Verla Jean Swapp Nielsen peacefully returned to Heavenly Father on September 19, 2019 surrounded by loving family. She was born October 18, 1933 in Panguitch, Utah to Hugh Riggs and RGene Swapp.
She was a proud beet-digger graduating from Jordan High School. Verla was sealed to her sweetheart Clyde C Nielsen on June 30, 1953 in the Logan Utah Temple, and was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving valiantly in many stake and ward callings. Verla grew up in Southern Utah and enjoyed the proud heritage of the Swapp cowboys. She spent summers at the family ranch near Alton, Utah with her grandmother, Winnie Riggs Swapp and learned the fine arts of quilt making, ranching and cheese making. She took piano lessons as a young woman and enjoyed playing piano and organ at home and in church throughout her life.
She worked as an assistant to Evelyn Wood and later operated a franchise for Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics and found great joy in helping children and adults improve their reading skills. She actively participated in Daughters of Utah Pioneers and shared many wonderful stories of her pioneer ancestors with them.
Verla lived a life dedicated to serving and ministering. Their home was always open to people who needed extra support. They provided a home for 3 foster children as part of the Indian Placement Program, several unwed mothers, and other people in need. There are very few acquaintances of Verla who haven’t enjoyed a hand prepared meal delivered to their home. She cared for and loved her neighbors in Stone Hollow, and they loved her in return. She was happiest when the family was together, and loved planning big gatherings on her back patio. She and Clyde served a church mission in Hunstville, Texas as well as several in Salt Lake City and worked as temple ordinance workers for many years. She found great joy in teaching Young Single Adults, hosting tours of the Joseph Smith Building, serving on the Church Social Services helpline, and working in the Salt Lake City mission office.
She cared for and loved her mother’s sister, Gai Jordan for many years when Gai was widowed with no children of her own. She also loved to share in the accomplishments and achievements of her children and grandchildren.
Verla has a strong testimony of the gospel which she shared willingly with her family, as well as ward members, while teaching Gospel Doctrine and Relief Society lessons. She and her husband established a Family Home Evening group open to people who chose to join and formed a close-knit “family.”
She is survived by 4 wonderful children: Jeanette (David) Lund, Mary (Alan Hamilton) Nielsen, Hugh Clyde (Carol) Nielsen, Brent Lewis (Sasha) Nielsen; her sister Carolyn Motta; her sister-in- law Gina Swapp; and dear friend Allison (Darv) Richman. She is grandmother to 12; and great-grandmother to 13. She was preceded in death by her parents; her step-father Douglas Fitzgerald; her brother Edwin Swapp; her brother-in-law Stephen Motta; and her great-granddaughter Savana Kay Petersen.
The family would like to thank the wonderful care-givers from CNS hospice allowing Verla to spend her last days at home. They would also like to thank the Jordan 4th ward for their endless love and ministering.
Funeral services will be held Monday, September 23, 2019, 12:00 noon at Jordan 4th Ward meeting house, 3676 West 4700 South. Viewings will be held Sunday, September 22nd, 6-8:00 p.m. at McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 S. Redwood Road, and Monday prior to services from 10-11:30 a.m. Interment, Valley View Memorial Park, 4400 West 4100 South.
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