Afton Thornton Werner quietly passed away at the age of 94 on January 23, 2012 in Bountiful, Utah. Afton, the youngest of 14 children, was born in Parowan, Utah, November 4, 1917 to William Uriah and Adalinda Orton Thornton. Afton enjoyed growing up in a large, loving family where she learned to work hard and have fun. She attended school in Parowan and graduated in a class of 40, the largest graduating class to that date, from Parowan High in 1936. Several of her first grade classmates remained close friends throughout her life. She played the clarinet, was active in school government and was editor of the high school newspaper. She received a scholarship to and graduated from Excelsis Beauty College in Salt Lake City where she lived in the historic Beehive House.
Upon graduation from high school she went to Las Vegas to work, where she met Theodore (Ted) Werner, a handsome young man from Minnesota. They were married December 17, 1937 in Parowan. Ted investigated and joined the LDS Church and they were later sealed in the St. George LDS Temple on November 18, 1941. In all they shared more than 60 years together. Ted and Afton made their home in Las Vegas and were blessed with three children. They lived for the next 30 years in Las Vegas, except for two years while they lived in Santa Monica, California.
Afton belonged to a horseback riding club and trained her own Arabian to ride in the Vegas Helldorado parades and the Grand Entries of the Helldorado rodeos. She initiated early morning rides with their children out into the desert and on occasion Ted would be there waiting with a sourdough pancake breakfast. Ted and Afton were members of the Civil Air Patrol. Ted developed a successful business on North Main Street in Las Vegas which included a car dealership, tire shop and apartments. Ted had been a licensed pilot for several years and encouraged Afton to do the same. Afton remembers soloing in the airplane as one of the big thrills of her life. Ted retired when their property in downtown Las Vegas was acquired to make room for I-15.
They moved to Bountiful in 1967 to be close to family. During his retirement years he worked during summer months for the Yellowstone Park Company driving bus tours through Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Afton also worked as a travel agent during summer months at Grand Teton Lodge. They loved to travel in their motor home and were avid readers. Afton would read as Ted would drive the motor home.
Afton was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her testimony of the gospel has guided her life. She served in many callings including Primary teacher, Relief Society president, and loved being a visiting teacher. She sang with the Las Vegas Stake singing mothers and served as a Stake Missionary for over three years. Ted and Afton were ordinance workers in the St. George Temple and served a mission together in Independence, Missouri. Afton was also a temple worker in the Bountiful Temple after Ted’s death.
Afton was a dedicated genealogist and was instrumental in obtaining life histories from family members resulting in a treasured family history book of nearly 1000 pages with 200 photographs! In doing so Ted and Afton would often travel to one of Afton’s relatives to obtain their family and personal history. They also loved to travel abroad and their trip to Israel was one of the most memorable.
Ted passed away in Bountiful on March 18, 1998; and their son Bryant passed away on October 9, 2010. Afton is survived by one living sister, Harriett T. (Charles E.) Hicks, (Las Vegas, Nevada); her daughters Harriet Louise (Ray) Westergard (Bountiful, UT); Afton Linda (Mel) Pollard (Salt Lake City) and 20 grandchildren, 56 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.
Afton’s family would like to thank the staff at the Inn on Barton Creek and the South Davis Hospice for their loving care of our mother.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 2 p.m. at the Bountiful 26th Ward, 200 North 200 West in Bountiful, Utah. Friends may visit with the family on Friday, February 3 from 6-8 p.m. at Russon Brothers Mortuary 295 North Main Street and one hour prior to the services at the chapel. Interment will be at the Bountiful City Cemetery, 2200 south on 200 west.
Online condolences may be shared at www.russonmortuary.com