“It’s Been a Marvelous Run”
Gary Fisher Larsen, Dad, Dr. Larsen, Bishop, Big Gare, Papa, Pops, our leader and hero finished his incredible life journey leaving a cavernous hole in the souls of his family and friends. Gary took incredible care of his family. He had tremendous and unshakable strength, intellectually, physically and spiritually.
Gary was born in Salt Lake City June 25, 1937 to Charles Andrew Larsen and Ardell Fisher. He grew up in Bountiful, Utah with four siblings whom he loved dearly. Chuck believed in hard work; finding jobs for Gary starting at age 6. He always had a job, leading to a lifetime of belief in the value of hard work.
Gary attended Davis High school where he participated in student council, football, and debate and had a special passion for basketball. Playing basketball blessed him with confidence and many friends through high school and college at BYU, where he played as a freshman in 1955-56.
Gary finished his education at the University of Utah graduating in business, later deciding to return to school for pre-med courses and medical school. He loved his education and experience at the University of Utah. He felt at home there, mostly appreciating the many cherished friends he made in medical school and the Sigma Chi fraternity. He was a diehard Ute fan.
Gary became smitten with, and married, Suzanne Williams on June 29, 1964, calling it one of the best decisions of his life. They created an incredible life together for 59 years. He was a loving, loyal, and caring husband.
Gary lived an incredibly full and beautiful life.
Dr. Larsen enjoyed being an orthopedic surgeon for 46 years. He loved helping his patients and watching them heal. During his career, he served as President of the Utah Orthopedic Association and Board of Counselors to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
As a dedicated, lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gary served a mission in Australia where he had the opportunity to spread the gospel while playing for the Mormon Yankees basketball team. He loved serving as Bishop of the Forest Bend Ward, and in several Stake Presidencies in the University 2nd singles stake, describing it as Camelot. After his retirement he volunteered as an orthopedic consultant in the missionary department for 15 years. He loved these experiences of serving, making great friendships and interacting with many great youth.
Gary genuinely loved people. He made everyone feel important, especially his family and friends. He made lifelong friendships, gathering people from many different parts of life. Gary would find something he loved and then share with everyone he could. He did this with skiing, whitewater rafting trips, Zions, Lake Louise, bike trips, and Bear Lake. Sharing his passions brought him tremendous joy. He made life incredible for all who knew him.
Working hard and playing hard was a motto of Gary’s life. He taught us that good things in life come from working hard. He worked hard by day, then came home to continue working hard on his beautiful yard, creating a little piece of heaven. His recreational passions were snow skiing, tennis, white water river rafting and biking. He felt that skiing at Alta was exhilarating, giving him “a spiritual feeling that you are in the best of God’s creation”. Gary had a passion for fun, always creating opportunities for his whole family to go on adventures, creating incredible memories together while appreciating the world‘s beauty. In all of these adventures, Gary was leading the way skiing, zip lining, snorkeling, and biking to Banff’s Lake Louise. He was superhuman and taught us to love life and to dream big.
With all of his many passions and hobbies, his greatest passion was his family. He had very close relationships with each of his children and grandchildren; spending valuable one on one time with each one regularly.
The finest example of kindness, sincerity, and humility, Gary was generous, never seeking acknowledgement, attention or praise. He taught us many powerful lessons by example. He taught us to seek higher education and lifelong learning, to make wise financial decisions, to value people and experiences over things, to give back, and to value the power of hard work.
We are so grateful for the honorable life that he led, the incredible life that he gave, and the legacy that he left us. We will miss his wisdom, his sensible counsel, his humor, his stories and his laugh. We will miss traveling together, skiing, enjoying Bear Lake, and endless adventures.
Thank you dad. We are grateful for your incredible life and all you have taught us.
You are our greatest blessing. We love you forever!
Gary is survived by his wife Suzanne Williams Larsen, their four children, David Charles Larsen (Camille Johnson), Mitchell Williams Larsen (Stephenie Sorenson), Amy Larsen Zaharis (Michael Zaharis), and Brady Williams Larsen, their fourteen grandchildren. Also survived by his brother Ralph Larsen (Sharon) and sisters Sheryl Larsen Allen (John Allen) and JoAnn Larsen Hanson (Rick Hanson).
Our amazing husband, father, brother and friend died due to leukemia on December 23, 2023.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 30, at 11:00 am at the Forest Bend Chapel, 7784 S. Highland Drive. There will be a visitation at the chapel on Friday, December 29, 6:00 - 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 30 9:30 - 10:30 am. Gary will be interred at the Memorial Mountain View Cemetery. Funeral services will be live-streamed here at Memorialutah.com
In lieu of flowers, please consider sharing an act of kindness in Gary’s memory.