Lawrence E. Swensen Jr.

Sparta /
| 16 Feb 2021 | 05:10

Lawrence E. (“Larry)” Swensen Jr. passed from this earthly life on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, after a brief illness. He was 84.

Born to Lawrence E. Swensen Sr. and Helen Eberle Swensen in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was always proud of his hometown. The family moved to Watchung, N.J., where Larry grew up playing football for North Plainfield High School, Newark Academy, and ultimately Rutgers University. He also served his nation as a decorated Navy Seaman 1st Class in the Berlin Crisis of 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Larry married Dorothy (Dottie) Dennis in 1958, and together they raised three children over their 33 years of marriage until her untimely death. Larry never missed a chance to share activities with his children, and was a constant presence at their sporting events.

A born salesman, Larry started his career with Fuller Brush Company and Revlon before finding his true calling in insurance. His many policyholders found a warm and caring friend who loved his work and treated them like family. He worked for Prudential and Nationwide before establishing his own thriving independent insurance agency in Toms River, N.J., where he served as president of the Jaycees, a member of the Beautification Committee and the Planning Board.

Larry became a partner in HIS Agency in Sparta, N.J., where he met his future wife Kathleen (Kathy) Doto and also rediscovered his passion for fishing in the beautiful rivers and streams of Sussex County. Learning to bowl later in life, he rose to the challenge and became good-naturedly known on the lanes as the “Swedish Assassin,” a title which he wore proudly even though he was Norwegian. He married Kathy in 1993 and they enjoyed 27 happy years of working together, traveling, retiring, and, most of all, delighting in their blended family. A faithful communicant of Saint Kateri Parish in Sparta, Larry also served for over 20 years on the Board of Trustees of the condominium association where he resided.

Larry’s zest for life was contagious to all who were fortunate to know him, and his hearty handshake and friendly “How you doing!” consistently forged friendships throughout his life.

He was predeceased by his brother Carl Swensen and his grandson Tyler Covert.

Larry is survived by his beloved wife, Kathy; dear sister, Judith; loving children, Deborah Covert (Kevin), Thomas Swensen (Claire), and Susan Wright; stepsons, Robert Doto (Laura) and Michael Doto (Darlene); ten grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a niece and several nephews; and many dear friends.

Due to Covid, the funeral Mass was privately celebrated on Feb. 15. Friends were invited to view the livestream on Zoom.

The family will hold a Celebration of Life in Larry’s honor at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Heart Association.