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Family Will Receive Friends

Twentieth Street Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Thursday August 4th, 2022
9:30am - 10:45am

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Funeral Service

Twentieth Street Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Thursday August 4th, 2022

View Details

Concluding Service

Safford Cemetery
Thursday August 4th, 2022

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Letha Grace Larson Burrell

Letha Grace Larson Burrell, age 95, our loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend passed away in the early evening of July 17, 2022.

Letha was born on April 6, 1927, as the sixth child of thirteen in the family of James Alma Larson and Grace McBride Larson. She was born at her grandmother, Laura McBride’s home, in Glenbar, Arizona while her mother was visiting her own mother. Her parents were residing in Phoenix, Arizona at the time.

Letha spent her childhood and youth living in Phoenix. Her family later returned to the Gila Valley and settled in Glenbar where her grandparents and many uncles, aunts, and cousins lived.
Letha entered first grade in Pima, Arizona at the age of six, and graduated from High School in 1945. She attended one year of Gila Jr. College before getting married in 1946.

Letha met her future husband, Loren Burrell, at age 16 when he was home on leave from the Army Air Force before being sent overseas to participate in World War II. He was a gunner on a B 24 airplane that went on 35 missions over Germany. She didn't see him again until the war was over in 1945 and became reacquainted with him again at college. They dated during the year that she spent at college. At the end of that school year, she went to Tucson to work at the Mountain Bell Telephone company. Loren went to San Diego, California, to look for a job. He found work there as a bookkeeper at the First National Bank. In September 1946, Letha moved to San Diego, and they were married on October 11. On October 11, 1948, two years later, they were endowed and sealed to each other and their son Randie in the Mesa, Arizona temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Letha and Loren lived in San Diego for all their married life, except for a year when Loren was recalled into the Korean War. Letha and her two children, Randie and Bradley, went to Safford, Arizona to live during that time.

Letha and Loren were blessed with six children: Randie, Bradley, Marcia, Denise, Rita, and Marlin. They also welcomed Ron Singer into their home to care for him as their own during his high-school years. He has always been treated as a part of our family ever since. Bearing and caring for her children were Letha’s main activities and joys she had from the time she was 20 until they were all grown and out on their own.

Letha was raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She had a strong faith and testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ. She served in many church callings throughout her life, including service as a Young Women President twice and assisting with girl’s camp for 30 years. She was a Relief Society President and served in the Stake Relief Society as a Councilor. She loved keeping a personal journal and taking pictures and started at an early age; so, when she was called to serve as the Ward historian, she was a perfect fit. She was a member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers organization and served as Historian there as well. In her later years, Letha always wrote a birthday letter to each of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to express her love to them and encourage to them to live a righteous life and work on their goals in life.

Letha and Loren served as Stake missionaries for the church in San Diego from 1975 to 1976 during the same time that their daughter Denise was serving her mission in the Missouri, Independence mission. During that time, they conducted tours at the Mormon Battalion Historic Site where Letha always mentioned her relationship to Samuel Lewis, one of the battalion soldiers. Later, in 1990, they served a mission for the church in the Toronto, Canada mission. They worked in the Mission Presidents office and fellowshipped and taught lessons to new members as well. When they returned from their mission, they served as workers in the San Diego temple for 13 years.

During their family’s growing years, Letha and Loren always spent their vacations visiting family. As a result, her children knew all their aunts, uncles, and cousins. They had lots of fun visiting with each other. Letha was always interested in traveling to see other countries and experience their culture. She was able to do that more often with Loren after her family was raised. Loren’s favorite saying about her was that Letha’s middle initial didn’t stand for Grace but for “Go.” After Loren passed, she was also able to take trips with her children to various places in Europe and Asia. She sung in the hills of Austria with Marlin and Dad, kissed the “Blarney Stone” in Ireland with Denise and Don, climbed the slopes in Switzerland with Marcia and Tanya, strolled the streets of Spain with Marcia and Randie, and climbed the great wall of China when she went to China with Rita, Derek, and John.

In 2007, her husband Loren became bedridden after an extended hospital stay. She took care of him in their home until his passing in October of that year. Later, in 2009, she had a home built in Orem, Utah where she was able to live near her daughter Rita and was able to visit more with Bradley and Denise and their children. Later, her daughter Marcia sold her home in San Diego and moved in with her. Marcia lived there with her until her passing. Letha loved visiting her family and friends and having them visit her. She took pictures to document almost every adventure she and had with her family and friends.

Letha was preceded in death by Loren Burrell (husband), Marlin (son), Marsha Burrell (daughter-in-law), Jeanne Burrell (daughter-in-law).

Letha is survived her children: Randie (Dixie) Burrell of Poway, California, Bradley of West Valley City, Utah, Marcia Helzer of Orem, Utah, Denise (Donald) Jewkes of Murray, Utah, and Rita (Derek) of Orem, Utah. She has 19 grandchildren and 50 great-grandchildren with one on the way.

Letha is also survived by her brothers: Clay (Naoma) Larson and Richard (Judy) Larson, her sister Linda (Darr) Allen, and sisters-in-laws: Jeanine Larson and Lois Larson.

Funeral services for Letha will be conducted Thursday morning, August 4, 2022, at 11:00 a.m., at the Twentieth Street Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Bishop Paul Badger of the Safford 2nd Ward. Concluding services will follow in the Safford Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Thursday morning, August 4, 2022, from 9:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m., at the Twentieth Street Chapel Relief Society Room of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Those who would like to attend the services via Facebook Live can join on Vining Funeral Home's Facebook page, Thursday morning, August 4, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. (MST).

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Letha Burrell, please visit our flower store.


It was great to see all the cousins in Orem this weekend! As a special bonus we saw Rita and Derek at the SLC airport again on our way home!
Debbie and Cindy pretty much summed it up, except my recollection is that we got Letha to go 100 mph down the straight road coming down from majestic Mt Graham. Oh how we loved those 2 weeks up in Columbine every August! Many wonderful memories, a hike a day with a full size Snickers bar, slick rock, Webb peak, and don\'t forget the Ice caves. Picked wild raspberries and Aunt Theresa made wonderful cobbler on a wood fired oven. I\'ve never had any better! Late nights of Rook with Rita bidding up to 90 of 120 possible points and making her bid. Denise leaving Marlin and I behind on a hike to Arcadia and letting us get lost. Uncle Loren chasing Marlin around for a kick in the pants for misbehaving. Aunt Letha of course loved everyone and took all those pictures. Her 99 year old mother would even come along, and in later years let me bring along a friend after Marlin was out of the nest. Too many memories to count.
We love you Aunt Letha! Wanted to visit you this trip but at least instead got to see your beautiful family and legacy that you left for all of us.

Andrew D Burrell Aug 2 2022 9:16 PM

I will always treasure the fond memories of this fun, kind, caring lady! Even though most of my younger years she was living in San Diego while we were in AZ, I remember our occasional trips to San Diego included some time with Loren, Letha and family. Often it included a picnic at the park. I loved Aunt Letha’s passion for photography that inspired me to get more involved in it. It meant a lot that she was the photographic historian for all our family gatherings ie reunions. Her pictures have provided each of the Burrell families a valuable cherished record for loving genealogical purposes and wonderful memories. Her stamina and spunk in her later years never ceased to amaze me as I read all about her activities of the prior year in her annual Christmas letters. I am grateful that she was a part of my life and I will really miss hearing from her each Christmas.

Cindy Burrell Aug 1 2022 8:08 PM

I just saw this! I loved Letha! My mom always got Christmas letters from her and Loren. They are double 1st cousins! I remember visiting them in San Diego one year and hanging out with Rita at Aunt Grace’s. There is such a wonderful reunion going on in heaven! I know she missed Loren so much and Marlin too. Rest In Peace Letha and many hugs and prayers to your family left behind!

Brenda Ferrin Eldredge Jul 25 2022 5:25 PM

There are not enough words to praise this lovely Aunt !! Her whole life was dedicated to family. I will never forget the summers that she came to arizona and entertained all of our cousins on Mt graham at the church cabin at columbine ! To this day i make fairy houses with my grandchildren in her honor ! We went on hikes , treasure hunts picked berries and had cobbler at night ! We looked for bears , read comic books , played rook, told scary stories , and went fishing at riggs lake. The best of my childhood memories included aunt letha and uncle loren ! They loved driving up in that station wagon and surprising us!! Rita and marlin would be standing at the door with big grins on their faces and the fun began !! Aunt letha drove that station wagon down that mountain going 90. We got to run the switchbacks on the way down !! Such a great example of love and family !! Thankyou for all the wonderful memories and enjoy your reunion with uncle loren and Marlin ! Love you aunt letha and all my sweet cousins

Debbie burrell John Jul 25 2022 12:21 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Letha Burrell

Andrea Rodgers Jul 24 2022 9:54 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Letha Burrell

Kirk and Melinda Larson Jul 24 2022 9:49 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Letha Burrell

Christine Gale Jul 24 2022 12:19 AM