Early Saturday morning, Aug. 9, 2014, Lawana Beckstead Nielsen was reunited with her eternal sweetheart, Don. She was 91 years young.
Lawana was born at home Oct. 8, 1922, in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, to Henry Marvin Beckstead and Emma Octavia Westover. She was the fourth of seven children.
Lawana graduated from Jordan High School in 1940 and attended Utah State Agricultural College in Logan, Utah. There she met Don Lamb Nielsen and they were married in the Logan LDS Temple on May 15, 1942.
They lived in Logan, Montpelier, Orem and Pocatello before moving to Ammon, where they lived for 58 years.
Her family was always her first priority, but she also loved camping, traveling, sewing, nature, family history and humanitarian work. Many people enjoyed her "Family Stockings," which hung every Christmas in her front window on 17th Street.
Most important in her life were her family, her Savior, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She loved reading, studying, teaching and living the gospel, as well as serving her family and others.
With Don, she served two LDS missions: in Alabama, Birmingham and Salt Lake City Family History. She also served a Family History mission in Idaho Falls, volunteered at the Idaho Falls LDS Temple, served in the Young Women, Sunday School and Relief Society. Most recently, she volunteered at the Idaho Falls Area Humanitarian Center.
Lawana was a great example of love and service. She blessed her family with a zest for life, always enjoying and appreciating the beautiful world around her. At age 55, as a Girls Camp leader, she joined the girls kayaking and rappelling. Everyone loved being around her because she was interested in them.
She was an excellent secretary, but focused on homemaking while raising their eight children. She and Don owned Ammon Archery in Ammon. From the proceeds of that business, they built "Nielsenhaven," a cabin in Island Park, where many memorable family reunions were held.
Lawana's posterity includes eight children, 44 grandchildren, 147 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Don in 2002; brother, Marvin Beckstead; sisters, Beth Bowen, Reva Thomas and Ramona Larsen; daughter, Linda (Dee) Cannon; and one great-grandson.
She is survived by her sister, Laree Krohn; her brother, Ravell Beckstead; and her children, Claude (Deanna) Nielsen of Thomas, Colleen (Jim) Williams of Ammon, Sandra (Ryan) Peterson of Mesa, Wash., Vicki (Ron) Williams of Ammon, Steven (Kenda) Nielsen of Shelley, Joyce (Michael) Williams of Novosibirsk, Russia, and Judy (John) Morgan of West Bountiful, Utah.
The family would like to thank Aspen Hospice for the wonderful care they gave to Lawana.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Ammon LDS 3rd Ward, 2150 Avocet Drive in Ammon, with Bishop Jed Stanger officiating. The family will visit with friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, at Coltrin Mortuary, 2100 First St. in Idaho Falls, and from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday prior to services at the church. Burial will be in Ammon Cemetery.