It is with both joy and sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Verlene “Vicki” Smart Ellis, at the age of 94. We rejoice that she is again reunited with her husband, Wilfred “Pink” Ellis, and many departed family and friends.
Vicki was born to Lula Pollock and Willard Lynn Smart on September 17, 1928 in Cedar City. As a child raised during the depression and World War II, she never forgot the lessons of hard work and frugality. She spent her early youth being raised at various places including Vivian Park in Provo Canyon as the family followed her father on construction jobs.
She spent most of her adolescent and teenage years in Spanish Fork, attending Spanish Fork High School where she was a cheerleader and worked nights at the movie theater.
After graduation, Vicki moved to Salt Lake City where she got a job with Mountain Bell Telephone. World War II had recently ended and it was there she met her future husband who had just returned from serving in the Pacific. They were married on April 8, 1948. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple. Pink proceeded her in death in 2015, at age 89 – which she always said, “was far too young to leave.”
Vicki and Pink spent the early years of their marriage in the Salt Lake area. Mountain Bell transferred Pink to Denver, Colorado in 1956 and that is where they raised their family.
From a young age, Vicki felt the Spirit of Elijah and gained an abiding love for genealogy and family history. She spent decades (long before the Internet) diligently researching both her family and Pink’s family trees, publishing fabulous family genealogy and history books. She was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in numerous callings with the youth and family history. She never tired of sharing her testimony with everyone and anyone!
Throughout her life, Vicki was eager to learn new things. She took culinary arts classes at Emily Griffith Opportunity School and received her certificate in interior design as well. She was active in the Delta Chi Sorority, and in the AKC Dog Shows with her husband, while raising Airedales and basset hounds.
When her children got older, Vicki went back to work for Mountain Bell in security, working with law enforcement in the Denver area. She was later promoted to supervisor over the company’s medical department. She was always proud of the recognition Ma Bell gave her for writing The Drink Book, a compilation of non-alcoholic beverages, distributed to employees.
Together Vicki and Pink picked a far-off land to travel to each year and enjoyed doing this for over 40-years. Upon their retirement, they returned to Salt Lake City where they partnered with their son to open Traditional Leavening Concepts in the Brickyard Plaza. During this time, they served an LDS Temple mission and made many new friends in the Old Farm area.
She attended her cherished Spanish Fork Dons high school reunions until 2020 when Covid put a stop to their annual gathering.
Vicki was preceded in death by her parents, stepfather John Perry Larsen, her sister Joyce Webb, and her stepbrother Johnny Larsen. She is survived by her 3 children and their spouses: Tom (Jana) Ellis, Lezlee (Blaine) Whiting, and Judy (Hank) Stevenson, her sister Carol Jean Dean, stepsister Kathryn Bradford, 12 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and by numerous nieces, nephews, and their families.
Our mother was faithful to the end, with an unwavering testimony of Jesus Christ. She was truly made from “that good pioneer stock” and nothing could keep her down. Up until the end she always knew if she could just “go back home then everything would be fine.” We love you forever Mom!
Special thanks to The Villa, Landmark Assisted Living and Rocky Mountain Hospice. In accordance with Vicki’s wishes, there will be a visitation only, no funeral service. This will be held on Tuesday, November 29 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Millcreek Chapel at 4220 South Jeannine Drive, Millcreek, UT, 84107. Services under the direction of Affordable Funeral & Cremations.
Burial will be in Memorial Lake Hills Cemetery in Sandy, UT following the visitation.