Yvonne Ruth Larsen 1936 ~ 2020 Yvonne Ruth Burns Larsen passed away on Sunday, October 25th, 2020. She was born November 2, 1936, in Salt Lake City to Ezna (Thompson) and Kenneth Burns. She had two beloved sisters, Norma Fay (Nunley) and Renee (Mangelson), and two cherished brothers, Fred, and Darryl (Jeanette). She attended Granite High School. After graduating she worked for the Lockhart Company, traveled, and Married Loren Croft Larsen (Whitey). She later married Claron Welte and became stepmother to Mike, Gary, and Rick Welte. She had six children, two of which were given up for adoption as infants including Kitty Mortimer. She had four boys with Whitey: Todd (Gail), Ty (Beverly), Tim, and Michael (Tracy). She is preceded in death by her mother, father, brothers, sisters, and ex-husbands. She adored and spoiled her nine grandchildren (Jason, Erik, Holland, Jamie, Jessica, Loren Alexander, Cortney, Luke, and Ada) and six great-grandchildren (Jaxson, Aspynn, Brightynn, Wyatt, Creedon, and Kylee). She treasured her relationship with her daughter, Kitty, her husband Doyle, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Anna and Matt Greene (2 children), Suzy and Shane Baller (4 children), Dan and McKell Mortimer (4 children), Julie and Jake Suazo (4 children), Carrie Mortimer (2 children), Sarah Mortimer, Joseph Mortimer. As a young woman, she faced enormous challenges: giving up children for adoption, divorces, being a single mom, but she NEVER complained or let those things get her down. She truly put others before herself. For years, she cheerfully held down two jobs to support her family and finance the fun. She worked very hard and played harder, always running at full power. After working all day at Cottonwood High School as the attendance secretary, she would come home, make dinner, take a 20-minute nap, and then go off to the night shift at Smith's grocery store as a checker. Customers would seek out her line so they could chat with her for a few minutes. She would often finish work at midnight, take a bath with a warm Natural Light beer, and one cigarette to relax before getting up and doing it all again the next day. Her proudest accomplishment was her four boys. Despite being a single mom and on a tight budget, she always made holidays memorable and special and always took a vacation somewhere. She was the instigator of frequent family get-togethers and parties. Any excuse to get the family together was good enough. Funeral Potatoes, Raspberry-Rufus-Hair-Pie, Torture Beans, Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie were some of her favorite dishes. Camping was a full-contact sport -the colder the better. Yvonne loved to travel. She took several trips to Europe as well as Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii. The Schiemanns of Hamburg, Germany were her "German Family", and the entire Larsen family has enjoyed that friendship for 40 years. Her favorite recreation and therapy was working in her yard in Cottonwood Heights. She was famous for her gorgeous roses, poppies, iris, and lilacs. She grew raspberries, apricots, and cherries. You could often find her sitting in her yard on a bucket digging out China Rocks for hours and chatting with neighbors as they passed by. Yvonne loved her dogs Max and especially Rufus, the black lab mix. She never really cared for cats. Yvonne had an impish irreverence. She was kooky, and fun and fierce, relentless, and giving. Humor was everything and it is an enduring family legacy which she nurtured and cherished. She was just a likely to be photographed giving "the finger" to the camera as cuddling one of her grandchildren. She famously and intentionally wore a curler in her hair in public, often just to keep people guessing. Nobody could tell a more rambling disconnected story. Plot meant nothing to her when telling a story. It was always about the "characters", the people, the relationships. She had an uncanny memory for everyone she met and their stories. When picking her up at the airport, it was never just her that you'd greet at the gate, it was also the new friend she had made in the seat next to her. Relationship, connection, empathy, open-ness defined Yvonne. She was constantly taking pictures and building elaborate photo albums, meticulously documenting every holiday, get-together, football game, art opening, or music performance. Funerals, illnesses, car accidents were all fair game for photography. She captured life in all its aspects. She was a giver. She gave herself to her boys. She gave her time and attention to anyone in need. A fanatical gift-giver, she searched for reasons to give. When she couldn't find one, she created reasons to give. Thinking Santa Clause wasn't quite enough, she developed the character Ernest the Elf so that she could give even more throughout the holiday season. She became The May Fairy on May 1 in order to give gifts and let people know she was thinking about them. No one ever left her home hungry or feeling unloved. She was generous to a fault and the first to forgive any transgression. Her family was her life and inspiration. Those of us lucky enough to be within her orbit will feel the enormous vacuum Yvonne Larsen will leave in this world. We will honor and love her forever. Light and Peace to you Yvonne. In lieu of flowers, or if you want to safely honor Yvonne remotely, please donate in her name to The American Cancer Society. On behalf of Yvonne and the family, we would like to recognize with special appreciation and eternal gratitude her great-niece Ashley Nielson-Wilcox for her tireless advocacy and day in, day out medical care of our mom over the last couple of years. Ashley's devotion is a reflection of and tribute to Yvonne's spirit of giving and dedication to family and human connection. Thanks, Ash. A graveside service will take place on Friday, October 30, 2020 at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East Dimple Dell Road, Sandy Utah at 2:00 pm. Strict Covid19 protocols will be followed. Social distancing and masks required. Please bring your own chair.
Published by The Salt Lake Tribune on Oct. 28, 2020.
I was thinking about you tonight and ended up here. I miss you grandma. I miss your smile, I miss your silly sayings, I miss your random concoctions of casserole dishes that I was scared to eat. I miss the holidays with you. I love you little, I love you big ♡♡♡
December 8, 2020
I met Yvonne when I was 15 years old at the Bengal Blvd Smith's my first day as a new bagger. She was so kind and made me feel so welcome. Her line was always long and it quickly became obvious why. I loved to bag for her to witness how amazing she was with customers. It is so heartwarming to read her obituary and all of these remembrances that fondly tell of the lives she touched. In feel fortunate to have been in her sphere of influence and hope you will find comfort in your loss.
October 30, 2020
Yvonne was a sunny personality, kind, loving, generous, and she doted on her children and grandchildren. She fostered many good qualities in her sons. They are good men. Family comes first. The whole family is fun-loving and great to be around. She was always up for a trip, a party, or a new adventure and she instilled that openness to them. She will be missed but her memories will be treasured and her love will remain like a warm blanket around your shoulders.
October 30, 2020
I absolutely loved working with Yvonne as a bagger at Smith’s #81. She was a legend indeed and a pleasure to work with. I loved to listen to her stories. I can confirm that she had a following at Smith’s and many regular customers, including my own mom, sought her out to check their groceries out and visit a bit. Rest In Peace, Yvonne!
Jennifer Madrian Christensen
October 30, 2020
October 29, 2020
October 29, 2020
Yvonne was a wonderful cheerful bright beautiful light in this world, as her stepson im sure i was an absolute pain in the rear.... But may I please say I loved that lady and her 4 boys, this woman raised her kids and took in my 2 brothers and myself....imagine that a 3 bedroom home 1 bath and 7 kids all boys....and I never once saw her lose her cool. She set so many examples for me as a young kid, asn she and her boys were always the most honest hard working excellent students. Yvonne always had after school treats for us...something i never heard of until my Dad Claron married her I believe sometime in 1969 or 70....she absolutely made every single holiday feel like it was the best. She was the best cook ever...and to this very day, I still tell my kids and grandkids about how my Mom Yvonne knew how to make a popcorn cake in a bundt pan and would have gum drops in the popcorn cake all spread out....I swear I think I always tried to sneak that cake away and eat the whole dang thing...i have to say she always drove us kid's to Football practice, and she would sing opera sings out loud as if she was in an opera concert....I never had the chance to ask her why she liked that opera stufff. It drove me up a wall. But Yvonne OMG she would belt out those songs and she never ever cared if someone pulled up next to us while driving to to FOOTBALL...she would never be shy or embarrassed. My last great memory was how we boys would ride in the back of a big station wagon car we had, and we had all the rear seats of the station wagon folded down, so it was exactly like riding in the back of a truck, yet we all were in a 4 door station wagon...the surface was like a hard plastic or vynyl so when she would hit the brakes we would all slide forward till our feet would hit the back of her seat and when she hit the gas we would all slide back to hit the back of the wagon....we would scream and laugh and she made it all so much fun, until one time she hit the brakes and made a sharp right turn.....so all we kids slid forward then leftward, where we all slid towards the drivers side rear door... and the next thing I see is the damn door from the weight of 5 kids slamming into the door, the darn thing flew wide open in the midst of making a right turn... To this very day i remember it like it was yesterday.....and Ty was the kid that hit the door first....with the weight of the other 4 of us banging into TY..... I THANK GOD IN HEAVEN THAT THE WINDOW OF THAT DOOR WAS ROLLED DOWN...BECAUSE TY WAS SMART ENOUGH AND STRONG ENOUGH TO HANG ONTO THAT DOOR GOING ABOUT 45 MPH....and as I saw TY's EYES ...OMG THEY WERE WIDE AND HE WASNT SAYING A WORD HE WAS JUST KICKING HIS FEET HANGING OUT THE CAR LIKE THE WING OF A PLANE....& I screamed out to YVONNE stop stop stop the car Ty flew out the door......and that Boy had angels watching over him...../ i cant tell them all how much they meant to me and how many fond memories...all the rides to Murray park to go tubing or the Country Club Pool way up in Sugar hill i think.... all I can say is Thank You Yvonne and I know for a fact you are sitting on Christ's lap... you and your boys enriched and were a huge blessing to me....I love all 4 of you guys, and I have to tell you I was always so jealous of what a beautiful family you all were and still are, I even remember how Yvonnes mom made us home made pajamas.....i bet you all had no clue how huge of a POSITIVE influence you were in my life. Just always know you all are always in my prayers....
October 29, 2020
a loved one
October 28, 2020
Tim and Ty, I never had the honor of meeting your Mom, but by the sounds of it, we would have gotten along great!! But one thing I know for sure is that she raised fine men! I know that she will live on through you forever. May you always be comforted by your every memory of her. Sending love and prayers. Theresa
October 28, 2020
Yvonne was without a doubt one of the most kindest souls I've ever known. She always has and forever will be dear to me. Prayers of comforting love to the Larsen family.
October 28, 2020
My aunt Yvonne was my mentor I wanted to be just like her. She love family and related to children and loyalty to both. She went the extra mile when she babysat. She was always in demand. She watch the Osmond's and people's homes and kids when they were at hospitals etc. She was funny and loving and struggled a lot but always came out positive. I'll miss her dearly.
October 28, 2020
Yvonne was our cherished baby sitter when I was a child. She wonderfully nurtured my life and my sisters and I remember her with much fondness.