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Independent Obituaries: February 14, 2024

The following obituaries appeared in the February 14, 2024 edition of the Star Valley Independent.

For more area obituaries, please visit Schwab Mortuary.

For more resources including headstones, please visit the Star Valley Historical Society.


LaWana Draper

LaWana Sorenson Draper

LaWana Sorenson Draper was born January 2, 1949 to Alfred Earl Sorenson and Colleen Hall Sorenson. She was born in Logan Utah. Shortly after her birth the family moved to Crow Creek, Idaho to a ranch where her mother grew up. She loved the ranch her whole life and happily helped raise animals, ride horses, and explore the barns and outbuildings with her sisters ReNae and Janene.

When she started kindergarten, the family moved to Afton, Wyoming where they built a house. LaWana was a good student. She learned fast and remembered everything. After moving to Afton, the family had two more children Alleen and Ray.

The family moved to Ogden, Utah in 1959 and lived there for 2 years before returning to Afton. LaWana was an avid reader and loved to learn. She had an aptitude for math and science. She was involved in 4-H sewing and cooking.

After graduating from Star Valley High School, she attended Brigham Young University where she got a BS degree in Foods and Nutrition. She also served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Minnesota – Manitoba mission. LaWana went on to spend most of her life in and around Provo. She was an active member of her church.

LaWana married Raymond P. Draper in 1983 In the Jordan River temple. They set up a cozy household in Provo Utah full of pets and the smell of LaWana’s good cooking. Both were avid readers and eager learners. They were involved in working behind the scenes in local amateur theater. LaWana worked for BYU food services.

LaWana’s last several years of life were marred by Alzheimer’s but she remembered two kinds of people, those who were good to her with thankfulness and love and those who were not with fear and unhappiness. There were many of both. Thank you to those who were kind to her, she did appreciate it. She died February 8, 2024, at the age of 75.

She is survived by Sisters ReNae Bowling, and Janene Stott, and brother Raymond Sorenson.

Nada Joy Larson

Nada Joy Gardner Larson

Nada Joy Gardner Larson passed away on February 5, 2024.  She was born on May 2, 1931. She was the first child of Archibald and Estella Gardner. She had four siblings. She enjoyed life as a child and she loved that she grew up in Afton/Star Valley Wyoming. She loved her parents and family very much. Nada Joy thrived and began developing her talents of cleaning the house, helping her mother, learning to play the piano and violin. She loved learning and did very well in school.

She graduated from High School with honors. She accompanied her father all around Star Valley as he sang for many events and funerals. She attended Ricks College and played the piano for the College choir.  She then enrolled at the Utah State University in Logan, Utah.  She was considering a pre-med college degree and study. She was enrolled in Botany, Anatomy and Entomology studies. Her Father died April 1950 and this changed the course of her major and education. She then studied Music Education with a minor in biology. She graduated from college and taught school in Afton.

She met her husband and they were married May 31, 1957 in the Salt Lake Temple.  They taught in Ely Nevada for a short while and then transferred to teaching in Elko, Nevada. They had three wonderful children Kurt, Kaye and Kristi. Nada Joy enjoyed being a mother and caring for her children.

She shared her talent for music throughout her life wherever she lived music followed. She brought Joy to the world.

She served many callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She played the organ and piano for church services. She was the ward music director for years. She taught Relief Society and served as Relief Society president. She conducted choirs and Stake stage plays.

She shared her talents with the Elko Community. She played the organ all over Elko and pitched in at the Catholic Lutheran, and Presbyterian church when needed. She played for events, weddings and funerals. She directed the Elko Community Orchestra for years. She loved learning and continued learning though out her life. She had many hobbies including crafts, writing, sewing, cooking, calligraphy, fragrance and perfume collection, color coding, computer clip art and computer fonts.

She is survived by her sister Gayla (Dee) Astle. Her children Kurt (Martha), Kaye and Kristi (Michael), Her grandchildren Cameron and Tiffany Larson, Dalton, Dallas and Dustin Giles.

She is proceeded in death by her husband, Clint Schofield Larson and his parents, Tharol and Hannah. Clint’s sister Tharla (Richard) Holyoak. Her parents Estella Toland Gardner, Archibald Gardner, her brothers Hal and Dahl Gardner and her sister Emilyn G. Roberts and her stillborn son Kent G. Larson.

Her Celebration of Life service will be held March 2, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at the Buffalo Chapel in Las Vegas Nevada. Address: 3300 N. Buffalo Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89129. Funeral Home Palm Mortuary.

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