Kirk Tom Larsen
By Joan DuBois   
May 13, 2009
TOM LARSON (1948 - 2009)

Funeral arrangements: Viewing 7 - 9 PM this Friday, May 15, 2009.

Funeral  2 PM Saturday May 16, 2009 at Jones Funeral Chapel in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada

We are sadden to report the death of Tom Larson on May 7, 2009, in Canada. According to his brother Adriel, his family was with him and he passed away peacefully. Tom was 61 years old and had been battled illness for two years; a blood infection kept attacking his system, his liver, kidneys, & heart, were constantly at risk. He was a strong man. His brother suggested the "Tom Larson Memorial Fund' in lieu of flowers. The family is very selfless. They may have a memorial for him in Chicago in July and of course, we would help support it.

Tom Larson loved the Chicago Public School students, his happiness came from assisting them in attaining their highest potential. His life’s dream was to see the underprivileged youth in Chicago succeed. Tom’s ultimate joy came from his goals of helping others which he gave countless hours of his time, he was truly an altruistic man. Besides his strength in character, he had a positive attitude & sense of humor that was highly appreciated; he could lighten up the darkest skies. Tom will be missed, for he was always there to listen & freely share his wisdom. It was an honor to work with him & be his friend.

Tom Larson’s Chess Accomplishments:

Tuley Park Chess Club with friend, Tom Fineberg founded in the 70’s. This program produced many successful chess players in CPS  i.e. Whitney Young student Kayin Barclay who graduated in 2008 as the highest USCF rated player in CPS, and won the ‘IL HS Invitational Tournament’ in 2005 & 2006. 1986 Tom as the math teacher, implemented a chess program at Orr HS, his idea was to help the students develop self esteem & motivation. 1996 Orr High School team tied for 1st Place at the National HS Chess Championship in Sommerset NJ. Tom's plan worked, all the students from his team stayed out of gangs & are living a good life today. This is a testimonial of his dedication & desire for his students to succeed both in school & life. As a result of the success of the chess team, Tom was appointed Chess Coordinator for CPS Sports Department. 1999; he arranged for GM Maurice Ashley’s visit to Chicago & organized a CPS HS Tournament with a $10,000 scholarship donated by the David McDonald Foundation. Tom established the, ’CPS All Star Tournament’ at the Mayor Daley’s Holiday Sports Festival, with the Renaissance Knights Chess Foundation, now in its fourth year.

Tom Larson dedicated his life to serving students, especially underprivileged children, this is most apparent to all who knew him well: family, friends, CPS & the Chess Community.

The ultimate goal is to honor Tom & continue to assist students in CPS.

In lieu of flowers you can donate to: ‘TOM LARSON MEMORIAL FUND’

Mail Donations:  ‘TOM LARSON MEMORIAL FUND’ RKNIGHTS - PO Box 1074, Northbrook, IL 60065.

Obituary provided by David and Sheila Heiser, Renaissance Knights Chess Foundation, Northbrook, IL.

Tom Larson - May you rest in peace.