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Obituary: Lois Gee Van Orden

Lois Gee Van Orden

1922 ~ 2007

Lois Gee Van Orden, 85, passed away peacefully from natural causes in her home in South Jordan on October 6, 2007. She was born July 6, 1922, in Moroni, Utah, to Urvin Gee and Martena Jensen Gee. Lois had six sisters and three brothers, all of whom preceded her in death except her brother Burton Gee of Provo, Utah.Lois lost her husband Arthur W. Van Orden in 1980, when his life was cut short by cancer. She has missed him dearly. She has looked forward for the last several months to reuniting with her eternal companion and to greet all her family and loved ones who preceded her to the Spirit World.

Lois grew up in Moroni and graduated from Moroni High School and Moroni Seminary. She attended Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, learning significant secretarial skills. The Great Depression was still on, so she accepted work at the Sanpete County Welfare Department in Manti. When the United States entered World War II, Lois went to Provo and helped establish the war industry Columbia Steel (later called Geneva Steel). She later accepted work at Lang Company in Salt Lake City.

Lois's mother warned her to watch out for those "soldier boys" who thronged in and out of Salt Lake City. At a university basketball game, she met U.S. Army Sergeant Arthur Van Orden. They immediately began dating and went to Moroni to meet her parents. When Lois's mother learned that Arthur was a soldier, she fainted away. But the meeting went well after that when her parents and family learned that Arthur was a faithful Elder in the LDS Church and had served for over four years in the military following his mission to the Northwestern States Mission.

Lois and Arthur were married in the Salt Lake Temple March 21, 1945. Following his release from the Army, Arthur accepted work as a law enforcement officer (Special Agent) for the Union Pacific Railroad, and they made their home in Salt Lake City. In 1952 they moved to North Platte, Nebraska, and returned to Salt Lake City in 1961.

Lois and Arthur were blessed with six children: Bruce (Karen, Springville), Louis (Claudia, Decatur IL) Douglas (Joanne, Macomb MI), Keith (Sherrie, West Jordan), Mark (Sheila, Lehi), and Tina Shaw (Brent, South Jordan), all of whom survive her. She has often expressed her love for her children and their spouses and their families. With her husband she proudly supported her five sons on their missions.

Lois has 29 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, all of whom survive her. She also has 6 step grandchildren and 17 step great grandchildren.

Lois expressed special appreciation to her daughter Tina, in whose home she lived in her own mother-in-law apartment since 1993. Tina and her family provided unfailing loving and effective care, especially in the last two years.

Lois loved sewing, crocheting, and quilting. She provided her children and grandchildren with many items made from the heart. Her various wards frequently called upon her to provide costumes and clothing items for special events.

From 1945 through 1965, Lois stayed at home with her growing family. At this point she accepted employment as secretary to the managing director of Cottonwood Mall. Later Lois was designated assistant managing director at the mall. She was highly regarded for her professional and interpersonal skills by her peers and customers. Before retiring, she also worked for Bud Bailey Construction and CCL.

In 1986 Lois served a mission in the Philippines as secretary to the mission president when the new Quezon City Mission was established. She was beloved by the missionaries, most of whom were native Filipinos. She later served as secretary in the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission.

Throughout her life Lois was a devoted student of the restored gospel. She was known in her various wards and branches as a sterling teacher and teacher trainer. She served in numerous other Church callings. She gained fame in the 1950s through the 1970s for her effective presentation about Book of Mormon history. Lois learned early to study the gospel at the feet of her patriarch father and for whom she served as a secretary for his patriarchal blessings. Later in life she transcribed patriarchal blessings for other patriarchs.

Funeral services will take place Tuesday, October 9, 2007, at Larkin Sunset Garden Chapel, 1950 East 10600 South at 1:00 p.m. A viewing will take place Monday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the mortuary as well as at the mortuary on Tuesday from 11:45 to 12:45. Online condolences may be made at www.larkinmortuary.com