Our beloved mother and grandmother, Zelma Deanna Duffin Avis, 84, long-time resident of Bountiful, Utah, currently of Highland, Utah, passed away on December 27th, 2022, in the comfort of her home.
Deanna was born on January 31st, 1938, to Zelma and Horace Duffin in Salt Lake City, Utah. Deanna graduated from Davis High School and later went on to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree from Brigham Young University in Speech Pathology and later in life obtained a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Utah State University.
In 1959 Deanna met the love of her life, Kenneth Eugene Avis, on a blind date during which they became engaged. On September 8th, 1960, Deanna married Ken in the Salt Lake City Temple.
Deanna and Ken went on to have five children: Cindy Avis Rainey (Steve), Bradley Avis, Helen Barton, Michelle Hallett (Nate), and Christy Avis. They found great joy in their eleven grandchildren: Stephanie Arakelian (Josh), Brittiney Avis Newman, Aaron Edvalson, Michael Rainey, Valerie Rainey, Jacob Barton, Aaron Putnam, Ryan Benji Putman, Samantha Avis, Alex Avis, Trajan Hallett, and three great-grandchildren.
Deanna worked as a Speech Pathologist in the Davis County School District in the 1960s and 70s. Later, she was a special education teacher in the Davis County School District and in the Granite School District. She finished her career as an Adjunct Professor in the Utah University system educating and advocating for future paraeducators.
Deanna’s treasured church callings included writing Relief Society curriculum for the LDS church and as a ward Relief Society president.
During their marriage, Deanna and Ken lived for a time in Germany and went on to enjoy subsequent trips to Europe, where they were able to reminisce about old times and enjoy new experiences.
Deanna was a spark of joy to everybody who knew her. She wrapped her warm and generous heart around everybody she met and worked with. She will be greatly missed.
Deanna was preceded in death by her husband Kenneth Avis, daughter Christy Avis, and brothers Robert Duffin and Horace Duffin. She is survived by her sister, Helen Olson, her four children, eleven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
A joint celebration of life for Deanna and her husband Kenneth will be held at a later date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, we request donations to be made to the University of Utah Paraeducator program in Deanna’s name at ugive.app.utah.edu college of education – special education.