Lillian Burton Mortensen
Our dear mother, grandmother and friend, Lillian Burton Mortensen, passed away on January 30, 2018 at the age of 83, after a short courageous battle with cancer. She was born on July 10, 1934, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Stewart and Leona Burton. Lillian grew up on a ranch in Star Valley, Wyoming, where she enjoyed raising sheep and dairy cows. As a young girl, she worked the land with a team of draft horses, and it was here that her love of the land was born. At a very young age, Lillian experienced the joy of working side by side with her family, wresting a living from the soil. Her love of land and family was deeply and permanently ingrained. She met the love of her life, Rulon Mortensen, while hitchhiking her way to Bear Gulch Ski Resort in Warm River, Idaho. She married Rulon for time and all eternity on June 24, 1955, in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. Together they farmed and ranched the Lyman, Crooked Creek and Driggs, areas. Lillian and Rulon were blessed with 14 children, 7 sons and 7 daughters. They were further blessed with 77 grandchildren and 61 great grandchildren. At the time of her death, Lillian was anticipating several additional great grandchildren. Lillian loved caring for her large circle of family, friends and animals. She loved baking bread in her old Monarch wood-burning cook stove, and until recently she was still milking cows by hand. Lillian Mortensen was a truly remarkable woman who was always in motion and who was an absolute delight to know! We will never forget you, Grandma Mortensen!
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Lillian served in many different callings and capacities. Her greatest strength was her ability to love unconditionally; she loved everyone with an intensity and purity that must have come from heaven. In this fundamental aspect of her personality, Lillian was truly Christ-like. In everything she did, Love was her secret ingredient. Whether farming, ranching, gardening, quilting or making music, Lillian infused everything she did with love. Lillian enjoyed singing in the Upper Valley Women’s Choir, the Mellodaires, and the Lyman 1st Ward Choir, and she also played the cello in the Idaho Falls Symphony. As we pay tribute to this lovely and remarkable woman, our hearts and minds are filled with wonderful memories. For we have been blessed by her gentle smile, her loving voice, and her boundless energy.
Lillian was preceded in death by her parents, Stewart and Leona Burton, 2 brothers, Heber Burton and James Burton, and by her loving husband, Rulon Mortensen. Lillian is survived by three sisters, Isabel Krause, Ruth Scholes, and Ellen Petersen, and by two Brothers Alma Burton and Joseph Burton. She is also survived by her loving children and their spouses: Leona Sue (Dan) Bezold, Earl (Dena Jo) Mortensen, Doris (Dale) Mortimer, Gary (Kim) Mortensen, Steven (Kelly) Mortensen, Linda (Richard) Law, Lynn (JoAnn) Mortensen, Ross (Darla) Mortensen, Jill (Richard) Brown, Jim (Stephanie) Mortensen, Kenneth (Mindy) Mortensen, Connie (Jared) Fielding, Amy (David) Bitter, Becky (Brandt) Saxey.
A funeral service will be held Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 2:00 PM in the Lyman 1st LDS Ward Chapel. The family will meet with friends, Friday, February 2, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM and again prior to services on Saturday from 12:30 to 1:45 PM at the Lyman 1st Ward Church. Interment will be in the Sutton Cemetery. Condolences can be shared with the family at www.eckersellfuneralhome.com.