Lila Lindsay Donaldson, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend, passed away peacefully, on August 25, 2019. She was surrounded by family – her greatest treasure.
Lila was born December 6, 1928 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Alfred W. and Cella P. Lindsay. On August 7, 1953 she married her sweetheart Jay K Donaldson in the Salt Lake Temple, enjoying 66 years together.
She is survived by her brother, Alfred Lindsay Jr., her husband Jay and their four children: Jana Lee (Steven) Barrett, Lynn Clark Donaldson, Diane (David) Urry, and Deborah Ann (Ward) Willoughby. She has nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and four of her siblings – Delbert Lindsay, Mae Lindsay, Marvetta Baker, and LaRue Chambers.
Lila valued education and loved teaching. She graduated from Granite High School (1946) and the University of Utah with a Bachelors in Education (1952). While teaching elementary school, she took particular concern for her students with learning disabilities. This prompted her to pursue a Masters in Special Education (1976). Lila found fulfillment in empowering the discouraged. She was a resource teacher for many years, impacting the lives of hundreds of students.
Lila created a home that was the headquarters for family fun and a safe haven for all – beds covered by her quilts, a kitchen filled with the aroma of home cooked meals, carpet floors with visible vacuum lines, and the hubbub of talking and laughter. While others conversed and enjoyed her meals, Lila could be found in the kitchen still working away. She was the last to eat and the first to get up to grab something else for the table.
Her family was the center of her universe and the focus of her energy. Over the years, she planned countless summer trips with her children and grandchildren. She always wanted to be able to stay in touch with, and express love to, her family. She spent many hours learning the skills necessary to design personalized birthday cards, regularly email family missionaries, and send text messages to her grandchildren.
Lila had an incredible work ethic. In addition to the hours she spent working in the classroom, Lila ran a seasonal chocolate business with her sister Marvetta. They worked together to create the recipes and dipping techniques for their delicious chocolates. Her neighbors and family were grateful recipients of her free Christmas chocolates.
Lila was strong. She maintained her vitality by regularly walking long before it became popular. For years, she could be found trekking up hills well before sunrise. However, her greatest strength was shown in how she faced years of chronic pain and multiple back surgeries. She doggedly worked to keep her mobility and a cheerful outlook. She didn’t let pain stop her from serving others or regularly expressing gratitude. Lila was an example of turning to her Heavenly Father during times of adversity.
She lived the gospel of Jesus Christ and blessed the lives of others through her Christlike example. She served faithfully in many callings for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including a mission to Denmark in 1950. In her later years, she served with Jay as a temple worker and guide at the Conference Center.
Lila had a wry sense of humor and a keen mind that she kept to the very end. To her family, she was the best of the best and will be greatly missed.
Funeral services will be held Saturday August 31st at 11am at the East Mill Creek 12th Ward, 3103 East Craig Drive, SLC, Utah. All are welcome to come celebrate Lila’s remarkable life at the church Friday August 30th 6-8pm and Saturday August 31st 9:30-10:30am prior to the service. The family appreciates the tender care provided to Lila in her final months. Thank you to Polu Tuakoi, Elina Matelau, and Bristol Hospice.
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