EAST CARBON/OREM - Allis Crittenden Stephens was born right before Christmas, on Dec. 18, 1917 in the freezing cold mountain valley of Hoytsville to Irwin Crittenden and Florence Elizabeth Brown. The home where she was born was built of bricks which had been hand made by her grandfather Crittenden. Hoytsville was a tight knit community where nearly everyone was related in one way or another. Her father was the Bishop and served in that capacity for nearly 30 years. Allis was the baby of the family and was smothered with love from her parents and two older sisters.
After graduation from North Summit High School, Allis attended Utah State. Back then, it was a "Normal School." She earned her teaching certificate in two years and began teaching elementary school in Upton where she taught in a one room school house grades one through four. There were only 16 students and two teachers.
Eventually Allis moved to Salt Lake City and continued to teach school, and also continued her own education. She earned her bachelors degree in education from Utah State in 1947.
That year was a lucky year for Allis. She met a handsome young man, Larry Stephens, who swept her off her feet. On their first date, he took her for a ride in his airplane and "wrung her out." That's pilot talk for doing lots of aerial acrobatics. Allis loved the adventure and Larry decided that her bravery was validation enough that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. They dated through 1947 and were married on her birthday, Dec. 18, 1947, in the Salt Lake Temple.
Allis and Larry made their first home in East Carbon, then a bustling coal mining community. Allis easily found a job in the school there. They settled in, made life-long friends, and raised their four children; Karol, Ruth, Larry, and Kristine. Soon both Allis and Larry were in the school system. Allis as a teacher and Larry as a teacher and then principal. All together, Allis taught elementary school for 42 years. She taught at Upton, Coalville, Wanship, Salt Lake City, Dragerton, Sunnyside, and Price. She was recognized as "Teacher of the Year" twice during her career.
Upon her retirement, Larry and Allis moved to Orem to be closer to their temple assignment. Allis worked in the Provo and Mt.Timpanogos temples for nearly 25 years, just being released in Jan. 2008.
Allis had some interesting loves: social events, candy making, eating chocolate of any kind, ice cream, rose colored glasses, the Utah Jazz, shopping, lovely suits, playing the organ, the color mauve, and growing flowers... especially roses. She loved her neighborhoods and her neighbors and lived her life in gratitude.
Allis is survived by her children: Karol Walker, Ruth (Randy) Bunker, Larry (Kelley) Stephens, Kristine (Bryan) Morley; 20 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by parents; sisters Ruth (Melvin) Anderson and Leone (Robert) Rippon; sweetheart Lawrence Wm Stephens; son-in-law Franklin Reese Walker; grandchildren Laralyn Walker, and Stephen Rand Bunker.
Viewing will be held from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. At Berg Mortuary, 185 East Center Street, Provo, and prior to the service from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept 5 at the Sharon Park Third Ward Chapel, 225 East 200 North in Orem. Service will begin at 11 a.m. with internment at the Provo City Cenetery. Funeral services are under the direction of Berg Mortuary.
Please honor the memory of Allis and her lifelong devotion to education by making a contribution to the Perpetual Education Foundation at 610 South State Street, Provo. (www.ids.org/pep)
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January 28, 2014
Do you think the Utah Legislature should increase appropriations for public education in Utah beyond the current legislative trend in the past few years of funding only for growth in student population?