Alleyne Hartley Summerhays
11/22/1922 - 01/05/2020
A true Southern belle passed from this life on the morning of January 5, 2020. Alleyne was born in Waco, Texas November 22, 1922, the only child of Laurence Harold Hartley and Florence Lenore Stonehocker. At age 6, the family moved to Canton, Mississippi, a town 23 miles from Jackson. When she enrolled in school, the school superintendent suggested first grade, but her mother encouraged him to put her in third grade. They tested Alleyne and then enrolled her in the third grade.
Alleyne loved to sing and in church at age 6 she sang her first solo, “In the Garden”. At age 10, she sang on the radio and when she attended Canton High School, she sang second soprano in a girls quartet that took second place her junior year in the Mississippi state song competition. They took first place the following year.
After high school, she attended Southern Mississippi University in Hattiesburg where she sang with the choir and was the drum majorette in the band. After two years at Southern Mississippi, she lived with her grandmother in Waco, Texas and graduated from Central City Commercial College.
World War 2 was raging abroad and Alleyne moved with her parents to Camp Mackall, an Army base in North Carolina where her father was stationed. While there, Alleyne met Major Lawrence L. (Larry) Summerhays, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Utah. Alleyne, who was raised Presbyterian, was taught the gospel and accepted the baptismal challenge.
On December 14, 1943, Larry and Alleyne were married in Southern Pines, NC (later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple). Several months later, Larry and the 11th Airborne Division left for the war in the Pacific and Alleyne came to Salt Lake City to live with his family and with lots and lots of relatives in the neighborhood (culture shock for an only child). A first child, Jane, was born in October, 1944. At the conclusion of the war, Larry announced he would be home for Christmas in 1945 and asked Alleyne to arrange the purchase of a home (stress). She found one on the 1500 block of Ramona Avenue where they lived until 1955. She lived the next 55 years on the 1800 block of Kensington Avenue in Salt Lake.
Through the years, many recognized that Alleyne had leadership abilities. She served as the PTA president of Garfield Elementary, Clayton Middle School and was the PTA president for two years at Highland High School. She was the mothers’ club president of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and Sigma Chi fraternity at the University of Utah. She served in many callings in the church including Relief Society president and Young Women’s president. She had a theatrical talent and directed roadshows in the Hillside Stake for 20 years, including some that were invited to be presented at BYU and then the annual June Conference of the Church. Alleyne enjoyed following politics and served as an election judge for many years.
Alleyne loved to travel. Every other year for about 20 years she traveled with a close friend. They went to various areas of Europe ten times and always started or ended with a week in Great Britain. Larry joined her on at least one trip to Europe and one trip to China.
Alleyne was a loyal (really loyal) Ute fan. The year after Larry returned from the war in 1945, they purchased season football and basketball tickets. She has had them ever since including the current season in both sports. Health problems allowed her to attend only one football game this season. She has been an avid fan and season ticket holder for 73 (yes, 73) consecutive years from the age of 24 until her passing at the age of 97. Macular degeneration made it difficult for her to see the details of the games and when it was suggested that she obtain seats closer to the action she exclaimed, “No, this is where Larry and I sat for decades (he died in the year 2000) and this is where I want to continue to sit” —-and so she has.
Alleyne reflects her Southern upbringing with a slight southern accent. “Though I have lived here for 70 years, people tell me they still hear my southern accent,” she recently exclaimed. When she spoke long distance on the phone with her Mississippi friends the accent instantly became southern strong. She had a wonderful sense of style that was reflected in the décor of her home, her dress and her manners. She usually spoke her mind and was quick to apologize if she felt she offended someone.
Larry and Alleyne were married for 56 years and are the parents of 4 children. The children are grateful for their upbringing and the opportunities presented to them. Alleyne was a wonderful support in their activities and taught them the importance of honesty, education and hard work. She rejoiced when they were happy and she suffered when they suffered. We, her children, are grateful for her 97 years and all the good she brought into our lives, for her sacrifice in our behalf, for her constant care of our ailing father (Alzheimer’s) and for her example of “being tough when the road gets rough”. Thank you and bless you, Mom.
Alleyne is survived by her children, Jane (New York City), Lindsay Cutshall (Ronny) Salt Lake, Bart (Denise) Salt Lake, and Scott (Santa Barbara, CA). She is also survived by eleven grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren and many Summerhays nephews and nieces. She was preceded in death by her husband, Larry, and her parents.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to Cathleen Frome for the friendship and loving care she has given to our mother for many years. We also thank Mandy, most recently, and others from Senior Helpers for their assistance with her needs. Thanks, also, for the kind care from the staff at the Abbington Senior Living Center.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 11th at 11:00 AM at the Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 East 1300 South in Salt Lake City. A viewing will be held prior to the services from 9:30 to 10:45 AM. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Lawrence L. Summerhays Scholarship Fund at the University of Utah College of Law.