Laurence Roland Potts
1926 ~ 2019
Laurence Roland Potts, Sr., age 92, passed away peacefully Thursday evening, May 16, 2019, surrounded by his family. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend, Laurence will be remembered for his love of his Savior, family, and country.
Born in Salida, Colorado, on June 26, 1926, to Mamie and Frank Potts, Laurence spent his youth in Saguache, Colorado, before serving as a Seabee in the Navy in the Pacific theater during World War II. After returning from the Philippines, he worked in the mines of Colorado before moving to Utah, where he met his wife, Urilda Jean Blackham, in the small town of Kenilworth. Married for 47 years, they raised their 7 children in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, France, Germany, and Dugway, Utah before finally settling in Magna. A graduate of Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Laurence worked for the United States government for 27 years. After retiring, he worked for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an accountant for 22 years. His children and grandchildren have fond memories of visiting him in the Church Office Building, where he would take them to see magnificent views of the Salt Lake City Temple.
A convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was 27 years old, Laurence set the example for his children and grandchildren by magnifying his callings as a bishop, counselor in the bishopric, and high councilman, among countless other callings. He especially loved the temple, and he served as a temple worker in both the Salt Lake City and Oquirrh Mountain Temples. After Jean passed away, he married Wilma Lefevre. Together they served two missions in Rochester, New York, and Moscow, Russia. While in Moscow, Laurence helped congregations across Eastern Europe and Russia set up their financial systems.
Laurence loved watching his children and their families grow. The sound of a grandchild’s laughter or the sight of a family member simply walking through his door always brought a smile to his face. He participated in countless baby blessings, baptisms, confirmations, and weddings. Laurence wrote letters, sent birthday cards, called his children regularly, and visited the temple with them to show his great love. The words “I love you, sweetheart” will echo in his children’s, grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s ears for years to come as they remember the patriarch of their family.
Laurence is survived by his wife of 23 years, Wilma; sister, Fern; and seven children, Susan Kimura (Larry) of West Jordan, Utah, Sharon Jenni (Richard) of Ocean City, NJ, Velva Woodward (James) of Scottsdale, Arizona, Duane (Mae) of West Valley, Utah, Terri Smith (Paul) of Orem, Utah, Robert (Vicky) of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Gary (Yumiko) of Phoenix, Arizona. He was preceded in death by wife, Jean; brothers, Lucien and Duane; sisters, Charlotte and Velva; son, Laurence Jr.; grandson, Matthew; and great-grandson, Kyler. His legacy will continue for generations, already evident with his 26 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. Returned with honor.
Family and friends are invited to attend his viewing on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Peel Funeral Home, 8525 West 2700 South, Magna, Utah. The funeral service will be Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elk Ridge Chapel, 3610 South 8400 West, Magna. Prior to the funeral service, there will be a brief viewing from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. for those wishing to pay their final respects. Laurence will go to his final resting place at the Orem Cemetery in Orem, Utah, 1520 North 800 East, at 2:30 p.m.
We would like to thank the Intermountain Hospice team for their care and support during our father’s last hours of his earthly journey. Dad resided at the Legacy Retirement Residence for the last 18 months. He enjoyed living there and he loved the people. We also thank the residents and employees of Legacy for the friendship, love, and care extended to him. His smile will be missed.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity in Dad’s name.
Until we meet again at Jesus’ feet.