Lula Anna Ellis Anderson Griffin died of heart failure on October 27, at the age of 100. She had a long and full life that was filled with building family, friendships, and serving countless people from many countries and all walks of life. She leaves behind a large and growing posterity and circle of friends who will miss her.
Lula was born on May 21, 1918 in Honeyville, Utah to William S. and Rose Catherine Vaughn Parry Ellis. She was rescued from drowning in Crystal Hot Springs at age 2 by her mother Vaughn who felt spiritually prompted to search for her. Her father was a beekeeper and farmer with a family of girls. Lula learned to work in the home, garden, orchard, and honey business. She greatly valued hard work, thrift, and industry. Lula graduated from Bear River High School in 1936. She attended USU for 2 years. From 1938-40 she served in the Western States Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On her mission she became friends with Bruce Holms Anderson, her future husband. She watched him with interest and concluded with his talents he would be someone who would go places and have a productive life.
After her mission Bruce Anderson kept in contact with her traveling from Canada to court her. Eventually he proposed. Lula faced the choice of marrying a steady type person in Utah or this dynamic young man from Canada, who had great potential but not much else. She listened to her father who told her to “get on the train and go up and marry that Canadian.” The couple was married December 17, 1941 in the Cardston Alberta temple. They had few material possessions. Bruce joined the Air Force during WW II, and became a commanding officer. He developed pneumonia while traveling to see his wife and child, which kept him from the war in England. While at USU, Bruce caught the attention of his chief professor and ended up accepting a job with the Point 4 program in Iran. Lula spent 8 years raising their family in Iran, while Bruce helped to increase the area’s agricultural productivity. She was a resourceful pioneer who learned to adapt to many new and difficult situations. At one point she was kneeling in prayer asking for protection as a mob of 500 men attacked her home. She always felt that a loving Heavenly Father protected her and her family.
Bruce pursued a Ph.D in Engineering at UC Davis, California. This became one of the most challenging times in his life but he was supported and sustained by Lula who simply looked at it as one more thing that needed to be done. Lula was always a loyal supporter of her husband. All of the children knew that she loved him with great devotion. Bruce’s career continued on an upward track and she supported him. In time he became the director of an international aid program involving eleven universities. Lula traveled with him to Venezuela and to the Dominican Republic. She wanted to go with him as he traveled the world. At the same time Lula was a good mother to six children. She worked in many church callings. She also worked as a secretary for the CA Extension Service, USU Engineering dept., and taught school in Iran.
Lula lived a life of service. She helped with missionary funds, funerals, snow removal, and in the nursery. She loved to have people come and visit with her and over the years she kept in touch with a wide network of friends through letters. In her later years she married Richard Griffin a long-time family friend. He passed away four years later. Richard is survived by his four children: Jim, Allen, Suzanne and Maryanne.
Today we can look at the life of Lula with almost universal admiration. By almost any standard she was successful and respectful and loved. She is survived by her six children: Bruce W. Anderson, Bryan E. Anderson, David J. Anderson, Jocelyn A. Taylor, Mark D. Anderson, and Sherry A. Seeley, and her sister Mary Elizabeth Anderson. She has 88 grandchildren, 145 great grandchildren, and 4 great-great grandchildren.
Funeral services are under the direction of Allen-Hall Mortuary, and will take place Saturday, November 3, 2018 at the Hillcrest 2nd Ward Chapel, 875 North 1500 East, Logan, beginning at 11 a.m. There will be a viewing Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Allen-Hall Mortuary, 34 East Center, Logan, and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. prior to funeral services on Saturday. Condolences may be expressed online at www.allenmortuaries.net