Oct 302013

LaVelle Gibbons Whiting DeSpain, 92, returned home to Heavenly Father on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, peacefully in her sleep with loved ones surrounding her bedside in Mesa. The public viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, at Burnham Funeral Home in St Johns. Family viewing will be from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the St. Johns Downtown LDS Chapel in the Relief Society Room, followed by the funeral service at 2:30 p.m. at the Downtown Chapel. Graveside services will follow at St. Johns Cemetery.
LaVelle was born July 1, 1921, in Woodruff to her loving parents, Marion and Mary Gibbons, the fourth of seven children.
After graduating from St. Johns High School, LaVelle continued her education and became a beautician. She loved serving others and helping with her beauty talents. This extended beyond her clients to her children and grandkids, as she enjoyed teaching pride in your appearance and looking your best. LaVelle was rarely seen without her hair done and her makeup on.
LaVelle married the love of her life, Virgil Burr Whiting, in the Mesa Temple on March 5, 1941. She talked often about the love and fun she and Virgil had together as if it was a true-life fairytale story. Together they had five children.
Virgil was killed in a tragic plane accident at a young age and LaVelle lost her youngest child shortly after.
LaVelle did her best to raise the four children on her own. However, several years later, she met and married the second love of her life, Melvin DeSpain. They supported and loved each throughout their lives.
She loved her family, and was a devoted mother and wife. She was fun loving and kindhearted to anyone she met. She loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and served in many capacities in the LDS church, such as relief society president and Sunday school teacher, and served a temple mission.
LaVelle was a devoted community member who served in various capacities in St. Johns, including leading a recovery self-help group for over 40 years.
This special lady will be missed and loved by many because of the way she lived her life as an example and follower of Christ. Those who have been blessed to have had her in their life are better for having known LaVelle Gibbons Whiting DeSpain.
She was preceded in death by siblings Helen Sullivan, Norma Johns, Max Gibbons and Marion Gibbons; husband Virgil Burr Whiting; and children Pam Benson, Ed Whiting and Joylynn Whiting.
Survivors include siblings Katy Lee, Jack Gibbons and Bob Gibbons; husband Melvin DeSpain; children Ken Whiting and Claudia Lowell; and 22 grandchildren, as well as great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.Despain Obit Pix