Nancy Gardner Safsten passed away of natural causes and went to her heavenly home on December 16th, at the age of 77, being reunited with her parents, both earthly and heavenly. Her loving family surrounded her in her final hours. Nancy, beloved by all who knew her, will be deeply missed.

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Nancy was born June 14th, 1943 to Kenneth Gardner and Norda Finlinson. Nancy developed her love for education during her childhood in Clearfield, Utah as she watched her mother teach at the local elementary. She followed her mother’s example by obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Elementary Education from Utah State University and a Masters of Bilingual/Bi-cultural Education from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

Nancy moved to Hawaii for her first teaching job and truly became an adventurous islander at heart. During her Hawaiian adventure she met and married Ronald Duane Safsten. They passed their love of Hawaii on to their children, eight of whom they raised in Hawaii. Nancy and Ron taught their children valuable life lessons of humor, service, love and many other important values.

After the family’s move to Utah, Nancy’s passion for teaching was evident in her dedication to working as an English teacher in Title 1 and underprivileged schools. Many of her students benefited from her kindness and non-judgmental approach. By her own admission, Nancy strove to teach students life lessons along with grammar, reading, and writing. Her compassion and Christlike love touched the lives of countless students and co-workers over the span of thirty-four years until her retirement in 2014 from Salt Lake School District.

Nancy was preceded in death by her husband (Ron), her parents and her sister (Geneal). She is survived by her children - David, Lori, Kathryn (Blake), Heather, Julianna "Love you all!" (Aaron), Kenneth (Monique), Rebecca (Fred), Jessica, and Samantha (Craig); her 33 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren; her sister, Bonnie Budd, and her brothers, Kenneth F. Gardner, Terry F. Gardner, and Steven Gardner (Mareva).

Services will be held on Saturday, December 19, 2020, at Wing Mortuary (118 East Main St. in Lehi, UT) beginning at 2:00pm. Due to covid restrictions we will be limiting the services to immediate family. Facebook live for the funeral will be available on Wing Mortuary's Facebook page.

A viewing for immediate and extended family will be held Friday night, December 18, 2020 beginning 6:00pm-8:00pm at Wing Mortuary.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to to support teachers and underprivileged children. Nancy utilized this program for her own students and expressed deep gratitude whenever one of her projects was funded. Through this program she was able to get computers and books for her students.


Funeral Service

Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Wing Mortuary
118 E Main St.
Lehi, UT 84043


  • Survived By
  • Bonnie Budd, Sister
  • Kenneth F. Gardner, Brother
  • Terry F. Gardner, Brother
  • Steven Gardner, Brother
  • Lori McKenzie, Daughter
  • Kathryn Yerman, Daughter
  • Heather Jackson, Daughter
  • Julianna Westberg, Daughter
  • Kenneth Safsten, Son
  • Rebecca Safsten, Daughter
  • Jessica Safsten, Daughter
  • Samantha Youngberg, Daughter
  • Preceded in Death By
  • Kenneth Woodrow Gardner, Father
  • Norda Finlinson Gardner, Mother
  • Norda Geneal Gardner Sorensen, Sister
  • Ronald Duane Safsten, Husband

Life Story Info


Rebecca Safsten

Post Date

Dec 17, 2020


“In lieu of flowers...”

Personal Info


Payson, Utah, United States


Provo, Utah, United States

Cause of Death

Natural Causes





Religion and Beliefs

Latter-day Saint



Worked For

  • Utah Department of Education


  • High School
    Davis High
  • Bachelor's
    Utah State University
  • Master's
    Northeastern Illinois University
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I did not know Nancy as well as I did Ron, but I only heard amazing things. I'm sure she left a legacy for all her kids, grandkids, and great-grandchildren. I know she will be missed.

Kuulei Giffin , American Fork, UT, US Dec 17, 2020

Nancy will be missed. Thoughtful and kind. I am so grateful my Hawaii cousins moved into our neighborhood. Love you Saftens.

Jake Budd Dec 17, 2020