richard grew up in Caldwell. They were one of the earliest pairs of twins to earn the Eagle Scout rank in N.J. They graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Caldwell, and matriculated at Tusculum College in Greenville, Tenn.

A year and a half after the outbreak of World War II, the twins left college and enlisted in the Air Force in 1942 and received their wings as pilots at the same time. The Air Force then separated the twins for the first time in their lives, sending Paul to the Pacific and Peder to Europe.

Paul served in the South Pacific with the 6th Emergency Rescue Squadron of the Army Air Corps, flying air-sea rescue missions, piloting a “Flying Boat” or PBY, with rescue flights ranging from the Philippines to Japan and Korea. One of his last flights was to take press photographers up and over Hiroshima and Nagasaki to photograph the devastation.

Paul returned to college after receiving his discharge from the Air Force in 1946. Graduating in 1949, he joined the family insurance firm of P. Larsen & Sons in Montclair, N.J. Paul became a realtor in Montclair and expanded the family business to include real estate sales.

On Feb. 5, 1955 he married Doris Clegg at Central Presbyterian Church in Montclair. They settled in Upper Montclair where they raised three daughters.

Paul was an active member of the Optimist Club of Montclair for many years, as well as a member of Central Presbyterian Church. He was an avid boater and nature enthusiast, tinkerer and craftsperson with many interests and talents.

For several years during his youth, Paul’s family had rented vacation homes on Shelter Island. In the 1930’s his family purchased land, and in the 1940’s constructed their own vacation home on Menantic Creek.

In 1963, Paul and Doris purchased their home on Menantic Creek next door to the Larsen family home. Many happy years were spent boating and on the beaches of the Island. In 1990, they retired to Venice, Fla. and the Island. In 2015, they moved here permanently to be closer to their daughters and their families.

Doris passed away five years ago at the age of 96. He was predeceased by his brothers Richard and Peder.

Paul is survived by his daughters Alice Deupree (Marvin) of Montclair and Shelter Island; Linda McCarthy (Peter) of Shelter Island; Suzan Newcomb (Mark) of Harwich, Mass.; grandson Lucas Deupree; granddaughters Morgan McCarthy, Kenna McCarthy and Lindsay Newcomb; nephew Peder Larsen and his family of Shelter Island; and his niece Deborah Larsen of North Port, Fla.

A memorial service will be held on Shelter Island (date to be determined) and interment will be in Caldwell, N.J.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Paul’s memory may be made to the Shelter Island Ambulance Foundation, PO Box 547, Shelter Island NY 11964.

The DeFriest-Grattan Shelter Island Funeral Home is serving the family.