LuDean Robson, 72, returned to her Heavenly Father on March 17, 2021.
She was born August 12 in Ogden, UT to Ralph Thayne and Lou Jean Allen Robson. LuDean was the first child and proud big sister to two brothers and five sisters. She was gregarious and adventurous from the beginning. She lived on her grandparent’s farm for the first few years where she developed a love of animals that endured throughout her life. Family and friends have a hard time remembering if there was ever a time when she didn’t have a pet. When her father graduated from Utah State and pursued educational opportunities and employment outside of Utah, LuDean lived in Ithaca, Boston, and Los Angeles before returning to Utah. This exposed her to the joy of becoming acquainted with new people, new places, and new cultures which also lasted her whole life. She enjoyed traveling to many places internationally and within the U.S.
LuDean loved to learn. She studied at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University. She received degrees in Home Economics and Music, and a Master of Social Work. Later, she became certified in Special Education. She spent her whole professional career helping others, first as a social worker and then as a teacher. She especially enjoyed being able to work with and help unwed mothers and students who had difficulty succeeding in mainstream classrooms.
LuDean also loved participating in and supporting the arts, especially music. As much as she loved travel, education, and the arts, she loved family and close friendships more. It was important to her to spend time with her immediate family and her extended family. She knew and recognized everyone, which was a skill her younger siblings relied on. She loved family stories and was especially thrilled when she was able to purchase the home her Grandfather Allen had built after her grandparents both passed away. She loved Huntsville with it’s small town, close knit community and caring culture. To her, close friends were family and were invited, whenever possible, to be with her family.
A faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she held many callings throughout her life and enjoyed serving in the church, especially teaching. Her testimony and faith were instrumental in helping her to endure the loss of her parents, a brother, a niece, and her health.
The last years of LuDean’s life were full of chronic health challenges which gradually took away her ability to do the things she loved and to live where she wanted to live. Despite that, she remained cheerful and optimistic to the end.
The family would like to thank all of the caring people at The Ridge Cottonwood, CNS Hospice and Danville Support Services for helping care for LuDean.
LuDean is survived by her siblings: Elizabeth Romney (Steven), James Robson (Angie), Carolyn Blatter (Bill), Rebecca Robson (Chris Worley), Cheryl Callaghan (Michael), Angela Wade (Ken), and her beloved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father and mother, her brother, John E.S. Robson, and her niece Christina Mae Robson. She is also survived by many friends whom she considered family.
To celebrate LuDean’s life, a viewing will be held Saturday, March 27, 2021 from 10:00 -11:40 am at Larkin Mortuary (260 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City) with a funeral service following from Noon -1:00 pm (masks are required in the mortuary). She will be buried in the Plain City Cemetery, (4373 W 1975 N, Plain City, UT 84404), following a graveside dedication at 2:00 pm. To Watch the service using zoom please click on the watch zoom service button at the top right of LuDean's obituary page.
In remembrance of LuDean’s life, the family suggests that a contribution may be made to the Lupus Research Alliance www.lupusresearch.org or Latter-day Saint Charities.
A little more detail….
LuDean attended Skyline High School for two years until her family moved to Silver Spring, Maryland for two years where she completed her Senior year, retaining for life many friendships she developed there.
She received her Joint BA Degree in Home Economics and Music, from the University of Utah. A while later, she was accepted into the Social Work, Graduate Degree Program at the University of Utah. During her required mid-degree, Social Work “Field Placement” course at the U, she was chosen to work along with Allen Proctor to develop a special Summer Day Camp program for Children and an Outdoor Treatment Program to meet the needs of troubled teens.
After graduating from the University of Utah with her Master of Social Work degree, LuDean was hired by Allen to work with LDS Social Services and he assigned her to work in the agency’s, “Avenues Office” as a Senior Counselor, serving individuals and families living in that area of Salt Lake City. During the summers, LuDean continued to help with the Summer Special Day-Camps and the Week-long Survival trips into the Southern Utah, Robbers’ Roost area (which Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid made famous).
Allen reports, “When it came to working with troubled teens, LuDean was the best Mental Health worker, I have ever supervised, because of her strong spirit and common-sense on the trail. She could handle even the toughest and most belligerent kids in the bunch. There was no one better to have on the team in a major crisis, a serious weather condition, accident on the trail, or heated emotional outburst.”
After several years working with the youth, LuDean continued to serve with Allen, as her supervisor, but she began to be recognized by the Agency, for her skill in working with Unwed Mothers and her caseload shifted into the Adoption area. She had an uncanny awareness of how the girls could be helped to make the necessary and difficult decisions regarding their and their baby’s future lives. She could recruit the most appropriate parents, for even the most challenging children and babies on the adoption placement rolls. While working in the Atlanta, Georgia, LDS Social Services Agency office, one of her pre-adoption foster parents, declared to an agency supervisor that she loved to provide short-term care to any of the babies LuDean brought to her, because LuDean knew how to cope with the impossible: unwed mothers crying, newborn babies crying, and fostering mothers walking the floor (sometimes, also, crying).
LuDean spent her whole professional career helping others as she moved from one “helping-profession” to another. She began as a Social Worker, practicing in three different areas of client-service and then decided to finish her Special Education Teaching Certificate and accepted a teaching position in the Davis County School District, working with disadvantaged and mentally challenged Middle-School students. She often commented on how her earlier training in working with youth facing behavioral challenges had helped her as she dealt with students who were similar in age but had other challenges to deal with.
LuDean loved participating in a wide variety of special interests and activities. Her love of music began early and continued until the last few days of her life. She commented to family members and friends, “My greatest support is listening to my Tabernacle Choir music. How I wish I could go hear them in the Tabernacle, just one more time.” Throughout her life she also supported other areas of the arts, especially graphic art and film. She was an early, regular participant at the Sundance Film Festival, attending hundreds of movies and panels over the course of many years. She also loved many different sports. She learned to ski and began to ice skate as an adult, taking private figure skating lessons and learning to love all aspects of the sport, including following the National and International Championships and careers of national ABD World Class Skaters.
LuDean loved her small town, Hunstville life. She made many dear friends there. Among those friendships, she enjoyed her relationship, over many years, with Huntsville’s Trappist Monks residing at the Abbey of our Lady of the Holy Trinity. It was a sad day for her when the Abbey closed.
Whether going for long drives through the local mountains or down to the Southern Utah high-color canyons, LuDean loved traveling. She enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. with Steve Peterson to such activities as his presentation of his painting of the Washington, D.C. temple at its dedication, to interview “Gone with the Wind” actors and film crews, or to promote his film projects and market his paintings. Wonderful memories were made traveling internationally with friends to Egypt to attend a conference, to see the Pyramids and ride a camel, and to Mexico to take presents for the children. LuDean seldom missed family trips to Lake Powell, Southern California, Hawaii, or other fun places. One of the difficult things about her deteriorating health was that traveling became extremely difficult.