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Larsson was an engineer who owned several firms. He had inherited a substantial sum of money, which he used as a springboard to building his own fortune, earned through his own ingenuity. In 1998, he had decided to spend time with his family (wife Mary, son Eric, and daughters Signe and Astrid) at their vacation home in the Montana|Bitterroot Valley of Montana. They'd charted a flight through Steelhead Air Taxi, and were assigned Mike Havel as their pilot. They were in mid-flight when Larsson found a news report about some event at Nantucket Island. Shortly after, the Change occurred, shutting off all electricity across the planet, their plane included, over Idaho. (Dies the Fire, Chap 1)
Havel was able to safely crash land the plane, although both Ken and Mary were injured. Havel led the group to a ranger's cabin. Then he and Eric, not knowing that the Change had impacted the whole world, set out for help.
The remaining Larssons were set upon by a group of white supremacists. Larrson saw his wife Mary murdered by one of the group, who wanted to rape Astrid, and decided the murder would arouse him. Another attempted to rape Signe. Only the timely arrival of Havel and Eric, and another would-be victim, Will Hutton, prevented any more harm. The whole gang of supremacists were killed in short order. After taking a short time to bury his wife and grieve, Larsson was instrumental in persuading his family to accept Mike Havel as their leader and selecting Larsdalen as their ultimate home. (Dies the Fire, Chap 9)
This done, Larsson put his ingenuity to work. He designed a apparatus to facilitate towing of Will Hutton's trailer by horses instead of by a now useless motor home. (Dies the Fire, Chap 10)