Ellen Ann Anderson, 64, passed away peacefully in the loving arms of her brother on Saturday, October 17, 2020 in American Fork, Utah. She was born on January 21, 1956 to Elmer Samuel Anderson & Lillian Eva (Thompson) Anderson in the Panama Canal Zone while her father was serving in the Air Force. Ellen suffered complications at birth that resulted in severe disability. However, those who knew her well, know that those disabilities did not diminish the love we felt in the presence of this special angel.
Ellen Ann lived with her family in California until she was nine years old. She then was cared for in the Porterville Developmental Center in California. This was a difficult transition for her, but necessary due to the increased medical support Ellen required as she grew bigger and older. Her parents and brother traveled several hours to visit her every other week and often were the only family visiting the residents there. Ellen always benefited from these visits. Later she was moved to Agnews Developmental Center, which was a little closer to the family home. When her parents moved to Highland, Utah, 1989 things improved dramatically for Ellen as she became a resident of the Utah State Developmental Center in American Fork, Utah. Her mom and dad tucked her into bed each night, took an active part in all supportive activities and became advocates for Utah’s mentally challenged citizens. Ellen always knew them and responded positively. She often was taken home to her parent’s to enjoy family gatherings and holidays.
Ellen was adored by all who came in contact with her, but most especially by her family and by those who devoted hundreds of hours to her care. The special caregivers and other residents of her “family” at the Utah State Developmental Center, where Ellen lived for three decades, became like sisters. The gratitude her family has for these kind and loving individuals (you know who you are) is immense. No words can express it!
Ellen did not communicate in the normal ways, but those who know her can attest that she was a strong and determined spirit who made her needs and feelings known. Right up until her final days, she was strong and determined while also exuding her loving spirit.
Ellen was a wonderful and compliant patient but she did express likes and dislikes in her own way. Her favorites included: raspberries, yogurt, pudding and ice cream. She always loved to listen to children singing LDS primary songs, 60’s musical soundtracks such as “The Sound of Music”, and neck rubs, cheek touches and kisses from her big brother, Terry.
She is survived by: Brother, Thomas Anderson of Talent, Oregon; brother, Terry Anderson (Laurie) of American Fork; Aunt Anna Jordan of( Couer d’Alene, Idaho;, cousin, Susanne Smith of Couer d’Alene, Idaho; seven nieces and nephews; many adoring great grandnieces and great grandnephews as well as friends who seem like family.
She is proceeded in death by her parents Elmer and Lillian Anderson, her grandparents and other extended family that we know welcomed Ellen with a big celebration on Saturday, October 17, 2020.
Special thanks should be given to the Utah State Developmental Center whose staff performed kind and loving service to Ellen for decades and the special people from Harmony Home Hospice who supported Ellen in her last days. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Utah State Developmental Center Miscellaneous Fund.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday October 21, 2020 at 1:00 pm in the Anderson & Sons Lone Peak Chapel located at 6141 West 11000 North, Highland, UT. A viewing will be held from 11:45 – 12:45 prior to the funeral services. Burial will take place on Monday November 2, 2020 in the Live Oak Memorial Park located in Monrovia, California.
Click on the following link to join in on the funeral service via Zoom. Please make note of the following prior to joining to ensure a smooth transition into the Zoom meeting: wait to join until 30 minutes prior to the service start time, download the Zoom application onto your device and make an account (this is free), and join with your device's audio and not phone audio unless you plan to call into the meeting.
Meeting ID: 832 0995 9289