Nelva Fontela Mortensen Devlyn

August 24, 1918March 20, 2013

Nelva Devlyn passed away peacefully on March 20, 2013 with many of her family at her side. Nelva was born August 24, 1918 in Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico to Jesse W. and Clara Aldaz Mortensen. She was educated in Juarez and El Paso schools. She met her late husband Dr. Frank J. Devlyn in El Paso and they later both established the first optical in Northern Mexico in Cd. Juarez. Nelva later was able to receive her accreditation as one of the first optometrists of Mexico. In her fructiferous life Nelva Devlyn stood out as an outstanding professional woman of Mexico. Her greatest joy was her family; being a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was admired for her generosity, integrity, and great faith in her savior, Jesus Christ, and her membership in His church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in which she gave dedicated and loving service throughout her life. Living in Juarez allowed Nelva with her husband Frank Sr. to participate in civic organizations on both sides of the border. Nelva was the president of ladies auxiliaries such as the American Legion, Forty & Eight, V.F.W., Cooties and World War I Veterans. She participated with her husband in other organizations such as the Optimist Club of Juarez, Elks, Moose, Lions, etc. She was one of the founders of the Women’s Business and Professional Organization in Juarez, Mexico where she also served as their president. She received the honor of being Woman of the Year in Juarez by this Professional Woman’s Group and only 4 years ago at the age of 90 was recognized as the Senior Adult Woman of the year in an event with over one thousand in attendance to hear an outstanding talk that she gave encouraging women to stand out and be proactive in their respective activities. The Optometric Association of Mexico named her Optometrist of the Year at their annual convention in Mexico City. She was made an Honorary Rotarian by two of the Rotary Clubs of Juarez. She was also bestowed with the Rotary International Paul Harris Medal by her son Frank Devlyn from Mexico City who was the International President of this organization. Nelva was widowed at an early age and later married Melvin I. Turley who preceded her in death. Nelva will be remembered for her outstanding professional life and business career where she, like her deceased husband and children, always served as ambassadors of goodwill between Mexico and the U.S.A. Nelva is survived by her children, Frank (Gloria Rita) and Patrick (Suzanne) of Mexico City, Ethel (Mario) Gaspar de Alba of El Paso, 15 grandchildren, Jesse, Melanie, Michael, Stephanie, Joey, Jessica, Jennifer, Patrick, William, Andrew, Melisa, Monica, David, Frank and Gilbert, 30 great-grandchildren, brothers Rudy, Rey, Jay, James, Robert, George Mortensen and sisters Elvia and Lisa, all living in different parts of the U..S.A. She was preceded in death by her husband Frank in 1961 in Chihuahua, Children Billy in 1952 and Jesse from Mexico City in 2011 (Olga). A Visitation will be held on March 22nd from 5PM to 9PM at the Harding-Orr-McDaniel Funeral Home at 320 Montana. A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 7315 Bishop Flores. Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery Alameda. Pallbearers will be the grandchildren attending. A Special Services will be held later in Mexico City where many of her immediate family are living. “We Thank You Mother for being the inspiration and example you have always been to our family and we know that you are now with Our Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ, our Dad, your sons Jesse and Billy plus your loving parents, brother Jesse, so many family members, and the hundreds of friends who looked up to you and cherished your friendship”. ….. “Be Assured that Your Legacy Will Live On” Services entrusted to Harding-Orr & McDaniel, 320 Montana, El Paso, Texas 79902. Visit online website at


  • Visitation Friday, March 22, 2013
  • Funeral Service Saturday, March 23, 2013
  • Commital Service Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nelva Fontela Mortensen Devlyn

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


March 28, 2013

To the family: Mrs. Devlyn is such an inspiration. May your memories bring you joy. Turn to God to bring you comfort in your distress. He is near to all those calling upon him and their cry's for help he hears.
Psalms 145: 18,19

Becky Rivas

March 22, 2013

Ethel and family, I was so sorry to read of your mother's death. She was such a beautiful and dignified lady. May God be with you at this time. Sending my love and prayers.

David Herold

March 21, 2013

My wife Carole and were sorry to hear about the passing of Mrs. Devlyn. My heart and prayers reach out to the family, who she loved dearly. She always treated me with kindness, professionalism, and respect. I was introduced to Mrs Devlyn by her daughter Ethel and her husband Mario Gaspar de Alba. She helped me with my glasses when I first moved to El Paso back in the early 70's. God bless her and her family and friends. She was special and will be missed by all.

David and Carole Herold