Glenell “Nelly” Whatcott Gadd, loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, passed away on Tuesday, October 4th, following an extended illness. She was 80 years old.
Nelly was born on July 15, 1942, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Bessie Glen Garrison and Henry Lavell Whatcott. The second of seven children, and the oldest daughter, Nelly always spoke fondly about growing up in the East Millcreek area and the fun times shared with her loving parents and siblings. She graduated from Olympus High School and received a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah.
During her time at the University of Utah, Nelly met John David Clayton Gadd at a university dance. Their first date was to the 1962 movie, “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” and they later began their own fairy tale when they were married for time and all eternity on September 5, 1963, in the Salt Lake Temple.
Throughout her life, Nelly had an interest in arts, crafts and gardening. She developed unique talents in a variety of areas, and it was common for friends, relatives and neighbors to seek her skills tying quilts, decorating cakes, addressing envelopes in calligraphy, or painting faces on miniature pumpkins.
But her ability to sew is what Nelly is best known for. A talented seamstress, Nelly was happiest when surrounded by the fabric, thread and patterns in her sewing room. She sought any opportunity to pursue her passion, whether it was sewing costumes for Halloween, uniforms for the high school cheerleading squad, outfits for her kids’ upcoming school year, wedding dresses for relatives, or last-minute adjustments and hems for neighbors.
Once her youngest child was old enough to attend school, Nelly found value in helping to support the family. She spent several years working at The Fabric Shop, a small sewing store in Salt Lake. The majority of her career, however, was spent as an office manager at local elementary and junior high schools.
Nelly loved the performing arts and always looked forward to attending plays, musicals or concerts with family and friends. She particularly enjoyed performances at Pioneer Theatre Company, Hale Center Theater, Desert Star Playhouse, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Conference Center, and most recently Centerpoint Legacy Theater. Of course, Nelly would never attend a performance (or any event for that matter) without a pocket full of her favorite must-have snack – Jelly Bellys.
An active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nelly had a strong testimony and love for her Savior, Jesus Christ. She held a number of leadership callings in the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary organizations. She and her husband John also served a five-year service mission at the Conference Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
Nelly is survived by her 4 children, John, Karen Howell (Bryan), Kathy Wilkinson (Jeff), Paul (Nicole), 10 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, dear family friend Gio, brother Gary, and sister Donna. She is preceded in death by her husband, John, parents Bessie and Lavell, sisters JoAnn and Ginny, and brothers Louis and Lynn.
The family expresses their appreciation for the many doctors, nurses and medical staff who have contributed to Nelly’s well-being for the past several years. Special thanks go to the staff at Utah Home Health & Hospice, and Creekside Senior Living, for the care they provided Nelly during the last few weeks of her life.
Visitation for family and friends will be held on Sunday, October 9, 2022, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. Funeral services will be held Monday, October 10, 2022, at 11 a.m. at the Bountiful Park Ward, 990 North 100 West, Bountiful, Utah. A second visitation will be held prior to Monday’s funeral services from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. For those unable to attend, services will be streamed via Zoom and can be accessed by clicking on the "Watch Services" link above. A Zoom account is required to view. Interment will be at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.
John and family:
My sincerest condolences to you and your family. May the memories you have last forever in your heart and soul. God bless you all.
We both send our deepest condolences. Nelly was the brightest light and brilliant sparkle in our family for sure. We are so grateful for her presence in our world and the mark she left our our hearts. We will both forever cherish the fond memories, the giggles and just her wonderful presence.
Sending all of you our love and surrounding you in light during this emotional time. The world was certainly a better place because Nelly was in it. She will be deeply missed.
Gaddy, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I didn't know your mom as well as I should have. She was a bit intimidating but always kind to me. Except for that one time when i didn't go to the movies with you and went with Morgo instead. But I deserved that. Anyway, she raised great kids and a helluva good guy. If there is anything I can do for you please hit me up. Love you brother.
We knew Nelly as young people. John's parents lived in our ward and after they were married John and Nelly lived in the same ward (Forest Dale Ward) in Sugarhouse until about the same time as his parents, Mac and Edna, moved out and into the Yalecrest Ward where they lived the rest of their lives. We didn't see John or Nelly after this often but they were so always so gracious and entertaining to younger ones. We express our deepest condolences to the children and grandchildren who have lost their mother and grandmother. What a wonderful person she was!
For my family, the Oscar Hendriksen Family
I am so sorry for your loss. I know the sadnesses your are feeling at this time. Nelly was my favorite Young Women's president and such a sweet, amazing person. I loved her gentle, loving presence and have such fond memories of her. Your whole family had such a positive influence on my life. Nelly will be greatly missed, but I know she and John are together again which I'm sure was an amazing reunion. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I love all you all so much. My teen years are tied to the Custard Stand and the fun, loving Gadd family. You are all amazing people because of your amazing parents. May the Lord bless you with peace during this time.
It is so great to see this picture of Aunt Nellie, as I remember her for so many years of my life. I have wonderful memories of Aunt Nellie and the entire Gadd family, who were so close as aunt/uncle and cousins. In addition to regularly getting together with Nellie and the Gadds for family events, I have fond memories of briefly working with Nellie at Wasatch Middle School. I was a long-term substitute, just after graduating with my teaching certificate and it was great to have Aunt Nellie as an advocate during my semester at Wasatch Middle School. I will always remember how positive, enthusiastic and easy to talk to Aunt Nellie was. We will miss her.