Ann Marie Blacker was born on November 30, 1932, in Salt Lake City, UT, to Marie Desmond Hill Blacker and Kemuel K Blacker. Ann was very friendly and social as a child and made many dear friends that lasted her entire life. Her father passed away before she was born leaving her mother, an elementary school teacher, to successfully raise her and her brother, both of whom ultimately became very accomplished in school and life. A highlight for her in high school was to be chosen the designated pianist for the school song, which required learning the music by memory since it had not been written down. She played the clarinet in a quartet that performed at high school assemblies throughout the valley and led the marching band on the field as drum majorette for two years. She worked in a malt shop at a 5 and Dime store during high school and always impressed the customers because her memory was so sharp that she never wrote down the orders.
She was moved up a grade in elementary school and was an excellent student. Ann began attending the University of Utah at the early age of 17. She played the clarinet in the U of U marching band and received a Bachelors degree in business. She worked as the main secretary for a college Dean to pay her way through school, which her brother Kay, a former Dean himself, said was, “Pretty damn impressive for an 18 or 19 year old!” She later became a teacher for adult education at Olympus High night school where she taught typing and shorthand. When she and Ron moved to San Francisco for Ron to attend dental school, she taught there as well. She didn’t just teach business classes, but expanded her teaching subjects to include music and dance.
Ann met her husband, Ronald LaMar Astle while he was cruising State Street with friends! They married on August 20th,1953, in the Salt Lake Temple. They were great examples of showing love and care for each other. Ann and Ron have been blessed with a posterity that has reached 110 people, which include their 6 children, their spouses, grandchildren and spouses, and great grandchildren. Despite some challenging health problems during her childbearing years, she was a supermom!
Ann always loved music, dancing, singing, and playing piano, clarinet (first chair), and guitar. She actually learned to play guitar in order to do music time at the elementary school her children attended. She was part of a tap dancing trio that performed regularly. As a young mother she sang with a ladies quartet that performed often, including once on TV. Ann enjoyed volunteering her children to perform regardless of the child’s willingness to do so. She took great delight in watching her loved ones perform in any of their endeavors. Recitals, concerts, plays, musicals, games, meets, or awards ceremonies always found her in the audience cheering for her loved ones. Sometimes, she was accompanied by her beloved dog, Mandy. She was also an accomplished seamstress who sewed many costumes, often through the night, for her children’s performances.
Ann was a fierce competitor. She had the grit and drive to push herself to succeed. When she played, she played to win. She played softball and was a coach for her daughters’ softball teams. When she watched sports, she always knew the scores/points/players of her teams even when her memory started to fade. Everything she did, she did with her whole heart and commitment. Since girls didn’t really play sports when she was growing up, and she loved to play, she would often play with the boys. She loved it when she was selected to a team before some of the boys. She swam competitively at Murray pool and won lots of ribbons - winning through determination rather than technique.
She was a master planner, one who put her whole heart and soul into making the events she planned great successes. She planned annual family reunions to: Fish Lake, Bear Lake, Santa Cruz, Southern Utah, and many local family events. For her 50th wedding anniversary, she and Ron took their entire family on a bus for a church history tour through Independence, Winter Quarters, Nauvoo, and Martin’s Cove.
Her commitment to her Savior, Jesus Christ, was absolute. She never wavered in her testimony nor her service as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She was privileged to travel; one of her favorite places she visited was Israel, where they walked where the Savior walked. She served as a faithful visiting teacher, choir director, accompanist, Young Women’s leader, Stake Young Women’s President, stake camp director, Webelos leader with Ron, temple worker and missionary. She taught seminary for 8 years, which was her favorite calling, where she served as the seminary principal. She would wake up at 4:30 AM to prepare her amazing lessons for her sleepy teenage students and have a hot breakfast for her hungry teenage son.
Ann and Ron served three missions together. They served a CES mission to Ireland from 1994-1996. Family history, which was a lifelong passion of Ann’s, was their next mission which allowed them to live at home. She made large family history books for all her children and grandchildren, which have become treasured gifts. Their final mission was to Nauvoo, Illinois in 2004, where she accompanied musical numbers, and they both performed and sang, and taught at various historical sites.
It is impossible to list all of Ann’s amazing qualities. She was compassionate, creative, determined, service oriented, intelligent, detailed, optimistic, positive, happy, kind, social, inclusive, thrifty, grateful, faithful, and sweet. In the face of her 11 years as a widow, she maintained her positive attitude and gratitude in spite of many difficulties and opportunities to grumble and complain.
Ann has blessed the lives of all who knew her. She gracefully welcomed a foster son, Victor Johnson, an Apache Indian from Whiteriver, AZ, who became one of the family during his high school years. We rejoice in the knowledge that she has graduated to another sphere and has been greeted by her beloved husband, parents and family members. She was preceded in death by her parents, Marie and Kemuel Blacker, and her husband, Ron. She is survived by her brother, Kay (Joyce) Blacker and children: Ken (Marlene) Astle, Judy (Allen) Jackson, Clint (Bobbi) Astle, Marie (Chris) Monson, Alan (Laura) Astle, David (Cassie) Astle, 28 grandchildren, and 53 great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank Sidney Vi (11 years) and Laurel Milligan (3 years) for their loving dedicated care. We are also grateful for Suncrest Hospice and their wonderful nurses who cared for Ann so well.
The following is a poem written by Ann.
By Ann Marie Blacker Astle
I tried very hard to live a good life
That I finish school and become a good wife
Ron was in college and we fell in love
We married in college with help from above.
Ron had eight years before he was through
Together this goal- we did pursue
Army was coming besides all his school
But having a family was our golden rule.
Dentist was Ron’s educational goal
A wife and a partner was my special role.
Eight years of working he got his degree
Besides, with three children, a dentist was he.
Two boys and a girl then did Ron and Ann add
Making eight all together our dear family had
Our children were raised down in Sacramento
Business was good and to Church we did go.
My husband was thoughtful. I always came first
Even in tough times when things were the worst.
Our friends filled our lives in many good ways
Laughter and love helped to lighten our days.
At last came retirement with nothing to do
But sit and eat chocolates and TV to view
Instead we were busier than ever before
With temple and missions and family galore.
My life has evolved through the things I was taught
I look back and see all the blessings they brought
And pray that my kids and grandkids all may see
The blessings received now and eternally.
Kori Lundquist- Grandma’s love of chocolate was legendary and she always knew how to have fun and connect with the kids after all the other adults were in bed.
Levi Lundquist - I deeply cherish the memories of Grandma destroying the family at Kube, reading Lia books and showing the type of love and kindness I strive to pass on to Lia.
Alex Astle - Mowing the lawn at Grandma’s was always an adventure.
Kelsey Astle - Grandma was always willing to help others and was the first person to offer up some sweets.
Kylee Astle - I loved how Grandma and Grandpa would dress up for Halloween and scare us when we came to their house.
Jayci Jackson - Grandma always had candy for us grandkids.
Nate Monson - I remember joking with Grandma who was in her 80’s to ride a tandem bike, and she said yes, which was possibly the most nerve racking experience of my life but highlighted Grandma’s thrill seeking and fun personality.
Tanner Monson - I love how much Grandma loved to play games, even when she was older and slower, she was still always up for a few rounds.
Katy Monson - When I met Ann for the first time, she looked absolutely darling and visibly nervous which perplexed me, because I was the one who was supposed to be in the hot seat but we had a wonderful conversation where she made me feel incredibly welcome to join the family.
Steve Astle- Once when my friend and I flew back for EFY Grandma set us up with half a dozen attractive ladies and multiple activities, totally unexpectedly! We had a pool party at a neighbors, hikes and movies all planned out upon arrival from the airport. Grandma knew how to have a good time and wanted everyone to as well.
Amy Weaver - I remember grandma doing back dives off the diving board in her pool in California, whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, coming to our games and recitals, of course ice cream and the highlight of each year—camping together at New Brighton Beach. She was such a great example of love.
Sarah Nowland- Grandma was so good at being genuinely interested in my life and making me feel special and loved. She and Grandpa were the first ones to take then-boyfriend Jeremy and I out on a double date (to the BYU Creamery of course) and they were the first ones to visit me in the hospital when I had my first baby, I will cherish those memories!!
Wendy McNiven- Once Grandma had our family over to dinner somewhat unexpectedly on a Sunday. She felt bad she didn’t have any ice cream for dessert and couldn’t go to the store on Sunday. What did she do? She borrowed some from her neighbor and kept apologizing that she only had one flavor, plain vanilla!
Heidi Worsham - Grandma and I shared a love of dogs. She was always so kind to my dog Daisy, and taught me how to crochet so I could crochet Daisy a sweater for Christmas when I was 9.
Katie Black - Grandma's number one priority was her family, and she was the ultimate planner. From monthly family home evenings to crazy family reunions. I always knew grandma loved us. Not many people could pull off an extended family bus trip across the country ... but grandma did. And we all loved it!
Alyson Sharp - I remember Grandma hustling into the gym with Mandy to watch me play. It was sweet she came so often my teammates all recognized her and would say, "Aly your Grandma is here". Also, I was so impressed and proud watching Grandma and Grandpa perform as missionaries in Nauvoo -that was really special.
Michael Astle - I loved that she ALWAYS had to walk us to the door after a family gathering or any visit. She ALWAYS gave me a kiss on the cheek and told me that she loved me!
Emilee Astle - My favorite memory is when Grandma and Grandpa came to Lake Powell with us right before Grandpa died. She couldn't stand to miss out on any fun so she went cliff jumping and tubing with me fully clothed!
Jessica Mosteller - Grandma was one of the most selfless people I have ever known; she was always so concerned that everyone else was taken care of and had everything that they needed before she would even consider doing anything for herself.
Sabrina Astle - I remember making chocolate and caramel candy with Grandma in my childhood. I don't know who was more excited about the "taste testing."
Brady Astle - I admire Grandma's desire to help everyone around her. She even wanted to help me with her yard work and worried about me getting too tired doing it.
Clark Astle - I vividly remember that every time we visited Grandma, she made us Cheese Dream sandwiches. Looking back at it, they weren't anything special, but I know she put a little bit more love into them, and it made them all the more delicious to me.
Annie Rose Astle - I love how Grandma continually put everyone else first, and worried more about them, than herself. I will always remember Grandma as a great hostess.
Jami Bloomstedt - I remember for the longest time, every family Christmas party was held at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. It was always filled with fun (white elephant, singing), but we always looked forward to the big Nativity production complete with musical numbers.
McCall Monson - One of my favorite memories with Grandma was playing Scattergories with her! She made us all laugh with her creative answers!
Nicolette Monson - I always felt a special connection to Grandma Astle because she was friends with my Nord grandparents in Sacramento. Grandma was always easygoing, happy, kind, easy to talk to , loved games, a lover of chocolate and had a FOMO (fear of missing out) personality.
Michelle Nielsen- I have lots of good memories of grandma, but one of my favorite memories of her was when she taught me and some of my cousins how to make her delicious homemade fudge. I’m grateful she passed on her chocolate-loving taste buds to me!
David Monson - I remember grandma always being up for adventure and fun at family gatherings - hikes, swimming, waterslides, fishing, games, etc.
Virginia Kesler - There are many things I will remember about grandma but above all, I will cherish her consistent presence that helped me feel a sense of belonging, feel supported, and loved.
Christian Monson - Grandma always made an effort to attend my sports events and concerts while I was young. It means so much to me that she was supportive of my interests and passions.
Nicole Monson - I’m so glad I was fortunate enough to meet you grandma. Rest in peace.
Derek Nielsen - I loved playing board games with her, especially Taboo and every time I saw her she would tell me how cute my kids are, which I, of course, agreed with.
Jenn Harry - I remember driving to California to visit and swimming in their pool and Grandma would let us play with the cool stuff in her junk drawer and we would build wooden blocks that became cities in her entryway, and she is my chocolate loving soul sister.
Yihua Astle-Grandma was always very sweet to me. She lent her slippers to me when I mentioned my feet were cold even though her feet were quite a bit bigger. We both love card games and dogs. She and I could have been good friends if I knew her earlier.
Funeral Services will be held Monday May 16, 2022 at 11:00am at the LDS Church located at 15570 S Wasatch Blvd. Sandy, Utah. A viewing will be held 1 hour prior (10:00am) to the services. A viewing will also be held Sunday May 15, 2022 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at Larkin Sunset Gardens located at 1950 E Dimple Dell Road, Sandy, Utah
Those wishing to view the COMPLETED services via Zoom can click the "Watch Services" button or following the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/FuC6SRs0xxTZUJ4SNiAREzy2z82xRpEr-WvhIciA81zaiZauZNQvBIWV1A__Pn_n.UVuAm20-riNP0iwE?startTime=1652719391000
Ann and I were born on the same day and year. We were Murray High School friends and have continued our friendship for all these years. She was such a talented, kind, fun friend. I also know that she was a fabulous mom, grandma, and great grandma. Despite her poor health the last few years, I know she was always positive and hopeful. We will miss her! I send my condolences and prayers to Ann’s entire loving family. So happy to have been her friend - and sometimes competitor!
Our deepest sympathies to the Astle family. We have special memories of a loving lady with a special family.
Our love, prayers, & hugs…
So sorry for your loss. Ann was a great lady! She will be greatly missed. Isn’t it nice to know though, that she is not far away and still watching over you all?