Dorene Mae Collett Sudweeks, 83, passed away July 21, 2021 in Layton. She leaves behind a large family and many friends who are blessed by her kind heart, resourcefulness, creativity, and serving spirit.
Born January 10, 1938 in Twin Falls, Idaho to Ralph and Irene Eliason Collett, she grew up a farm girl, learning the importance of family and the value of hard work. At age six her family moved to Grand View, Idaho. As the big sister to five brothers and a sister she was a natural care giver and teacher. She enjoyed and excelled at school and learned to do everything she set her mind to. She was the valedictorian of her high school class and matriculated to the College of Idaho for two years, then finished her studies at Utah State University earning her BS and teaching certificate in Secondary Education. She often told amusing stories of her childhood and shared adventures of putting herself through college. As a junior at the university she met her future husband, Max Sudweeks. A year later, the day before their graduation from USU, they married on June 3, 1960, in the Logan Temple. Dorene taught middle school science until they started their family.
Over the next 20 years they welcomed nine children: Jed, Karen, Ruth, Earlene, Susan, William, Marie, Nanette, and David; and lived in 6 states, involving multiple cross country moves. During those years Dorene assisted Max as he received his PhD and advanced his career. They lived for several years in Georgia, and then eventually settled in East Texas. Dorene never slowed down, running a preschool and home daycare for decades. After her youngest entered school, Dorene was hired on the spot as a personnel manager for a major retailer where she worked for several years. Before retirement, she went back to her classroom roots, this time teaching GED prep and life skills to inmates. She never shied away from difficult or tiring tasks and welcomed a challenge. For her, a challenge brought an opportunity to learn something new.
If Dorene didn’t know how to do something, she figured it out. She passed on her natural curiosity and ingenuity to her children who are capable and thrive today in many successful careers.
Dorene always shared her talents. She could whip up a delicious banquet as easily as she could write a poem or create a stunning formal dress from a few yards of fabric and a girl’s imagination. Dorene enjoyed cooking and represented the state of Georgia in the National Chicken Cooking Contest in 1975. She secured the Georgia State Championship with a savory fried chicken recipe that she “just thought up one day.” She competed at the national competition with the whole family to cheer her on in matching outfits she designed and sewed. She handcrafted exquisite quilts, re-upholstered furniture, and helped with quite a few science fair projects. She was an extraordinary homemaker and hostess who made everyone feel welcome, including international guests and out of state students who couldn’t travel home for the holidays.
Max and Dorene gave their all to raise their growing family, and enjoyed traveling coast to coast as their legacy increased. The family includes 37 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
They were married for 56 years before Max passed away in 2016.
In their retirement years the couple moved to Southern Utah and enjoyed working in the Saint George Temple and Family History Center before health complications became too limiting.
They moved to Layton to be nearer to their daughters. Dorene continued to enjoy serving in her ward, sewing, and creating beautiful quilts. She raised Eagle Scouts, teachers, scientists, scholars, business owners, artists and musicians. Her legacy of service, kindness, and creativity will continue to bless her family and all who knew her.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. in the Circleville 2nd Ward Chapel. The family is welcoming guests prior to the service on Saturday from 11:00 am to 12:30 p.m. at the chapel. Interment will be in the Kingston City Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com .