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Dean Larsen

Dean L Larsen

Saturday, July 23rd, 1932 - Monday, May 4th, 2020
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Dean L Larsen passed away the morning of May 4, 2020. We have had the honor and pleasure of having him in our lives as our husband, father, brother and friend these last 87 years. His philosophy of life was simple: just be good, don’t quarrel, and always have a dessert after dinner. He was not self-serving, or selfish. Every one of us have many memories of him going out of his way to help us in his quiet gentle way. His expressions of love and faith were through action more than words. He lived the gospel of Jesus Christ in an unassuming way and loved it.

He didn’t seek fame or fortune, but was richly blessed with a natural ability in music, sports, and leadership. He used those abilities to bless the lives of others in missionary work, in the US Air Force, in church callings, and in raising his children.

Dean could compete in almost every endeavor, and rarely lost. But he never bragged. As a Mesa High School Jackrabbit, he won championships in Tennis and Basketball. He then took his basketball skills to Brigham Young University where he played for Stan Watts in the early 1950’s. He considered many of his teammates his life-long friends. Ultimately Dean was named an All-American Basketball player and was inducted into the BYU Cougar Hall of Fame. He was drafted by the NBA Detroit Pistons, but chose instead to serve a mission to Argentina for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After Dean’s mission, the Spanish language became his favorite. He expressed himself very easily as he conversed with anyone on the streets of South America. He loved learning the idioms of languages and used them often when greeting others from foreign lands...instantly creating a friendship.

His career path was that of a Spanish teacher, and coach. He influenced many with his calm, confident teaching and coaching style. Five of the six missions he served were in Latin America among the people he loved so much. Dean and Leona (his eternal companion) were inseparable in their service. Having her at his side was the joy of his life. They (he) served as Mission President in Venezuela, MTC President in Dominican Republic, Temple President in Lima Peru, Executive Secretary in the Area Presidency in Chile, and the Daily Dose Program in Spanish Fork, UT

Dean was known for his jokes, riddles, and bell ringers. Students looked forward to the bell ringer of the day to start class. These last few years, in his weekly doctor visits, he entertained the nurses as if they were his students. He would use a joke to cheer up the day, to calm troubled waters, or make a new friend.

He loved our mother. They have been constant, loyal, companions for the last 62 years. Dad loved having mom at his side, as she was such a natural and gracious host. Mom has been a true example of Christ-like service as she has cared for him all these years...especially the last 7 years with his declining health. She was determined to do everything she could to keep him comfortable and take care of his every need without complaint. If dad has any influence in heaven, he would have her join him quickly.

As life slowed down for Dad, he had to find something else to occupy his time. So he jumped into FamilySearch. He set a goal to work on indexing every day. Wherever he went, he took his computer so he could continue this work. He kept this up until the final two weeks of his life, when he could no longer sit at the computer. His final numbers were 156161 names indexed, 406,488 names reviewed totalling 562,649 names that were put in the FamilySearch pool of searchable records. It is our belief that this work preserved his life far beyond what the medical professionals had predicted. Mom was his greatest supporter.

We are grateful for the many people who have sent us memories of him, and notes of love and appreciation. Many have mentioned his warm smile, his integrity, and the positive influence he has had on them. We thank the many doctors who cared for him. He looked forward to his appointments each week and letting them know how good they were at their jobs.

He was preceded in death by his parents Elwood and Lorna Larsen and sisters, DeAnn and Dolores, and a grandson Sebastian Larsen.

He is survived by his wife Leona Mae Robinson, his 9 children Deonna (Bruce Burnett), Diana (Mike Lacey), Douglas, Dwayne (Maria), Darrell (Rhonda), Dallas (Heather), Dean (Jaime), Dane (Tracie), Danika, 33 Grandchildren, and 25 great grandchildren, and by his brother Dwayne E. Larsen.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, May 7th, 2020 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, May 7th, 2020 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Nelson Family Mortuary
    4780 N. University Ave.
    PROVO, UT 84604
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Utah Veterans Cemetery & Memorial Park
    17111 South Camp Williams Road
    Bluffdale, Utah 84065
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

Pearl Cummings Hurdsman

Posted at 12:14am
We are sorry to hear of the death of Dean Larson. He was my neighbor in Glenwood and was the bishop of the ward when my Mother died. Dean and Leona were special neighbors and Leona helped my mother many times when she was sick. before my
mother died. I wish to express my sympathy to Leona and her children . Pearl Hurdsman Cummings

Sunny Wiltbank

Posted at 06:06pm
Sunny Steen Wiltbank.

He was an amazing man. He taught me so much and push me to State Championships. He was a caring, giving man that I will always remember. Take care, love you always.

Matt Harlow

Posted at 05:11pm
I joined the Church in 1993 as a senior in high school and in 1994 was called to serve as a full-time missionary in the Caracas Venezuela Mission. I still remember the day I arrived at the mission home from the MTC and met President and Sister Larsen, they treated me with such love and concern. As a relatively new member of the Church I could not ask for a better man to teach and guide me as a full-time missionary. President Larsen was a strong and kind leader as well as an incredible teacher. Thank you President Larsen - God be with you 'till we meet again. - Elder Harlow

Janet C. Spilker

Posted at 02:21pm
"There are special people in our lives who never leave us--even after they are gone." May your sweet memories and loving family be a comfort to you in the days ahead. Janet C. Spilker

Marie Turner

Posted at 12:41pm
He was my teacher in Spanish at Richfield high school and my drivers ed teacher. He was so patient with me even when my driving almost killed him.,,multiple times. He was such a kind and wonderful teacher and I will always remember him. Even though I haven’t seen him for over 40 years I feel a sense of loss. He was special. I know you all will miss him. So sorry to hear this. - Marie Nelson Turner

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