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Charles Dennis Elzinga

Nov 26, 2021

Charles Dennis Elzinga, age 82, passed away on November 19, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He was born to Charles Sybrand Elzinga and Joyce Clark Elzinga on November 11, 1939, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Charles worked for IBM for 35 years as an engineer. He was a physics engineer on the team that developed the world’s first laser printer. Later Charles worked as a professor for the University of Maryland and for Howard University. Most recently he spent 13 years working for Weber State, hiring instructors for the continuing education program. He loved to work and continued working at Weber State until just days before he died.

At Utah State University, he received a B.Sc. in physics and mathematics in 1964. At Stanford University, he received his M.S. in engineering economic systems in 1978 and also completed further coursework and a thesis for an Engineer Degree.

A lifelong learner, Charles completed this graduate work at Stanford in his late 30s, at a time when he and his then-wife, Lorraine, were already raising their first 5 children at home. He could often be found studying for exams and finishing assignments late at night in the family’s basement.

Charles was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more than once serving as a counselor to the bishop in the leadership of his local ward. He was a leader in both the Cub and Boy Scouts. Charles loved to travel, visiting places like Russia, Costa Rica, Japan and countries all over Europe.

Charles loved the outdoors, especially camping. Charles also loved farming and gardening. When he was an engineer at IBM, he always said if he had more courage he’d be a farmer. He taught his sons and daughters to drive tractors and work a plum orchard, an alfalfa farm, and to care for all kinds of farm animals. He loved constructing and remodeling homes, and built two houses in his spare time. At the time of his death he had drafted plans to complete one more.

Charles loved his family. He loved helping others and was always generous and charitable. At his memorial, many of his children told about occasions when he gave money, time, food or lodging to friends, family, or complete strangers in need.

Charles is survived by his wife, Lanora Mae (Lorie) Elzinga, to whom he was married in 2002; by their daughter Kristy Anna; and by Lorie’s children, whom Charles helped raise and loved as his own: Jonathan, Jason, and Kirsten. Charles is survived by his former wife, Lorraine Olsen Elzinga, whose marriage together lasted from 1964 to 1999; and by seven of their eight children: Dean, Sherae, Bret, Mark, Christopher, Shannon, and David. He is also mourned by many surviving nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Charles is preceded in death by his parents; by siblings Susan, Elona Joy, Terry Ann, and Alma Clark; by his youngest son with Lorraine, Steven; and by many other friends and loved ones.

A Memorial Service was held Tuesday November 23, 2021, at 10:00 am at the South Weber Stake Center, 7989 South 2250 East in South Weber.

You can view the recorded service at https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/e3rSXYea4eKb07wraVwHvcWF1ltpGFmsHYS8egXet12mq3xk_XtFWsLcTf4GINwM.3XBAF9eQle5WV_YN?startTime=1637685917000

Arrangements entrusted to Larkin Mortuary. Online condolences may be offered to the family at larkinmortuary.com.