Barbara Anne Larsen

Barbara Anne “Barb” Larsen 84 , Alfred, Actress, Comedienne of life and Theater Director, Barbara Larsen passed away Late Thursday Evening (December 30, 2021) at the age of 84 following a courageous battle with cancer.


Born in Buffalo, NY on August 11, 1937, the “spoiled princess with Shirley Temple Curls” was the daughter of Walter & Eleanor (Grimm) Bollhorst. 


Barb grew up in Orchard Park, NY and was a graduate of West Seneca High School (class of 1955).  She later earned her Degree in Speech and Theater from Ithaca College (class of 1959), while also finding her Future Husband.


She was married on April 4, 1959 to John A. Larsen.  They soon moved to Alfred, New York where Barb worked as a speech therapist for the Hornell School System.  She then followed in her husband’s footsteps changing from Assistant Director and Costume designer for plays and musical casts with over 90 Students in 1977 to continue creating a Dynamic and Statewide Award Winning Theater Department as Director of the Theater, Alfred State College (SUNY Alfred). Barb retired after 20 years of service, but never left her passion for theater. 


Barb adored spending a lifetime on and off the professional stage, from many Star studded Summer Stock productions at the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, Long Island to a TV performance of The Father, with Thom Christopher (One Life To Live). Often performing with her husband, the couple created the Only Dinner Theater in the area for many years at the Big Elms, in Hornell. These performances are still fondly remembered by local theater goers, especially their husband and wife production of, I Do I Do.


Barbara’s most loved role in the theater was in the Solo Production of, A Place On Earth, winning her a State Actress Award, as well as many memorable standing ovations.


Outside of the theater world, Barbara was a voracious reader, known for reading most everything available at box of books. If not reading, she would be found nurturing her creative talents and her “Very green thumb” working in her beautiful flower garden or Plant Room. Weeds were not her friend, but a gorgeous bloom was her love. She also loved to laugh and make others laugh. Loved watching her mentor Carol Burnett and inspiring others with their creative dreams. Also known for her incredible cooking, baking and canning, family recalls only one kitchen fail- a green tomato pie. Her talents also lead to perfecting Pine Needle Basket weaving, shopping online, enjoying her Pet Boxers and making family and friends laugh.


Barbara always missed her husband John who passed. October 20, 2003. 

Those she loved dearly, who will carry on her enthusiasm for life and its unfolding story are 2 sons, Scott Larsen and wife Diane of Fort Edward, NY and Todd Larsen and partner Steven Kowall of Hollywood, CA; 2 grandchildren, Kristen Larsen of San Francisco and Jonathan Larsen and wife Cora of Saratoga Springs, along with 2 great-grandchildren. 


Barb requested there be no calling hours.  A “Celebration of Life” will be held in the Spring 2022.


Funeral arrangements are in care of the Dagon Funeral Home


The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name be made to the John & Barb Theater Scholarship Fund, C/O Theater Department, SUNY Alfred, Alfred, NY 14802 or the Alfred Ambulance Fund, C/O A.E. Crandall Hook & Ladder, Box 582, Alfred, NY 14802 

6 Responses to “Barbara Anne Larsen”

  1. Carol Elliott says:

    We are so very sorry to hear of Barb’s passing. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family. We was a great lady with an awesome laugh, and a great neighbor. We will miss her up here on the hill. RIP Barb

  2. Dan Neverett says:

    Scott, Todd and families, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your Mom was an amazing woman, both on and off stage. Her passion for theater and students was evident in everything that she did at ASC. She was a wonderful colleague for many years. My thoughts are with all of you.

  3. Mark B Roth says:

    Todd and family,
    Please accept my sincerest condolences. What a lovely obituary for no doubt a lovely human being.
    All best to you,
    Mark Roth

  4. Linda Staiger says:

    Barb Larsen’ s Drama Festivals we’re marvelous experiences for hundreds of students in schools around the state. A very no nonsense director who encouraged students in discovering their own love of theater. I loved her laugh..and when she smiled at me, I felt uplifted. We will miss you, Barb

  5. Gerry Flaitz says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss! Barb was a wonderful lady who I got to know while helping out around her yard. She made us laugh very often even when you knew she may not be feeling well. I always enjoyed hearing from her and having our chats. She will be greatly missed! Rest in Peace.

  6. Barrie Page Hill says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful mama’s life story with us. Now I know where you got your talent, creative spirit and love of performing and the theatre. I wish I had had the chance to know your mama; I feel like we would have been terrific friends. Sending you so much love and comfort during these sad days. I hope, in time, you can remember the beautiful memories of your talented and amazing mom and those gift you comfort like her warm hug and sweet embrace.
    I am sorry, my friend, that you have joined this reluctant club of those who are grieving and missing their dear mamas, and know, I join you in your sorrow. You will weather these dark days to brighter mornings, but know I am thinking of you and sending you and your family our love, sympathy and since condolences.
    I love you, my friend, dear, amazing Moonman.