Kent Charles Larsen, age 76, passed away peacefully at home on April 15, 2022. His long battle with cancer is finally over.
Kent was born to Alvie Smith Larsen and Mildred Berry on April 12, 1946, the fourth of ten children. Kent grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated from East High School in 1964. While attending he was a member of the Chess Team, ROTC, and participated in Acapella Choir as he loved music and liked to sing. His love of music came from being raised in a musical family where his mother, Mildred, was a very accomplished flutist for both the Salt Lake Philharmonic Orchestra and Utah Symphony Orchestra. She had played with some famous musical talents during her career, namely Eugene Jelesnik, Henry Mancini, and Liberace. Music always played a part of Kent’s life and he really enjoyed singing church hymns.
He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and fulfilled a two-year mission. He was called to the Western Canada Mission from 1965 to 1967, where he would serve honorably. Immediately following the completion of his mission, he was drafted into the United States Army, during the Vietnam Conflict. After completing basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia he would later be assigned to Ft. Richardson Army Base in Anchorage, Alaska. His height and slender build helped make him a perfect fit as a Military Policeman (MP). He would often share his extraordinary military exploits with his children and grandchildren, later in life.
During his time in Alaska, he met Barbara Ann Martin at an LDS church function. A courtship began and she would visit him often. Kent told her how to get on base by simply telling the guards she was there to see “The Preach”, a nickname he was well known by. He was given this name because he filled in for the army Chaplin when he was on leave. This is because Kent carried his ordained minister card with him following his mission. After his military service ended Kent and Barbara were married in the Salt Lake Temple on September 25, 1969. They made their home in Salt Lake City, Utah and had five children.
Kent attended Stevens-Henager College of Business. While there he was elected to Student Body President. In 1971 he graduated earning a degree in Business Management. After earning his college diploma, he worked at John Hancock as an insurance salesman. Though he worked several different jobs the majority of his career was working for First Security Bank as an “Administrative Assistant/Purchasing Agent.” He retired after 24-years of service to pursue other interests. While in retirement he spent a time as the President of the Catholic Credit Union, and worked for H&R Block as a tax consultant. He even had the opportunity to serve on the Federal Grand Jury for a year, an honorable experience he always cherished.
Growing up Kent loved sports, especially baseball. Like his father, Alvie, he was a die-hard Dodger fan. His all-time favorite player was Duke Snider. His love of sports led him to officiating and he spent several decades umpiring softball for recreation leagues throughout the valley and for the church athletic program. During basketball season he loved to run the scoreboard at home games for the boys High School team at Olympus. He did this for several years, until he just wasn’t able to.
Because of his love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which he has a testimony of, Kent was called to a variety of church callings throughout his life. Positions include: Ward Clerk, Sunday School President, and Stake Athletic Committee to name a few. One of his greatest callings was when he and Barbara were called to serve as Service Missionaries helping those in need. Together they honorably served others and in turn helped to spread the Gospel through kindness and love.
As a father Kent loved his children. He worked tirelessly to provide for them. Though his schedule was busy he always made time to attend ballgames where they were playing, even if he could not be there at the start. Whatever school or church event was taking place he was there - performing likewise for each of his grandchildren, which he adored with all his heart. He loved spending as much time with them as possible. His face would light up each time they visited or he had an opportunity to visit them. His smile was infectious as was his laugh.
Laughter often followed when he told stories from his past. He, like his siblings, is one of the greatest story tellers of all time. Kent told stories from his youth when he lived in the Avenues of Salt Lake, playing football on the neighbor’s lawn with his brothers, or playing capture the flag at the cemetery, even an occasional peach and apricot fight with the neighbor boys on the other side of the fence. His kids were told repeatedly how he walked to East High School from his home in Holladay after his parents moved the family there because he wanted to continue attending the school his senior year. But some of the most memorable stories were from his days in the mission field and military experiences, which his family loved to hear.
Kent was an avid reader. He could usually finish a book in about 3-days before starting a new one. He was also a master chess player and enjoyed the competition, winning several tournaments. Always a teacher of the game he passed on his knowledge to several of his grandchildren and a nephew or two.
His positive attitude in life served him well and helped him endure to the end. Often, he would say, “I am an eternal optimist” even when things were not so good. He never gave up hope or his faith throughout his tribulation. He is now in the loving arms of his Savior Jesus Christ, his beloved parents, oldest brother Alwyn and many other family members of whom awaited his heavenly arrival. Kent will be greatly missed by his surviving family and friends. “God be with you till we meet again.”
Kent is survived by his wife, Barbara Ann, of 52 years, and five children: Angelique and her husband Hiro Shimada, Aaron Kent and his wife Jeongsun Larsen, Jared Alvie Larsen, Mark Joseph and his wife Brynn Larsen, and Jennifer and her husband James Chithalen. He is also survived by eight grandchildren: Satoshi, Quincy, Tyler, Deacon, Grady, Rowan, JJ, and Arya; And two step granddaughters: Mayumi and Kiyomi. Also surviving Kent are his brothers and sisters Thayne, Annette, Falene, Nile, Boyd, Jerolyn, Mont and Wendell including many extended family members. He is preceded in death by his parents Alvie Smith and Mildred Berry Larsen and older brother Alwyn Berry and his wife Karen Marietta Larsen. Also, he is preceded in death by his wife’s parents: Joseph McNeil Martin and Claire Elizabeth Martin; sister-in-law: Evelyn Faye Martin; three brothers-in-law: Stephen Crabtree, Bradford Loveland, and Ralph Greenberg.
The family would like to thank Dr. Gregg from Utah Cancer Specialists and her staff for their expert care and service to the family and Kent. Your treatment prolonged Kent’s life as long as possible until his passing. In lieu of flowers please donate to a cancer center of your choice.
A viewing will be held the evening of Friday, April 29, 2022 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Location: 5913 S. Highland Dr., Holladay, Utah. The Funeral service will be held the following day on Saturday at 11:00 AM with a viewing prior to service will be held from to 10:00 to 10:45 AM at the same location. Interment at Elysian Burial Gardens, 1075 E. 4580 S., Millcreek, Utah.