Christine Ann Larson
July 28, 1948 – May 22, 2021
Christine “Chris” Ann Larson died peacefully on Saturday, May 22, 2021. She was surrounded by friends and family at the time of her death, just as she was during her long and happy life.
She was born July 28, 1948, to Roger and Lucille Larson in Colfax because her hometown of Pullman did not have a public hospital. She was raised in Pullman and attended public school there, graduating from Pullman High School in 1966. Chris graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 1970 and she obtained her degree in physical therapy from the United States Army Medical Field Service School. Following graduation in San Antonio, she was stationed as a first Lieutenant at Letterman Army Hospital at the Presidio in San Francisco where she began her professional life.
In 1972 she joined her father in his physical therapy practice in Pullman and continued to work there until she moved to Spokane to become the Director of Rehabilitation for Family Home Care (FHC). She was active in the Washington State Physical Therapy Association and was the P.T. of the Year for Washington State in 1996. She was appointed to the State Physical Therapy Licensing Board (by three different governors) and served nine years, three as Board President. Chris left FHC to return to private practice in Post Falls and eventually created a return-to-work fitness and consulting program for industrial medicine for Eagle Rehabilitation. In 1997, Chris left physical therapy and began working for the Area Health Education Center at WSU Spokane as a project manager, researching how to recruit and retain primary care providers for rural underserved communities. She left Washington State to become the Director of Professional Standards for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy in the D.C. area and served in that position prior to her retirement in 2007.
During her tenure in Pullman, Chris was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, where she was the leader for the high school youth group, S.P.L.A.S.H. Chris supervised trips to national youth gatherings and initiated an annual family camp for the TLC congregation at Camp Larson, a camp for disabled children founded by her father. She was a member of the Board of Regents at Pacific Lutheran University and was also elected to serve on the Board of Directors for Holden Village serving for 12 years, two years as President.
Following her retirement, Chris moved to Green Bay, Wis., to be with her lifelong partner, Catherine A. Henze. Catherine and Chris met at Holden Village and were married there in 2017 surrounded by family and friends from across the country. Chris and Catherine are active members of the local Friendship Force (FFEWNI) and traveled around the world with friends from FFEWNI in addition to welcoming people from all over the world to Spokane and into their home.
Chris is preceded in death by her parents Roger and Lucille Larson, her sister Mary Larson Eng, and her brother Ole Larson. She is survived by her spouse, Catherine Henze (daughter Jamie Leigh and grandson River), her sister Margi Vogel (s. Rodney), her nephew Matthew Eng (s. Lauren and children Kaarin and Larson), her nephew Nathaniel Eng (s. Maggie and sons Albert and Charlie), and her niece Grethe Wood (s. Justin, and daughter Lucy). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church or Holden Village. A celebration of life will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran in Spokane, WA on July 28. The service will also be live streamed; please contact the church for details. Written condolences preferred at http://obituaries.neptunesociety.com
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Christine Ann Larson
June 5, 2021
It was a pleasure to get to know Chris recently through our church experiences and it was so apparent that her humanity radiated clearly for all people. I enjoyed knowing her sister and nephew several years ago and send love to all of her family. I know she is resting in peace.
June 1, 2021
Although I never had the good fortune to have met Christine in person, she was well known and respected with the Washington State Department of Health for her gifts of time, talent and her generous contributions to physical therapy regulation in the state of Washington. To those in our state who have know Christine, she will be greatly missed. To those of us who have not, her life still touches ours as an inspiration for the future as well as the past.
Kathryn F. Dale, PT, OSC, SCS, FAAOMPT
Chair, Washington State Board of Physical Therapy
May 31, 2021
I was very saddened to hear that Christine passed away. Christine was one of the first people I met from FSBPT and was such a great person. I will always remember her because she was so very nice to me and super encouraging when I was a new state board member.
My deepest sympathies to her family.
May 31, 2021
I had the good fortune to meet Chris at FSBPT activities. I have fond memories of her hearty laugh and welcoming ways.
She will be missed....
May 31, 2021
I was fortunate enough to grow up just down the street from the Larson family, and I knew Chris as an older sister of my dear friend Margi. As a kid I was always a little in awe of Chris because she seemed so competent and so kind. Later, as an adult, I admired her courage, her compassion, her devotion, her sense of humor, and her many career accomplishments. Chris definitely made this world a better place, and I'm heartbroken we had to lose her. My heart is with her family and everyone else who loved her, too.
Gary and Beverly Hyde
May 30, 2021
Chris was larger than life in so many ways. She was a good friend to Bev and I and Family. She did PT on my knee in 1984, and a good job of it too. I remember visits to the house she built on Moscow Mountain--what a nice place! Introduced us the hot tub and sauna. We drove by there recently.
Chris impacted so many of us. We shall miss her.
May 28, 2021
You are so very, very missed.
May 27, 2021
I am so sorry to read of Christine's death and offer my sorrow and prayers to her friends and family. I worked with Christine for years through the FSBPT and APTA, and still remember her continual smile! She did leave the world a better place for her having been here!
May 27, 2021
Chris was an absolutely extraordinary person and I am truly grateful for the time I got to share with her. My heartfelt condolences.
May 26, 2021
Remembering Chris for her genuine friendship and presence during the years I served at Pacific Lutheran University. As a PLU Alumna and Regent, she tended to University business with joy and commitment. May God hold her in the palm of God’s hand
And Angels watch over her.
May 26, 2021
I must say I was shocked when I read this, so sorry to hear this and my heart felt condolences to Family and all of Chris's numerous Friends. Reading this made me pause and reflect on how important and instrumental Chris was in my pursuit of a career in Physical Therapy, and I'm not just talking about me. I probably could not even count and do justice to the number of Physical Therapy students Chris guided and mentored while operating her Physical Therapy Practice in Pullman. The number of hours, written recommendations, listening and giving words of encouragement, teaching and just generally being a fantastic Ambassador for the Physical Therapy Profession. Chris defined and lived the words caring and giving. I really do not have the words to describe her influence on so many aspiring young Physical Therapists. All I can say that I was truly blessed to be a student at Washington State at the time that Chris was there. Sometimes life is fate, and how fate would have it , I meant Chris and she mentored and hired me and changed my life. She truly was an inspiration, she is truly an example of how we should lead our lives.
May 26, 2021
I have been a physical therapist colleague of Chris' since I moved to Spokane in 1980. We served together in the Washington State Physical Therapy Association for a number of years, and I often consulted her when she served on the State Physical Therapy Licensing Board. Chris' influential dedication to serving patients, and to physical therapy advocacy motivated me to serve in a variety of leadership positions professionally and academically. She contributed ideas as well to the development of our first physical therapy program in Eastern Washington at Eastern Washington University in 1985, where I was one of the founding faculty. More recently, my husband and I used to run into Chris and Catherine at our local farmer's market in the summer. We always enjoyed catching up. Chris was a force to be reckoned with and I and our entire physical therapy community owe her a debt of gratitude. We will miss her.
Meryl Gersh, PT, PhD, President, American Physical Therapy Association - WA Chapter.