St. Thomas sophomore Michael “Carson” Larson died on Saturday, Dec. 11, in a house fire. He was 20 years old. Carson, who was asleep on the couch at the time the fire broke out, is heralded a hero by the home’s other occupants. According to one of his roommates, Larson woke everyone in the house by shouting about the fire, which allowed three people to escape to safety.

Carson was a communication and journalism major who had aspirations of becoming a sports reporter.

Here are a few reflections on Carson’s life:


I was filled with gratitude as I listened to the reflections of student after student on the qualities that made Carson a person who people could and did love. In the end, I found myself grateful for Carson, for his friends, for his consistent civility and for the heroism with which his life ended. The Judaeo-Christian wisdom tradition teaches that in death, life is changed, not ended. We give thanks for the life of Michael “Carson” Larson, and that the wonderful thing about human life is that it goes on forever.

 – Father Dennis Dease, president of St. Thomas


Regularly, he would come home and “talk up” St. Thomas and the people he had met there. One day he was going on and on about how great it was at St. Thomas and he proclaimed that he going to be the president there one day. He was a genius at math and thoroughly enjoyed teaching and helping his brothers and sisters in that subject. Of course, the Twins were the other important thing in life. He and his dad would sit together in the living room or in the truck driving and talk for hours about sports and life. He loved his dad with all his heart and thought the world of him. These past few years he had become a pensive man who felt strongly about right and wrong in life. In general, Mike thought that relationships with people were the most important thing in life. And this is exactly what Jesus wants us to do here, love one another. Mike, you loved strong! We love you and will miss you immensely.

– Julia Larson, step-mother


Carson, you always valued your friends and family and put them first. I remember during first semester, you always talked about your family, and even showed me videos and pictures of the favorite things you would do together. You especially talked a lot about your friends from Woodbury; they meant so much to you, and I’m glad you introduced me to them. I can’t believe you’re gone. Everywhere I walk and everything I see on campus reminds me of you. Last summer, when I first came over to your house on Selby Avenue, I remember having our usual heart-to-heart talk, and you shared that your favorite memory of us together was during finals week of spring semester. We sat down under the tree to play with the hatching and hairy caterpillars. I was so grossed out by bugs, but you got me to calm down, break my fear and sit by you under the tree. You loved nature, and had a soft side for little critters. I’ll never forget that. Carson, you taught me so many good, valuable things. I know you’ll always be with me, and I’m so glad I got to know you so well. It’s not a goodbye, but a “see you later.” I love you so much.

 – Grace Vo, friend

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