Donna Rae Anderson Larsen
1930 ~ 2016

On April 24th 2016, Donna Rae Anderson Larsen, our beloved Mother, returned to the loving arms of her Heavenly Father and her family–a reunion she had been anxiously awaiting.

Mom was born August 1, 1930 into the family of Enoch Leander and Nettie Brough Anderson–a sweet baby girl who was loved by all and would grow to be our beautiful mother and grandmother. She was fiercely devoted to her family. As the youngest girl, she observed her sisters and put each of them on their own little pedestal. She was born at the beginning of the Great Depression, which made life difficult for her family. In spite of this, the family was very happy and many of their hardships brought them closer together.

She attended South High School where she enjoyed singing in the a cappella choir and took business classes preparing for employment. Her dear friend, Tressie Marx convinced her to attend college at BYU, where she earned her degree in Elementary Education in 1953. Her college years were some of the most treasured days of her life.

Upon graduation, she started teaching first grade at Whittier School in Salt Lake City. She began singing with the Sacre Dolce Chorus, where she met a returned missionary named James A. Larsen. On August 20, 1954 they were married in the Salt Lake Temple.

Over the following years, Mom was so happy to welcome four boys and two girls into the world. These children and the grandchildren who would follow became the light of her life. Nothing was more important to her than her family.

To help support the family and manage the demands of motherhood, she taught preschool in her home for many years, which greatly benefited her own children in addition to many others. She also taught elementary and junior high school.

In 1984, she earned a masters degree in Educational Psychology from BYU and spent the last years of her career teaching children with learning disabilities. She retired in 1993 from Alpine School District.

After her divorce in 1997, mom chose to build her house in American Fork where she could see the temple from her back porch and her windows. She made many great friends and always remained busy and productive.

Mom loved children, music, flowers, all things pink, ice cream (especially Drumsticks!), fine arts, traveling, studying, books, serving in the church and family history. She loved people. She had a gift of compassion, love and acceptance that brought people to her from all walks of life. She cared deeply and always worried about anyone whose heart was troubled. She was a natural leader and teacher and served in many capacities within the Church, such as president, teacher and church service missionary, where she taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and bore her strong testimony to others. We hope to honor her motto, “Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

Mom had a strong faith in God and an unmatched desire to please him and be worthy of his support and blessings. She has instilled this sense of responsibility and love of God into her children, much to the benefit of all of her posterity.

Her parents, four sisters, two brothers and a daughter-in-law preceded her in death. She leaves behind her six children,Scott (Mary), Terry, Julie, Steve (Gina), Kevin (Shannon) and Sallie; 18 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

She leaves a deep void in our hearts and we will miss her greatly, but we rejoice at her life and the love she gave to each of us.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 2, 2016 at 11:00 am at the Manila 12th LDS Ward Chapel, 850 North 900 East, American Fork, Utah. Family and friends may call Sunday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Warenski Funeral Home, 1776 North 900 East, American Fork, Utah, and again on Monday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 am prior to services at the church. Interment will be at the Highland City Cemetery.

In lieu of any other suggestions for donations, our mom loved flowers!

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