Sylvia Arm Wunderli left behind a legacy of service to all around her and a great love of family and nature when she peacefully passed from this life on March 22, 2022, at age 83. Born in Basel, Switzerland on June 1, 1938, to Walter and Ida Arm, Sylvia’s early childhood was filled with both love and adversity. She talked of hiding in bunkers while the ground shook during WWII (as Basel lies on the border of Germany), living in a sanatorium for six months at age 5 because of tuberculosis exposure, and the devastating loss of her younger sister, Irene in 1953, not long after moving to Utah. Throughout it all, she leaned on a loving family and friends and developed her desire to help others.
When she was 10 years old, Sylvia’s family immigrated to America by ship, arriving at Ellis Island in 1949 and then moving to Utah. There, she was faced with the reality of starting a new life, learning a new language, and making new friends. Rather than harping on her own difficult transition, she embraced the new challenge with both optimism and enthusiasm, and focused on finding ways to help and serve others.
Her willingness to serve and unwavering faith in God saw her through two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. One in Frankfurt, Germany from 1961-1963 and the other to Berlin, Germany from 2012-2013. She diligently fulfilled every church calling (and there were A LOT) from nursery or cub scout leader to Stake Board of Relief Society. She served others in her various jobs from Chair of the County Republican Party to Executive Director of the Huntsman World Senior Games which she helped start, run and grow to become the largest annual multi-sport senior competition in the world. But most will remember her small acts of service…baked goods, walks in the neighborhood, kind notes and texts sent with love.
From the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland to the red rocks of Southern Utah, Sylvia loved being outdoors. She loved hiking in the mountains, boating on the lakes, and participating in all kinds of sports from snow skiing, swimming, biking, tennis, and even football with friends from her teen years in the Avenues, or in the front yard with her children. She will forever be remembered for getting up on waterskis at her 80th birthday party while family watched in awe and enthusiastically cheered her on.
Always full of energy, Sylvia tackled life and any obstacles thrown in her way with fearlessness, discipline, infectious charisma, and strong faith in God. Her beautiful shining smile both filled the hearts of all those who knew her and embodied her love for life. She never took for granted the little things in life that made it beautiful, like music. She loved the theater, musicals, all types of music, and even singing herself. Her kids and grandkids will always remember her belting out Let’s Go Fly a Kite, Spoon Full of Sugar, and many of her other favorites with such fervor that it was impossible for those around her not to join in.
Without question, Sylvia’s greatest love was her family. She dedicated her time, talents, heart and soul to raising 5 children and 20 grandchildren. She could always be found cheering on the sidelines and bleachers or clapping in the audience. She was always there. Though she had many great accomplishments in life, her children and grandchildren will always remember her most for all the times she played with them, supported them, and loved them unconditionally. That love was, and will always be, reciprocated by all those who were touched by her life.
Sylvia is preceded in death by her father, Walter Arm; mother, Ida Fricker; sister, Irene; and brother Walter Arm. She is survived by her sister, Doris Petty, her children John (Deborah), Robert (Sally), Michael (Kathy), Marci Numbers (Charlie), Daniel (Angela), 20 beloved grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
Viewing and Funeral will be held Saturday, March 26, 2022 at the Draper 9th Building 12353 S. 600 E., Draper, UT 84020. Viewing at 11:00 am. Funeral at 12:00 pm. Interment Larkin Sunset Gardens.
To watch the services online or to share a favorite memory of Sylvia, please visit www.larkincares.com.
Life Story Info
We send our sincere condolences to Sylvia's family. She was one of the most sincere and genuine people we have ever known. She was a great missionary in the West German Mission. Her personality and enthusiasm were infectious and her energy boundless. She always had a smile on her face. A great friend who will be greatly missed. Much love to her family.