“Flow gently, Sweet Afton.” On February 19, 2013, our beloved mother passed along the river that takes everyone into the arms of our Heavenly Father.
Afton Leishman Nielsen England was born at home in Hyrum, Utah, March 15, 1920. She was blessed and named by her maternal grandfather, Thomas A. Leishman, at his home in Wellsville. The granddaughter of Danish, Norwegian, and Scottish pioneers who had the courage to cross seas and prairies, Afton was the second of seven children of Leo Conrad Nielsen and Margaret Marvilla Adamson Leishman. They raised her in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to which she was devoutly faithful all her life.
A musical and artistic person, Afton attended South Cache High School, where she played bass clarinet in the band. She went on to Utah State University, where she joined Kappa Delta and served as a Sponsor for the Aggie Band.
Afton married James Warren England in 1939, later sealed in Logan Temple in 1957. They raised four children in Bountiful. In the 1950s, Afton worked at the Bountiful Telephone Exchange as an operator; when it “went dial,” she trained as a medical assistant and became the “Lady in White” at South Davis Medical Center. For 35 years, she was known all over the South Davis area for painless injections, quick wit, and comforting advice.
True to her name “Afton,” which means “river to the sea,” she traveled the world with her family. Jim’s work took them to every state. She went to France with two other mothers to pick up her missionary son. With the South Davis Community Choir, she traveled to Israel, Egypt, and Greece.
Afton worked devotedly in the Primary and led the Junior Sunday School and Young Women’s programs in her ward. At 4 a.m. she would get up to work in the Salt Lake Temple and later the Bountiful Temple. She also served as Captain of the Mueller Park Camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.
Loved by all who knew her, admired for her amazing capacity for service to others, Afton passed peacefully away just short of her 93rd birthday. She was preceded in death by her husband Jim, son-in-law Jesse Manfull, and grandson McKay Manfull; her sister Twilla (Thomas) Merrell, brothers Wesley (Lisa) Nielsen and DeLoy (Isabel) Nielsen. Surviving are her children Barbara Manfull, Robert (Carol) England, Breck (Valerie) England, and Jeffrey (Susan) England; 16 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren; her sisters Lelia Albretsen, Colleen (Gerald) Wallace, and brother Joy (Vonda) Nielsen.
Thanks to the fine staff at Heritage Place and Inspiration Hospice for their kindness to our mom.
Viewing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 22, at Russon Brothers Bountiful Mortuary, 295 North Main, and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, February 23, at the Bountiful 21st Ward, 115 Wicker Lane, Bountiful. The funeral will follow at 11 a.m. at the church. Interment at Bountiful Cemetery.
Online guest book at www.russonmortuary.com.