Obituary for \r\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t Velda Duvall Simmons\n\n\r\n\t\t\t\tVelda was born in Vernal, Utah on 11 September 1924 to Alva James Duvall and Marion Alta Manwaring Duvall. She joined a family of three, brother, Alva, sister, Beulah, and sister, Doris. Five years later twin brothers, DeMar and LaVoir were born to complete the family of three boys and three girls.\n\nThe family lived on a big farm. She spent many hours, days, and months helping with chores, even farm work in the fields learning to harness horses, hitch them to wagons, cultivators, and other farm equipment. She saddled and rode many horses and learned how to be a resilient, self-reliant person. The family worked and played together. She grew up surrounded by family and 52 first cousins; all of whom she could name in birth order and family connection.\n\nShe attended Naples Elementary School and graduated from Uintah High School in 1942. When World War II began in December 1941, she was in her senior year of high school. Soon many of her classmates and young men of the entire valley enlisted or were drafted into the service in defense of our country. She recalls that our country was united and we were very patriotic. The war lasted until late summer of 1945. Quite a few of the local young men lost their lives during this war, including a cousin, Howard Manwaring. In the spring of 1942, Velda began working at Uintah State Bank, first as a bookkeeper, also secretary and teller. She worked there for more than five years.\n\nVelda married Elwin Alma Simmons on 12 September 1945 in the Salt Lake Temple. He was still in the Navy and was home on a 30-day leave. After Elwin's honorable discharge from the Navy in November 1945, they made their home in Naples where they built a home. In March 1953, they were so happy and excited to welcome into their home their oldest son, Thomas, (Tommy).\n\nBecause of the irrigation water shortage in the Uintah Basin, they decided to move to Moses Lake, Washington, which was under the Grand Coulee Dam project, thus ensuring adequate water supply for farming. They moved to Moses Lake in 1954 where they lived until 1966. While in Moses Lake, to them were born four more children: a son, David, who lived only eleven hours, a daughter, Lynette, a son, Howard, and then another daughter, Yvonne.\n\nIn August 1966, they moved from Moses Lake to Yakima, Washington, where Elwin continued with his civil service employment as well as operating their farm. After Tom and Lynette graduated from high school, Velda went back to work as a bookkeeper where she worked for ten years.\n\nVelda was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had an unwavering testimony of the gospel, and the reality of her Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. She served faithfully in many callings, being a chorister in the Young Women's organization, then as Young Women's President in three different wards, Stake Young Women's President in two different stakes, thus being involved with the youth program for more than 28 years. She was a Junior Sunday School coordinator and Gospel Doctrine teacher. In the Relief Society, she served as president, a counselor, homemaking leader, chorister, compassionate service leader, and a visiting teacher most of her life. She served a number of years as supervisor of a Family History Center and also served in the Primary and Sunday School. \n\nAll her life, Velda was involved with music. She loved singing. Her family was musical and growing up they sang together a lot. In her younger years, she sang with her sisters as a trio for many special events and occasions all over the valley. She was involved in music in some capacity for over sixty years as ward and stake choristers, and ward and stake choir directors as well as choirs and community choral groups. She had a beautiful soprano solo voice.\n\nAfter the Seattle Temple was dedicated, she with her husband, Elwin, became temple ordinance workers for five and a half years. In the fall of 1989, they were called on a full-time mission to the California San Diego Mission. After their return from the mission, they again became temple ordinance workers for an additional ten and a half years, bringing the total number of years to sixteen. They continued in this service until 2001, just two months before Elwin passed away.\n\nAfter 56 years of marriage, Elwin passed away 26 October 2001. All the children had long since moved away from Yakima but many friends and ward members provided her service and assistance. After a year of being alone, Velda made the decision to move back to Utah and be with her oldest daughter, Lynette, who was also living alone. They created a wonderful home and life together, reconnecting with many Utah family members and becoming part of a new ward family.\n\nVelda was a real sports fan, even being active in sports herself during her school years. She followed all the sports activities of their four children: basketball, baseball, softball, football, and of course wrestling. In addition, she loved to read the papers and follow the successes of young men and women in the wards where she lived. She was a die-hard Utah Jazz fan and remained a devoted fan of BYU sports, following all their successes and lamenting occasional losses. She watched whatever was being broadcast from BYU: football, volleyball, baseball, softball, and basketball even participating in and winning Lynette's office March Madness bracket one year! During these past few years as she went for various physical therapy needs, the young technicians and trainers were often surprised at her knowledge of sports and ability to engage in conversations with them about all the players and teams.\n\nShe loved learning and participated in activities to keep her mind keen: crossword puzzles, word search, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and other shows that challenged the mind. She memorized and could recite many hymns, scriptures, The Articles of Faith, The Ten Commandments, The Beatitudes; she knew all the State Capitals, Presidents of the Church (in order), Presidents of the United States (in order), and was working on memorizing A Proclamation to the World and The Gettysburg Address. Her favorite reading material was The Book of Mormon and she read from it multiple times throughout her day and evening. \n\nVelda was a devoted and beloved wife, mother, grandmother and aunt; she had a loving heart and a kind word for everyone. She loved being with family and friends. She is dearly loved and will be greatly missed. She courageously endured the challenges of an aging body with optimism and a positive outlook, showing us all how to enjoy life.\n\nShe was preceded in death by her husband, Elwin, an infant son, David, her parents, James and Alta Duvall, and all her siblings: Alva, Beulah, Doris, LaVoir, and DeMar. She is survived by four children Thomas (Jackie) Simmons of West Richland, Washington, Lynette Simmons of Orem, Utah, Howard (Deena) Simmons of Waterloo, New York, Yvonne (Ande) Kastanis of Kent, Washington; eight grandchildren (Christa, Tyler, Trent, Trevor, Taryn, Taylor, Ladon, Gianna), one great granddaughter (Sutton), many nieces and nephews, and a wonderful blended family of five additional grandchildren (Jason, Eric, Chris, Kaitlyn, Heather) and nine great grandchildren (Taylor, Jackson, Cole, Chloe, Erin, Damian, Aiden, Ryder, Carter).\n\nFriends may visit Wednesday evening, October 3, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Mortuary, 4780 North University Avenue, Provo, Utah. There will not be a viewing prior to the funeral service; funeral service will be held Thursday, October 4, 2018, 11:00 a.m. at the Cherry Hill 5th Ward Chapel, 135 East 2000 South, Orem. Interment will be at the West Hills Memorial Park, 11800 Douglas Road, Yakima, Washington, on Saturday, October 6, 2018, 1:00 p.m.