Nelma Tolman Irvine

April 14, 1922 ~ October 29, 2020

Nelma Tolman Irvine was born April 14, 1922, in Rigby, Idaho, to Justin and Alice Ashdown Tolman. She died on October 29, 2020, at age 98. Raised in Salt Lake City, Nelma graduated from South High School and the University of Utah. She later received her Master's and Teaching Specialist degrees from Brigham Young University. She served two L.D.S. missions—first in the Northern States Mission, in Chicago, and later, with her husband in Mexico City.
Nelma married Arnold Irvine in the Salt Lake Temple, on March 28, 1946. She was a loving wife and amazing mother to Rosemary (Joseph) Appel of Chino, California; Judith (Michael) Nelson of Murray, Utah; Mark (Maryann Luke) of Cove, Utah; and Jay (Robin Brinkerhoff) of Longview, Washington.
She loved teaching and taught Home Economics in Davis County schools for many years. Later she taught at B.Y.U., where she also supervised student teachers. She served faithfully in her church, in many capacities. While serving as a stake camp director, she proposed building a girls’ camp in the Uintah Mountains and worked with others to make her vision a reality. Her special project, Camp Piuta, has blessed the lives of young women and their leaders for many years.
Nelma created lovely homes and made close friends everywhere she lived—from Bountiful (Val Verda) to Draper and Lewiston in Utah, then in Sun City, California, and finally in downtown Salt Lake City. She spent her final years in the loving care of Mark and Maryann in the peace and quiet of Cove.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her sister Dorothy Reeve, and her brothers, Ray and J. Keith Tolman. She is survived by her children, 18 grandchildren, and 43 great-grandchildren.
A graveside service for close family members will be held on Friday, November 6. We will gather in the summer (we hope under better conditions) to honor Nelma and celebrate her remarkable life.


Dear Irvine Family, Your mother was a shining light in the Canyon Road Ward for many years! We love her and have missed her. I'm grateful to hear of her peaceful passing. We know she is very happy to be home with your father and our Savior and Heavenly Parents. Kind regards, Jeri Burr

- Jeri Burr
Nelma was a very special person. We loved and appreciated her so much during the years we lived in Canyon Road Towers. She touched many lives with her unselfish service.

- Lavon & Marianne Day
Our condolences to Nelma's family and friends. She was proud of her pioneer ancestors. She was a member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, joining in 1989, 31 years!

- P. Carson
Rosemary and family, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. She was a really nice person.. Besides knowing her in our ward family I had her for several classes. I still think of her when I make jam. Your are lucky to have had her for all these years. I didn’t realize how truly remarkable she was. May you have many sweet memories. Love Kristie Wernli

- Kristie Wernli
Mrs. Irvine was my home economics teacher and I credit her for my skills in the kitchen and sewing. Over the years, I have thought about her a lot and wished I had been better about keeping all of her tried and true recipes we used because they were amazing. I had the great fortune of attending Camp Piuta and did not know it was her idea, hard work and vision that made it such a wonderful reality. Thanks Mrs. Irvine you were a wonderful teacher and have blessed my life in so many ways!!!

- Sharon Jensen
Dear Irvine family, Your mother was always so pleasant and kind whenever I had an interaction with her as a child, as a teenager at school, and later as an adult. She was such a calm, classy, talented lady. I like to think there might be a neighborhood reunion going on with all our Val Verda friends. Those were special days! Love to your family💕

- Merikay Warrick Haskins
Dear Irvine family, I was saddened to see the passing of Nelma. I worked with Nelma in the Teen Parent program. She was so kind and a joy to work with. She taught the Foods classes and I the Child Development and we had a wonderful working relationship. I valued her knowledge and help as she was a wonderful teacher. The students loved her. She was a wonderful friend to me. She will be missed.

- Celeste Giron
I student taught at South Davis Junior High under Mrs. Irvine. I remember that she was a great teacher and taught me a lot about teaching.

- LeeAnn Johnson