Wayne Keith Larsen passed away at Homestead House Assisted Living in Beatrice, NE on September 23, 2022 at the age of 95 years and 10 months. Wayne was born to Clarence A. and D. Loree' (LePoidevin) Larsen on November 23, 1926 near Filley, NE. Wayne grew up on farms in rural Gage County Nebraska, attending various country schools as a young boy. Wayne then attended Beatrice Senior High, graduating in 1944. Wayne played basketball for the Beatrice Orangemen from 1942-1944 and had many good memories of playing high school basketball with his older brother and driving their jointly-owned 1931Oldsmobile into school. Wayne was active in both 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) during and after high school and served as the Beatrice FFA President and Vice-President during his junior and senior years of high school. Wayne received 1st place honors at the Nebraska State Fair in 4-H Crops Judging and was also awarded a trip to Chicago for his accomplishments in 4-H during this time period. He continued to enjoy playing sports after high school, often with both his older and younger brother as teammates in a Beatrice area town team basketball league.\nWayne married Verna M. Dell on May 10, 1947, at the Church of the Brethren near Holmesville, NE. After getting married, Wayne worked at Storekraft Manufacturing for two years while getting established as a farmer, but then left his "town job" to pursue farming full-time. From his early years of involvement in 4-H, FFA, and vocational agriculture classes in high school, it was evident that Wayne was meant to be a farmer. Wayne & Verna farmed south of Beatrice in the Holmesville area in the 1940's & 50's. In 1961, they bought a farm 15 miles southeast of Beatrice, where they lived for the next 30 years, raising crops, livestock, and their kids, and later, where they entertained many of their grandchildren. As Wayne's life-long partner and soul mate, Verna often heard every detail of Wayne's day on the farm as he washed up for supper, whether that be Spring planting, Fall harvesting, fixing an equipment breakdown, or tracking down a cow due to calf. A few times Verna had to track down Wayne himself when he was long overdue for supper from fieldwork or checking the crops, only to find he had met one of the neighbors on the road and ended up having a two-hour conversation through the rolled down window of his pick-up truck.\nWayne had an unwavering drive and focus on the next task at hand and had a high tolerance for cutting weeds from his soybean fields, painting the highest peak of a barn, and other tasks that required hours of sustained physical labor. Among all of his farming activities, he may most of all enjoyed the hours spent on the tractor tilling the soil or in a combine harvesting his crops. Wayne was truly blessed to be able to farm, tend to his cattle and hog operations, and live out his passion over a span of almost 70 years and leave that legacy of memories to his children, their families, and his small community of neighboring farm families.\nWayne was an 83-year member of the First Christian Church in Beatrice being baptized on April 16, 1939. Wayne served for many years as a Church Deacon and later as a Church Elder and also served two terms as Church Board President.\nWayne served on the school boards of the Rockford School District in the 1960's and Lewiston Consolidated Schools in the 1970's & early 1980's. Wayne also served on the Board of Directors of the Farmers Union Co-op Oil & Supply Co. in Beatrice for several years.\nWayne enjoyed hunting pheasant & quail; watching his kids and his neighbors' kids play sports; and he & Verna's rare vacations to places such as Yellowstone, Disneyworld, The Bahamas, the pyramids of Egypt, and the Holy Lands of Israel. Wayne also enjoyed finances, doing his income taxes (yes, really), farm & livestock auctions, and always loved to "visit". Wayne was well known by his family and friends to be quite a conversationalist and could strike up a conversation with anyone. During their retirement years, Wayne & Verna enjoyed square dancing, playing cards with various card party groups, and become very active in the activities of their Church. The friendships that grew out of all of these various interests and experiences, as well as the many years of partnering with neighboring farmers to harvest crops, butcher an animal to provide food for their families, or put-up hay were numerous and developed into so many rich friendships that endured throughout the many years of Wayne's life.\nWayne is survived by his 4 children, Sandy Meints & husband Wes of Pickrell, Max Larsen & special friend Anita Hoffman of Liberty, Jim Larsen, and Linda Larsen, both of Beatrice; 5 grandchildren - Holly Meints Hillyer, Blake Meints & wife Jami, Neeley Meints Morrison & husband Paul, Jonas Larsen & wife Jenna, and Sheena Larsen Deke & husband Jared; 10 great-grandchildren - Addison & Brody Hillyer, Crew & London Meints, Chace & Cole Larsen, Knox & Jax Morrison, Rahelynn Deke & her baby sister Deke, due to arrive in March 2023; brothers Marvin Larsen of Auburn and Ralph Larsen & wife Virginia of Beatrice, sister Ruby Hardin & husband Roland of Blue Springs; sister-in-law Modena Flesner of Clinton, IA; and several nieces & nephews. Wayne was preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, Verna Larsen (4-24-2020); his parents, Clarence & Loree' Larsen, parents-in-law R.E. & Zelma Dell, infant daughter Deanna Kay Larsen, daughter-in-law Denise "Denny" Larsen, brothers-in-law Marion Dell & wife Audrey and Duane Dell & wife Yvonne, sister-in-law Jean Larsen, brother-in-law Gene Flesner, and nephews Rodney Wayne Hardin and Randall Flesner. \nPublic graveside service at Evergreen Home Cemetery at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, September 28th with Pastor Mike Hanneman of First Christian Church presiding. Visitation from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, Sept. 27th with family members greeting friends at the mortuary from 5:30 - 7:30 PM. Memorial contributions to First Christian Church of Beatrice with the funeral home in charge. A public celebration of life service for both Wayne & Verna will be held at the First Christian Church in Beatrice at 10:30 AM on Saturday, November 12, 2022, with a luncheon immediately following in the Church's Fellowship Hall. The celebration of life service will also be livestreamed on the Church's Facebook page. A family prayer service will be held at 10:00 AM on November 12th at the church. Sign Wayne's online guest book and watch his video tribute when completed at www.ghchapel.com.\nThese services have been entrusted to the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice.