Our extraordinary mother, Betty Jean Soelberg Larsen, peacefully passed away at the age of 89 on May 7, 2021. She was surrounded by her adoring children in her home in American Fork, Utah. Born in Rexburg, Idaho on November 28, 1931 to Earl James Soelberg and Exie Alberta Singley Soelberg, Family was everything to mom. We loved hearing stories of her childhood as one of eight siblings growing up in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Our cherished memories include gathering on Sunday afternoons at our Grandmother Soelberg’s home attempting to eavesdrop on the adult conversations of our aunts and uncles and playing with our many cousins. Mom married Keith Gilbert Larsen on August 31, 1951 in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. They were anxious to start their family but apparently didn’t discuss the particulars prior to tying the knot. Dad was hoping for two children and mom planned to stop at an even dozen. They compromised by having all ten of us, which says all you need to know about mom’s persuasiveness.
Our lives were rich in all the ways that matter - annual family vacations, planting and harvesting gardens, working in our family clothing businesses and worshipping together. Dad preceded mom in death on June 15, 2015, just a few days before Father’s Day. We consider it very tender that mom has passed just a few days before Mother’s Day. Indeed, father and mother were their most vital and cherished roles.
In our eyes, mom could do it all. We’ll forever remember her warm, homemade bread waiting for us as we arrived home from school, the creative Halloween costumes she dreamed up, her love of and leadership in the scouting program, her expertise at crochet - making cherished heirlooms for each member of her family.
The quintessential Santa’s helper, mom filled our home with magic every December and found it quite frustrating that she actually had to wait for us to get up on Christmas morning. She loved making our dreams come true.
Mom’s talents went beyond homemaking and raising ten pretty awesome kids. She was a tech wizard, proficient in creating spreadsheets and computer generated birthday cards for all her grandchildren. As selfless as mom was, she also knew how to have fun. We recently found a golf trophy she had tucked away - winning Low Net in a Rexburg city golf tournament. Mom’s frugality, self-sufficiency, organizational abilities and desire to instill a work ethic in each of her children has blessed our lives immeasurably.
A few years ago mom and dad pulled up stakes, leaving their beloved home in Rexburg and moving to American Fork, Utah. They immediately knew they’d made the right decision - finding a ward and neighborhood that couldn’t have been more perfect for them. We hope mom’s neighbors will remember her as their “paper girl” - getting up before sunrise to walk up and down her street putting newspapers up near front doors so her sweet neighbors wouldn’t need to walk down their sidewalks to retrieve their daily paper.
Mom was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served faithfully in many leadership and teaching positions. She loved her Savior and lived a Christ- centered life, exemplifying His teachings. Mom may hold a record for indexing tens of thousands of names to be submitted for temple work. Next to her home, the Temple was mom’s favorite place and when possible, she made a point of attending weekly.
Mom was a true blue BYU fan and she and dad were proud Cougar Club members and held season tickets for many years. Our parents served a mission for the LDS Church in the Birmingham Alabama Mission and their love of missionary work will continue through a perpetual missionary fund they set up to help support their grandchildren as they serve.
Survivors include: children, Collette (Ric) Mazey, Robert (Linda) Larsen, Michael (Jennifer) Larsen, Sydney (Lee) Snarr, Randy Larsen, Dallin Larsen, Derek (Katy) Larsen, Chad (Robbi) Larsen, Stacy (Matthew) Harmer, Shawn Larsen, 52 grandchildren, 103 great grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter. Mom is also survived by her sisters Renee Page, Marilyn Morrow and her sister-in-law Kathleen Peterson. She is preceded in death by her loving husband, Keith, her parents, five siblings, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
We would like to extend our heart-felt appreciation to mom’s friends, neighbors, ward members and hospice angels who have loved and served her as her health has declined. Special appreciation to our beautiful cousin, Janice Pedersen who has taken the “love thy neighbor” directive to a whole new level. Mom loved all of you - and we do too.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday May 12, 2021 at 11:00 am in the American Fork 19th Ward Chapel, 1305 North 100 East, American Fork. A viewing will be held prior to the services from 9:45 to 10:45 am in the same building. Mom will be laid to rest next to our dad in the Highland City Cemetery. Flowers can be sent to Anderson & Son’s Mortuary, 49 E. 100 N. American Fork.