Raymond Melvin Larson
Tuesday 17th of August 1943 - Sunday 1st of August 2021
Raymond Melvin Larson, age 77, died peacefully on Aug 1, 2021 at Baptist Hospital in Lexington KY. Born on Aug 17, 1943 in Yakima WA, Ray was the second of two children of Lt Col Robert S Larson (USAF) and Ruth M Larson. The family moved to Korea, Florida and France before finally settling Lexington, where Ray attended the University of Kentucky for both his undergraduate and law degrees. While at UK, Ray was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, and it was there that he met and married the love of his life, Betty Larson of Eminence KY. Following his graduation, Ray practiced law in Paducah KY, where he was named the city’s court prosecutor in 1972. Ray soon returned to Central KY and served as an assistant deputy attorney general in Frankfort from 1974 until 1985, where he was responsible for creating the state’s Special Prosecutions Division. In 1985, Ray was appointed Fayette County Commonwealth Attorney by Gov Martha Layne Collins. Ray was subsequently elected to 5 six-year terms in the office, where he served Fayette County for 32 years until his retirement in 2016. He treasured the relationships he built with his colleagues, and he viewed the team as members of his family. Ray believed in justice and accountability. He strove to ensure that everyone be treated fairly and under the same rules. He was a passionate advocate for victims of crime, and he spent his entire career working tirelessly on their behalf to ensure they received justice. During his tenure, Ray helped to establish the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass, and he played a significant role in bringing the seat belt law to Fayette County.
Ray was a faithful and dedicated attendee of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Lexington, where he served many years as a eucharistic minister, and over 30 years teaching the high school Sunday School class. The time he spent working with, teaching and supporting the young men and women in this class was one of his greatest pleasures. But it was during his last decade that Ray took on the role that he cherished most of all, that of a grandfather. Ray’s 3 grandchildren were the greatest joy of his life, and he enjoyed buying them candy and LEGOs whenever they wanted. Ray is survived by his wife of 52 years, Betty Helburn Larson; by his son David Larson and wife, Amelie; his 3 beloved grandchildren; and by his brother, Bob Larson, of San Antonio TX.
Visitation will be from 4:00pm – 7:00pm, Wed, Aug 4th at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, located at 533 E. Main St in Lexington. A funeral service will be held at 1pm on the following day, Thurs, Aug 5th, also at Good Shepherd. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions please go to the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass, Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, or Camp Horsin’ Around. We also encourage all attendees to adhere to whatever personal safety protocols and guidelines are currently in place for public gatherings.
The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd is also live-streaming the service. It can be viewed on their Facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/GoodShepherdLex/ or on their https://www.goodshepherdlex.org/
Thank you Ray for your passion driven service. Honored to have known you.
I always enjoyed seeing Ray sitting upstairs watching the grandchildren play tennis. He was such a great grandfather!!! Always so personable and kind to me as we talked before and after tennis lessons. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so very sorry for your loss.
Betty, my thoughts and prayers are with you! I have admired the work that Ray has done for many people. Lexington is so much better because of the work he did. May our God hold you close as you proceed to put him to rest.
Clay Massey Bishop Jrsays
I admired and respected him. He was a wonderful man and I am proud to have known him. I worked with him as a fellow prosecutor of 33 years, and taught young prosecutors alongside him for many years at the Kentucky Prosecutors Institute. We were on the first-ever faculty in 1999. My family and I mourn his passing, and our prayers are with you.
Mary Alice Skidmore Hewittsays
Every time I have been with Ray and Betty Larson it has been a pure pleasure. Ray was so pleasant, such a gentleman. Betty is a delight. We are keeping you Betty, and your family in prayer for God’s grace and mercy to help you in this time of grief. Rest in His love.
I have great respect for Ray as a person and prosecutor. He was instrumental in directing prosecutors from simply trial attorneys to a person having compassion for victims. His strong character was always ready to acknowledge others and share a laugh. We will miss his leadership and advocacy.