Carolin Joyce Naylor Larsen, a resident of Orem, Utah, passed away on Sunday, May 23, after a final battle with cancer. Always resilient in any challenge, her final days were no less characteristic of the grace she so easily displayed throughout her life.
Carolin was born December 25, 1939 – our Christmas angel – in Ogden, Utah to Joy William Naylor and Jane Elizabeth Clarke Naylor. She was blessed to come to a home where love and faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ were the foundation on which all things were built. She had two very good, caring and fun-loving brothers, Russell William Oakey and Charles Naylor (both deceased). One of her greatest friendships throughout her life was with her sister, Marylin Oakey Neubert. This tap-dancing, piano-playing, kindhearted sister duo always had a special affection for one other.
When she was a little girl, her family moved to Boise, Idaho where they operated several drive-in theaters. As she pitched in at the family businesses, Carolin learned at a very early age the value of hard work, which served her well throughout her life. Carolin’s parents encouraged her to progress at developing her talents and she became a very accomplished dancer and pianist. In fact, when Carolin was at the organ on Sundays, you were treated to more than just the hymns as her flair at the keys attested to her years of study and practice. Her passion for beauty and dance motivated her to open a dance studio as a young woman.
After graduating from Boise High School, she attended Brigham Young University. Her educational goals were put on hold so she could fulfill her desire to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On March 13, 1961 she entered the mission home in Salt Lake City with a call to serve in the Central German Mission. She had a great affection for the people she served. Four of her six children served as missionaries for the Church and some of the greatest counsel she gave them was “above all else, share your testimony.” She was a faithful Latter-day Saint and held many callings, but missionary work was always the hallmark of her service.
Carolin was a proficient secretary and worked at the Church Office Building as a secretary for the Seven Presidents of the Seventy. She eventually moved to Los Angeles where she worked as the secretary for the comptroller of Sav-On Drug Corp.
In June, 1965 an invitation to a swimming party changed the course of Carolin’s life. She met Earle S. Larsen, Jr. and the two were married on March 12, 1966 and sealed for time and all eternity in the Los Angeles Temple. Earle worked for ABC television in Hollywood and they made their home for many years in west L.A. in the city of San Fernando. The family grew to five children who benefited enormously from Carolin’s homemaking skills. She could sew the cutest outfits for her girls and always took great care that her children were loved and well cared for.
Adventure and entrepreneurism called after Earle and Carolin and they eventually moved to Utah to open two Mexican restaurants called El Chaparral. In Utah the sixth and final baby joined the Larsen clan and perfectly balanced the family dinner table with three girls and three boys. The restaurant business was not meant to be and Carolin’s hard work ethic once again served her well as she started employment with BYU as a secretary to the Director of Housing. During her time at BYU, she also served as a secretary to two vice presidents and was promoted to a management position with Off-Campus Housing. After 22 years of wonderful service, she retired from BYU in August, 2001.
The clarion call of missionary work once again illuminated her life upon retirement. She and Earle would go on to serve four missions together: Washington, D.C. South, Temple Square, Salt Lake City South and a special call to serve at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii. Each of these mission experiences brought friendships that remained dear to Earle and Carolin. While serving in Hawaii, Carolin suffered two strokes. The faith and prayers of the Polynesian saints and Carolin’s unconquerable spirit, coupled with many tender mercies from our Father in Heaven, enabled her to finish her mission in Hawaii.
Upon completion of their fourth and final mission together, Earle and Carolin spent time traveling together and loving their ever-expanding family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Carolin could always be found supporting her loved ones at key moments of their life and took great joy in the accomplishments of her posterity. Indeed, she treated each as a jewel in her eternal crown.
Carolin is survived by her husband, Earle S. Larsen, Jr., and their six children, Julie (Todd) Anderson, Kristi Larsen Degn, Steven (Gina) Larsen, Joseph Larsen, Daniel (Richelle) Larsen and Bonnie (Alan) Bosh, and 43 grandchildren and great-grandchidren. She is a beloved aunt to many nieces and nephews and counted her friendships with her in-laws and extended family members among her treasured relationships.
We express our sincerest thanks to the hospice and health care providers who were so attentive during mom’s final days. We couldn’t have asked for better or more compassionate care. An expression of gratitude especially to granddaughter Tara who brought invaluable nursing skills and a soft touch to our angel mom.
Mom, we love you and at this time we are grateful for the faith you taught each of us at an early age: Families are forever.
A viewing will be held on Friday evening, May 28 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Sundberg Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 29 at the Cascade First Ward, 481 East Center Street, Orem. A visitation will be held prior to the funeral from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Interment at the Ogden City Cemetery.
For those unable to attend in person, services will be livestreamed at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/sundbergolpinfuneralhome
Condolences may be expressed to the family on this page.
To send flowers to Carolin's family, please visit our floral store.