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Ava Beckstrand Stewart 1913 - 2006

Ava Beckstrand Stewart died 18 December 2006 from natural causes in her daughter's home in Orem. She was born 13 February 1913, the sixth child of Heber William and Mary Elizabeth Stewart Beckstrand. She attended schools in Meadow and Delta, UT and graduated from Millard County High School in 1931, then worked in Salt Lake City. She married Raymond Riggs Stewart on 13 November 1934 in the Salt Lake Temple. They lived in Pocatello, ID; Ogden, Salt Lake, American Fork, Provo, and Orem, UT.

In 1945, her husband, Ray, pioneered, designed and constructed Timp Haven Ski Resort (now known as Sundance) and she was responsible for Ava's Lunch Stand. They were honored by: Sundance with Ray and Ava Stewart Day and Ray's Lift/Run, University of Utah Ski Archives (as one of the founders of eight ski resorts that began in the 1940's in the Intermountain West), Intermountain Ski Areas Association for being Ski Pioneers in Utah, and KBYU video "Before Sundance" in the Utah Storybook series. She is quoted as saying: "We didn't make a lot of money, but we made a lot of friends."

Ava graduated from Utah Technical College of Practical Nursing in 1961 and worked for local doctors in Orem, until she retired. She enjoyed traveling in the US (including Hawaii), Canada, Mexico, Europe and Japan. She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in Relief Society, Young Women, Sunday School, and Primary. She served with her husband in the Manchester, England Mission and as a worker in the Provo Temple baptistery. She was a member of the Knittin' Club (since 1948), Dancing Friends, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Orem Women's Club and Yeshira Club (returned sister missionaries). She and Ray celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary. She has been a resident of the Seville Retirement Center in Orem.

Survivors include her children: Barbara Stewart Anderson (Dale), JoAnn Stewart Lewis (Ronald), R. Craig Stewart and Suzan Stewart Young (Michael). She is also survived by 15 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, and a sister, Dawn Beckstrand. She was preceded in death by her husband (who died in 1995), her parents, three brothers, and three sisters.

Ava was an outstanding wife and mother/grandmother to her children/grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews. She was a very optimistic lady and always looked for the best in everyone. She loved music, enjoyed writing "fun" poetry, and shared her love of the out-of-doors with her husband. We mourn her loss, but celebrate for those who are welcoming her home.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, 21 December 2006 at 10:00 a.m. at the Cascade Chapel at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem. Her viewing will be held Wednesday, 20 December 2006 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and also one hour prior to the services on Thursday. Interment will be in the Orem City Cemetery, 1520 North 800 East. Condolences may be sent to family www.sundbergolpinmortuary.com The family wishes to thank Hearts for Hospice for their support and loving care. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Perpetual Education Fund with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Deseret News December 19, 2006