Obituaries » Nora Mae Graham Willey
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May 11, 1924 - May 30, 2021
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Bountiful
Nora Mae Graham Willey passed away at the age of 97 on May 30, 2021, due to a fall. The oldest of five children, she was born on May 11, 1924 in Garfield, Salt Lake County, Utah, to Ellis Earl Graham and Mary Mae Sanderson Graham. She learned a love of books and the value of hard work from her parents, and losing her father at age 12 strengthened her spiritual resolve and independence, serving her well the rest of her long life.
She grew up in Manti, Utah, and graduated from Manti High School in 1942. Nora Mae moved to Salt Lake City where she took classes from LDS Business College, University of Utah, and American Institute of Banking. She worked for the architect engineers who built the Navy Supply Depot (now the Freeport Center) in Clearfield until it was turned over to the Navy, then went to work for the First National Bank of Layton, then the Salt Lake City Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
After several years in the workforce, Nora Mae was called to serve an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Texas Louisiana Mission in 1953-54. Following her mission, which cemented her faith in the restored gospel, she returned to the Federal Reserve Bank in the Human Resources department. She eventually purchased her own home in Bountiful in 1968 and settled into the Bountiful 7th Ward, which provided her many opportunities for service. This fortuitous move also led to her meeting her long-awaited husband, Clyde Williams Willey. They were married on June 3, 1982 in the Salt Lake Temple. Clyde’s four children and 11 grandchildren provided Nora Mae with an instant family that immediately embraced her. She and Clyde enjoyed hosting family events, traveling, and serving together, including missions to the Salt Lake and Washington DC Temples.
As a faithful member of the church, Nora Mae was always selflessly willing to serve in any capacity. Callings included Ward Relief Society President, Young Women’s President, and many years with the data entry, extraction and indexing programs of the Church. She loved researching and recording family history, reading the scriptures, and was spiritual, stalwart, and dedicated to the Lord. She leaves with us her testimony that “Jesus Christ lives, He atoned for our sins, and He loves each and every one.”
Nora Mae will be remembered for her sharp memory for details, her calm, gentle, patient demeaner, her elaborate Christmas morning breakfasts (featuring Danish Ebelskivers) with extended family, her genuine love and concern for the lives of her family members, and her generous willingness to give of her time and talents.
Preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother Duane (Ethelyn) Graham, sister Gloria (Doug) Sontage, sister Joan (Mac) Christensen, sister-in-law Patricia Hancock Graham, and step-daughter Sherry Willey Rodriguez.
Nora Mae is survived by her brother Jerry E. (Barbara) Graham, her step-children Steven L. (Susan) Willey, Mark L. (Brenda) Willey, and MaryAnn Willey, 11 step-grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.
Her family is grateful to the caring staff at Creekside Senior Living, where Nora Mae was able to live independently the last few years of her life.
Services to celebrate Nora Mae’s life will be held on June 8, 2021 at 10am at Russon Mortuary, 295 North Main St, Bountiful, Utah, with a viewing from 8:45 to 9:45am prior to services. Interment will follow at the Bountiful City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity.