Our loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Ilene Gorzitze passed away March 30, 2020 at the age of 88. She was born to Gerrit (Jerry) Steenblik and Florence Hansen Steenblik. She grew up in Rose Park attending Onequa, Jackson and West High schools. She graduated from The University of Utah with a degree in Education and was a member of the Alpha Phi Sorority. She married Vern Gorzitze in the Salt Lake Temple.
During her life, Ilene had many jobs including cherry picker, store clerk and proof operator, but loved teaching Physical Education for 36 years at Highland High, Southeast, Jordan and Lincoln Junior Highs. She taught over 5,000 students and hoped that they learned to love fitness and lifetime sports activities. Above all, she wanted them to know that they were loved and important in her life. She loved seeing them as adults and remembering the days they spent together and was proud to see that so many of them grew up to be lovely and successful women and men. Receiving a letter or note from a former student made her feel as if she did an ‘okay’ job. After retiring, she was a volunteer at Upland Terrace Elementary School for over 16 years. She loved working with the elementary school age kids, made sure that they had plenty of equipment for PE activities (often at her own expense) and was actively participating in some of their activities (Classroom store and Rendezvous Days) until shortly before her death. Ilene was awarded Best of State, Points of Light and Huntsman Educators (volunteer) Awards.
Ilene was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served several positions over the years including ward librarian and young women’s leader. Her favorite was as a docent at the LDS Church History museum for 12 years. She was a true believer in volunteering and did so all of her life.
Ilene is survived by her husband of 65 years, her three children: Michelle (Bill) Winger, Greg (Karen) Gorzitze, and M. Todd (Janene) Gorzitze, seven grandchildren: Lesley DaLuz, Erica (Zach) Dutson, Heidi (Thomas) Lawyer, Katie Gorzitze, Ryan (Chelsea) Gorzitze, Tyler (Kelly) Gorzitze and Haley (Zach) Jessen. Ten great-grandchildren: Lily, Mason, Hannah, Mia, Jade, Monroe, Kiley, Aaron, Cayson, and Oakley, sister Donna Rogers and many loved nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her brother, Gerrit Steenblik.
Due to her wishes, a private family graveside service was held. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the LDS Church Perpetual Education Fund. Thank you also to the staff of Aspen Ridge West and First Choice Hospice. She was well-cared for until the end.