Grace Cleora Wright Maxfield Bills
December 27, 1920 – April 7, 2019
Grace Cleora Wright Maxfield Bills, 98, passed away at her home in Paul, Idaho, on Sunday, April 7, 2019, after a brief illness. .
Cleora was born to parents Clarence Charles and Grace Phylinda Newell Wright on Dec. 27, 1920, at her family home in Lindon, Utah. Funeral services will be held 1:00 p.m. Saturday, April 13, 2019 at the Paul 1st Ward Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Viewing for family and friends will be held for one hour prior to the services at the church. Services will conclude with burial in the Paul Cemetery under the direction of Joel Heward Hansen Mortuary.
she grew up on the family fruit and dairy farm in Lindon, before marrying her childhood sweetheart, Merrill Ward Maxfield on Oct. 29, 1942, in the Manti LDS Temple. The couple lived in Maine during WWII, where eldest son Jae M was born. Upon returning to farm in Lindon, four more sons were born: Newell K, Ward M, Kim C and Gerald “Jerry” A. As an Army veteran, Merrill qualified for the Homestead draw, and the family moved near Paul, Idaho, to farm in 1958.
After Merrill passed away on Jan. 28, 1978, Cleora served an LDS mission in San Bernadino, Calif.
On Dec. 9, 1988, Cleora married Noel Bills in the Boise LDS Temple, and she welcomed his children, Lane, Mark and Irene, and their children into the family. Cleora and Noel enjoyed 17 years together, serving at the Family History Library and traveling, until Noel’s death on Aug. 16, 2006.
Cleora was a member of the Crestview Homemakers and was active in Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (Snake River Camp) serving as captain and many other positions. She loved to host family dinners, to garden in her flowerbeds, and to make quilts for family and various humanitarian efforts. She lived to serve others, and her family and many people in the community were recipients of her care, kindness and love.
Cleora loved her large family, which also included numerous nieces and nephews, and she was proud of all of them. She said the love and support they gave her made her happy.
We all marveled at Cleora’s high energy and enthusiasm, and she was asked several times for her “secret” to long life. Her response was always the same: stay active. Family members agree that her staying in touch with her family and friends, daily prayer, weekly temple work, focusing on others instead of herself, taking vitamin supplements, doing 60 squats a day standing at her kitchen sink, and using her treadmill clear until last Sunday were a big part of her “secret”, too.
Cleora was preceded in death by her parents; husbands Merrill and Noel; sons Newell, Ward and Kim; stepdaughter Irene Thiemig; granddaughters Leasa Maxfield and Tiffany Maxfield Bopp; a great-grandson; and her siblings: Ardath (Floyd) Wright Lewis; Grant (Beth) Wright; Newell Wright; and Ken (Joyce) Wright.
Cleora is survived by her sons Jae (Jan) Maxfield and Jerry (Robyn) Maxfield; daughters-in-law Joanne Maxfield and Judy Maxfield, stepdaughter Lane (Jack) Godfrey; and stepson Mark Bills; grandchildren: Laurie (Troy) Stevens; Clinton (Jaylene) Maxfield; Karen (Tony) Stevens; Jason (Dannielle) Maxfield; Clayton (Destinee) Maxfield; Anne (Adam) Tullis; Amanda (Ryan) Sittler; Brent (Rachel) Maxfield; Merrill “Mick” Maxfield; Spring Maxfield; Brooke Stamper; James (Susan) Schramm; Bob (Norma) Schramm; Julie (Roy) Stewart; Troy (Gena) Maxfield; Adam (Kate) Maxfield; Neal Maxfield; Layne (Melanie) Maxfield; Cherish (Mitch) Goodwin; Lynn (Ellen) Maxfield; Tim (Leah) Maxfield, Addie (Kory) Kelzer; Travis Godfrey; Ben (Letticia) Godfrey; Matt (Miranda) Godfrey; Rachel (Eli) Hansen; Jenny Thiemig-Hewitt; Justin Thiemig; Mike Thiemig and Jeff Thiemig.
In Cleora’s amazing blended family, she had 32 grandchildren, 88 great-grandchildren and the great-great generation has already begun. In son Jerry’s words: “In what took us hours to get this total, Mom could have told us in a few minutes.” She kept track of them all and loved every one of them.
Cleora said she was grateful for the Lord’s Plan of Salvation, for happiness, and for the guide and comfort the Church has been for her.
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