VELMA RENAE BETHERS LARSEN died October 7, 2022, in Farmington, Utah. She was 91 years old. Velma was born November 17, 1930, in Heber City, Utah to Lyman Henry and Ernestine Jacklin Bethers. She had three brothers, Ray Bethers, Lorin Bethers, and Dwaine Bethers, and one sister, Ruth Dunbar. Velma graduated from Wasatch High School in 1949, and she then attended BYU to receive a bachelor’s in education in 1954. After earning her degree, Velma started her first job at East Millcreek Elementary teaching fourth and fifth grade from 1954-1957. Inspired to teach and explore more of the world, Velma bravely moved on her own to Washington D.C. where she taught in the Alexandria school district from 1957-1963.
While in Washington D.C., Velma met her husband, Kent W. Larsen, who was attending law school in the city. They were married in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 18, 1961, and then flew back to Washington D.C. to continue their schooling and start a family. Velma had her first child, Jeffrey Kent Larsen, in July 1962. Velma continued teaching for one more year and then dedicated her time to raising her growing family. At that time, the family relocated to Pasadena, California where her second son, Kurt B. Larsen was born in March 1964. In March of 1965, Meridee Larsen was born. With their family complete, Velma and Kent lived in California for five years, then moved to Boise, Idaho for one year, and then finally settled down in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1968. Velma loved being a mother and happily raised her family in the East Millcreek area of Salt Lake City. Her children remember her as the most patient mom anyone could ever ask for. Velma supported her kids through it all, from putting out small fires to caring for her children (Jeff) after running through the storm glass door. She was the Ultimate Mom – constantly bringing her children to the ski slopes, to baseball games, to dance classes, to golf practice, and anywhere they needed her. Velma dedicated her life to her family and her children, and her love for her family is how she will be remembered.
After her children were raised and growing families of their own, Velma and Kent divorced in 1992. Velma remained in Sandy, Utah for ten years with her trusted dog, Herschel, whom she loved to run with. (She had a few other dogs before Herschel, and she loved running with each of them). She also dedicated her time to teaching disadvantaged kids in the Granite school district. Velma rekindled her love for teaching, and watching her students learn and grow brought even more joy to her life. As she grew older, Velma developed a passion for reading and storytelling. As an avid reader of newspapers and magazine, Velma was known to preserve the articles that she loved the most. Having grown up during the Great Depression, Velma was full of fascinating stories from her childhood, and she loved sharing her experiences – like having to trudge through the cold weather every day just to use the outhouse! Anyone who spent time with Velma loved to hear about all of her experiences and her life. We will all miss her stories but will especially miss her laughter and her smile.
In 2004 she moved to Kaysville, Utah to be closer to her daughter, Meridee, and lived there for the remainder of her life.
Velma was pre-deceased by her parents and her brother, Lorin Bethers, sister-in-law Gloria Bethers. Velma is survived by her three children, Jeffrey (Elizabeth) Larsen, Kurt (Angelina) Larsen, and Meridee (Wade) Larsen; her siblings, Ray Bethers, Dwaine Bethers, and Ruth (Ray) Dunbar. She was a beloved grandmother to her sixteen grandchildren ranging in age from seven months to thirty-one years. Velma loved spending time with her grandchildren and watching them grow up. We will all miss her dearly and will remember how much she loved being a part of our lives.
There will be a Viewing Wednesday October 12, 2022 from 6-8pm at Russon Mortuary
1941 N. Main St. Farmington, UT. 84025
There will be a private graveside service at Heber City Cemetery October 13, 2022 at 2pm.
680 N. 550 E. Heber City, UT. 84032