Annalee Walker Strong returned home to the loving arms of her sweetheart John on June 5, 2020. What a beautiful reunion for her as they have been apart for twenty years. Annalee was born July 6, 1926 in Manti, Utah to Paul Knute Walker and LaRue Munk Walker. She moved from Manti when she was a baby but returned as a teenager for several summers to help her Grandma Munk as she was in poor health. She loved her time in Manti and cherished many fond memories of her years there. During her childhood, the Walker family also lived in Provo, Lindon and Nephi as her dad attended school and changed jobs. Her family moved to Springville, Utah in 1936 when Annalee was ten years old. Annalee enjoyed her life growing up in Springville and had wonderful friends that she remained close to throughout the years. She met and fell in love with her sweetheart at Springville High School when he was in twelfth grade and she in eleventh.
John knew he was going to war and was worried that other suiters were dating Annalee. He had his parents bring her to Ohio so he could propose and reduce his concern that she would be married when he returned home. John proposed to Annalee in Columbus, Ohio where he was stationed before shipping overseas to serve in the US Army Corps of Engineers for two and a half years. She accepted his proposal and wore that ring every day for the rest of her life. Annalee finished her senior year, she worked a year at Springville Bank, and then attended a year of school at BYU while she waited for this long separation to end. Annalee married John Frank Strong in the Salt Lake Temple on June 26, 1946. They continued their lives together in Springville raising five sons and one daughter.
Each Summer they would load up their family and head out to various road construction sites as Strong Construction Co. built roads throughout Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, and Utah. This ‘Strong’ clan lived in many undeveloped areas in trailer communities where Annalee made many friends in each of these places. She raised her children under these often-primitive circumstances making sure they participated in sports, swim lessons and church. Sometimes spending many hours in the car traveling so the children could attend Primary. It was not an easy existence by any means, but it was a choice she made to keep her family together. These sacrifices solidified deep bonds for her family and created many unforgettable memories. She was often alone in the Fall, Spring and occasionally Winter as John continued to work away from home. She was left to raise this rowdy group of boys and her daughter, on her own. It was a challenging task that required much perseverance, patience, many calls to John and a few tears.
Annalee often invited her grandchildren down to spend a week or weekend where movies were rented, mall excursions took place, feeding ducks at the pond, and keeping grandpa from spoiling too much and sharing his Diet Coke before bedtime. She loved Christmas and enjoyed having her grandkids dress up for the Nativity, a candle ceremony which symbolized how bright our light was when put together and of course music. Annalee loved music, especially the Primary songs.
Annalee loved the Arts and enjoyed acting in productions produced in Springville’s Playhouse and Little Theatre as well as several LDS Stake and Ward productions. She served as an officer in the Playhouse organization and carried many cherished memories of those years. Annalee was an avid reader and enjoyed many types of books encouraging her family to read as well. She also enjoyed writing poetry and filled many pages with beautiful words and thoughts. She was social and enjoyed her ‘Companions’ club which was a service-oriented group where they had opportunities to help others, increase their knowledge and it also created a place for her to engage in new friendships. Annalee and several friends continued to gather for a monthly lunch right up until Annalee’s Parkinson’s required her to leave her home and move to Barton Creek Assisted living in December of 2013.
Annalee served faithfully in many callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Her sweet nature endeared her to those whom she served with as she humbly gave her all in each opportunity to grow, strengthen her testimony and develop additional friends. She always wanted to be a Bishop’s wife and was grateful she had the opportunity when John was called. Annalee had a deep conviction to her Savior as well as her Heavenly Father. Her testimony was strong and solid, never wavering.
Sometimes in life, it seems, that we want to be remembered for the accomplishments we made. Annalee often implied that she wanted her posterity to know she had a life beyond being a mother, that she had value as a member of society. As her posterity already knows, her greatest accomplishments are each of them. She loved unconditionally and fully. She treated each of us with such love and devotion, always supporting in every way that she could. She spoke radiantly of how proud she was of her family. She was curious and asked about her family wanting to know how each were doing and especially found joy in hearing of the humorous experiences or phrases her family would share. She was a light in the lives of her posterity, and we pray to be able to follow her light and example. This thought hung near her bed, “Our family is a circle of strength and love. With every birth and every union, the circle grows. Every joy shared adds more love. Every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger.”
Annalee was preceded in death by her eternal companion John, parents Paul and LaRue Walker, her brother Lynn Walker, daughter-in-law Jeri Moss Strong, and grandson-in-law Tim Boyce. She is survived by her sister Elizabeth Stone, children Dennis (Connie), Doug (MarJean), Frank, Marina (Julia Warga), Ernie (Peggy) and Eric (Tami), nineteen grandchildren, sixty-three and a half great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Oh, how we will miss our visits with you sweet Grandma Great as well as your smile and desire to constantly teach and testify of all that was important to you. Your funny stories and ability to laugh at yourself is an attribute that we love. Your generosity of time and interest in your family’s adventures as well as your huge open heart are going to be missed greatly. Thank you for being ours here on earth. Now, we are grateful to have an angel in heaven who is our biggest cheerleader watching out for us. Until we meet on the other side. Hugs and kisses, the ‘Strong’ bunch.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Barton Creek for their tender and loving care of our mother and grandma. So many there loved her as their own and cared for her with gentleness, kindness, and respect. Especially the care and extra effort given during the Covid lockdown as she missed her family so much. Thank you to the Branch Presidency, Relief Society Presidency as well as Chaplain Olsen. Our gratitude runs deeper than can be expressed.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you kindly donate to your local food bank.
Due to the limitations associated with the current pandemic, a private viewing and funeral services will be held by invitation only on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
Interment will be in the Evergreen Cemetery in Springville, Utah.
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