After a short illness, our beloved mother and grandmother Else Hedvig Bjorndal Visick passed gently from this life into the next surrounded by her children and grandchildren on Wednesday, February 8, 2023.
Born October 8, 1935, to Hilmar and Hedvig Elisa Jensen Bjorndal in Salt Lake City, Utah, Else lived a life filled with love and learning, welcoming new experiences and adventures eagerly and often, making lifelong friends at each part of her journey.
The daughter of Norwegian immigrants, Else grew up in the Salt Lake Avenues and on Crystal Avenue, a time and place that seemed idyllic to her, Great Depression and World War II notwithstanding. Else graduated from South High School in 1953. As a teen and young woman, Else was a popular model for local department stores and worked as a clerk and secretary at J.C. Penney before studying for a time at BYU.
Eager for new experiences, Else determined with her close friend Sally Riddle to move to Washington, D.C. at age 21 to try their hand in the nation’s capital. It was there, while working as the secretary for Idaho congressman Hamer H. Budge, that she met her future husband, H. Hal Visick, a pilot in the US Air Force. Else and Hal married on March 12, 1959, in the Salt Lake City, Utah LDS temple.
Else and Hal welcomed eight children into the world--Jennifer, Christopher, David, Saralinda, Elizabeth, Richard, Spencer, and Alexandra--with the first two arriving in Washington, D.C., the next three while Else and Hal lived in California, and the remaining three after the family had moved to Provo.
Else showed constant love for her church, her friends, and her family in many ways throughout her life. She served throughout her life in each of the LDS Church’s Young Women’s, Primary, and Relief Society auxiliaries in presidencies and as a teacher and advisor. From 1986 to 1989 she presided with Hal over the Illinois Peoria Mission, and served for many years, beginning in 1997, a mission at the LDS Church Office Building. She was also active in, and for a time led, the PTA organization for her children’s schools, and enjoyed for many decades membership with dear friends in several social organizations such as book clubs, gospel-study groups, dinner groups, and Belles Amies, a long-standing “social club for beautiful friends” in Provo.
Else loved life and learning. She learned to sew amazing swimsuits, sleeping bags, and ski clothes for her children and frequently explored new cuisines, lovingly introducing her growing family to a delicious variety of homemade international dishes. She admired the fine needlepoint and intricate quilts others made and became skilled herself. After many years raising children, she returned to work and soon became essential as the office manager at Frameworks and Repartee Gallery which allowed her to apply and grow the many organizational and operational skills she had developed as a mother, along with her keen interest in art. She was also an adventurous and avid traveler, beginning with visits to India, Sri Lanka, and Russia in the 1980s, and continuing through trips to the Caribbean, Norway, Italy, France, and Abu Dhabi in the recent years.
Else loved her family and friends, keeping regular dates for lunches, dinners, bunco games with friends, and bi-weekly lunches and nail salon visits with her daughters and granddaughters. She was a stalwart BYU fan and enjoyed being part of the BYU community from the time Hal became part of the University’s administration in 1972. In later years, a favorite activity she enjoyed with visiting loved ones was hosting impromptu watch parties for beloved game shows (Jeopardy, The Price is Right, Let’s Make a Deal, and Wheel of Fortune) and British crime dramas.
Else is survived by her eight children, their seven spouses, 15 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and her brother, Frank Bjorndal. She was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings Edel, Eve, and Fred, and in 2012 by Hal, her husband of 53 years.
Much has changed in the valley, in Utah, and in the world in the 50+ years Else has lived in her warm and welcoming home overlooking Provo, but a constancy for all who know her amid all that change has been Else’s love for life and joy in family and friends. With Else’s passing, we in this world will miss her daily, but the many, many she has loved and lost in years past now rejoice in their eternal reunion.
A visitation will be held Monday, February 13, 2023, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Oak Hills Hillside Chapel, 1960 North 1500 East, Provo, and again on Tuesday morning from 10:00 to 10:45 am. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at 11:00 am at the same location. Interment will be at East Lawn Memorial Hills, 4800 N. Eastlawn Drive, Provo, Utah. Condolences may be sent through her obituary at http://serenicare.com. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Humanitarian Services or the Missionary Fund at LDS Philanthropies (https://philanthropies.churchofjesuschrist.org/) or to the World Central Kitchen (https://wck.org/).
The family extends special thanks to the nurses, physicians, and staff at Utah Valley Hospital and Horizon Home Health and Hospice who cared for Else during her brief illness.