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Tonya Livingston Gillies, 80, passed away in her sleep Sunday morning, October 14th, at home in Lindon, Utah after a 19-year battle with Parkinson's Disease. She was born on February 15th, 1938 in Springville, Utah to Burnell and Lenor Thorn Livingston. In her early childhood, she lived in Spanish Fork and Springville, graduating from Springville High School in 1956, where she served as Student Body Secretary and as a Red Devil cheerleader. After high school, while waiting for the return of her missionary sweetheart, she moved to Salt Lake City and was employed as the secretary for the Landscape Architect of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She married Roger Gillies on January 7th, 1959. The marriage was performed in the Salt Lake Temple by Apostle Harold B. Lee. Following the wedding, they honeymooned in Southern California and decided to make it their home.
Tonya interviewed for a secretarial position and was hired by the International Electronic Research Corporation in Burbank, California. Her husband began his career in merchandise marketing and management which took the family to various locations in California, Utah, South Dakota, and eventually back to Utah to open and operate a family business. Later she would teach kindergarten at American Heritage School before opening and operating her own preschool which she named the "Wee Learning Center." Many of her students and their parents remember her with fondness. She also taught cake decorating and created many wedding cakes for family and friends.
As a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, she served faithfully in various callings including Relief Society President. Her favorite calling was Primary Chorister. For many years she was an ordinance worker in the Provo and Mount Timpanogos Temples.
Tonya is survived by her husband: Roger Gillies; her 7 children: Cary Gillies (Tracey) of Lake Elsinore, CA; Jeff Gillies (Joanne) of Temecula, CA; Todd Gillies (Carmen) of North Salt Lake; Alison Spencer (Lynn) of Salem; Bradley Gillies (Michelle) of American Fork; Donovan Gillies of Hyrum; and Celeste Durham (Ronald) of Hyrum; 25 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; 2 brothers: Ronald Livingston of Orem, and Blaine Livingston of Tooele. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Lynette Wheeler.
Family and friends may attend an evening viewing Thursday, October 18, 2018 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Olpin Family Mortuary, 494 South 300 East, Pleasant Grove. Funeral services will be held Friday morning, October 19, 2018 at 10 a.m. in the Lindon Central Stake building, 56 East 600 North, Lindon, Utah with a viewing from 9:00 – 9:45 a.m. prior to the services. Interment will be in the Salem City Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com.