Our dear, sweet mother, Eva LaNea Wright Norton, slipped peacefully into the next life on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 in Santaquin, Utah, attended by devoted family members and loving caregivers. She is now reunited with her sweetheart after a 36-year absence, and we rejoice at their grand reunion and envision Mom being welcomed by many loved ones beyond the veil. She is now free from the physical constraints which held her bound but never quenched her indomitable spirit nor her desire to love and serve others.
Mom was born on June 27, 1931 in Thayne, Wyoming, to Eva LaRue Hurd and Darrell R Wright. She loved beautiful Star Valley in Wyoming, and her life there was enriched by grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Her best friend during her younger years was her mother’s youngest sister, Virginia, and they both loved spending their days on the family farm. Mom’s father, Darrell, passed away suddenly when she was only 2 years old. Her mother, LaRue, later married the man who became Mom’s second father, Aaron Earl Nebeker. Earl treated Mom affectionately as if she were his own. Mom’s life was also blessed with two younger sisters, Earlene and Gayle, who were a joy to her and whom she loved immensely.
Our mother graduated in 1949 from South High School in Salt Lake City. A few years later while working at the W.W. Grant store in downtown Salt Lake City, she met her future husband, Keith Carver Norton, a handsome, tall and quiet man who swept her off her feet and changed her life forever. After a short courtship, they were married in El Paso, Texas on February 22, 1954. Their marriage was later solemnized in the California Los Angeles LDS temple in July of 1977. Their union was blessed with two sons, Keith Randall (Randy) and Bryan Paul, and a daughter, Nancy Ann. Most of their married life was spent in California where Mom happily nurtured her family and worked diligently to maintain a loving and orderly home. Her favorite roles in life were wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker. She was never happier than being at home spending time with her family.
Tragically, our father battled a long illness for many years and eventually passed away when mother was only 47 years old. She cared for him tenderly at home. Her faith never waivered. She was our rock and our strength then, even as she has been at her passing. She was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, where she held many callings of which her favorite was serving in the Primary with the children. She loved Relief Society and was a Visiting Teacher for over 55 years. In later years Mom also enjoyed temple work, having been an ordinance worker at the Utah Jordan River LDS Temple for eight years, and also spent much time doing Family History work.
Mom was also a devoted and loving grandmother, living in the home of her daughter and son-in-law in Genola, Utah for almost 20 years and being a shining light and an example to her grandchildren, whom she doted on incessantly. There was never a doubt they knew she loved them, because of her words of praise, generosity and affectionate manner.
Among Mom’s many gifts was her abiding cheerful countenance, and most especially her sensitivity in giving compliments and encouragement to those who needed a lift in their day. She loved to build people up and gladden their hearts. She was a light and a joy to those around her. She kept her sense of humor through life’s many trials and challenges. She always sought ways to bear her testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She had a close personal relationship with her Savior. He was her friend and companion in life’s journey. She had gratitude for the small and simple things and for the many kindnesses done for her. Mom always wanted the people around her to know they were appreciated and loved by her.
The last three years of her life were spent at Latter Days Assisted Living in Santaquin, Utah. Our family would like to thank the caregivers there for their kindness and love towards Mother. She always felt as if she were surrounded by friends. Mom was also blessed with Camille, her home health nurse, who attended faithfully to Mom’s medical needs and was a caring friend as well. The services of Hospice were a comfort during Mom’s last few days on earth and much appreciated. Thanks also to the compassionate hearts and loving hands from the Santaquin 17th Branch and Genola 3rd Ward.
Those left behind mourning Mom’s passing are her sister, Earlene Smith, sons Keith (Lee) Norton and Bryan Norton; daughter Nancy (Mark) Baird; grandchildren Devin (Kristen) Baird, Melissa (Jorden) Pope, Greg Baird and Kendra Norton; great-grandchildren, Desmond and Bennett Pope.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at the Genola LDS Chapel located at the corner of Main and Center Streets at 11:00 a.m. Friends and loved ones may call prior to the funeral from 9:30-10:45 a.m. All who knew Mom are invited to attend. Interment will follow at Redwood Memorial Estates Cemetery in West Jordan. The family also appreciates Brown Family Mortuary for their services at this time.