RaNae Adelia Norton Garretson, beloved Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Friend, passed into our loving Heavenly Father’s arms Sunday, February 7, 2021 in Lehi Utah of natural causes.
Born in Upalco Utah on January 9, 1930 to Raymond and Trilba Gill, she loved growing up in the Uinta Basin. She had many fond memories of life on her family’s Dairy and Cattle Ranch, at one time the largest and only Triple AAA certified Dairy in the Uinta Basin. A child of the great depression, she nevertheless enjoyed being the youngest in her family of 4 siblings and was often treated as the princess of the family, especially by her mother. As her older siblings moved into adulthood and moved away she became a singular great source of help and comfort to her parents on the ranch. At age 17 she moved to Salt Lake City where, working in a bakery, she met and fell in love with her first great love, Earl Samuel Norton, originally of Clayton, Georgia. They were married on Friday, February 6, 1948 when she was 18. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout her life and never hesitated to share her testimony to her children and grandchildren. She magnified her many callings in the church and particularly loved serving as the activity director for Mutual Young Adults and as a worker in the Bishops storehouse later in life. Earl worked for Mountain Fuel Supply for 28 years, the last 5 of which he was Senior Auditor. Together they built a happy life and raised their four daughters: Lyn (Michael J) Jensen, Jana (William) Rees, Cristy (Jon) Christiansen and Lari (Rob) Fitzgerald. They lived in the Sugarhouse and Foothill areas of Salt Lake City. Together Earl and RaNae loved hunting, fishing, camping, dancing, playing the piano and singing together. They traveled east with their children to visit Earl’s family and visit historical sights many times in their little 16 foot travel trailer and Lava Hot Springs Idaho was another favorite place to visit with her parents. Her entire life RaNae was a hard worker. She enjoyed and forever maintained the close friendships she made while selling for Beehive Clothing during the early years of her married life. She transitioned to working as a student recruiter and receptionist/office organizer for Continental College of Beauty, which was owned and operated by her sister, Beatrice Gill Lund. Eventually she earned her license as a cosmetologist and owned and operated her own Salon, “RaNae’s Salon”, located in the Greater Avenue area of Salt Lake City. For many years she also worked as “Mrs. Claus” at the Sugarhouse Gingerbread House during the holidays to earn extra seasonal income. Earl and RaNae were divorced in 1975. While working on her cosmetology degree and the opening of her salon she started attending many LDS Single Adult Conferences and gained many new close friendships during this period of time. In 1978 she met David Hal Garretson (originally of Downey Idaho and Ridgecrest California) at one such conference in Las Vegas. They were both immediately enamoured with each other and on the second day of the conference Dave proposed. It took almost a year of long distance old-time courtship and romance before their marriage. She was married to David Hal Garretson, her second great and lasting love, November 2, 1979. Together they made their combined families their greatest treasure and priority, and continued to raise Dave’s three sons, David Ralls, Dale (Debbie) Garretson, Dan Garretson (deceased) and RaNae’s daughter, Lari (Rob) Fitzgerald, in RaNae’s Foothills area home. Dave also has a daughter, D’Anne (Don) Blackburn, who lived and worked as teachers in Montezuma Creek at that time, whom they loved to visit early in their marriage. Dave, also a hard worker, woke early and drove hours a day working at Hill Air Force Base in Layton Utah. For a time RaNae continued to work at her avenue’s salon. Eventually she sold that salon and continued to work for many more years out of a salon Dave built for her in their foothills home. Together they bought a motorhome and boat and loved traveling. Eventually they sold the boat and motorhome, downsized to a smaller home in Sandy Utah, and had two small homes in Star Valley Wyoming and St. George Utah. They loved to share all their homes with any family able to visit them and made many lifetime friends in each area. Among their favorite places to travel were Lake Powell, Quartzsite Arizona, St. George Utah and Star Valley Wyoming, although they also traveled to Europe, Alaska and many other states. Together they loved their family and close friends with every ounce of their beings. RaNae had many hobbies and talents. She excelled at cooking, sewing and singing, and loved collecting rocks, snowmobiling, fishing, and square dancing with Dave. They were together until his death and she cared for him, along with her loving Daughter and Son-in-law, Jon and Cristy Christiansen, at the Christiansen home until his passing on July 26, 2016. For a time after Dave’s passing she lived in her Sandy home and was loved and cared for by her incredible Ward family as well as many children and grandchildren who were able to live with and stay with her for a time. As her age progressed she lived in a beautiful Senior independent living cottage at River meadows, where she was loved and cared for. She later transitioned to assisted living at Covington Senior Living in Lehi due to a decline in her health. Here she met and gained many friendships, the dearest being her good friend Dale Hougaard, who was able to spend many enjoyable hours of companionship until his death in December 2020. She will always be remembered as our rock in times of distress or need, our joy and laughter in the many good times and always our foundation of stability in her efforts to love each and every one of us to her core. She had a wonderful, quirky sense of humor that is not easily forgotten. She had the gift of making everyone in her life feel truly loved by her and important to her. Her heart was that big! She loved and accepted people from all walks of life, was social, was charismatic, was easy to love and easy to befriend. She easily made friends everywhere she went. She will be greatly missed, but her legacy of love, service, friendship and testimony will forever live on in her posterity. We would like to thank Tender Care Hospice, Visiting Angels and those few very special caregivers (you know who you are) who kept and maintained diligent personal contact with us throughout the difficult and poignant process of her passing during COVID restrictions. Our deepest love goes to Ora Argyle “our sweet angel” for all the many daily visits in the last two weeks of mom’s life. Ora held mom’s hand and soothed her brow at the time of her passing. No recognition would be complete without the entire family’s gratitude to our dear Cristy Christiansen, RaNae’s daughter. Throughout the last year and passing of our sweet mother’s life Cristy cared for little Suzette, mom’s cherished and constant canine companion, during all times of ill health or strife. We love you dearly.
RaNae was preceded in death by Raymond Gill (Father), Trilba McCurdy Gill (Mother), Beatrice Gill Lund (Sister), Cyle Raymond Gill (Brother), Ruland Jay Gill (Brother), Trilba Gill Bodily (Sister), Earl Samuel Norton (Husband), Dave Hal Garretson (Husband), Dan Garretson (Son), William Vincent Rees (Son-in-law), Michael Vincent Rees (Grandson).
She is survived by daughters: Lyn (Michael J.) Jensen, Jana (William Vincent) Rees, D’Anne (Donald L.) Blackburn, Cristy (Jon Cardwell) Christiansen, Lari (Jackson Robert) Fitzgerald. And Sons, Dale Adam (Debbie) Garretson. She lovingly kept association with 23 grandchildren, 69 Great Grandchildren, 22 Great Great Grandchildren and 10 nieces and nephews.
Private family services will be held on Saturday, February 20th at 2:00 PM at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 E. Dimple Dell Rd. (10600 S.), Sandy. To view previously held services please visit https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/It6XUKsz8fmr8osY1CAuXKwE3aDr-EkupbYXUTZOnMXeMoGFS_1H0-A-XFWhtag.LHR7204It8JioZGq?startTime=1613855533000