June 8, 1940 – June 16, 2018
Mella had the unique experience of being born on June 8, 1940 in Vernal, to Fred Elmer Weeks and Avis Olive Edwards on her parents wedding date. This really intrigued her until she was a little older and realized that she had an older sister Carma and that her parents had really been married for several years.
Mella always had a strong love for the gospel and strove very hard to be the best that she could be. This love shaped her life from her early youth influencing her decisions, family, friends, and many people that got to know her throughout her life. She attended Uintah High School where she was involved in many clubs and activities. She attended Utah State University on a full scholarship and graduated with a degree in Home Economics and Secondary Education. She was very involved in the FHA and 4-H programs and won multiple national trips representing Utah. She helped many live a higher standard because of her everyday example. Not the least of these was Dan Bedell from Colorado, whom she met while working for the U.S. Forest Service. He was a little rough around the edges, but something told her he was worth it. He joined the church and she challenged him to go on a mission, and his reply was “OK but only if you go too.” Thus they did. She served in California where she loved the people and excelled as a hard worker and leader. Dan served in Uruguay for 2 ½ years. They married a couple years following his return on December 16, 1966 in the Salt Lake City, Utah LDS Temple. Mella taught home economics in several school systems and worked with Utah Power & Light as a home economist and had the honor of introducing the first microwave ovens to the state of Utah. Dan and Mella have been married 51 years, with four children, ten grandchildren and are anticipating their first great granddaughter next month. Mella and Dan recently served as missionaries in the Salt Lake City Mission, as their concluding mission and loved it!!
In addition to Mella’s strong passion for missionary work, she also served as a temple worker, a youth Sunday School Teacher, as a Relief Society President, Young Womens President, and Primary President as well as many other callings in the LDS church. She had a great love of family, writing family history, quilting and sewing, music (she played in several groups and was on the USU marching band and in the Salt Lake Accordion Club), photography and dancing. As a child, her father once said that she wore out their carpet dancing. Mella published numerous articles in the LDS Church’s Children’s Friend Magazine, authored the book “Sweet Surprises for the Holidays” along with her daughter Alisa and created many original sewing and craft patterns. She was extremely creative and talented in many areas. She was active in community service and was also a longtime member of the Daughter of the Utah Pioneers.
As a family, we love and appreciate her character and values. The children and grandchildren loved to go with her to Deseret Industries and thrift stores to find treasures. Often she was tagged as “The Fun Grammy” by the grand kids because of her many games, and generosity in teaching them how to do things, to be creative, and having the freedom to be children knowing that they were loved. We especially as a family loved her amazing holiday and family parties. Learning to laugh at yourself and not take life too serious as well as not to be a time waster were important lessons that she taught. The granddaughters especially enjoyed their special talks and thought she was real cool.
Mella liked to travel and visit other cultures (which she was blessed to do with Dan late in his career), easily making new friends from around the world and across all demographic levels from the well-known and successful to the poorest African villager sitting on the ground weaving useful things out of strands from bags. The little African lady felt important like a queen showing Mella how she was weaving because Mella demonstrated to her that she had indeed understood language barrier and replicating what she was doing as an equal. No guile.
Challenges and fears were also part of Mella’s life. She had always been afraid of water which was compounded when she was tossed in a canal by a teenage boy and almost drowned. She has had to come face to face with other challenges as she walked through the valley shadows of pain and loss when her left hand was amputated in the autumn of her life. Despite this being a very difficult trial she persevered and did her best to live life fully. She was an example to all of us! Thank you, we love you and will never give up trying to do and live better.
Mella’s father and mother, Fred and Avis Weeks, and daughter Mikki Bedell and her son McKay Gibson all preceded her in death. Mella is survived by her husband Daniel Clayton Bedell, daughter Alisa Bangerter (Tim), son Ren Bedell (Lynette), and daughter Cindy Hooper (George) and nine grandchildren. She is also survived by her siblings Carma Davis, Fred Weeks and Mervin Weeks.
Mella passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on June 16, 2018 in Salt Lake City. The family holds a deep respect and thankfulness for the wonderful care given to Mella by Intermountain Heart Clinic, the University of Utah ICU, as well as the immediate response team of the Davis County Fire and the Air Med Transport teams.
To know Mella was to love Mella. She will be deeply missed in our homes, community, church and family. Her legacy to us was her love and unwavering testimony of the Gospel.
A viewing will be held at Russon Mortuary 295 N. Main Bountiful, Thursday evening June 21, 2018 from 6 to 8 p.m. and at 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 22, 2018 at the Centerville Stake Center LDS Chapel, 970 Main Street, Centerville,. The funeral service will be Friday 11 a.m. at the Centerville Stake Center LDS Chapel. For additional details go to www.russonmortuary.com. Interment will be at the Centerville City Cemetery located at 700 E. 400 South Centerville following the funeral services.