Thursday, September 6, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
First Evangelical Covenant Church
1933 Tremont Blvd NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Family will receive visitors at church from 10 - 10:45 AM, and for a time immediately following the service
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
First Evangelical Covenant Church
1933 Tremont Blvd NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Please specify donations to either the Mission Fund or the Benevolent Care Fund
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
For Sveri Larson, life was about family, friends and her abiding faith. A devoted wife, mother and grandmother, she dedicated herself to those entrusted to her care, and with ways all her own, Sveri was loving and supportive. That’s not to say she didn’t have her share of opinions, but in all she did, she did with the greatest love. Sveri expelled warmth to all she encountered. Just one of the many things loved about her, Sveri leaves a lasting legacy always to be treasured in the hearts of many.
With a sense of exhilaration never before seen, the Roaring Twenties ushered in an entirely new way of thinking in the U.S. By 1921, prosperity and good fortune filled the air while jazz was all the rage. Yet nested in the beautiful, lakefront city of Tranas, Sweden, the birth of Sveri Linnea on May 7, 1921 filled the hearts of her parents, Joseph and Astrid (Wass) Klar with joy. An only child, Sveri was merely two years old when she and her parents made their way to the U.S. Having left behind much family in Sweden for better opportunities in the States, they settled first in the Sparta, Michigan area before moving to the riverfront city of Grand Rapids. There they made their home on Lawrence Street off of Coit Avenue on the city’s northeast side.
Raised in a loving home by wonderful parents, Sveri enjoyed a childhood typical of the times, and loved playing with her dolls. While her parents didn't speak much English, Sveri communicated for them as she spoke both English and Swedish. The best of both languages, she often times simply spoke "Swinglish". Eventually, Sveri’s mother began working for a local doctor and assisted with dinner parties. Sveri often went along with her mother, and in doing so, she learned to cook and bake. Having attended Aberdeen Elementary School, Sveri went on to graduate from Creston High School where she was a friend of many. A sweet, outgoing and gracious young lady.
Sveri and her family attended Bethlehem Lutheran Church for a time. In her early teens, Sveri began attending Mission Covenant Church and her family soon followed. It was there where Sveri grew in her faith, and where she met the young man who would always hold her heart, Stanley Larson. The two took notice of one another and soon began dating. With World War II well underway, Stan was on the battle lines while back home in Grand Rapids, Sveri worked at Bell telephone as a switchboard operator. When Stan was home on furlough, the couple was happily married at the quaint Klise Chapel of East Congregational Church followed by a memorable honeymoon to Chicago. Sveri continued living with her parents until Stan could return home at the war’s end.
The couple made their first home together on Covell NW where they welcomed their first child, Linnea. When they moved to their house on Seventh Street, Dan and Dodie were added to their fold. Sveri made a wonderful home for Stan and the kids which was always neat and orderly. She remained at home caring for her family until her children were older. She then began working with a group of ladies from church and together they shared great times serving meals at the Penn Club. As a family they enjoyed going to travelogues downtown or to the Pantlind Hotel for the Sunday brunch buffet. For several years they enjoyed a cottage they owned on Sand Lake near Grant.
Through the years, numerous memories were made and enjoyed by Sveri and her family. She was proud of her Swedish heritage and she made it a point to pass along many of her Swedish traditions and customs. Sveri’s entire family has fond memories of many family Christmas parties where she prepared a delicious and traditional Swedish smorgasbord of dishes. For many years these celebrations were held at her home, and later at one of her kid’s homes. Sveri most certainly had her recipes and “the proper way” of doing things, like warming the China in the oven before meal time. She was a tremendous cook, and Stan was, as well.
Sveri and Stan's life revolved around their family and church; and in many ways, their church was very much a part of their family. They had many dear friends from church and they often got together for many social gatherings, too including Friday night dinner parties. They enjoyed breakfast at Russ's every Saturday, and Sunday dinner at Arnie's after church. With her social nature and for many years Sveri was considered the "social director" of the group as she did much of the planning, right down to seating arrangements. Sveri’s friendships meant so much to her. For 35 years, each week she went to Sandy's Donut Shop, Monday through Friday for coffee with her lady friends. On Friday’s she’d even treated herself to a donut. Everyone delighted in Sveri’s company. She was always a happy woman and she made others feel comfortable and welcomed in her presence.
At church, Sveri was just as welcoming to friends and strangers alike. If there was someone new, they would usually be invited for dinner before too long. There was no quick exit after church because Sveri talked to everyone, young and old. Individually and as a couple, Sveri and Stan were a testament to their faith. They gave from the heart, and opened their home to many over the years. Sveri and Stan prayed together every day, and Sveri prayed for every child in what came to be her very large family. She lifted each child, grandchild and great-grandchild up in prayer by their name. With her wonderful memory, she didn't need a list; she knew them one-by-one and prayed for them, one-by-one. Family was Sveri’s pride and in them she found her greatest joy. She loved watching her kids grow up, as well as her grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.
Sveri carried herself with a grace all her own. She was always well put together in her dress with just the right amount of cosmetics and accessories. This was an everyday occurrence for her, no matter what was on the docket! It was in her nature to be an easy-going and fun-loving lady, yet Sveri had an opinion about a thing or two. She never hesitated to lovingly correct her granddaughters in their appearance and what was proper for a young lady. She was an example to live by and she served her family well in numerous ways.
Stan and Sveri eventually moved into their condo about 26 years ago. They enjoyed traveling with friends and trips to Sweden. They remained social, getting together with friends and attending all the grandkids and great-grandkids events at every opportunity. When her beloved Stan passed away in 2012, it was no less a difficult time for Sveri but by that time, their daughter, Lynn had retired and moved in with them to help out. Through her faith and the love of family and friends, Sveri was able to remain active and her love of being social continued. As always, she filled the lives of others with warmth and compassion, and her welcoming smile drew others to her side. In later years she loved to read and when the great-grandkids came to visit she liked taking them for rides on the seat of her walker.
The last several weeks were difficult for Sveri as her health began to decline rather quickly. Just a couple of weeks ago she was still in her routine going to Sandy's every morning and church on Sunday. Most of those close to her were able to see her in her last days, and some were even able to be present as she entered the presence of her Lord and Savior. Although it is hard to imagine life without Sveri as she was so much a part of everyone who loved her, she leaves a strong legacy of faith for her family. She lived a long life with an abundance of blessings as her family blessed her and as she was able to bless them. Although gone from love’s embrace, Sveri will forever remain a special part of those she leaves behind.
Mrs. Sveri Larson, age 97 of Grand Rapids, passed away August 29, 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband, Stanley, in 2012, and by her son-in-law Jack Bylsma. Sveri is survived by her children Linnea Bylsma, Dan and Jan Larson, Dodie and Al Weston, 13 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren with one more on the way. Her funeral service will be held Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 11AM at the First Evangelical Covenant Church 1933 Tremont Blvd. where friends may visit with her family from 10 AM until the time of the service. Contributions in her memory may be made to either the Mission Fund or Benevolent Fund of First Evangelical Covenant Church. To share a favorite memory or photo of Sveri and to sign her online guestbook, please visit www.lifestorynet.com.