Anna May Ford Little, 92, died of natural causes at the Beehive Home in Kanab, Utah in the early morning hours of March 2, 2021. Services will be held at the South LDS Chapel at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 13th. The only viewing will be held just before the funeral from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, March 13th.
Although she was independent for many years after her husband Ken’s death, she was lovingly cared for by her children, and for almost 2 years at the Kanab Beehive Home, along with Zion’s Way Hospice for the last month of her life.
Anna May was born May 10, 1928, to Clara Alvira Burnham and Asa Clair Ford in Kanab, Utah. She was the third child of seven. Four siblings preceded her in death: Burnham, Barbara Hein, John, and Duane, and one grandchild, SPC T. Bruce Cluff. Her surviving brothers are Paul (Judy), Las Vegas, NV and Kim (Joan, deceased), New Harmony, UT.
Anna May enjoyed playing the piano at a young age and as long as she was doing so she didn’t have to do dishes. She really appreciated that, but her older sister Barbara didn’t so much.
She spent hot summer days building rock houses and climbing to the top of the K Hill as many as three times in a day. The very top of K Hill was known as “The Indian Dance Hall” and tradition required that when she reached the top she “whooped and hollered” then ran like the wind down the hillside.
Her active childhood days were stifled at age 13, when Anna May was bedridden for three months in a heavy body cast to treat an injury that led to a hip replacement at age 18. Her father built a heavy 4-post bed with an overhead pulley so she could hoist herself and the heavy plaster cast which extended from chest to toe. Frequently, while her mother changed her bedsheets or tried to make things more comfortable, Anna May was hanging in mid air.
At the Fourth of July races the following summer, she won the prize, movie tickets, for doing more chin-ups than any of the high school athletes.
She could outrun ‘most anyone on her crutches. When her little brother Paul would wander or run away, Anna May would be first to catch Paul, pinning his shirt to the ground with the tip of her crutch and holding him until a rescuer could take his hand.
Anna May’s oldest brother, Burnham, ran the local newspaper, the Kane County Standard. While Burnham was away during WWII, Anna May was promoted from typesetter to Editor at age 14! Later, she worked several summers at the Union Pacific Laundry (for Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon Lodges), often until 2:30 a.m.
The summer following her first year at Utah State Agricultural College she worked at Little’s Garage and gas station, managed by Kenyon Little, the older brother of her friend Clara Bess.
Anna May started her second year back at college, but returned to Kanab and married Ken at her parents’ home on Valentines’ Day, 1949.
Ken and Anna May had five children: John Kenyon Little, Jr; Jane (Carl) Cluff; Frank (Sharon -deceased) Little; Susann (Bob) Irwin; Gail (Greg) Hanson.
Children came at a fast pace and Anna May’s oldest was in first grade when she experienced complications with her youngest child. All the grandparents provided a great deal of help for several months. Prior to this difficult time, Kenyon and Anna May had built a home and, as people moved to Kanab to build Glen Canyon Dam, Little’s Trailer Court. There were many lawns, trees and flowers to water, and weeds to hoe. Their front room served as the office, where travelers from all over the world and “permanent” trailer residents registered and paid for space rent.
When her youngest started school, Anna May became a teacher’s aide and also completed her associate’s degree. She supported her children’s interests and activities from scouting and 4-H to lead roles in plays. Her children spent many hours singing as she played the piano. She was an accompanist for the nearby Baptist Church and nursery leader for the LDS Relief Society.
Anna May will be remembered for her good citizenship; serving as a Judge of Election, Cub Scout Den Mother, member and instructor of Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and census worker, picking up trash, nails and glass when she saw them on the streets, collecting funds door to door for the annual Heart Fund and March of Dimes drives, and selling ALA poppies with her daughters.
A. Clair Ford Post 69 of the American Legion was named in honor of Anna May’s father for his dedicated labor to help build the Legion Hut, Kane County’s gathering place for Veterans. As a 72-year member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Anna May served as President, Secretary, Membership Vice President, Historian, and Poppy Chair many times.
A grandson recently asked Anna May what she felt was her greatest accomplishment. She replied, “Raising my family.”
Currently, Anna May has five children, fourteen grandchildren, thirty-three great grandchildren, and one great-great grandson!
Our family’s special thanks to the staff and residents of the Kanab Beehive Home, Zion’s Way Hospice, Mosdell Mortuary, the 7th Ward Relief Society and The American Legion Auxiliary.
The LiveStream of the Memorial Service is over. There will be a recording posted below 2-3 days after the funeral. You are welcome to watch the services then. Feel free to download the recording and keep it if you wish.