Verna Gaye Phillips Marsden
July 28, 1935 – December 15, 2020
Verna Gaye Phillips was born July 28, 1935 at home near American Falls, Idaho, to Virn Elias Phillips and Jessie Nelean Aldous Phillips. She left this earth to join her husband of 65 years on December 15, 2020 at the age of 85. Their love story now continues into the eternities.
Verna was raised among a joyful, hardworking, loving family which included her brothers and sisters: Blaine Elias, Glen Henry, Marva Nelean, David LeRoy, Elma Jean and Theodore Ray who all love her dearly.
She was an excellent student, she spoke at her 8th grade graduation as an honor student, and went on to attend Aberdeen High School. In her junior year the family moved to Cashmere, Washington where her father worked building dams along the Columbia River living in a beautiful home on the banks of Mission Creek. She graduated from high school in Cashmere. Her education continued with 6 months of nurses training at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. She then lived with her lifelong friend Norma Elliott as she continued training and attended classes at LDS Hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho for 2 ½ years.
Verna met the love of her life Louis LaMoyne Marsden on a blind date, after he had won the ugliest man contest for Bingham County. They had a great time together and were engaged by November of that same year. Their love affair was sealed for time and all eternity in the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple where they were married on June 10, 1955.
She practiced as a nurse until the birth of her second child, then chose to be a full time mother. She utilized her education in raising 9 children; Jessie (Dustin) Lyon, Wally (Kathy), Kellie (Steve) Farrar, Charlotte (Terrel) Transtrum, Glenna, Ron (Nancy), Jay (Betsy), Russell, and Stuart. They are also blessed with 27 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren. All dearly miss their Mom and Grandma. They lived in Shelley, Idaho; Kennewick, Washington; Boise, Idaho; Ellensburg, Washington; and settled in Firth, Idaho in 1975.
Her busy life included the meticulous raising of her children, lavishing them with love, discipline and cherished memories especially on birthdays and at Christmas. She made sure her children were educated culturally, musically, spiritually, intellectually and physically. All the while tirelessly serving others. She was well known for the beautiful tea parties she put on for grandchildren and others. She cooked delicious meals, canned fruits and vegetables (much from her own garden), cleaned and clothed her large family, and taught them to do likewise. She made sure all were able to do the things they loved . . . getting them to 4-H, piano lessons, little league games, school activities, church activities and more.
She loved vacationing with her family, her favorite being Kalaloch, Washington, she went on business trips with Lou when she could, going to pick up children from missions, visited her sister Elma in Hawaii, toured England and Ireland with her sister Marva, and visited Mexico with her dear adopted Benito Mireles family.
She loved working in her yard, with flowers of all kinds and had a passion for pulling weeds even until the end of this season. She was generous, hardworking and as her beautiful arthritic hands indicated, she loved serving until she no longer could because of her aging, uncooperative body.
Verna was very active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints serving as Cub Scout leader (her favorite), various callings in the ward Primary, Relief Society and Stake levels in the Young Women’s organization. She was a counselor to 7 different Relief Society Presidents, as well as being a Stake Missionary with her husband Lou. Verna also loved serving as a Temple Worker. She supported Lou in his callings, including sitting with 9 children in Sacrament meetings while he served as Bishop twice.
Verna was cared for selflessly and tirelessly by her sweetheart for the last several years. She will be loved forever and always. “To live in the hearts of those you leave behind is not to die.”
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m., Monday, December 21, 2020 at the Firth LDS Chapel for her and her dear husband Lou. Burial will follow at the Firth Cemetery nearby. The funeral service will be streamed live using the following URL:
Friends are welcome to meet with the family Sunday evening, December 20, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Nalder Funeral Home in Shelley, Idaho.