Mary Janice Simkins Milne

1934 ~ 2023

Our sweet mother, grandmother, great grandmother and sister, Mary Janice Simkins Milne, departed this mortal life after almost 90 years of a life of love and service.

She was born June 1, 1934, in Cedar City, Utah to Vergene and Grace Simkins and was the second of five siblings.

Mom graduated from Cedar City High School and worked summers in Zions Canyon. She loved being part of theatrical performances there as well.

She attend the University of Utah where she was an Orchesis Dance member, sorority member, and a candidate for homecoming queen.
Mom met the love of her life, Richard K. Milne, in a required-to-graduate dance class. She had eagerly signed up as a freshman while dad had postponed it to his senior year. She spied him standing off in the corner and with a smile and the verbal invitation “Come on!” she got him out onto the dance floor with her.

Dad disliked dancing but loved baseball and was drafted by the New York Yankees organization; he left it to come back and marry mom in the Salt Lake Temple April 1, 1955.

Mom and dad were loving, loyal and supportive of each other and were always solicitous for the welfare of one another and of their posterity. When dad became ill, mom insisted on caring for him around the clock, for many years, even though she was in constant pain and frail herself.

Mom was dad’s biggest supporter throughout his life and attended all the athletic events he was involved in, which are too many to mention but include his Salt Lake Bees games, Metro league fast pitch games, All Church tournament ball games, and all the East High School basketball games that he coached for 25 years. When asked about one of dad’s upcoming games, she jokingly responded that she had already seen it.

Mom and dad loved the Lord Jesus Christ and as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they served in numerous capacities in their ward, including 7 years as a Bishop and Bishop’s wife to a ward of 800 members. They loved serving in the Salt Lake Temple as ordinance workers for many years and mom also served as an assistant to the temple matron. They went to Little Rock, Arkansas on a Church Educational Service mission, where they sought out the youth and lovingly served them. Their many good examples and positive effects they have had on us and on all those in their spheres of influence cannot be measured.

Mom and dad were wonderful examples to our family of charity, patience, faithfulness, trust in the Lord, humility, hope, gratitude and good cheer.

Mom is survived by her children: Kathy (Rob-deceased) Smith, Doug (Susan) Milne, David (Aud) Milne and her son-in-law Arthur Souverein; her siblings: Shirley (Jerry) Miller, sister-in law Shanna Simkins, Jeannie (Wally) Boggess, Gary (Diana) Simkins and their families. She was preceded in death by her husband Richard K. Milne, daughter Joni Souverein, son-in-law Robert C. Smith, and her brother Michael Simkins.

Funeral services will be 12 noon, Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at the Foothill 6th Ward, 2215 E. Roosevelt Avenue (1450 So.). Friends may call Tuesday morning at Foothill 6th Ward from 10:30 am to 11:30 a.m. prior to services at the church.

To view the recording of the service please click here:


Oh how I loved both your parents! Your mother was always so kind and welcoming whenever I visited your home as a youth. I remember her beautiful smile and wonderful sense of humor! Prayers and love to your family. (Miss you Kathy! Hugs!)

- Lori Shaffer

Your husband was my
Physical Education teacher
At Hillside Junior H.S. In
1958 or 1959..I was in 8th
Grade..I remember him
we’ll….He had that aura
and dignity about him.
You married the right
Sincerely, Kenneth Pace

Blessings to your fine family

- Kenneth Pace

We loved Elder and Sister Milne when they served as CES missionaries here in Little Rock, Ar. Their love and encouragement helped so many young people. Our (now) son-in-law was making tentative steps back to church activity when the Milnes took him under their wing & helped him see the joy that comes through living the gospel. How grateful we are for their service We love them!!

- Jeanie Pierson