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Saturday, June 17, 2023
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Saturday, June 17, 2023
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Lois Gwendolyn Guest Moffett, age 79, passed away unexpectedly on 7 June 2023. She was born on 16 August 1943 in Mullins, Marion County, South Carolina. She was the youngest child of William Major Guest and Phodia Methel Weatherford. Although she was known as Lois in her professional careers, she was also known as Gwendolyn among her family.
As an infant, Lois had a brush with death. Major and Phodia immediately began searching for the Elders so she could receive a blessing. She survived the incident but that moment in time became the bedrock of Major and Phodia’s faith, membership, and growth in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Her parents uprooted the family and moved into town where they could be near an established ward, where they would never need to hunt for the Elders again, and where the children would be raised, fully active in the Church.
Her favorite childhood memories were playing jackstones, eating Christmas oranges, and crossing a swinging bridge near the Grand Canyon in Arizona. At the age of three, her family traveled all the way from South Carolina to Salt Lake City to attend General Conference. While waiting outside the tabernacle, a news photographer took her picture, which appeared on the front page of the Deseret News. At a very young age, she took piano lessons, which is when everyone discovered she had a special gift for music. She attended Bethel Elementary School in South Carolina. Once she could reach the pedals, she began taking organ lessons.
When she turned fourteen, she received her driver's license. At sixteen, she drove the school bus for elementary children. She would drop the children off at school, drive herself on the same school bus to Hartsville High School in South Carolina, and then would safely deliver all the children back home at the end of the day. During her adolescent years, she continued studying piano and the organ and began entering competitive performances as a solo pianist. As a modern-day virtuoso, she won every competition she entered, which made her parents so proud.
Gaining knowledge through formal education was always a high priority for Lois. After graduating from Hartsville High School in 1961, she decided to attend Brigham Young University. In only three years she graduated from BYU in 1964 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a Composite Major and Minor in Elementary Education. At the same time, she earned two certificates in Elementary and Secondary Music and student taught grade school and junior high students. She openly advised all her posterity to always take the science courses first, not right before graduation like she did when she was burned out and trunky to graduate. Later in life, she earned a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Brigham Young University, walking across the stage to accept her diploma on her 50th birthday with her children cheering her on in the audience.
Lois married William Cleveland Moffett on 29 December 1966 in Imperial, California. Together they lived in Bamberg, Germany for a short time where she developed a lifelong love of bratwurst, which she would always say with a German accent. Together they moved first to West Point, New York where they welcomed a daughter (Beth) in 1968, and then to Phoenix, Arizona where they welcomed a son (Ben) in 1971.
Lois instilled a great love of music in her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews. Lois was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints where she served in various callings and blessed many people’s lives with her gift of music. She spent a lifetime serving as a ward and stake organist, as a pianist for the primary, Sunday School, young men/young women, ward choir, and stake choir, as well as an accompanist for special musical numbers during sacrament meetings. Because she studied under Latter-Day Saint music luminary and Hymns contributor, Reed Nibley, there was never a piece of music that scared her. When asked if she could accompany someone on the piano, she would agree first and then tell the person they could drop off the music at their convenience. Never did she ask to “see” the music first so she could evaluate the complexity of the piece before agreeing to help.
Beyond her church service, Lois also blessed the community with her musical expertise. She played at weddings, funerals, graduations, performances, auditions, and other churches. Many an Easter cantata or Christmas program would have lost their luster without the time and talents of “Sister Moffett.”
Lois loved to travel and often did so with others in tow. She was a planner and wanted to see everything she could in a location because she would always say “I don’t know if I’ll ever get back here again.” Some of our most treasured family memories and funniest stories come from traveling with her. While it took most of her life, in 2007 she finally reached her goal of visiting all fifty states, the last of which was Alaska in 2007.
Lois’s life of service cannot be overemphasized. She was the first one to volunteer whenever she saw a need. She was generous with her money and time, a peacemaker, and patient and loving with others. She gave her resources freely, time and again, at great personal sacrifice without any expectation of reciprocity. She was an amazing editor and helped every child, niece, niece-in-law, nephew, nephew-in-law, cousin, cousin-in-law, grandchild, and grandchild-in-law with school papers and masters' theses, sometimes at two or three o’clock in the morning. She was always there, ready to lend a helping hand and push us onto a path of success.
Lois was known as a dedicated and hard worker and had two careers. When she finally retired, she retired from Brigham Young University and Intermountain Health. From BYU she retired from the admissions office and from Utah Valley Hospital she retired from the Behavioral Medicine Unit.
She is survived by her brother Travis Byars Guest (Lenore) of Lehi, Utah, her two children: Beth (Mike) Luthy of Santaquin, Utah, Ben Moffett (Sonya Wagaman) of Red Oak, Iowa; her grandchildren: Michael (Lauren) Luthy of Santaquin, Utah, Mandy Petersen of Lovejoy, Georgia, Marc (Shaunese) Luthy of Payson, Utah, Savannah Moffett of Stanton, Iowa; eight great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents William Major Guest and Phodia Methel Weatherford. She was also preceded in death by her older siblings Marjorie Francis Guest Javadi and Gerald Duane Guest.
The family would like to thank the nurses, physicians, and staff at the Utah Valley Hospital Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit for their compassionate care during the final hours of her life.
Funeral services will be held 17 June 2023 at 11:00 AM at the Summit Ridge Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 591 Summit Ridge Parkway, Santaquin, Utah. There will be a viewing before the service from 9:30 – 10:30 AM. Interment will be Monday, 19 June 2023 at 10:00 AM at the Green Acres Cemetery in Scottsdale, Arizona next to her parents and older sister.
Please contact the family for a link to view a live stream of the funeral service.