Larry Albert Sagers, of Erda, passed away peacefully at his home on Nov. 6 at the age of 63 after an 18-month battle with mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer. Through it all, he was cheerful and optimistic and continued with his life work and activities despite his illness. He was born on June 25, 1949 in Tooele as the third of seven children of Willard Harris and Geraldine Brown Sagers. He grew up in Tooele and graduated from Tooele High School in 1967. During high school, he met and became good friends with his future bride, Amy Diane Elkington, also a Tooele native. After serving for the LDS church in the England East mission, he resumed college at Brigham Young University. There he completed his bachelor’s degree in horticulture and agronomy and married his sweetheart, Diane, on graduation day, April 20, 1973, in the Salt Lake Temple. Larry went on to earn a master’s degree in plant science (pomology) at Utah State University in 1975, and subsequently he and Diane owned and operated Tooele Floral with his two brothers for several years. The most important things in Larry’s life were his family, the gospel of Jesus Christ and horticulture — in that order. He was a devoted son, husband, father and grandfather whose favorite pastime was spending as much time as possible with his family, working, having fun, encouraging them and teaching them. Whenever he could, he took his wife and children with him as he traveled. He often sang with them, explained things and regaled them with games and stories he made up on the fly. He also stopped whatever he was doing to sing to, play or read with his grandchildren, dropping by their homes whenever he had a few minutes. They knew him as the best grandpa ever. As the son of a rancher, he learned early about hard work and growing crops. From his enthusiastic gardener mother, Larry gained an avid interest in plants and gardens which evolved to a lifelong passion that led him to a career in horticulture. He also loved woodworking and built much of the furniture in his home. He was skilled at many things and spent many hours working alongside his children, teaching them those skills. He was always a teacher in his family, in the church and in his career. He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had an unshakable testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and loved serving others and teaching the gospel. He served as bishop of the Erda First Ward for seven and a half years, ward Gospel Doctrine teacher for many years, and on the high council for the LDS church. He held numerous other church callings and offered steady encouragement and support to his family in their callings. He and his wife Diane served an LDS church service mission as garden guides at Temple Square in Salt Lake City for 10 years. Larry is best known publicly as a plant guru for USU Extension, garden columnist for the Deseret News and for 28 years, the voice of KSL radio’s Saturday morning Greenhouse show, consistently ranked as the No. 1 weekend radio program in the Intermountain West. He finished his last three-hour program last Saturday and his last newspaper column was in Monday’s Deseret News. His extension career spans 31 years from his beginnings as the Millard County agricultural agent, to Utah County’s horticulture agent, Salt Lake County’s horticultural agent, and most recently as a regional extension horticulture specialist for Utah, Davis, Salt Lake and Tooele counties. From his office at Thanksgiving Point, he assisted in developing their large gardens and established and instructed joint educational programs for USU and Thanksgiving Point Institute. Larry thrived on teaching gardening whether it was at a workshop, a speaking engagement, a garden tour or formal classes. He passed on his love and knowledge of gardening to his children and even grandchildren. He taught the fine points of gardening to thousands of students in and outside Utah, trained thousands of master gardeners throughout the state and organized and taught a four-year advanced master gardener program. His garden column appeared weekly in the Deseret News, not missing a week in 23 years. He published several books and more than 3,000 scholarly and popular articles during his career and presented at many national and international conferences. His teaching and writing were ever popular among his students and respected by his peers. He received many national awards for his media and teaching work including induction into the National Association of County Agricultural Agents’ Hall of Fame. Larry is survived by his wife and six children: Glen (Sharon), Geoffrey (Diana), Denise (Matt Wexels), Stephen (Stacey), Shannon (Richard Lyon) and Heather (Adam Lichfield) and 21 grandchildren. He is also survived by his mother, sisters, and brother: Carolyn, Deborah Smart (widow of the late Ken Sagers) (Phil), Joel (Ann) (Robin – deceased), Wayne Southwick (widower of the late Norene Southwick), Kathryn (Michael Faudree), and Deana (Lyle Hillier). He was preceded in death by his father, sister Norene and brother Kenneth. The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at the Huntsman Cancer Institute for their kindness, support, concern and superb care. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Nov. 13 at the Stansbury Park South Stake Center, 240 E. Interlochen Lane in Stansbury Park. There will be a viewing at the Tate Mortuary, 110 S. Main Street in Tooele, on Nov. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. with a second viewing at the Stansbury South Stake Center from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. prior to the funeral.