5/30/1949 ~ 7/12/2023
Tess Gardner Fenton Rawlinson, 74, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, surrounded by her loving family in Provo, Utah. She was born to Gloria Butler Gardner and Patrick H. Fenton on May 30, 1949, in Salt Lake City. She was the loving oldest sister to two siblings. Tess enjoyed close relationships with her grandparents as a child and into her adulthood.
Tess graduated from Cedar High School, where she was a drum majorette, a member of glee club, and an excellent student. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s degree in History. She paid her way through college by waiting tables in the summers. Tess enjoyed skiing and dancing throughout her college career. She was accepted into the J. Reuben Clark Law School; however, she chose not to attend in order to prioritize building a family.
Tess married Lewis Earl Rawlinson on September 1, 1971. They were sealed for time and all eternity in the Manti Temple, where Tess loved to return often. Together they embarked on many adventures, both planned and unplanned. They welcomed five children to their family over the next thirteen years. They eventually settled their family in Delta, UT. Their life together centered on their family, learning, love, music, and the gospel. Many of their adventures came in the form of family vacations, which Tess was very good at planning. She made every holiday special for each member of the family consistently throughout the years, no matter how big the family grew. She somehow managed to love each person “the most.”
Tess was a fierce advocate for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She supported every one of them through all their endeavors, always remembering and honoring important occasions. She never held still and was often the only person with enough energy to keep up with the little ones in the family. She had an uncanny ability to call Lewis to ask when he was coming home just as he pulled into the driveway. She showed loving devotion to her parents throughout her life.
Tess enjoyed many callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Some of her favorite callings were serving in the Young Women’s Program, teaching Primary children, and researching genealogy. Recently, she was recognized by The Church as being in the top one percent of volunteer genealogy indexers in the world. Throughout her life, she was a phenomenal family historian with an unparalleled ability to keep track of expansive family lines and recount detailed stories about each ancestor from memory.
Tess worked many jobs in her lifetime in addition to her work at home and in the community. Wherever she worked, she kept everyone honest and laughing, making many cherished friends along the way. She completed several years of service for the Utah Department of Human Services and retired in 2012. She also made many dear friends at rook club, bowling, swimming, and other community activities.
Alongside her husband, Tess served two missions for The Church: a full-time mission at Cove Fort, UT and a part-time mission at The Records Operation Center: FamilySearch Division in St. George, UT. They also served as temple workers in the Manti Temple. Tess thrived when she was serving others, and she was a compassionate force for good in every community in which she lived. She built a legacy of love, generosity, and service.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Patrick R. Fenton. She is survived by her husband, Lewis Earl Rawlinson, Fairview, UT; her sister, Ann (Larry) Banks, Spanish Fork, UT; her children: Sean (Shauna) Rawlinson, Fairview, UT; Troy Rawlinson, St. George, UT; Ember (Jason) Weber, St. George, UT; Megan (Quinn) Davis, Kingman, AZ; and Rachel (Daniel) Ethington, Des Moines, IA. She is also survived by 22 grandchildren, seven grandkids-in-law, and ten great-grandchildren, with three more on the way.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 20, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. in the Fairview 2nd Ward (Rock Church, 131 E 100 N) with a viewing from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. prior to service at the church. Interment will be held in the Delta City Cemetery at approximately 2:30 p.m.