LaVon Fautin Shelley, 88, passed away October 5, 2019, surrounded by her family at her home in Highland, Utah. She was born March 24, 1931 in Elsinore, Utah, the daughter of Vernal Engar and Pearl Magdalene Nielsen Fautin. Her family later moved to Lindon, Utah, where she attended school and graduated from Pleasant Grove High School. She married Merlin Ray “Duff” Shelley, her partner in building a beautiful family and a wonderful life, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on October 18, 1950. She honored her parents, befriended her siblings, was devoted to her husband, cherished motherhood, and absolutely doted on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Whether taking a weekend drive to enjoy the fall colors, or an epic road trip up the Alaska Highway, LaVon was an excellent travel companion to her sisters, husband, family, and friends. Her bold and surprising decision to buy a 1976 lime green Volkswagen “hippie van” was later described by Duff as “the best thing that ever happened”. They drove over 400,000 miles in this, and two subsequent campervans. LaVon traveled to all 50 states and over 20 countries. A lifelong explorer, she loved the desert, the ocean, the mountains, and the plains, and found joy and beauty in every landscape, city, culinary tradition, and culture.
A devoted disciple of the Savior, she nurtured her faith throughout her life, and shared her testimony with her family and others. She demonstrated her convictions through a life of service, finding it only natural to help whenever, however, and whomever she could. She served three LDS missions with Duff (Cove Fort, Nauvoo, and Bishop’s Storehouse) and loved her 12 years of early morning service in the temple baptistry. Her example of love and service has blessed countless lives, especially her family.
Survivors include her husband, Duff; her children Michael (Sherilyn) Shelley; Christine (Raymond) Ivins; Robert (Kristen) Shelley; Diane Wanamaker (James Bell); David (Jennifer) Shelley; 19 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings: Reese Fautin; Dale Herring; LaVerne Fullmer; Phyllis Gaisford; Russell Fautin; Donna Vee Olson, and LaRue Walker (LaVon’s twin).
Funeral services will be held Friday, October 11, 2019 at 11:00 am in the Highland 2nd Ward, 10494 North 4720 West Highland, Utah. A viewing will be held Thursday, October 10, 2019 from 6 to 8 pm at the Anderson & Sons Lone Peak Chapel, 6141 West 11000 North, Highland, and from 9:45 to 10:45 am Friday at the church prior to the services. Interment in the American Fork cemetery. Please share a memory at andersonmortuary.com
Special thanks to the loving caregivers at Canyon Home Health and Hospice, who always went the extra mile to care for Mom.