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Kristian L Elmgren

05/30/1938 - 04/05/2024

Kristian Elmgren, age 85, of Mesa passed away Friday, April 5, 2024.  Kris was born on May 30, 1938 in Helsinki, Finland to Brita Schroderus and Hans Elmgren.  He was the oldest of four sons.

After the family immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1957, Kris met and married his first wife, Paula Anderson in 1962 and they had two children, Gregor and Ingrid.  After they were divorced in 1977, Kris married Barbara Socha in 1979, his wife of 44 years.

Kris worked in the retail industry, first as a Canadian chain store buyer and then as a manufacturer’s sales rep to Canadian and US chain stores.

Kris and Barbara immigrated to the United States in 1994, eventually arriving in Mesa in 2009 where his daughter, Ingrid’s family and her mother, Paula, were already living.  Kris considered himself lucky to be somewhere he never expected to be with the most important people in his life.

He always loved gardening, adjusting from Northern cold climates with their daffodils and rhododendrons to semi-tropical Florida and finally to the desert where he learned how to propagate cactus.  The plants he left behind will be a constant reminder of him.

Kris lost his young son Gregor to an untimely death and is also preceded in death by two of his brothers, Kai and Kim.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Socha; his daughter Ingrid DiRusso (Robert); their children, his grandchildren, Timothy DiRusso (Shannon O’Toole) and Allanah Silvestro (Kenny); and a younger brother, Ken Elmgren (Sue) and their son, Will.

Kris’ ashes will be scattered in Fulford, Quebec, Canada where his parents lived their last years and where they and his son are buried.

There will be a celebration of his life by his family and friends on his birthday, May 30th.



Arrangements by Bunker’s University Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.



  • Kris and I had been friends , neighbors and travel buddies (back and forth) from Fulford Qc. to Montreal Qc. for years.Eventually as Kris and Barabra started moving around , we ended up visiting them, in different locations , such as, Toronto Canada as well a in few different locations around the USA. Even though they eventually ended up in Arizonia , we managed to stay in touch with a few phone calls every month. It makes me sad knowing that this GOOD TIME BUDDY, has moved away for ever, he is and will be sadly missed.
    Stanley Neil & family

  • Bev and Pete Quilliams

    Sorry to hear of your loss Bâcha ,he was a good neighbor and friend Sending hugs to you and his brother.

  • Bill and Doreen King

    Doreen and I met Kris after he became a manufacturer’s representative, over 40 years ago. The moment we met Kris he was both a business inspiration and a life’s inspiration and quickly became a good friend. Many of the pleasures we had came from life experiences introduced to us by Kris and executed with a zest for life and humor and its idiosyncrasies.
    We often think back to those adventures with Kris on business trips, trade shows and customer calls. He always added a human and humane perspective on politics, business and personal interrelationships. He was a great friend. Kris will be greatly missed by both Doreen and myself and others blessed by his acquaintance.

  • Lois Hardacker

    Heartfelt sympathy to Barbara, family and friends of Kris. Lois

  • Wade Morrison

    So sorry to hear of his passing. Kris reinforced my love of desert plants and the desert landscapes. We have evidence of that in our backyard as an ongoing reminder of his gift. He absolutely was a unique character and I always enjoyed my time with him. I still have some of the tools that he gifted me as he was downsizing his collections that were stored in the garage.

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