Twila Athay died on February 6th, 2019 in Provo, Utah from complications after a fall. Special thanks go to the team of caregivers, many of whom also cared for Grant under challenging circumstances. The family is grateful for the excellence of their care and most of all for their love and compassion. Twila was born to Archie and Elizabeth Jensen in humble circumstances in Winslow, AZ in 1926 where her father was an electrician for the Santa Fe Railroad. She was the youngest and sole survivor of a family of seven children. In high school Twila was a swimmer, a cheerleader, and involved with music programs. She married R. Grant Athay, a meteorologist in the Army Air Core stationed in Winslow. They married in the Mesa temple in 1944. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary just a few months before Grant died from Alzheimer’s after she had cared for him for 11 years. Twila moved with Grant to the island of Trinidad during WWII, to Logan and Salt Lake City, Utah, and eventually to a small observatory in the Colorado mountains at 11,500 feet where she had to hike out on snowshoes to have her third child. The family settled in Boulder CO, which became their home base. Temporary moves took them to Cambridge, MA, to Sac Peak, NM, to Pasadena, CA, and Bountiful, UT. During Grant’s sabbatical the family lived in Paris and Nice, France and Munich, Germany. Twila and Grant enjoyed their retirement years in Mesa, AZ, Midway, and St. George, UT and finally moved to an assisted living facility in Provo, UT. Twila enjoyed traveling with Grant to scientific meetings and solar eclipses, attending an historic scientific conference in the Kremlin in 1958. She joined him on numerous international trips. However, many times she stayed at home and cared for the family during Grant’s many travels. Twila was very athletic and learned to ski, play racquetball, and golf, as well as chasing her five children around when they misbehaved. Her family’s enthusiasm for whitewater rafting wasn’t her favorite thing. But she was a good sport– most of the time. Twila served as relief society president in her Boulder LDS ward. She was also mission relief society president in the Colorado Nebraska Mission where she and Grant traveled extensively for several years. Throughout her adult life and even at 92 years old, Twila was still everyone’s cheerleader. She was beautiful, young looking, energetic, encouraging, and always fashionably dressed. Because she was always caring and took an interest in everyone’s lives, Twila was loved by a great many people (including our friends, who sometimes seemed to like her better than us). Twila was preceded in death by her daughter, Carol (Craig) and her husband, Grant. She is survived by her children Russell (Janet), Luann (Kim), Darrell (Ruth), and Renee, 16 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren. The funeral will be in the Fort Midway Ward chapel, 1102 South Center Street Midway Utah at 12:00 noon on Saturday, February 16th. You are invited to visit with the family before the funeral from 10:00-11:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the LDS Humanitarian Fund (lds.org) , Heifer International (heifer.org), or your favorite charity. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Twila Jane Jensen Athay please visit our Sympathy Store.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Twila Jane Jensen Athay September 20 1926 February 6 2019.
Death notice for the town of: Heber City, state: Utah