Avis Norell Heylen passed away peacefully on December 29, 2016, in Mapleton, Utah. She was 92.
Avis was born December 12, 1924 in Mulligan Township, Brown County, Minnesota to Edward William and Selma Elida Norell. She was the third of six children.
Raised in rural southwest Minnesota, Avis spent her youth working on the family farm with her siblings. Growing up during the Great Depression, Avis learned firsthand the value of hard work, which later would be the cornerstone of her professional career.
Following grade school, Avis moved to Minneapolis to attend business school. She then moved west to Denver, Colorado, where she met and later married Louis “Louie” Lambert Heylen on August 19, 1948.
Their first child, Joan Norell, was born May 21, 1951. Four years later, on November 11, 1955, their son, David Louis, came into the world. The family remained in Colorado until pulling up stakes and moving to Oakland, California, in 1959. Two years later the family moved to Newark, California, where they lived for the next 26 years.
During this time, Avis was the business manager secretary for the Newark Unified School District. Known for her hard work and dedication throughout the school district, Avis retired in 1979. Following the death of her husband of more than 37 years in 1985, Avis moved to Springville, Utah, to be near her daughter Joan.
Raised in the Lutheran faith, Avis converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 78. One year later she and her deceased husband were sealed in the LDS Provo Temple.
Avis is survived by her daughter Joan (Danny) Foote and son David (Becky) Heylen, six grandchildren, April (Cody) Bateson, Tom (Shay) Foote, Stephen (Taylor) Heylen, Michael (Natalie) Heylen, Grant Foote and Annalisa Heylen; 10 great grandchildren, Brady, Addison, Jacoby, Jaycie, Brynlee, Ally, MacKenzie, Aiden, Wolfgang and Crew; two siblings, Grace (Wilb) Rambow and Yvonne (Don) Leider; and many beloved nieces and nephews. Avis was preceded in death by her parents, husband and three siblings, Glen (Florence) Norell, John (Elaine) Norell and Bill (Shirley) Norell.
The family will hold a private memorial on Saturday, January 7, 2017.
The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at Abbington Senior Living for the loving, compassionate and nurturing care given our mom during her stay.