Cover photo for LaRhea (Nielson)  Twelves's Obituary
LaRhea (Nielson)  Twelves Profile Photo
1923 LaRhea 2019

LaRhea (Nielson) Twelves

July 24, 1923 — December 31, 2019

LaRhea Nielson Twelves, 96, of Springville, Utah, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, December 31, 2019.

LaRhea was born on July 24, 1923 in Mapleton, Utah to James Clarence and Elda Peterson Nielson. She had three treasured brothers, Grant, Earl, and Oran.

LaRhea graduated from Springville High School in 1940. She enjoyed school and many extracurricular activities, including serving as the high school band drum majorette and leading the band in parades. She served on the high school yearbook staff and short hand team. When she was 16 years old, she won the 4-H Utah State Style Dress Review with an outfit she designed and made. During her senior year in high school she won the annual American Legion Oratorial contest. She attended Brigham Young University for two years, and was elected secretary of her class freshman year.

Shortly after the country entered World War II, she went to work as a secretary for the A.S. Schulman Electrical Company to help build the Geneva Steel plant. Later in life, she worked for over thirty years as the book keeper and office manager for the Springville Medical Center.

LaRhea married Wendell Van Twelves on December 19th, 1944 in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple. LaRhea and Wendell had three children: Valerie, Van, and David.

As a Navy wife during World War II and the Korean Conflict, she took care of her young children alone for many years during her husband’s combat deployments. She earned her membership in the Greatest Generation.

LaRhea was a faithful and active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in many ward and stake callings including Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society.  At the Missionary Training Center she served as a surrogate investigator to help missionaries practice teaching.

She was an excellent seamstress who enjoyed making clothes for herself and her children. She taught her daughter, Valerie, how to sew and supervised 14 4-H clubs in Springville. She enjoyed her membership in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.  She was a terrific cook.  Everyone liked going to Grandma’s house for dinner. Her honey butter scones made it worth coming to earth.

LaRhea enjoyed traveling with Israel and China being two of her favorite trips.

LaRhea enjoyed having her young grandchildren spend one-on-one time with her during their summer vacations. She took them swimming, fishing, on picnics, for hikes in the canyons, out for pizza, to see local theater plays, played board games, and sent them to EFY and Space Camp.  She will be remembered for her graciousness, kindness, and love for others.

LaRhea was preceded in death by her husband, Wendell, and her youngest son, David.

She is survived by her children, Valerie Gillen (Greg) and Wendell Van Twelves, Jr (Kelli), five grandchildren, Joseph Alan Twelves (Viola), David Lee Twelves (Malisa), Martin Daniel Twelves (Rachael), Scott Colby Twelves, Suzanne Maree Grout (Joseph), and six great grandchildren, Cassandra Lynn Twelves, Joseph Van Twelves, Connor Nielsen Twelves, Kevin David Twelves, Chloe LaRhea Twelves, and Rose Grace Twelves.

Her family extends their deep appreciation to her many friends and to the wonderful staff members at Abbington/Spring Gardens Senior  Living facility, Stonehenge Skilled Nursing Facility, Utah Valley Hospital, and Active Hospice. Their tender care will always be remembered and appreciated.

A viewing will be held Friday, January 10th, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Wheeler Mortuary located at 211 E 200 South, Springville, Utah.

A viewing for family and friends will be held just prior to the service from at 10:00 AM with a family prayer at 10:30AM

Funeral services will be held on January 11, 2020, at 11:00 AM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 3rd Ward chapel, 355 East Center Street in Springville, Utah.

Interment will be at the Springville Evergreen Cemetery, 1997 South 400 East, Springville, Utah.

Condolences and remembrances may be sent to

To send flowers to the family in memory of LaRhea (Nielson) Twelves, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, January 11, 2020

10:00 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)

LDS Chapel, 355 E. Center Street

355 East Center Street, Springville, UT 84663

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

LDS Chapel, 355 E. Center Street

355 East Center Street, Springville, UT 84663

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Photo Gallery

Visits: 27

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Send a Card

Send a Card