1929 Beth 2023

Ritta Beth Nelsen Arbuckle Ashdown

April 15, 1929 — July 6, 2023

Bountiful, UT

Beth was born April 15, 1929, in Brigham City, Utah, to Rozella Smith and Marinus Olaf Nelsen. She joined an older brother Jay, and a younger sister and brother, Midge and Max, were born after her. She grew up in Clearfield and Uintah, and Beth attended schools there, graduating from Ogden High School. Soon after high school, she was introduced to and dated a “nice young man from Woods Cross” named Howard Arbuckle. They were married September 17, 1948, in the Salt Lake Temple. Their marriage was blessed with four sons: Lynn, Jim, Steve, and Alan.

In about 1951, Beth and Howard built a home in Bountiful, Utah, and raised their boys here. Beth was an extremely talented artist in almost anything she put her mind to. She loved to paint, especially in watercolors. This love spilled over into teaching the watercolor class at the senior center in Bountiful for over 20 years, where she made so many friends. Beth and Howard were excellent woodworkers. Beth carved wooden ducks, turned many different items on the lathe, and collected samples of wood from all over the world. 

Beth and Howard built a cabin in Christmas Meadows, high in the Unita Mountains of Utah. This cabin became a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of life. Their children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren are enjoying this cabin. Many visitors and friends have also visited and made memories at the Arbuckle Cabin. Beth and Howard also traveled the world, usually on cruise ships or tours. They visited every state in the United States and six of the seven continents. (They had to wave to Antarctica as they sailed around the horn of South America.) 

After Howard passed away in February 2006, Beth and a dear family friend, Bob Ashdown, struck up a relationship. Bob was Howard’s best man at his wedding and had lost his wife many years earlier to an illness. Beth and Bob ended up getting married later that year in December. Beth ended up with a second family consisting of three stepsons and two stepdaughters and their spouses and children.

Bob was a retired machinist and welding instructor. Beth at age 78 said, “I’ve always wanted to learn how to weld.” So, Bob and Beth collected junk metal pieces and began to create art. Their second project was a very large giraffe over 10 feet tall made of metal. It was placed in Beth’s front yard amongst the trees so anyone from the street could see it. Later, a smaller giraffe was placed next to it. Many strange birds were created from junk metal pieces. Some of these were entered into art shows and county fairs. Bob passed away in June of 2023.

Beth has a strong testimony of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and lived her life accordingly. She served in many different church callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout her life. She ministered and took meals to those that were sick, taught classes, cleaned the church building, and drove people to appointments. Whatever needed to be done, she did it. She was an example of service to others to her children and grandchildren. 

Beth is survived by her children, Lynn (Jody) Arbuckle, James (Jean) Arbuckle, Steven (Linda) Arbuckle, and Alan (Dyanne) Arbuckle, and her stepchildren, Dwight Ashdown, Jan Ashdown, Sue Ashdown, Pete Ashdown, and Jane Cipra. She is also survived by her sister and best friend, Midge Beckman, and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, step-grandchildren, nephews and nieces. Beth is preceded in death by her parents, her first husband Howard, her second husband Bob, and her brothers, Jay Nelsen and Max Nelsen.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at the Russon Mortuary Chapel, 295 N. Main Street, Bountiful, Utah. An evening viewing will take place from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at the mortuary. A Wednesday morning viewing will be held from 9:45-10:45 a.m. at the mortuary prior to funeral services.

Services will be streamed live on the Russon Brothers Mortuary Facebook page and on this obituary page. The live stream will begin 10-15 minutes prior to the services and will be posted below.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ritta Beth Nelsen Arbuckle Ashdown, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Viewing

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

Russon Brothers Mortuary & Crematory - Bountiful

295 N. Main St., Bountiful, UT 84010

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Viewing

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

9:45 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)

Russon Brothers Mortuary & Crematory - Bountiful

295 N. Main St., Bountiful, UT 84010

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Russon Brothers Mortuary & Crematory - Bountiful

295 N. Main St., Bountiful, UT 84010

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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