Our beautiful mother and grandmother, LaVon Taylor Russon, returned to her Heavenly Father on January 13, 2023 surrounded by loving family on both sides of the veil. She was 96 years young. LaVon was born March 21, 1926 in Salt Lake City, the sixth of seven children born to Roy Elwood Taylor and Elizabeth Mitchell. She grew up during the depression and had little of worldly goods, yet LaVon felt that her family enjoyed life to the fullest and were content with simple things. They had close ties with their extended family members and demonstrated concern for the welfare of each other.
Throughout her life LaVon exemplified the Savior in her selfless service to her fellowmen and especially to her family.
LaVon was blessed to have a rich education. She attended Webster Elementary School and Bryant Junior High in Salt Lake City. She graduated from East High School, Class of 1943, and immediately started pre-nursing classes at the University of Utah. Having completed her first two quarters at the University she joined the United States Cadet Nurse Corps which had just been established to train young women as registered nurses for active service. In addition to paying her tuition, Uncle Sam now paid for books, uniforms, and living expenses. During the last six months of her third and final year of schooling LaVon was assigned an internship at the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto, California. She graduated from the Cadet Corp in 1946 and then returned to the University of Utah where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree on August 25, 1948. She passed her state exams and became a registered nurse with a four-year university degree. She would later receive her master’s degree in nursing from Brigham Young University in 1984. LaVon worked most of her life, part and full-time, as a registered nurse in several hospitals, as a public health nurse and finally as a school nurse for Granite School District.
In the fall of 1946 a tall handsome returned missionary with curly blonde hair, Harland Smith Russon, whom LaVon had met at a fireside in the Salt Lake City 10th ward invited her to an Institute dance. He fell in love with her beautiful red hair and several months later proposed to her on temple square. They were engaged for two years while LaVon completed her formal education and were married September 2, 1948 just a week following her graduation ceremony. On September 2, 2005 they celebrated their 57th anniversary just weeks before Harland passed away at the age of 85.
LaVon was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in a variety of callings working with children and youth. She and Harland served as ordinance workers in both the Salt Lake and Provo Temples and LaVon especially enjoyed her calling as the Assistant Living Endowment Director.
They served together as stake missionaries and later as full time missionaries in the Washington D.C. South Mission. They were much loved by all the missionaries and ward members they came in contact with. After returning home they served as part-time welfare missionaries in the Provo, Utah LDS Employment Center.
In addition to her parents and six siblings, LaVon was preceded in death by her eternal companion, Harland, her youngest child, Jenny, who passed away in childbirth, her daughter-in-law Veronica Ford (Jeff’s wife), and her infant grand-daughter Robyn Bardsley.
LaVon is survived by five of her six children: Jeffrey Taylor Russon of Askham Bryan, York, England; Christine R. Forstner and her husband Ron of Cedar Hills, Utah; Leslie Ann Baker and her husband Kent of Logan, Utah; Dr. Robert H. Russon of Blacksburg, Virginia; and Leigh R. Bardsley and her husband David of Salt Lake City. She is also survived by her grandchildren (Dr. Thomas Ford-Russon, Rebecca Vineyard, Benjamin Forstner, Anna DeBruin, Sarah Baker, Dr. Jody Russon, Gina Moser, Jennifer Oleksy, Tyler Bardsley, and Ryan Bardsley) and 17 great-grandchildren.
A small family service will be held Friday, January 20th at 11:00 a.m. in the Kenwood 1st Ward, 3080 South Kenwood Street (1765 East) Salt Lake City. Family and friends may attend a viewing at the same location from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. prior to the services. The interment will follow the services and be at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.russonmortuary.com.
As a family, we would like to thank the kind and loving staff of Bellaview Assisted Living in Lehi and First-Choice Home Health and Hospice. Deepest gratitude is extended to Mom’s aide Rachel Ohmert who lovingly served mom for over two years and her nurse, Rachel Bloxham who professionally and with great kindness guided our family through the last days and hours of mom’s life. Also to our sisters Leslie and Christine who devoted loving care to mom for many years.
Friday, January 20, 2023
10:00 - 11:45 am (Mountain time)
Friday, January 20, 2023
11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)