May 28, 1936 - November 24, 2017
“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother” – Abraham Lincoln Vanessa Crawford Dunyon Nelson, age 81, passed away on November 24, 2017. Vanessa spent Thanksgiving Day cooking for family and friends followed by an evening playing games, then slipped peacefully away to reunite with Charles. She could not have chosen a better way to spend her last day on Earth. Vanessa was born in Sandy, Utah on May 28, 1936 to Margaret and Edwin Crawford. She was later adopted by and sealed to Joy Fitzgerald and Eileen Dunyon of Salt Lake City. Vanessa graduated from Jordan High School then went on to earn her bachelors’ degree in elementary education from BYU. She married the love of her life, Charles Richard Nelson in the Salt Lake Temple on December 16, 1960. Charles passed away in October of 1999. Vanessa missed him deeply and was anxious to see him again. Vanessa was a master educator. She taught elementary school for over fifty years and cried the day she retired. She had very high expectations for all of her students, and worked very hard to help them succeed. Her goal every school year was to write a personalized letter to each student outlining their strengths and helping them to see their potential. Vanessa was loved by her students. Vanessa received numerous teaching awards including the Jordan School District Teacher of the Year, the Huntsman Teacher Award, the Utah Teacher of the Year, and the Disney Teaching Award. Not only did Vanessa impact the lives of over 1,500 students, she also mentored hundreds of new teachers. Vanessa was also a very savvy businesswoman. Vanessa and Charles owned numerous apartment complexes, Draper Video and the Draper Historic Theater. After Charles passed away, Vanessa purchased the Red Bandana Pet Food Store in Draper. Even though Vanessa was a talented business owner, she always offered aid and compassion to partners who were just starting out and needed a hand up to get their businesses successfully running. Vanessa also loved to have fun. She and Charles owned a motor home and frequently took weekend trips. They also spent summer months traveling throughout the United States. As a family, they traveled to over twenty countries and five continents. Charles and Vanessa loved to play tennis. Their first home in Draper was known as the “Draper Country Club” because at all hours of the day, friends were in their backyard enjoying their swimming pool or playing a tennis match. Vanessa and Charles were the parents of two girls, Vicki Hone and Karen Wathen. They have five grandchildren, Joy Hone, Russel Hone, Kalena Peterson, Andrew Crosby, and Karmelle Dunn as well as one great granddaughter, Charlie Peterson. Vanessa is survived by her brother Dennis Dunyon, and sisters Joleen D. Barker, and Jan Gerhart Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at the Mountain Point Ward LDS Chapel located at 498 E. Hollow Creek Road (14085 South), Draper. Viewings will be held in the same location on Friday evening from 6:00-8:00 p.m. and also from 9:30-10:45 a.m. prior to the funeral. Interment will be in the Larkin Cemetery in Sandy, Utah. In lieu of flowers, at Vanessa's request, please make donations to the Draper Historic Theater.
“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother” – Abraham Lincoln Vanessa Crawford Dunyon Nelson, age 81, passed away on November 24, 2017. Vanessa spent Thanksgiving Day cooking for family and friends followed... View Obituary & Service Information
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