We lost a friend on Saturday, July 7, 2018, as Venice Westman slipped peacefully into the next life at the age of 100.
We believe she is rejoicing in the reunion she has so long anticipated with her beloved husband, her parents and grandparents, two of her children, her brother and three sisters, and countless other friends and family on the other side. We love you, Grandma Westman, and smile at the thought of seeing you again.
Venice was born on November 26, 1917, in Neola, Utah, to John Jesse Nielsen and Wealthy May Bacon. She grew up in the Uintah Basin, the third child of a turkey farmer and a cook. Though poor, Venice and her siblings enjoyed an abundance of love in their home. One thing is for sure: Venice loved her family.
When she was 12 they moved to Las Vegas where she finished school. At age 19 she married James Rowan, with whom she had her first two children. After that marriage ended, she met Wilford Westman at a skating rink. Wilford was a single father and a soldier stationed at Indian Springs, Nevada. They quickly fell in love and were married on May 20, 1943. Together they had three more children. The youngest one, Charlet Ann, lived only three days.
In 1953, Wilford got a job at Geneva and they moved their family to Springville, Utah. Wilford passed away in 1989 at the age of 70. Eighteen years later, in 2007, Venice sold their house and moved to Mapleton to live with her daughter, Donna. For the last three years Venice has lived at the Abbington in Mapleton. She was one of their first residents, and was even able to help cut the ribbon at the grand opening in 2015. She loved her years there and made wonderful friends.
Throughout her life, Venice was involved in many different activities, all of which brought her joy. She worked as a school lunch lady for Nebo School District and did sewing alterations at Barbizon in Springville.
She spent much of her life serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was a ward librarian, a member of her Relief Society presidency, a devoted Visiting Teacher, and spent over 25 years as a temple worker in the Provo Temple.
Venice loved Lake Powell, Diet Coke, dessert, and was a Jazz fan until the very end. She had an incredible talent for sewing, making dolls, scrapbooking, and even taught herself how to crochet. Many of the doilies in the Provo Temple are her handiwork.
What brought Venice her greatest happiness was her family. She has 22 grandkids, 34 great-grandkids, and one great-great-grandchild with two more on the way. It was the little children and babies that brought her an especial joy.
Venice will be remembered for her laughter, her quick wit, her raspberry bushes, her Christmas village, and her love for La Casita.
Her heart was filled with goodness and love, her life filled with friends in all places. She lived the mantra of a friend she once quoted, “If you’ve got heart room, you’ve got house room.” Venice Westman was truly a grandma to all.
Venice was preceded in death by her husband, Wilford Westman; two of her children, Jerry Lynn and Charlet Ann; her parents, John Jesse Nielsen and Wealthy May Bacon; and her siblings: Weldon Nielsen, Opal Jensen, Floy Harper, and Alta Mae Hafen.
Venice is survived by four of her children, David (Connie) Rowan, Judy (Gary) Christman, Donna (Alan) Ellis, and Hugh Westman; and all of her many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Friday, July 13, at 11:00 AM at the Heritage church building in Mapleton (1580 N. Main). Interment will follow at the Provo Cemetery (610 S. State St.). Viewings will be held Thursday, July 12, from 6:00-8:00 PM at Wheeler Mortuary in Mapleton (82 W. 400 N.) and Friday morning from 9:45-10:45 AM at the Heritage church (1580 N. Main).