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Viona Loretta Bennett

June 29, 1912 — September 12, 2011

Viona Loretta Bennett

Virginia, Idaho - Viona Loretta Gilbert Bennett, age 99, passed away September 12, 2011 at the home of her son Arlon (Anita) at Garland Utah.

She was born on June 29, 1912 in Fairview, Idaho. She was the third child of Ettna Elijah and Lottie Rawlings Gilbert. Two brothers, DeReese and Oleen, had died in infancy. Six more sisters and one brother were born into this family: Mavis, Ardith, Ina, Gwen, Thella, Norma and Ervin. Viona's parents and 5 sisters have preceded her in death. A sister, Norma (Paul) Warth of Pocatello, Idaho and brother Ervin (Collett) of Virginia, Idaho, survive her.

Viona moved with her parents from Fairview to Virginia, Idaho in the spring before her 7th birthday. The Gilbert girls had new neighbors just down the road. They were the Warren Bennett family. The children walked to the schoolhouse in Virginia with Alta, Loyde, Glen, Wanda, Verl and Wayne Bennett. She loved learning and was the valedictorian of her high school class.

Loyde Bennett and Viona were friends for many years. This friendship developed into a romance and on June 29, 1933, they were married in the Logan Temple. They had 5 children; Dean L. (Nell), of Orem, Utah, Clell G. (Laura) of Pocatello, Idaho, Lana Baird McCracken (Ivan) of Mink Creek, Idaho, Arlon D. ( Anita) of Garland, Utah, and Loretta Goodwin, (Clifford)) of Virginia, Idaho Their posterity includes 27 grandchildren, 72 great grandchildren and 12 great-great grandchildren. Loyde passed away August 17, 1986.

From the time she was very young, she embroidered, tatted, knitted and crocheted. She made countless items that blessed the lives of friends and family. She sewed clothes for her mother, her sisters, herself, her children and posterity. She made quilts first with her mother, then she created hundreds of hand quilted quilts. Each of her children and grandchildren have received a quilt or afghan from her. Whenever she entered her handwork in the area fairs, they won blue ribbons or sweepstakes. She did textile painting and some of her quilts were hand painted.

Viona was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held many leadership positions including, being in the Relief Society leadership for almost 20 years. She served as work director when bazaars were held to raise funds. She also served in the YWMIA and Sunday School. In her late 70s and 80s she was nursery leader for nearly ten years and was a faithful visiting teacher. She and Loyde served a mission in the Florida Tallahassee mission.

Loyde and Viona worked together on the farm. They struggled to survive during the great depression and World War II when there was no money and little commodities. She always planted a large garden, and did canning for her family. From her youth, she plowed and planted crops; first with horses and later with tractors. She helped plant, thin, irrigate, and top sugar beets. She fed thresher and other crews and later drove grain trucks to town at harvest time. She was truly a helpmeet.

Viona was a hard worker; she would say, "Well, what are we going to do today." She was always concerned about helping others. Even in the last few months she had felt bad that she was unable to help those around her. She will be missed by all who knew her.

Funeral services will be held at the Virginia Ward L.D.S. Church on Saturday, September 17, 2011, at 12 noon, with Bishop John Brady officiating. There will be a viewing preceding the funeral at 10:00 am to 11:45 am at the church. Funeral arrangements is under the care of the Manning-Wheatley Funeral Chapel.

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