Alta Orton "Granny"
Our loving mother, grandma, sister, aunt, cousin and friend, Alta Met Bird Orton, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loved ones on January 4, 2020 in Panguitch. She was 97. Alta was born on November 10, 1922 on her family’s ranch in Circleville, Utah to Laura Bird. She was raised by her grandparents, whom she adored Ezra and Celia Bird.
Alta was a great story teller and had an amazing memory. She could recall nearly every detail of her childhood. Her family loved hearing stories of her growing up on the ranch, working hard from a young age, milking her own cow to earn money at age 6, learning to cook, wash and sew from her sweet momma, singing in her grandpa’s blacksmith shop. She told stories of riding around in the white topped buggy, riding her favorite horse "Old Bob", dances at the Purple Haze and being crowned the youngest Goddess of Liberty.
Alta married Don L Orton on July 28, 1940 in Kingston, Utah. Their marriage was later solemnized in the St George LDS Temple. Alta and Don lived in Panguitch, Utah where they raised their 6 kids. Don passed away in 1969, leaving her widowed the past 50 years.
Alta worked hard her whole life. She enjoyed working at the Curio Store, the Senior Citizens center, and the Forest Service, but the job she enjoyed most was being the librarian at Panguitch High School. She was lovingly called Granny by everyone there. She has gone by that name ever since.
Granny never met a stranger. She loved having company in her home. There were many lively conversations held there, which usually involved her colorful vocabulary. She had a great sense of humor and was very witty. She had the heart of an angel and the mouth of a sailor.
A great cook, Granny made the best chicken noodle soup. She baked bread weekly that she shared with all of her family well into her 90’s. When she was raising her kids, she made 24 loaves of bread every week. There was always a hot meal ready for them. You never left her house hungry. She loved to sew and has made hundreds of quilts for her family and friends.
Granny loved her family. She was so proud of all of them and their accomplishments. Granny never missed sending birthday cards to her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. She made sure to send everyone a 2 dollar bill. Granny had a way of making everyone feel like you were her favorite. She never missed an opportunity to let you know how much she loved you. She was always so patient and kind and offered loving advice to her family.She selflessly served others, and did it with a positive attitude. She was always helping those who were less fortunate. She lovingly cared for her ailing parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Her home and heart were always open to her kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews. The words she lived by and her favorite song were "Have I Done Any Good in This World Today". She was a wonderful example to those around her. She will be dearly missed.
She is survived by her children: Judy Mann, Ivins, UT; Wally (Lynette) Orton, Diamond Valley, UT; Denny (Jean) Orton, Panguitch, UT; Barbara (Glenn) Leach, Beaver Dam, AZ; Kenny Orton, Panguitch; 22 grandkids, 68 great-grandkids, 26 great-great-grandkids; brother, Clarence Johnson, Ely, NV; and many special nieces and nephews whom she loved and cared for dearly. Alta’s posterity is 157 total.
She is preceded in death by her mother; grandparents; husband, Don; daughter, Donna JoAnn Jones; son-in-law, Carl Mann; daughter-in-law Paula Orton; grandsons: Steve Pollock and Spencer Johnson; special aunt and uncle, Met and Don McIntosh; her sisters, Maud (Jay) Dickinson; Cleola Leithiser; Creta (Jerry) Reno; Carolyn (Jim) Whittle; her brothers, Carl and her very special sister-in-law Donna Johnson; Sam (Joyce) Johnson; Vernon (Maris) Johnson.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 12:00 Noon in the Panguitch 2nd Ward Chapel, 176 North 400 East, Panguitch, UT. A visitation will be held Friday evening from 6:00-7:30 pm and also on Saturday from 10:00-11:30 am prior to the services. Burial will be in the Panguitch City Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com
Words cannot express our love and appreciation to the entire staff of the Panguitch Long Term Care Center. Thank you so much for the sweet and tender care you gave her, but mostly for loving her like she was your own. You are all amazing!
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