On March 27, 2023, Linda Laree Allen Orton, happy and prepared, passed away peacefully. Every minute of her last days were spent surrounded by family love in perfect Grandma Linda fashion. Linda was born December 23, 1943, in Payson, Utah, to Gerald Eugene and Marva Gleave Allen. She was their first born and her dad said at the time, “It was the happiest day of my life.”
Linda shared many fond memories of growing up in Piute County where she lived in the Piute communities of Angle, Junction, and Kingston. She spent many happy hours with her family, caring for her brothers and sisters while her parents worked on the farm. This is where she formed a life-long bond with her siblings and became like their second mom, especially Marvalee. She loved her cousins and the time she spent with them growing up and had a special love for Juana. She attended Circleville Elementary School, and later graduated from Piute High School (Class of 1962) as valedictorian. She was involved in a variety of school and community activities, including Cheerleading, 4H, FFA, Band, Studentbody Officer, and Miss Piute County.
She attended Brigham Young University for two years, and later, while busy raising her children, she sacrificed and persevered to graduate from Southern Utah University with a bachelor’s degree in education. Continuing her love of learning, she earned her master’s of psychology from Utah State University. Linda possessed a lifelong drive to pursue her educational goals, and she instilled those values in her students and family. She was grateful for her parents who sacrificed, so she could go to college. Linda passed on the value and the importance of a good education, and inspired many to do the same. She expressed that one of the greatest joys of her life was knowing all her children received a good education and graduated from college.
One of the most significant days in Linda’s life was April 10, 1965 the day she married in the Manti Temple and received her temple endowments. Although later divorced, she was forever thankful for her 5 children being born under the covenant and being sealed to her for time and all eternity. Family meant everything to her, and she sacrificed and stayed steadfast in raising her children and found joy in spending time with her family–finding ways to celebrate the uniqueness of each one of her children and their spouses: Wade (Lisa) Orton of Kanab, Utah; Alana (Patrick) Benson of Parowan, Utah; Allen (Tammy) Orton of Kanab, Utah; Holly (Gordon) Robison of Richfield, Utah; Bucky (Katie) Orton of Kanab, Utah.
Linda developed a love for music at a young age when her mother made her a piano keyboard out of cardboard. It was on the shores of Otter Creek that she first learned to play. She said even though her homemade piano keyboard made no sound, she could hear the notes in her head. Linda went on to become an accomplished pianist and used this talent to bless and serve others. Linda served in many church callings. In the 5th grade, she was called to teach Primary and serve as both the chorister and organist for Sunday school at the same time; she would start leading everyone singing and then start playing the organ. Throughout her life she utilized her musical talents to facilitate church and community events. She served many positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: serving as a teacher, librarian, pianist, and music leader. She also served in the Primary and Relief Society presidencies numerous times and as the Stake Single Adults President.
Linda excelled at a myriad of occupations and held down multiple jobs, often, at the same time throughout her life. Before moving to Kanab, Linda worked as a clerk for the governor at the State Capitol, a secretary for First Security bank, and a bookkeeper for North East Furniture. Kanab became her home in 1975 where she was a substitute teacher, worked at Duke’s clothing, Ace Hardware, Kanab Wonderstone, Glazier’s Foodtown, Fredonia High, Middle, and Elementary School as a teacher, and eventually, as the high school counselor. She loved helping kids learn and seeing them succeed. While raising her last two children, she gave piano lessons whenever possible to support her children’s extra-curricular activities. Yet, her ultimate career was that of homemaker and mother. She was dedicated to providing for her children, helping each of them secure an education and supporting two while on LDS missions.
The highlight of Linda’s life was being a mom and “Grandma Linda”. She delighted in attending ball games, school functions and any activity in which her family was involved. Her dedication to her children was remarkable and consistent, even when her children’s games were far from home, Linda always showed up to cheer them on. She believed in the importance of “always showing up for the people you love, win or lose”. Linda loved everyone and was famous for her “hand-hugs” and the homemade ½ and ½ team shirts she made to wear to the ball games; She would sit on the bleachers right at mid-court or on the 50 yard line, proudly displaying her Parowan/Cowboy or Wildcat/Cowboy attire. She dedicated her life to cheering for others and never took sides(even though she was a true Cowboy at heart). When her health prevented her from making it to a ball game, she watched from home. It was not uncommon for her to have several ball games going on at the same time, one on each TV screen for different grandkids.
Whether it was Mom, Linda, or Grandma Linda, she loved unconditionally and without limits. Her mind was always searching for new ways to serve others. She had a keen memory and navigated her life while never forgetting a birthday, anniversary or special event. She organized and paid for events to bring the family together. She found creative ways to inspire her children to be better in their marriages, church, education, and athletics. She even mastered Snapchat to stay connected with her grandkids. Linda never allowed obstacles to prevent her from connecting with her family and building those relationships she held dear to her heart.
Linda’s faith was unshakeable and her actions were unwavering. She believed in and testified of the miracles she witnessed during her life – “the greatest one being able to have more children after Wade, calling Alana “a miracle from God”. She had a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His atonement, which she shared through charity, love, and kindness. She was humble and forgiving, often saying, “70 x 7, what else can I do?”. A true disciple of Jesus Christ, a peacemaker, Linda sought out solutions and ways to bring people together, putting in the hard work and time to build genuine relationships with others. It is hard to imagine going through life without Linda’s prayers.
She is survived by her five children; 17 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren. Siblings: Gary (Margaret ) Allen, Sally (Rob) Goulding, Marvalee (Gordon) Anderson , Greg
(Debbie) Allen, Cody (Beth) Allen. She was preceded in death by her parents, Marva and Gerald Allen.
A viewing will be Thursday, April 6, 2023, 5:00 – 6:30 and Friday April 7, prior to the Funeral services from 9:00 -9:45. The Funeral Services will follow at 10:00 in the Kanab South Chapel 604 S. 100 E. Interment will follow at the Widtsoe Cemetery, under the direction of Mosdell Mortuary, Kanab, Utah.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the many family, friends, caregivers and relatives who showed compassionate care for their mother. “I love this town (Kanab) and the people in it. They have all been so good to me.” ~ Linda 3/26/23
Below is a link to the recording of the funeral servie.