Helen Paxton, age 81, slipped peacefully into the next world on Aug. 2, 2021, at her home in St. George, Utah, in the care of her loving husband of nearly sixty years, Robert Paxton (Bob).
Born March 17, 1940, in Santa Monica, California, to Norman and Hermoine Farnsworth, Helen lost her mother to tuberculosis at age 10. Her father remarried to Emma Jacobs and Helen often remarked that she was blessed to have two loving mothers in her life.
At the age of 16, Helen moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, with her family, where she finished high school, worked and began college. She met Bob at Brigham Young University, and they married Sept. 15, 1961, in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bob made a career as an officer in the US Army, and Helen fully embraced her role as a partner and officer’s wife. Together they made a personal mission to be a strong and welcoming family and example of Gospel living to bless the lives of the young Latter-day Saint men and women serving their country.
She relished her roles as wife, mother and homemaker. She gave birth to 12 children and made a wonderful home for them to grow up in the knowledge of God and secure in the love of their parents and the knowledge that each was a precious child of God. Helen and Bob also opened their doors and arms and welcomed many others into their home and family over the years, and Helen became as a second mother to many of them.
She taught her children how to love and to serve others and how to live well and find joy and adventure in the simplicities of daily life. She enjoyed music, movies and ice cream. Board games and card games, especially Rook, brought out her competitive spirit. She found a way to connect with her children’s interests, and challenged them through teaching, games and structured activities to expand their capabilities, and supported and championed them in their worthy pursuits.
Helen loved God and Jesus Christ and served faithfully in many church callings through dozens of moves across multiple states and Germany, including Primary President, Young Women’s President, and Seminary teacher, where again she welcomed youth into her home each weekday morning to be nourished by her faith, love and confidence in them.
She had a gift for organizing and orchestrating engagement and results, both in her household and beyond. Her favorite calling was as a teacher in the Relief Society. She had a firm testimony of Gospel of Jesus Christ and taught it in a simple and compelling manner.
When the time came for her to return to the workforce, Helen excelled at that also, becoming a trusted employee for many years at Choice Seating in Pennsylvania. In 2002, Helen and Bob retired to St. George, where she hosted, nurtured and influenced her grandchildren. She continued to love and serve her family, neighbors, and ward members until Alzheimer’s limited her.
Even then, she graciously welcomed visitors to their home with warmth and a kind and gracious demeanor. Bob’s selfless devotion and care for her and her trust in him, are a testament to their enduring love and the strength of their eternal marriage.
She has now returned to her Heavenly home, where she rejoins her parents, her brother Norman Farnsworth and her sister Charlotte Loveless.
She is survived by her husband Robert C. Paxton; her 12 children and their spouses: Katherine Davis (Kevin, San Antonio, Texas), Robert Paxton (Tryn, Suwanee, Georgia), Victoria Dawson (Robert, Holbrook, Arizona), Norman Paxton (Taunya, Pleasant Grove, Utah), Paul Paxton (April, St. George, Utah), Deborah Wilkins (Philip, Eagle Mountain, Utah), Cheryl Gesullo (Jason, Spanish Fork, Utah), Sharon Fultz (Robert, Morgantown, Pennsylvania), Michael Paxton (Kamala, Shelley, Idaho), Emma Rogers (Clint, Lehi, Utah), Alison Andrus (Matthew, St. George, Utah), and Alan Paxton (Aubrey, St. George, Utah); 62 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and her siblings: Gary Farnsworth (Carole, Syracuse, Utah), Merrilynn Webb (Provo, Utah), Briant Farnsworth (Glenna, Draper, Utah), and Paul Farnsworth (LynnAnn, Riverton, Utah) and brother-in-law Gordon Loveless (Layton, Utah).
Surely she is preparing a place for those she has left behind and will welcome her loved ones and friends there, with her characteristic grace, charm and assurance of love and acceptance.
Funeral services will be held Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, at 11 a.m. MT, with a visitation prior from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., at the Morningside Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 881 South River Rd, St. George, Utah, 84790. Interment will be immediately following the funeral services at the Tonaquint Cemetery, 1777 S. Dixie Drive, St George, Utah, 84770.
Services will also be streamed at https://youtu.be/E9MME-nKN0A