Cover photo for Larissa Blackwell's Obituary
Larissa Blackwell Profile Photo
1947 Larissa 2024

Larissa Blackwell

May 4, 1947 — January 6, 2024

Sioux Falls

Our best friend and wife of fifty-seven years;
Our mother and protector of fifty-two years;
Our grandmother and champion of twenty-two years:
Larissa Colleen Blackwell passed on Saturday, January 6, 2024.
 
Larissa (neé Pohl) was born in Montreal, Quebec on May 4, 1947 to Colleen (neé Briscoe) and George Spangler of Kansas City, MO. She grew up in Kansas City but also spent much time climbing trees and growing watermelons with Granddad Robert Briscoe and his hounddogs in Foster, MO.
 
She graduated from Northeast High School of Kansas City in 1965. Larissa married Loren Blackwell a year later on June 18, 1966 after a successful setup by the wife of their church pastor. The two lived in Missouri and Wisconsin before settling near the Twin Cities of Minnesota as they completed both schooling and military service.  Soon after, Larissa earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Minnesota. She worked as a reliable, much-loved medical technologist for the next four decades in hospitals across Minnesota and in Sioux Falls, SD. Larissa was frequently recognized for her knowledge and diagnostic skills, earning numerous awards and being sought for leadership all along the way.
 
Larissa was a skilled, enthusiastic cook. She kept her kitchen stocked, garden growing and constantly aimed to learn new recipes. These talents she taught her family with supportive delight. She valued travel over possessions; camping was an especial hobby and Hawaii a favorite destination. Music was another love she shared as an avid listener and concert goer. Favorites ranged from Elvis to Adam Lambert, Neil Diamond and ABBA to Prince, Yanni to Imagine Dragons, musicals Phantom of the Opera to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. She willingly suffered through many a school concert and even could be found at the occasional rock or metal performance at the begging of her kids! Among her many other interests we think of her love of action movies and TV, enthusiastic embrace of emojis, all things Siamese cats and benefiting animals, supporting the arts and sciences, promoting charities throughout the world, chilling with her grandkids, bickering playfully with a furtive gesture at the ready when we deserved it!
 
Many of us already miss Larissa with her generous, gracious, and comforting spirit. Immediate family remembering her presence include doting husband Loren of Sioux Falls, SD; daughter Rachelle Rago (neé Blackwell) with husband Jim and children Madeline, Alexander and Amelia of Plainfield, IL; son Patrick Blackwell and children Xavier, Catherine and Daphne of Sioux Falls, SD; sister Georgia Goodman of Rayville, MO; sister-in-law Karen Bruns with husband Jim of Newburgh, IN; chosen daughters Shari Lindsay of Raymore, MO and Julie Schonrock of Ellendale, MN; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews across the country and, last of all, her beloved grandkitties Lulu, Dexter, Spock, Alfredo and Sydney.
 
 
Through her life,
Our Larissa, Mom and Grandma
Exemplified “Don’t dream it, be it”
Through active, vivid love.
 
Through her life,
Past challenges, setbacks, and struggles
Our Larissa, Mom and Grandma
Proved what she taught us:
“Don't let your heart be hardened
Don't let your love grow cold
May it always stay so childlike
May it never grow too old.”
 
 
 
***In lieu of flowers, we ask for donations in Larissa’s name to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital of Memphis, TN.***

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