April 29, 1956 - September 23, 2017
Lesa Lynn Larkin was born in Bellflower, CA to parents Bob and Majel, and older sister Laurie. Her younger brother, Lyles, would be born four years after. She died in her home in Manson, WA, 61 years later, surrounded by her family. She is survived by her husband, children and 13 grandchildren. As a child, and rightful southern California girl, she grew up loving the beach. Saturday mornings were regular work days with her dad. She loved to ride in the wheelbarrow along with her sister. It was also common for them to wash the car together. When the chores were done, her dad loved to go for a drive. They often would end up at the beach eating pizza in the car and watching the ocean. When Lesa was in elementary school, she revealed a stash in the bottom drawer of her dresser to her sister. She told her it was for in case she ever decided to run away. Lesa’s sister only remembers one thing she had in the drawer; her chocolate Easter bunny! She always loved her chocolate, yet she was the master of self-control. Till the day she died, she still had a stash of chocolate in her dresser drawer. From a young age, Lesa was an animal lover. One evening as her family went for a neighborhood walk, a black cat followed them home. Little Lesa begged to keep the cat. Her dad said she couldn’t. Her response was “I’ve been praying for a black cat!” She saw it as an answered prayer. The cat stayed! Lesa started knitting while she was young, as she watched and learned from her grandmother. By high school, she was quite talented and could knit blankets and afghans. As a grandmother, she wore out her fingers with knitting projects that ranged from hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, dresses, baby blankets, and an entire zoo of custom designed stuffed animals… and could do it all with a sleeping baby in her arms. She loved her time building friendships in her Knit Wit knitting club. Lesa left for Utah two days after her H.S. graduation in June of 1974 to attend LDS Business School in Salt Lake City. Later, she transferred to Brigham Young University where she met her husband, Len England. They were married just three months later, in the Los Angeles LDS Temple. Shortly after their first son, Jeffrey, was born they moved back to Len’s hometown of Manson, Washington. Len started working in the orchard with his father, and Lesa was a stay at home mom. In the following years she would give birth to three more children, all daughters: Juliana, Janae and Jocelyn. Because all her children were delivered via c-secion, doctors told her she was to be done after four. She was determined to have one more, and was the main source of inspiration that lead to the adoption of their youngest child, Joel. Lesa came alive when she was camping. She was brave, and often took her children alone on multi-day camping trips during their summer breaks. She knew all the camp songs by heart and thought it was funny to make her girls cringe by singing the Wiener Man song. She especially loved the Redwoods, where she had special memories fishing with her dad and hiking Fern Canyon as a child. Lesa wasn’t afraid to try new things, and it served her well as she developed talents as an adult. She learned to water ski when she was 18 years old, and loved going out with her kids and nephews. She took up running when her kids were teenagers, and over the years competed in more than a dozen races including half marathons and Ragnar Relays. She started buying pretty hats, and wore them to church every Sunday she had a dress that would match. She learned how to keep score for the high school baseball team, and was disappointed to give it up when Len retired from coaching 25 years later. She dressed up every year for Halloween, her very favorite holiday. One year she flew to Arizona to be with her daughter on Halloween day, and wore her costume on the plane: An African American tribal robe and an “afro” wig! Lesa’s love of animals might have only grown stronger as she grew older. She fearlessly helped herself onto other people’s property to visit their animals, and would often take an entourage of grandchildren with her. She loved working with Guide Dogs for the blind because it gave her an excuse to be able to take an animal with her everywhere she went. She preferred black animals and liked to name them after movie stars or characters. Some of her favorites were her cat, McGyver, and her dog, Oprah. On a ride home from a baseball game, she saw a sign for baby cows for sale. She brought the baby cow home in the family van as a birthday gift to her daughter. The cow was named Daisy. Whenever the family drove past a field of cows after that, Lesa would call out, “Look! A field of Daisies!” Lesa left behind a legacy of purple everything, preferably with a Victorian flair. She taught her children to stand up for their beliefs, as she did hers. She was the tough love parent, teaching valuable lessons of doing hard things. She was an example of goodness and strength. She quietly battled depression most of her life. She wasn’t usually emotional, rather she showed her love to others by offering service and through giving her time. She held strong to her faith her whole life, believing in the promise of eternal families. For the last two and a half years of her life, she fell victim to a cancer that wasn’t ever going to be beat. She reluctantly agreed to chemotherapy treatments, which gave her the opportunity to postpone her earthly goodbyes. Her husband supported her every need, and valiantly cared for her until the end. Their relationship gave others something to strive for. We love her forever for the dedicated wife, mother, and grandmother she was. Until we meet again...
Lesa Lynn Larkin was born in Bellflower, CA to parents Bob and Majel, and older sister Laurie. Her younger brother, Lyles, would be born four years after. She died in her home in Manson, WA, 61 years later, surrounded by her family. She is... View Obituary & Service Information
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