This senior housing will always have a Santa Clause as long as there’s Roy Larson

By Pat Butler

Leroy Larson, a resident of the Northcenter’s Martha Washington apartments since 2005 and a recent winner of the Schulter Foundation’s Senior Citizen of the Year Award, was honored for his organizational skills in putting together parties and Bingo games, sometimes on the spur of the moment.

What most of his many friends may still not know were his activities with the U.S. Army in Ethiopia back in the early 1960s. 

“I never heard of the place before.  Didn’t know where it was,” said Larson.

Neither did most Americans at the time.

And Uncle Sam probably wanted to keep it that way.

 “It was a top secret operation” in a country ruled by one of the world’s last absolute monarchs – Haile Selassie, who claimed direct descent from Solomon and Sheba.

Once back home, Larson spent 10 years as auditor for Plitt Theaters and later as a collector on the Illinois Tollway. 

Though retired, he’s still the money man at Bethany United Church of Christ and served as finance officer at the Tattler American Legion Post.

But anyone who knows him will tell you he’s never been about money.

Today, when he’s not out walking his rescue dog, Sassie, Roy Larson getting the decorations and other party necessities and reaching out to those who have nowhere to celebrate on holidays.

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