Neola Peterson Miles was born in Payson, Utah on 15 October 1930 to Velma Harris and Linden Woodruff Peterson. She was their second of three daughters, and was followed by one son. When Neola was a year old, the family moved to Boulder, Nevada where Linden worked on the construction of Hoover Dam until its completion. In 1936, the family moved to San Bernardino, California.
In 1941 her father found work in Fallbrook, in San Diego County, California, where Linden worked at what soon became Camp Pendleton. They were the only LDS family. Under the directions of the stake president, meetings were held in their home until there were enough church members to organize a small branch. Following graduating from high school, where she was active on the yearbook staff and as student body secretary, Neola studied home economics and education at BYU. There she met Dale Miles, who won her over with his beautiful tenor voice. Her roommate was his accompanist. Their backyards adjoined his, and the girls could hear Dale and his roommate trying to out-sing each other in the shower.
Dale had served in the army of occupation in Germany following World War II, and served a mission in New England, half the time without purse or scrip. They were married on 19 Dec 1952 in the Saint George Temple. They lived in Ogden the next 5 months so Neola could complete her first year of teaching home economics at South Ogden Junior High.
Dale transferred to Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, California where he studied agriculture and later worked for the Department of Agriculture. The family moved considerably. Their daughter Lanell was born while at Cal Poly, then Blake and Clark were born in Oakland, California, and Kevin was born while Dale was teaching Agriculture at San Fernando High School. Neola served for twenty-five years in various Relief Society presidencies in wards, branches and stakes, during which time she used her homemaking and sewing skills serving her family.
In 1967 the family had a wonderful four-month adventure when Dale was sent to New York for training. They traveled and lived in a 19-foot trailer. Neola organized trips to Church and other historical sites and parks as they drove to and from, and around their New Jersey trailer park.
Dale was assigned to work in U. S. Customs at Calexico, California on the U.S. side of the Mexican border, across from Mexicali. While there, in the Imperial Valley, Neola taught elementary school for twenty years. Her 4 children all graduated from high school and served missions from there. Much of that time they attended Church in a bilingual branch in Calexico.
When Dale and Neola retired, they served a full-time mission in the city of Morelia, Mexico, afterwards taking a trip to Europe where they visited ancestral areas in Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. While still in California, Dale was instrumental in setting up a Stake Family History Center. They moved to Orem in in 1988 where they were consultants in the Family History Center. They moved to Linden, Utah in 1996, serving as directors of the Stake Family History Center. In late 2016 they moved to Cove Point Retirement Community in Provo, where she passed away peacefully on May 20, 2020.
Neola and Dale have been avid family history researchers, writers, and record keepers. Together they published several books, and shared many stories with their posterity and extended family. Neola had a bright intellect, and a keen memory. She was a capable computer and Internet user, spending much of that time keeping a diary and following her grandchildren on Facebook, and Messenger, and responding to their postings and delighting in the photos and videos of her great grandchildren. On the day of her passing her grandchildren shared their memories on Facebook of RV camping with their grandparents, and going to their house to be loved and spoiled and to find treats such as frozen cookies, ice cream and root beer, and cans of stew.
Neola is survived by her husband Dale, her sister Norine Garrett, and her children Lanell (Kerry) Reeder, Blake (Alma) Miles, Clark Miles, and Kevin (Brenda Miles), 14 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren. We wish to thank the loving and capable staff at Cove Point Retirement for their dedicated care and service for Dale and Neola.
There will be a small family service Saturday, May 23, 2020 at Olpin Family Mortuary, 494 South 300 East, Pleasant Grove, Utah. Interment will take place in the Provo Cemetery, on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 12 noon. Neola loved to visit and decorate graves on Memorial Day for her many ancestors buried there, and it will be beautiful.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com.
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