Dave Severson obituary
David Elmer Severson,84, died peacefully April 19, 2023 in his home in Garden Grove, Calif. Dave was born December 3, 1938 in New Ulm, Minn. to Cleone (Cy) and Serena (Kriett) Severson. He had four siblings: James, Pat, Mary, and Betty.
He grew up in Lake City, Minn. and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1956 where he developed the love for journalism as he was involved in debate, the school newspaper and the yearbook.
Dave married Mary Lou Rothgarn in 1956 and moved to Minneapolis, Minn. where he studied journalism at the University of Minnesota. Dave and Mary Lou had three children: Dawn, Todd and Troy.
While in Minneapolis, Dave raced in the professional Go Kart circuit and won the Midwest Championship in 1962. In 1963 Karting World Magazine offered him a position on their staff and the family moved to Southern California. Dave and Mary Lou later divorced.
Dave was courted by a major marketing and PR firm in Los Angeles, where he was instrumental in landing the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. for his client McCulloch Oil and Chainsaws. In the early 1970s Dave worked for J Walter Thompson Advertising Agency. He also raced Off Shore Power Boats and was lead editor of Power Boat Magazine which he eventually published. In 1972, Roger Penski and Bob Bozzani teamed with Dave to create the International Race of Champions (IROC) where race champions from all forms of racing fields came together to compete in identical Porche Carreras. In the 70s Dave also represented Indy car driver, Danny Ongais for several years.
In the late 1970s Kawasaki asked Dave to market the Jet Ski which they owned the patent for. Dave started the International Jet Ski Boating Association (IJSBA) and was the first executive director of the professional racing circuit which exists to this day.
In the 1990s Dave started sober living homes called Crossroads in San Clemente, Calif. and helped many through rough addictions.
Dave met and married Kerry Collins in 1997.
Later in life, Dave retired in Garden Grove, Calif. where he lived with his daughter, Dawn.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Betty, Mary, and an infant brother; wife Kerry; and son Troy.
He is survived by sister, Pat Perkins of Santa Monica, Calif.; daughter, Dawn (Gary Cheever) Severson-Root of Garden Grove, Calif.; son Todd (Marie) Severson of Lake City, Minn., daughter-in-law Sami Glover-Severson of Oak Grove, Calif.;, grandchildren: Alison (Harkins) Kusek of Minocqua, Wis. and Justin (Ashley) Harkins of Lake City.
A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 11 a.m. at St. John’s Cemetery, Lake City, Minn. Following the service there will be a Celebration of Life at Port 104, Lake City.