Home: Salt Lake City, Utah
Death Date: June 11, 2017
Birthdate: April 22, 1942
Place Of Birth: Salt Lake City, Utah
Service Information: Friday, June 23, 2017 6:00 PM
Service Location: Starks Funeral Parlor
Our cherished wife, mother, friend, sister, teacher, grandmother and cousin Kathryn Cannon Romney has passed from this life to the next at the age of 75 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. She has donated her body to the University of Utah School of Medicine for purposes of medical study and research.
Kathryn was born April 22, 1942 in Salt Lake City to Paul Bennion Cannon and Oa Jacobs Cannon, with four older siblings who adored her. In her own words, “There were a million places to play and mother didn’t call us until dusk set in. The neighborhood kids loved to play ‘run-sheep-run’ and ‘capture the flag.’”
She attended Highland High School and the University of Utah, where she received a bachelor's degree in English and History, as well as a teaching certificate. She also received a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing from Utah State University in her 50’s.
As a young adult, one of her favorite places on earth was Brighton LDS Girls Camp. Some of her favorite memories were of the early morning bell to wake the campers (which she once quelled by hiding it in the fridge), songs with friends, and sunrise hikes.
She married Leonard Cahoon Romney on August 6, 1965. In her words, “My husband and I married after college and we began looking for adventure. We decided to go away to graduate school—try something entirely new in the midwest.” While in Indiana she taught in the last one room schoolhouse in the state. “After a few moves, we made our home in the jewel of cities, Boulder Colorado. Boulder had all we’d hoped for - breathtaking scenery, a relaxed sophistication, and a spirit of celebration, which hung perpetually over the city.”
Here, her four children were born, Margaret, Rachel Lyn, Adam Daniel, and Peter Miles.
Kathryn filled her childrens’ lives with the arts. She relished explaining still life paintings, appreciating musicals, teaching Shakespeare with puppets, and sharing a sense of wonder at Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.
Life took a turn away from Boulder when Kathryn had to explain to a woman selling burial plots why she couldn’t be buried in Colorado. Her response “had to do with disjointed fragments about this statue on Temple Square where these people were pushing handcarts and how I always shed a little tear when I saw it because these people represented in the statue were my people.” She told the woman she had a ‘Utah Body.’ Kathryn moved with her family back to her familiar home town where, she said, “we recaptured the feeling of growing up in a world where we were part of a whole tradition much greater than the sum of its parts.”
Once back in Salt Lake, her passion for humanities drew her to teaching. The students of South High, West High, and Rowland Hall were lucky if they had “Mrs. Romney.” In one student’s words, “she taught me to write, enlarged my vocabulary with exotic words, and helped guide my fire towards life.” In 1990 she won teacher of the year from the Salt Lake City School District.
She retired from teaching in 1999 when she and her husband were called to lead the Russia Moscow South Mission. In Russia, Kathryn not only learned to speak Russian, cook Russian food, and navigate the huge city, but worked to serve women in prison and bonded with hundreds of young missionaries.
The list of immediate family who will be missing her is capped by her husband of more than 51 years, Leonard, with whom she loved to hike, travel, move into new houses, run, garden, dance, and serve their church faithfully. She is also survived by her children, Margaret Watts Romney, Rachel Lyn (Troy) Preslar, Adam Daniel (Whitley Clark) Romney, Peter Miles (Sheri Larsen) Romney, and 14 living grandchildren with whom she loved to read, collect hats, and share paper dolls of historical American women.
She was preceded in death by her parents as well as her siblings Norma Lloyd Dean, Charles Parkinson Lloyd, Charlene Lloyd Mulkey, and is survived by her sister Lynne and her sister-in-law Alta.
Please feel welcome in joining us in a celebration of her life which will be held at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City, the evening of Friday, June 23rd from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Guests are encouraged to use the complimentary valet parking on the north side of the building. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 24th at the Holladay North Stake Center, 4395 South Albright Drive at 11:00 a.m. The family will be receiving friends from 9:30 - 10:45 a.m. prior to the service.
Kathryn’s family would like to deeply thank her many loving helpers at Brightwork Cottage, Legacy Village, BrightOn Hospice Care, Right at Home Care, and especially John and Elizabeth Peake.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Utah Opera.