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Obituary: PAGE, HELEN


Helen Y. Page

Scottsdale, AZ

Helen Y. Page, 95, died peacefully at her home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on July 18, 2010. She was born in American Fork, Utah, on August 6, 1914, to Clifford E. Young and Edith Grant Young. She graduated from Brigham Young University, where she met her future husband, J. Boyd Page. They were married for over 50 years, until his death in 2001. His career as a university scientist and administrator resulted in their residing in many places: Missouri, California, Ohio, Texas, Iowa, Washington DC, Tucson, and finally Scottsdale. Fortunately she loved to travel, and they made numerous trips all over the world, which she documented in letters to her family in wonderful and entertaining detail. A woman of wide-ranging interests, she had a life-long passion for the arts and theater - a highlight of her student days at BYU was playing a leading role in Peer Gynt, and throughout most of her life she participated actively in drama reading groups. While living in Bryan, Texas, in the 1950s, she became the public library children's

"story lady," which evolved into a weekly radio program. Wherever she was throughout her life she would stop everything to listen to the Saturday matinee radio broadcast of the Metropolitan opera. In Washington DC she taught herself weaving, learned to play the organ and tremendously enjoyed the arts scene. Throughout her life, she was a devoted service volunteer, including being a local Girl Scout troop leader in Texas, teaching English as a foreign language in several locales, and holding numerous leadership roles in various organizations within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wherever she lived. After her husband's retirement, they moved to Tucson, where they spent winters. Summers were spent at their small cabin in Alpine, Arizona, where they loved to hike in the mountains, identifying the flowers and birds. But her greatest love was for her extended family, which includes five grandchildren and seven very energetic young great-grandchildren. Just a week before her death, many of her family participated in a pre-96th birthday party for Helen, at which she had a wonderful time playing with the youngsters. In her last decade, Helen's physical health began to deteriorate, although her alertness and enthusiasm for life did not. She suffered several fractures due to osteoporosis, necessitating lengthy rehabilitations. Throughout this period she exhibited tremendous pluck. Always somewhat feisty and outspoken, she scolded one physical therapist who was urging her to go faster in her walker, by sharply reminding him of her age. He grinned and said this is the spirit that keeps her going!

Helen is survived by a son, John B. Page, Jr. (Kay), Tempe, Arizona; daughter, Ann Birdsall (Bill), Halifax, Nova Scotia; sisters, Edith Harris, Chicago, and Miriam Farnsworth, Salt Lake City; grandchildren, Sarah Birdsall Morrison (Gerald), Stephanie Birdsall (James Cahill), Tom Birdsall (Leann), Rebecca Page (Wolfgang Peti), Elizabeth Page Glanville (Lee); great-grandchildren, Madeleine Cahill, Clare Birdsall, William Morrison, Robert and Ethan Glanville, Forrest and Alana Birdsall.

A celebration of Helen's life was held at the Springs of Scottsdale, her home since 1990. A graveside service will be held in Payson, Utah. Contributions may be made to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.