Julia (Julie) Raylene Mills Swank (71) peacefully returned home to the Lord on Feb 19, 2015. She was born to John (Jack) and Leola Mills in Ogden Utah on March 22.1943 She is preceded in death by her parents Jack and Leola, her sister Florence, and her son Jason. She is survived by her daughters Teri Fontes and Jaime Tuck, brother Bill and wife Judy Mills, sister Lee and husband Jerry Jensen, Grandchildren Angelina, Kimberly, Amanda, Zachary, McKenzie, step-grandchildren Cory and Ryan, great grandchild Cameron, several nieces and nephews, her good friends Mike and Ernest as well as her dog Buddy and one very overweight cat.
Julie was married 3 times. Her first marriage was to Brent Devitt of American Fork . They had one daughter, Teri Lyn. Her second marriage was to Dale W Smith of Lehi. They had 2 children together, Jaime Lee (daughter) and Jason Dale (son). Her 3rd marriage was to Donald Swank. They had no biological children together.
Don, Julie and the 3 children relocated to San Diego, CA in 1972. They remained there until 1982 when they relocated to Tucson, AZ. Julie and Don divorced in 1996. She remained in Tucson with her boyfriend Mike until 2005 when she returned to American Fork in order to care for her mother whose health was failing.
Julie was a Hairdresser by trade, but had many other interests and talents. She was an expert barrel racer in her 20's. As a child she was known for "borrowing" horses at night and riding them before returning them to their home by sunrise. She could train a dog like no-one's business. She enjoyed drawing, oil painting, fishing, laughing and making fun. She coached her kid's little league teams and could sew up a prom dress from a picture her daughter had drawn. She loved the ocean, sunshine, sunsets, and football. She often looked for pretty rocks on the ground, especially if she had a child in tow. She connected with children in her own magical childlike way, giving them a small glimpse of whats God's love looked like.
Whether being described as the "really nice lady", or the "crazy lady", anyone who met Julie would be left with a lasting impression of her kindness and memorable "vibrancy".
Julie had an amazing ability to care about all living things. Whether it was a dead houseplant she plucked out of the garbage can at the grocery store, an orphaned animal of any sort, or her children's broken hearts....anything or anyone who was hurting, Julie provided genuine tender loving care that healed and gave life. We will especially remember her talking to her plants as she revived them back to life.
Julie was kind above all and did not have a pretentious bone in her body. She taught the value of precious things, the things that could not be bought. Although never financially wealthy, she taught what it means to be truly "rich". A priceless lesson not many people embrace. She never elevated herself above or put herself below others. To her, we are all the same. She never used her interactions with others to build herself up, rather, no-one ever left her presence feeling small or insignificant in any way. People never felt lonely in her presence. Her entire attitude exuded respect and a desire for the other person (family, friend or stranger) to enjoy life and feel good about themselves. No matter what your circumstance, she always made you feel nice inside.
Julie planted seeds of faith in her children that have carried them through life. She lived out the commandment to love God and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39). She was an example of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 and 1 Corinthians 16:14. She told us of the gift of Jesus Christ (John 3:16-18) . She taught us that everything always looked better in the morning when the sun came up. We learned what that meant. When we look for the Son to rise on our day, everything really is better.
The world should have more "Julie's". It would be a better place.
A celebration of Julie's life will be held Saturday February 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm
LDS 18th ward 381 South 300 East American Fork.
In lieu of flowers, please give a stranger a smile and spend time with those you love
Grief never ends,...but it changes. Its a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith... it is the price of Love.
Subscribe to receive future obituary notices. Click the RSS Feed button below
American Fork Chapel
49 East 100 North
American Fork, UT 84003
Lone Peak Chapel
6141 West 11000 North
Highland, UT 84003