Lars George Andersson, beloved son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and friend to many, passed away and went home to live with his Father in Heaven on Monday, March 6, 2023, at 12:37 pm at St. Mark’s Hospital in Millcreek, Utah. Lars was known as “George” to childhood lifelong friends and Swedish relatives, and “Uncle George” to his Swedish nieces and nephews. To his American nieces and nephews, he was “Uncle Lars” “our Swedish uncle.”
Lars was born in Norrtälje, Länna, Stockholm, Sweden to Oskar Georg Andersson and Margit Elisabet FörbergAndersson on November 3, 1942. He lived with his parents and his two siblings (Inga-Lisa and Leif), along with his grandparents (Johan Oskar and Albertina Ström Andersson, and Lars Förberg) and extended family on the island of Högmarsö, many of whom became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. When Lars’ elderly grandparents, Johan Oskar and Albertina Ström Andersson, immigrated to Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1948, to be closer to the temple and to heed the call of the prophet to “Come to Zion”, many of their adult children and their children’s families, immigrated to Salt Lake City, Utah as well. Lars, his parents, and his little baby brother, Leif, followed, immigrating to Salt Lake City in April of 1949, coming to America on the ship Gripsholm. Lars was only 6 ½ years old and his little baby brother was only 6 weeks old. As a child, Lars, who only spoke Swedish when he arrived in the USA, learned the English language very quickly and soon became the translator for his parents, who did not understand, know, or speak English when they arrived in the states. His older sister, Inga (who was 10 years older than him), and who remained in Sweden with her husband and baby, joined them a few years later in Salt Lake City, Utah. Lars always had a deep love for his family, the new land they came to and the homeland they left.
Lars attended various elementaries throughout the Salt Lake area; as his family moved a lot to find work. Lars recalled as a young boy not knowing the school bus was free and recalled walking a long distance to school each day. Once his family settled and secured more permanent work and housing, Lars was able to attend Horace Mann Jr. High, and then West High School, where he graduated in 1961; while working construction for his uncle Åke.
That summer, after graduating from high school, Lars worked as a Lumber Jack, with one of his good friends, Helmut Wenzel, up in the Soapstone Basin, in the Uinta Mountains east of Kamas, Utah. Lars spoke of their adventures and studying the scriptures while the rain poured outside their tent. He gained a great love for the outdoors and nature, and over his lifetime gained a great love for his Heavenly Father, who he felt closest to when he was out in nature.
In the late fall of 1961, Lars went to a church dance where he met and fell in love with a pretty, young woman that had just recently moved into the Salt Lake 17th ward. His buddies invited him to the dance, because there were two, new, cute girls there (Sylvia Rodgers and her new friend, Jacque Crump). Sylvia and Jacque were the intermission entertainment at the dance, singing “Moon River” as a duet at the piano when Lars walked in. Lars and Sylvia later became a match made in heaven. On May 1, 1962, Lars became a citizen of the United States of America. On May 30, 1962, Lars asked Sylvia to marry him and wait for him while he served a 2 ½ year mission in the Stockholm, Swedish Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. She accepted and he presented her a week later with an engagement ring. Later, Lars asked Sylvia if she would sing at his mission farewell. She gladly accepted the invitation. Prior to this she had only known Lars as “George” the name that all his friends and family called him. As she took her place on the stand, she looked down at the program. It read: Farewell for “Lars” George Andersson. Totally surprised to find “George’s” first name was really Lars (a name she liked much better than George) Sylvia began calling him “Lars” from that day forward - His name that she truly came to love and which he became known by to all those that met him thereafter!
Lars entered the Salt Lake Mission home on July 2, 1962 and left for his mission on July 7, 1962. Sylvia waited faithfully for him for the 2 ½ years that Lars served. Lars received an honorable release from the Swedish Stockholm Mission on December 29, 1964 and arrived home in Salt Lake City, Utah on the evening of December 30, 1964. Lars George Andersson and Sylvia Irene Rodgers were married for Time and all Eternity in the Salt Lake Temple on Thursday, January 28, 1965 (one month after he had returned from his mission.) Of note, they celebrated their 58th year anniversary on January 28th, 2023, while Lars was lying sick in St. Mark’s Hospital, with Sylvia sitting beside him, holding the hands that she has loved all these years.
While Sylvia and Lars were living on Apricot Avenue, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Lars attended LDS Business College where he obtained 3 Associate Degrees in Accounting, Marketing, and Business Management. It took him 8 years to do this as he was working full time in the day, went to school at night, was a devoted son, husband, and father of three children – with one more on the way.
He worked in the warehouse at Rubber Engineering for 3 years and eventually worked his way up to Bookkeeper, Inspector, Shipping and Receiving, and Purchasing Agent. He then became the Accounting Supervisor for 10 years, Production Control for 1 year, Engineering Supervisor for 28 years, and retired from Weir (the company that purchased Rubber Engineering) and remained as a consultant for 11 years. During his early years of working for Rubber Engineering, Lars and Sylvia had their fourth child and moved to Hunter, Utah (now West Valley City). There they made their permanent home and had their fifth child.
Lars loved: the outdoors, hiking, exercising, playing soccer (with the Salt Lake “Vikings”), coaching youth soccer (especially for two of his children), story-telling (of his adventures with bears, scouts, friends of his youth and his mission), camping, hunting (many times praying, like Nephi, to know where to go to find a deer and having a story of when one was provided to him – teaching his children to have respect for life), fishing, gardening (all that he planted grew – he truly had a green thumb), tinkering and making things. He was a builder, a fixer and could “MacGyver” anything to hold together (even using wooden clothes pins on a gas line to keep an old car running). He enjoyed studying: edible plants that grow in the wild, the gospel, church doctrine, the scriptures, and reading written works of the church leaders; as well as learning about ancient America, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith. Lars was skilled, knowledgeable, and crafty, and loved being with his family. He was a father like figure to many. He regularly attended the temple, completing temple work for his ancestors. Being spiritually minded, his desire was to recover from his most recent stay in the hospital and get back to doing the temple work he loved so much. He was involved in the Church, holding many callings. As an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he held and served in many callings including: home teacher, ministering brother, ward mission leader, Gospel Principles and Sunday School Teacher, Sunday School President, Counselor in multiple Bishoprics, and served over the youth in Boy Scouts, young men’s, and as a priesthood leader at many young women camps. He was a High Priest and served on the High Council.
Lars not only served a fulltime mission to Sweden in his youth, but as a senior, served a Service Mission with his sweetheart Sylvia, in the Inner-City, Salt Lake Mission from 2010 through 2011. There they helped meet needs and find resources for families and individuals in lower income areas of the Salt Lake Valley. He has rendered a life of service to the Lord and has always been generous in his giving, often sacrificing his own comforts to do so to meet the needs and wants of others. Lars is a faithful priesthood holder and has always been available and worthy to provide priesthood blessings to his family, friends, and strangers, whenever there was a request. He has always supported his wife and family members in their Church service and callings. Again, always giving freely of what was his to offer.
Lars enjoyed all the family gatherings at Christmas and Easter, birthdays, and Family Reunions, as well as other Swedish and American holidays. Family meant everything to Lars. Gatherings with family for Sunday dinners and visits to his parents and Sylvia’s parents were extremely important to Lars, doing so on a regular, weekly basis. Lars turned down many lucrative job opportunities that would have moved him and his family far away. He felt that it was important to live close to where his, and Sylvia’s, parents lived; especially as their parents aged, to be part of their care. Because of this, Lars instilled a great sense of love and devotion to his family and children.
Lars and Sylvia were blessed with 5 wonderful children: Susann, Lenae, Daniel, Jennie, and Tiffany who have been a great source of strength and support while Lars suffered greatly these last two months while fighting health conditions that became more and more complicated. After doing all he could do to “forge ahead” and “fight the good fight,” doing everything medically that could be done for him, he passed away peacefully surrounded by his family. Lars will always be remembered for his strong kind hands, his gentle eyes, loving heart and willingness to serve the Lord and his family - often serving without complaint, even when enduring his own suffering. Through it all, Lars witnessed time and time again to his family of being overwhelmed by the feelings of Heavenly Father’s love for him and witnessed of his own love for his family, for Heavenly Father and for Jesus Christ. Lars George Andersson will be greatly missed by all who knew him and were influenced by him in their lives. He is greatly loved and missed by his family.
His passing took place at St Mark’s Hospital, located at 1200 E 3900 S, Millcreek, UT 84124. Preceded in death by his parents, Oskar Georg and Margit Elisabet, granddaughter, Amber Marie Andersson (daughter of Susann), nephew, Roger Israelsson, niece, Kimberly Andersson, brother-in-law, Mike Billelo, and sister-in-law, Becky Andersson. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia R. Andersson, children; Susann, Lenae Warr, Daniel, Jennie Bochman (Austin), and Tiffany; his sister, Inga (Billello / Israelsson), brother, Leif, his lifelong friend, Brent Johansson (who Lars’s children thought of and loved as an uncle) and his wife, Bobbi; his Swedish nieces and nephews, their spouses, and some of their former spouses; Ulla-Lisa (Uffe) in Sweden, John (Debbie), Robert (Annette), Rick (Karen), Esther Annette, Monika, Ronny “Ron” (Yanet), Jill, Kim, Katrina, and 31other nieces and nephews on his wife’s side, as well as many cousins. He is also survived by his grandchildren; Rodney (Shellie), Christina (David), Seth (Maylene “May”), Alexander “Alex” (Fay), Janee, Matthew “Matt” (Jessica), Natalie, Eric (currently serving a mission in Hawaii), Aaron (just received mission call to Warsaw, Poland), Lars, April, and Zachariah “Zach,” and his great-grandchildren; Aria, Jake, Kyla, Kaybree, Ephraim, Ayva, Kayden, Zakai, Ronan, Asher, Leo, Summer Jay, and one more on the way.
Lars Funeral will be available on YouTube Stream at the link below: