Gloria Isleta Nichols Despain of Orem Utah passed away Friday, July 7, 2023, at the age of 89. She was born November 14, 1933, in New Orleans, Louisiana to Jeff Wilson Nichols and Minnie May Burks Nichols. Gloria loved being from New Orleans and was proud of her Southern heritage. Gloria’s six siblings include Jeff, Lorraine, Joyce, Bonnie, Clifford, and Sylvia. Gloria enjoyed telling the story of her Father, promising Heavenly Father he would take his family to be sealed in the temple if he could win a car being given away at a local fair. He won the car and her family was sealed in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. She married Donley Leland Despain on June 27, 1952, in the Manti LDS Temple.
Gloria is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served faithfully her entire life. She had three sons, Donley Leland Despain Jr., Thomas Scott Despain, and Ronald Kelly Despain (Donny, Tommy and Ronny). In 1965 Donley and Gloria and their boys ventured to Australia to serve the Lord as Building Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints where they built many chapels over five years. In 1968 they were blessed to welcome Leann Despain to their family through adoption while serving in Dandenong, Australia.
On returning to Utah in 1970, Gloria went back to BYU to complete her degree in teaching. She taught in the Alpine School District for 20 years, teaching mostly 1st and 2nd Grade.
Following her retirement from teaching, she continued with teaching at the Missionary Training Center in Provo to help the missionaries gain greater reading skills and appreciation for the Book of Mormon and other scripture. She served that mission for several years before also serving in the Provo Mission offices. Later, she served as a missionary with the BYU Pathways program. Gloria loved serving the Lord.
Over her life, Gloria was a friend to many. She had a gentle soul, a cheerful personality, made friends easily and cherished her association with them all. She enjoyed many activities that brought her joy including crafting, crocheting, winning at card games, traveling, playing the piano and organ, gathering family history, scrapbooking, camping with the Squaw Peak Good Sams and visiting with those she loved.
Gloria was a loving, kind, gentle mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. You can also add step-grandmother, and step-great-grandmother to many. She has 4 children, 13 grandchildren, and 33 great-grandchildren. Every time a grandchild or great-grandchild visited, they left with a gift, a $2 dollar bill, which Gloria loved to give them.
Gloria was preceded in death by her loving husband Donley (2009) and her daughter Leann (2023).
Funeral services will be held Saturday, 22 July 2023 at the Fountain Green, Utah LDS Church at 151 S 200 W, Fountain Green. Viewing will be from 12:00 pm to 12:50 pm, with the memorial service beginning at 1:00 pm. Her interment will follow at the Fountain Green cemetery. Flowers may be sent no later than 5:00 pm Friday the 21st of July to the Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street in Orem.
Condolences for the family may be expressed on this page.
For those unable to attend in person, you may view the Services HERE