For those who knew and loved him best, a brilliant sun in our lives has returned to heaven from whence it first shone. Laurence Carter Reiser, age 73, courageously passed from this life on August 29, 2023 of pneumonia due to IBM degenerative muscle disorder. He was born March 12, 1950 in Salt Lake City, UT, the second son of Albert Hamer Reiser Jr and Betty Jo Carter Reiser. Faced with great adversities in life-- handled with determination-- and though the world at times was too harsh for his tender soul, his huge loving heart knew no bounds. Whether it was an animal, bird, reptile or human, he was loving it and rescuing it. He loved Bible stories as a child from whence came a testimony of his Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for a lifetime, reaching out to others as possible to bring them back to Him.
Laurence attended Salt Lake City schools: The Rose Park School; Northwest Junior High, where he was elected 7th Grade Vice President; Clayton Junior High; and Highland High Class of 1968, serving as the Highland Seminary Council Vice President. He excelled in creative writing, poetry, and as an artist. He attended the University of Utah from 1968 to 1969, where he developed a beautiful baritone singing voice. He was called to the Great Italian Mission from 1969 to 1971, 2 years after its reopening from World War II. Gifted with a brilliant mind and perseverance, he completed his academics at the University of Utah while simultaneously working in his psychology field from 1971 to 1982, when he obtained his PhD in Educational Psychology.
He married Elizabeth Jane Goates in the Salt Lake Temple on August 22, 1974, 49 years ago, a week before he died. He sacrificed much for his family. He delighted in sharing the nurturing of his greatest accomplishment – our three children Melissa, Matthew, and Brent -- now extended to their spouses and our 11 grandchildren. He was a hands-on husband, Dad and Bompa ahead of his time and coached us to reach our potential, to achieve beyond what we thought we could! Gifted with natural intuition into a person’s soul, he easily knew how to make us happy. His sense of humor brightened and lightened our loads. His creative, artistic, and musical gifts created deeper joys that helped heal our sorrows along the way.
Laurence’s desire to help others developed into his chosen profession as a psychologist and adjunct professor in psychology, changing the lives of his clients and students. His natural charisma drew people into his accepting warmth. He could see the light of Christ in even his most difficult patients. His clients and students knew he cared about them, opening their hearts and minds. He was a gifted experiential teacher. Ever learning, he was a lifetime scholar of the gospel of Jesus Christ, his human relations field, and his screenwriting projects.
He served in many callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in his lifetime. A highlight in his later life was as a Church Service Missionary in the Addiction Recovery Program in both Salt Lake City, UT and St George, UT, where he felt the infinite healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to rescue him, then help rescue others through Christ. Another highlight was serving as a Temple Baptistry worker in both the Salt Lake and St George Temples, where every time he did confirmations for the dead, he felt the love and gratitude of those on the other side of the veil for their rescue by having their work done. In both callings, he served from his wheelchair until he couldn’t anymore. To the end, he was offering compassion, humor, and help to those who came to care for him at his bedside. Thank you especially to his last superb teams of care from Utah Home Hospice, Rocky Mountain Aides, Diane, and Teresa for your loving care of Larry so we could keep him at home. Thank you also to Affordable Care Mortuary in St. George, UT for their kind care of Laurence in preparations to take him to Salt Lake City, UT.
He is survived by wife Jane; children Melissa (Gary Bain), Matthew (JaNae Hatch), Brent (Liz Helal); grandchildren Nathan, Lauren, Sierra, Brynnlee Bain; Kammee, Audree, Saydee Reiser; Annabelle, Rebecca, (Emmalee), Evan Reiser; brother Harold (Janet) Reiser; brothers-in-law David Goates; Harold (Jann) Goates, Jonathan (Dawn) Goates; Timothy (Amy) Goates, and numerous beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by parents (above), brother Hamer Reiser 3rd ; brother-in-law Drew Goates, sister-in-law Patsy Goates, and granddaughter Emmalee Reiser.
Please join us for a celebration of his life at 12:00 noon on Saturday, September 23, 2023 at the Federal Heights Ward building located at 1300 Fairfax Road, Salt Lake City, UT 84103. A visitation will be held Friday evening from 6-8pm as well as from 10-11:30am prior to the funeral. Interment will be in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. A Zoom link will be available during the funeral and a recording after on the Larkin website.