Jan. 6, 1943-Feb. 10, 2024

Lawrence “Larry” Raymond Sewell graduated from “Earth School” on Feb. 10, 2024. After serving his family, God and country for 81 years, he returned to the embrace of his Heavenly Father. Surrounded by his wife and children, he passed on from complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Born Jan. 6, 1943, in Alhambra, California, to Guy Raymond Sewell and Naoma Howard, Larry was the older brother to Ladena Sewell and Howard “Buzz” Busby Phelps.

Larry shared his passionate imagination and charismatic leadership with friends and family throughout his life. As a boy, he built armies from clay and did battle with them in the forest behind his grandparents’ home with his trusty BB gun.

Graduating from Mark Keppel High School, he dominated on the football team and entertained his classmates with wild storytelling. During that time he worked at a grocery store to buy his cherished candy-apple-red, ’55 Chevy. After a foot injury ended his football career, he left the game behind but took his ’55 Chevy to Brigham Young University where he studied for a year, renting out his car to cover living expenses. Larry partied the remainder of his college years at Cal-Poly Pomona in California as the Kappa Sigma Omega fraternity pledge master. There, he founded The Center of Fun, Foolishness and Individual Nonsense (better known as “The COFFIN”). Those years generated decades of stories for his children and grandchildren.

At age 31, a powerful spiritual experience in the desert led to his reconversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He refocused his passion and charisma on serving his God and church family, eventually leading seven combined LDS singles regions, patterning their fun after his fraternity days. In 1977, he married Karen Marie Kowallis and adopted her sons Brian and Thomas, who called him “Dad.” Larry and Karen eventually expanded their family with five more children: Kari Ann, Michael, Laura, Joseph and Suzanna.

Larry’s charisma and ability to understand people’s concerns propelled him into a successful career as a salesman, but his passion remained his family, country and religion.

An affectionate father, he often returned from sales trips with thoughtful presents for his children. After his career shifted and allowed him to spend more time at home, he consistently showed up to support his children in all their pursuits — at any time of day or night. He valued his children’s individuality and strove to truly know each one.

Although his club-foot disqualified him from military service, he patriotically collaborated with Cleon Skousen and the National Center for Constitutional Studies, teaching Eagle Forum seminars on the founding of America and the principles of the Constitution.

Larry loved serving as a Seventy for his church. Bringing others to Christ brought him perpetual joy. Throughout his life, Larry hungered for knowledge and read voraciously, a trait he passed on to many of his children.

Larry brought a mischievous sense of humor, a passionate love for music and a knack for telling vivid stories to all fortunate enough to know him.

In 1992, Larry moved his family to Toquerville, Utah, which he considered his home after sixteen years of residence. However, Larry and Karen spent his decade in Ivins.

He is survived by his wife Karen Marie Kowallis and their seven children, Brian Sewell, Thomas Sewell, Kari Ann Sewell, Michael Sewell, Laura Blad, Joseph Sewell Suzanna Collet and his sister LaDena Davis.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. at the Chapel located at 260 E 1060 S, Ivins, Utah. Friends and family are also invited to Ivins for a visitation that morning from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. The graveside service will be held later that day at the Toquerville Cemetery at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to funeral expenses can be made directly to Hughes Mortuary, (435) 674-5000. Arrangements are under the direction of Hughes Mortuary.

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