Long-time Coral Gables resident, Bernard (Bernie) Larsen, died Wednesday, February 20th in Winter Garden, Florida at the age of 91. Born February 1, 1928 in Jersey City, New Jersey to O. Arthur Larsen and Dorothy Murphy, he is survived by his wife of 60 years, May, his daughter Nancy, granddaughters, Brittany and Courtney and great-grandsons Aiden and Parker.
Bernie Graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and later gained his license as a Professional Engineer. He served in and was honorably discharged from the Naval Reserve. He was quick to enter the Oil and Gas Business by joining Aramco in Saudi Arabia. It was here that he gained much of his knowledge of the Middle East. When the opportunity arose, he and May settled in Beirut, Lebanon where he developed his own successful business, Oil Tools Middle East.
When the troubles started in Lebanon, Bernie returned to the US with May and Nancy and settled in Miami. Here he engaged in Commercial Real Estate development and spent his free time boating, becoming a member of Coral Reef Yacht Club, a membership he retained until his death. He also enjoyed playing golf as well as taking annual ski trips to Colorado with his family.
After a few years in south Florida, it was not long before the oil business beckoned again. He joined Occidental Petroleum and headed to the North Sea and London to manage the Flotta Island development in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. This very successful project led to his return to the US where he became President of Occidental Engineering. From here Bernie undertook the management of several major projects for Oxy. A residence in Bogota for a major pipeline, follow up in Iraq and Kuwait after the first Gulf war, then back to London to manage the Oxy Yemen development. This took him through to retirement and then to various consulting tasks worldwide. He kept his enthusiasm for engineering and the oil business throughout his life.
Bernie and his wife, May travelled the globe over their 60-year marriage, touring Europe, going on safari in Africa and sailing along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. For the last 24 years he has enjoyed living in Coral Gables and sailing in the Florida Keys and Caribbean, taking ski trips to Lake Tahoe and Austria as well as spending time with family. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.