LaFon Simpson Allen, 71, died surrounded by her children in Price, Utah in the early morning of February 3, 2024. She was the first of 11 children born to Dora Lafon and Keith Simpson. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. LaFon spoke fondly about growing up in humble conditions on various farms in Northern Utah and loved being a Simpson. She was always there for everyone and a true big sister to her 10 siblings. She was considered the rock of her family always being the good girl, sometimes quietly vexing the rest. There was always activity in her home and a table full of people for dinner throughout her life. She loved having children around her. Loud children, children bouncing on furniture, playing, laughing, and singing children never bothered her. “It felt like home,” she said.
LaFon admired and appreciated other peoples’ talents and abilities but was always quiet and humble about her own successes. For her 20-year high school reunion she wrote:
“Occupation – homemaker. States I lived in – Utah. Personal income – 0. Education – high school. Thoughts of how boring, how unsuccessful crossed my mind. What had I done? What had I accomplished? Looking back, I realized I like my life and would not change much. Many things I did not have, a profession or extensive traveling. Nevertheless, my life has been full of fun, excitement, and growing. I have accomplished more than I have ever dreamed I would. Unmeasurable growth in self-confidence, in social skills, in knowledge, in experiences, and influence on others. Position, status, and money do not determine success. How we live our lives is more important. I just need to feel that I am continually improving, that I accept the challenges placed before me, and that I do the best I can do. If I am concerned and care about others on the way, I am a success.”
Her words still ring true over 30 years later. LaFon has always lived her life with this kind of success. Around the time of her reunion, she had given birth to her fifth and last child. A few years later, she started her illustrious career watching hundreds of children at Columbia Elementary School in Kaysville, Utah. Retiring at age 68 due to complications of a brain tumor. She loved the kids at her job and looked forward to seeing them. They loved it when she’d go down the slide or played with them at recess. The love the kids had for LaFon made her feel needed and liked at the school. She felt she did a good job and influenced many over the years.
LaFon always included everyone – anyone was welcome. She was tolerant and accepting of others, but always encouraged them to be their best. As a caregiver she took on the role of listener, sympathizer, and tried to sort out their problems; sometimes with more lecture than her children could take. She knew how to resolve conflict, soothe a crying child, and after her husband, Steven Webster Allen passed away in 2010, she learned how to provide for her children all on her own.
She was a strong and fearless mother who raised 5 wonderful children, who have all become faithful and successful in their lives, and talked about them often to her friends. She loved being a mother and did whatever she could to help her children, giving them everything she had, or everything they needed. She learned how to be the best grandmother. Sometimes she worried that she couldn’t do as much as other healthier grandmothers could do, but she did what she could anyway. She traveled to many states to visit her children and for many births and special occasions of her 13 grandchildren. She has always been their best advocate, cheerleader, and supporter. Many of her grandchildren recall their fondest memories were in her lap singing and reading stacks of books over and over again. LaFon just wanted her children to be happy, grow in faith and wisdom, and to better themselves each day.
One of LaFon’s main reasons for joy was being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since being baptized at 8 years old. She was married in the temple to Steven and visited the temple many times in her life. The sweet acknowledgement of knowing she participated and served in many callings from teaching Relief Society to children’s chorister, nursery leader, and being a ministering sister in God’s true church gave her strength and comfort. It also gave her a confidence and positivity to do so many hard things in her life. She did what she thought was right and tried her very best.
LaFon was terrified of talking on the phone and would often write out in detail what she planned to say before dialing. Yet she overcame her fears, being a Sears telephone operator before having children, and later making phone calls on her loved ones’ behalf and learning to do video phone calls with her family and doctors. Her fear never became easier, but she learned how to do it. LaFon was brave, and determined, and full of grace, especially as she faced meningioma brain cancer for 26 years of her life. She learned to endure and deal with pain, worry, memory loss, fatigue, seizures, decreased ability to use her legs, heart strain, decreased eyesight, and endless doctors who tried their best to help her with her symptoms. But she has always been resilient – she “paddled on” as she advised us to do. She said, “If I can’t do it because of my body, what can I do? and I’ll do that.” She was always hopeful with all the issues she had.
Sometimes LaFon struggled in the lonely silence, as her children moved away from home and after she retired. Yet she filled her days with scripture study, journaling, books, ward friends, long phone calls with her children, grandkids and siblings, and old movies and home and cooking shows. She learned to appreciate anything life gave her, and always found beauty in the simple things. She learned to like traveling and took any opportunity given her to take notice of the world she saw. One of her kids’ regrets is that we never could get her on that cruise to Alaska she wanted.
LaFon accepted the challenge of death with the same hope, strength, determination, and a little excitement to see what is next, she had lived with her whole life. She was an enduring example to all who were in her life, and all were blessed to have known her. Even her attending staff of caring medical aids knew how sweet and brave a lady she was. Her family is deeply grateful for all who cared for, loved, and served LaFon when she needed it most. We would like to add a special thanks to the youth, and Elders, and especially the Relief Society women of the Gailey Park Ward. LaFon accomplished life with an unerring sense of character, a desire to show love to everyone, and the grace, hope, growth, grit, and faith to get her through anything. She will continue mothering us all beyond the grave, reminding us that “when life gets dark and dreary” to pray.
She is survived by her five children and their spouses, nine brothers and sisters, and 13 grandchildren.
Children: Bryce and Jennie Allen, StacyAnn and Jeremiah Maxwell, Craig and Lindsay Allen, Jonathan and Laurie Allen, Garrett and Meredith Allen.
Siblings: Carrie (Kurt), Floyd (Cindy*), Theron (Marci), Lane (Colleen), Becky, Doriann (Chris), Linda (Thomas), Scott, Kris*, Jeffery (Brandi).
Grandkids: Owen, MayLynn, Emery, River, Emma, Jack, Mara, Marley, Kendrick, Willow, Savanna, Clark, Miles, and one on the way.
Her services will be assisted by Russon’s Brothers Funeral Services, 1941 Main Street, in Farmington, Utah, with the viewing Friday, February 9, from 6-8 pm. Additional viewing Saturday, February 10, 9:30-10:30 am, at her church house, 331 South 50 West, Kaysville, Ut. Her funeral will follow at 11 am.
The services will be livestreamed by the ward here: https://uni.zoom.us/j/93347445770.
She will be buried at Kaysville Cemetery. Any flowers or donations can be handled through the funeral home.