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1931 Orson 2022

Orson Millet

October 26, 1931 — August 21, 2022

Provo, Utah

Orson Leon Millet was born on October 26, 1931. The first of 7 children to Orson Paul Millet and Norma Rowena Allan Millet in Provo, Utah. It was a happy day. It was not long after he was born that his sister Jeanne arrived. She was an instant friend and they were helpers to their parents as the other 5 children were born…Shirley, Marilyn, Rena, Chuck and Christene.

When Leon was 5 years old the family moved from Provo to Ogden, Utah. His grade school years were spent at Loran Farr Elementary. He attended Central Jr. High and graduated from Ogden High School where he participated in choir, musicals and school plays. He loved to ballroom dance and was very good. He had a special friend Charlene VanWagenen that he was very fond of. They had fun dancing together and taught many others to dance.

After graduation, he attended Weber State College for one year and continued his relationship with Charlene.

On January 8, 1951, Leon began his service as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Western Canadian Mission. When he arrived at the Training Center in Salt Lake City, he was ordained an Elder under the hands of Elder Ezra Taft Benson. He served faithfully for two years and arrived home on January 24, 1953. He has always had a love for Canada, its people and its beautiful scenery.

As time moved on while serving a mission, his girlfriend Charlene had moved on to other friends as well.

In February Leon and his friend Bill had heard about all the pretty girls at BYU. They attended a dance where he met Velma “Bunny” Payne. They continued to date. He asked Bunny to marry him several times. Each time came the reply: “I’m not ready”. He was persistent and they finally agreed to a July wedding. It wasn’t however, without trepidation. The morning they were to be married he had to practically carry her to the car. She was happy but nervous because of a previous engagement she had ended on the morning of that wedding. Leon and Velma were married and sealed in the Logan, Utah temple on July 31, 1953. They settled into married life. Velma worked at a bank and Leon worked as a night manager at Allen’s grocery store, while attending BYU during the day.

Eleven months later their 1st child Randy was born.

While attending BYU, Leon enrolled in the Air Force ROTC program. Upon graduation, with a degree in Business Management, he was commissioned in the Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant and moved to Sacramento, California. While living there, Leon worked for the Bank of America and he and Velma welcomed a second son, David, into their growing family.

It wasn’t long before Leon was to report for active duty and begin pilot training in San Antonio, Texas and then Tucson, Arizona. After a short time in Tucson, they were transferred to Mission Air Force base in McAllen, Texas. The demands of the flight training program were great and time away from his young family too much to bear so Velma and Leon took advantage of an opportunity to leave pilot training and become a supply officer in Goldsboro, North Carolina. It was there that their 3rd son, Kimball was born.

After 3 1/2 years dad was discharged from the Air Force as a captain and the family moved back to Ogden, Utah. Not long after the move, and after having 3 boys they excitedly welcomed their first daughter, Julie into their family. Seven years later, with all the excitement of their previous children, they welcomed their 2nd daughter, Jennifer.

Leon worked for Commercial Security Bank as a loan officer and branch manager for 17 years.

He loved serving in the community. He was treasurer for the Weber County Home Builders Association and President of the Utah Cancer Society.

In 1977 dad transferred to Provo, Utah and continued to work for Commercial Security Bank for a time and later found satisfaction and success working for Forethought Funeral Planning and quickly rose to the top of their sales group. He developed great admiration for the people of central and southern Utah where he met many friends and associates. If you knew Leon, he was always a friend and was very loyal.

He loved to play golf and ski and enjoyed teaching all the children to ski. Velma loved to golf with Leon and was most competitive. She loved beating him at his own game. They both enjoyed ballroom dancing and they participated in many events over the years. Many admired their proficiency at dance and their wonderful style and grace.

After living a few years in Provo, Leon and Velma were called to serve a mission at the Provo MTC. There, with many others, they helped set up the missionary teacher training department. They served in the Provo temple as baptistry attendants, a calling they loved for years.  Leon often said how much he loved seeing the high school kids come to the baptistry. Many days were long, and they would stay until the late hours until all the work for the day was complete. He always wanted to be there as long as the youth were at work.

Leon was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints all his life. He had a strong testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ that he exemplified as he served in many positions and capacities. He felt his greatest calling was to serve his wife and family. He enjoyed being outside with them barbequing, working in the yard or playing games of any sort. His 5 children, 17 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren were his greatest joy and they all know of his devotion to the Savior.

As the grandchildren grew up and began to play competitive baseball, football, and other sports, Velma and Leon enjoyed spending afternoons and evenings watching their games. At times there were multiple events each week and they loved making time to be to as many as possible.

All of Leon’s married days he wanted to serve his wife and family. Many were struck with surprise when they would learn that Velma had never put gas in her car as Leon always made sure that her car was filled, cleaned, serviced and safe. He never shied away from household help and would often vacuum, clean dishes, wash windows and straighten the garage. He loved things to be orderly and neat.

On Sundays, he loved asking everyone that would come to his home if he could make them a tuna melt sandwich with a glass of orange Tampico juice to drink. It was as though his kitchen would turn into a fun-filled grill.  He never wanted anyone to leave hungry.

If kindness could be measured, he would get a perfect score. He was always smiling, was the eternal optimist, would never allow doubt or discouragement to enter his life and was positive and assuring constantly. There were few bad days in his entire life. He found beauty in everything and loved to go in search of new wonders and sights. Leon and Bunny loved to drive, and many times would set out on short drives only to have them last many days. In their car they crossed this country having driven from coast-to-coast and many points in between. With their young children, they drove to Alaska and throughout the West. When the children grew to be young adults they travelled to Hawaii and spent time at Lake Powell and other adventures. If it meant being together Leon and Velma were “all in”! They were married for 65 years.

The day of Velma’s death Leon and Randy went to the temple. There they found peace and understanding. Without hesitation, Leon, the eternal optimist, took charge, planned beautiful things to celebrate her life. He wanted to be a part of every detail and to convey his love for her through pictures, flowers, gatherings, and service.

After Velma’s death, Leon again visited with his high school friend Charlene VanWagenan Gayle. Leon, being terribly lonely began to spend time with Charlene and they renewed their friendship from many years gone by. They became most fond of each other and were married on October 26, 2019. They have taken care of each other and served one another. They were able to rely on each other and live without loneliness or sorrow. They also enjoyed playing gin rummy and bridge together. Truly they were a wonderful gift to each other.

After many debilitating challenges due to Leon’s advancing years, his strong body and mind quickly deteriorated and within a few short days, Leon passed away on Sunday, August 21, 2022.

Leon lived a wonderful life. By his own admission he felt he didn’t miss a thing. He was active, faithful, devoted and committed to God, family, country, and service. His goodness and smile will never be forgotten. His contribution to many, especially his loved ones, has been great and he will be remembered in the eternities as one of the truly great men of our lives. We will miss you Dad, husband, brother, uncle, grandpa and great grandpa. Our love and admiration for you will endure long after our time on this earth.

The family would like to express sincere gratitude to Bristol Hospice and the wonderful friends who took care of dad. Special thanks to Jay, Trevor, Kelli and David. Thank you to Legacy Village: Jared, Sarah, Hunter, Jack and all of the staff. He always had kind words to say about all of you.

Thank you to Charlene’s children for all of your help and including him in your family. He loved the music that was always sung, played and shared.

Leon is survived by his wife Charlene and children: Randy (Carolee), David, Kimball, Julie (Brett) Burr, Jennifer (Bret) Swope. Siblings: Shirley Stevenson, Charles (Pat) Millet, Rena (Dwayne) Snow, Christene (Gary) Kirschbaum. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters and their spouses: Jeanne and Henry Adovnik, Marilyn and Gary Tang and brother-in-law Wayne Stevenson.

Funeral services will be held Friday, August 26, 2022 at 11:00 am at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street Orem, Utah. There will be a viewing prior to the service from 10:00-10:30 am.  Interment at the Provo City Cemetery.

Condolences for the family may be expressed on this page.

For those unable to attend the services can be viewed by clicking HERE

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Service Schedule

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Daytime Viewing

Friday, August 26, 2022

10:00 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary

495 S State St, Orem, UT 84058

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Funeral Service

Friday, August 26, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary

495 S State St, Orem, UT 84058

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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