Cover photo for Lareta Van Tassell's Obituary
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1930 Lareta 2020

Lareta Van Tassell

March 6, 1930 — July 20, 2020

Kamas, Utah

LaReta Cooley Van Tassell


LaReta Cooley Van Tassell, 90, died peacefully in her home surrounded by her loving family on Monday, July 20th.

Born March 6, 1930 in Murray, Utah, she was the youngest daughter of Charles Herman and Vimva Pearl Mills Cooley. She was sealed and married to her eternal sweetheart, Morlin C Van Tassell, on August 11, 1948 in the Logan Temple. They were inseparable in work and play as dairy farmers and later owners of Hi-Mountain Drug.

LaReta was known for her love of knitting and crocheting. She helped start the first 4-H knitting club in Utah. She enjoyed sharing her expertise with friends around the valley, young and old, and was the leader of the VanPa knitting club for her grandchildren. She used her skills for service and humanitarian projects such as NICU beanies, skin care bandages, and altar cloths for the temple. She taught crochet to inmates at the Summit County Correctional Facility up until the fall of 2019. She made multiple precious family heirlooms, including baby outfits, blessing dresses, blankets, sweaters, afghans, and more for all of her descendants. Every family member has a hand-knit, personalized Christmas stocking--a cherished family tradition. The collection grew annually with every new birth and marriage. At her last tally, she had completed thousands of hand-knit and crochet articles. That number grew by many more over the last few years of her life.

She was a faithful genealogist and diligently kept family records. This included remembrance books for both ancestry and posterity. It was a wonderful surprise for many descendants to discover their own personal keepsakes in memory books she carefully and lovingly assembled for them. These records will be cherished by surviving loved ones, now and for years to come. We are so excited for her to continue to connect generations beyond the veil.  With an appreciation for beauty and a natural artistic talent, LaReta enjoyed painting, embroidery, and crafts. She loved horseback riding, the outdoors, and especially cherished time spent on the family ranch. With a comedic wit and actor's flair, she wrote many skits and plays. Attending musicals and watching old movies were favorite pastimes she shared with her family. She had a keen and curious mind and was always learning and reading, and she found great joy in discovering new cultures and places while "tripping" around the world.

LaReta was a respected businesswoman and member of her community. She made many friendships and memories over the years through service in the Kamas Valleyettes and Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

A life-long, active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LaReta served diligently in many leadership callings in every auxiliary. She especially enjoyed service with the youth and cherished the time she spent as a Temple Ordinance Worker with her eternal companion. She expressed her testimony by the way she lived.

As a mother of just two, she was proud of her numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. As a family, we loved games and puzzles, rides in the hills, and "weenie roasts." We will miss her clever humor, her experience and knowledge, and her example of organization and accomplishment.

She is survived by her son Craig C, Kamas, and daughter Gaye (Gaylen) Pace, Woodland; 15 grandchildren; 47 great-grandchildren; and 1 great-great-grandchild. She was welcomed through the veil by her loving husband, Morlin; her parents; her siblings; and many other loved ones. We are comforted to know of their joyous reunion.

A private family service will be held.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lareta Van Tassell, please visit our flower store.


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