Gloria Belle Russell Bethers passed away Sunday, March 21, 2021 after fighting many health challenges over several years. We have all marveled at her persistence in the face of difficulty and her reluctance to complain about her condition. She remained positive and upbeat in the face of tremendous challenges and tried to enjoy each day she had as best she could.
Gloria was born to Addie Belle Lewis Russell and Ile Russell on April 7, 1933 in Kamas, UT. She is an only child. She was the “apple of her father’s eye” and her “mama’s best friend.” She loved and served them diligently. She helped her father in the hayfield every summer until she got married. She often shared stories about a magical and fun childhood growing up in Kamas, Utah with her parents, beloved aunts and uncles, close cousins and friends. Gloria was very loyal to all those she loved and respected.
After graduating from South Summit High School, Gloria attended BYU in Provo, Utah where she received her BS in Education in 1955. She taught 3rd grade on Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV and 2nd grade in the South Summit School District in Kamas. She was passionate about her teaching and students. She loved her students, and they loved her. She kept in contact with many of them through the years and thoroughly enjoyed her time teaching. She returned to BYU and was pursuing her Master’s degree in Special Education when she and Ray were married.
Gloria and Ray Bethers were married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on June 5, 1957. They settled in Kamas, Utah where they have lived the past 61 years. Gloria loved, supported and was devoted to Ray. She always made sure we ate dinner as a family when Ray got home from work. She is survived by her husband, Ray, and by her six children, Russ Bethers (Sherri), Laura Preece, Christine Smith (Patrick), David Bethers (Jennie), John Bethers (Aileen) and Daniel Bethers (Kirsten). She leaves behind 26 Grandchildren and 19 Great-Grandchildren who love and adore her.
Gloria was incredibly talented and creative. She played the piano and was well versed in English. She sewed, was a great cook, and had an “eye” for color, crafts and the other arts. She was a highly intelligent person and could discuss almost any topic with anyone. She often said that God gave people brains so that they could think. She had a wonderful imagination, and her children loved bedtime stories of adventures she and her dog, Butch, had. She loved puzzles, new Christmas PJ’s, games, chocolate mints, books, and coloring books with crayons or colored pencils. She was a founding member of the Kamas Valleyettes, which started in 1958. She was an active member until she could not attend anymore or when the remaining members could not visit her in her home in 2019.
She served in many capacities in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Ward Primary, Young Women’s and Relief Society and Stake Primary and Young Women’s. Through the years, she enjoyed working with other church members to help children and teenagers gain a love and appreciation for their Savior Jesus Christ.
One of Gloria’s favorite things was visiting Disneyland with her family. She loved everything Mickey Mouse. She also loved the holidays, celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with passion. She was crazy about all things Santa. She loved these happy occasions because it was an excuse to spend precious time with family and friends. She was a devoted fan of the Utah Jazz, NFL and anything basketball - NBA and College. She knew the players and teams well and loved discussing them. She will be especially missed during these times.
Gloria’s quick wit, candor and fierce loyalty will be missed by all who knew her. We will also miss her supportive and caring spirit. She always encouraged her family to do their best and would sacrifice and help in any way she was asked to help them be successful. She is loved by her family immeasurably. We appreciate the constant care and tremendous service of her much loved caregivers: Malia and Ava, who are family. We are grateful for Audrey’s gentle care, kindness, support, direction and love.
Family and friends please join us at the Kamas Ward Building, 100 West Center Street, on Friday, March 26 from 6:00-8:00 pm and Saturday, March 27 from 1:00-1:45 pm. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, Venmo your contribution to our Disneyland trip. Just kidding, please take your family and enjoy a special outing together.