August 18, 1921 – March 20, 2020 – (age 98)
Lila May Ralphs Watterson’s earthly journey began August 18, 1921 in Rockland, Idaho. Lila was born into a loving family which consisted of her parents, James Albert Ralphs, Jr. and Charlotte Amelia Munns; Her two older brothers, James and Arthur; and older sister, Alice.
Rockland was a beautiful farming community full of good people and plenty of opportunities for hard work, and a little fun. Lila often spoke of her memories there with a giggle as she reminisced about tipping over outhouses on Halloween and pulling pranks on her siblings. Those in Rockland knew her as “Duckie”, a nickname her Dad gave her as a child.
As a direct descendant of early pioneers, Lila was “brought up unto the Lord” by loving parents, relatives and friends. It was in her hometown, surrounded by a loving family, that this beautiful and remarkable little girl developed a great faith and love for Heavenly Father, her Savior Jesus Christ and her family. She learned the meaning of hard work and faithful perseverance in a way that guided and blessed her as a wife, mother, and friend throughout her entire life.
After graduating from Rockland High School, Lila enrolled in Utah State Agricultural College where she excelled in math. In 1944, Lila became the first woman to graduate with an accounting degree from Utah State Agricultural College. Lila enjoyed the challenge of tracking every penny spent and saved. She had a sharp and keen mind.
While attending college, Lila was affiliated and actively involved with Lambda Delta Sigma where she served as President and was also crowned “The Sweetheart of Lambda Delta Sigma”. Lila was not only beautiful but she had a warm sparkling personality that drew people to her.
On February 10, 1944 Lila married her “college sweetheart” Alma E. Watterson, Jr. in the Logan Temple. This began an eternal journey together that was full of love, faith and service. Lila and Alma were married for 67 years before Alma’s passing in 2011. Lila was a devoted and loving wife to Alma. Theirs was a true love story.
After being told by their doctor they would never have posterity, Alma and Lila were blessed with four loving and faithful children – whom they adored and cherished: Linda (Wallace J.) Smith, Paul A. Watterson, Scott R. (Michele) Watterson and David J. (Tracy) Watterson. Alma and Lila’s posterity has grown to thirteen grandchildren and their spouses, and 29 great-grandchildren including her great-grandson, Nathan Paul Watterson, who passed away in 2019. Lila’s family was the center of her life. She personified love and charity as she served her family faithfully. Lila was a devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, who found great joy in showing love to each member of her family individually. Family visits to her home would often include her famous applesauce cookies and homemade grape juice. She would often sing to her family, “There is beauty all around, when there’s love at home”. Everyone felt cherished in her presence.
Lila served faithfully in many organizations in the church. She had a special spot in her heart for the women and youth she was privileged to serve with. Lila and Alma served a mission together in the England, Leeds Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Lila especially loved this experience and the people of England. It was a special time in her life where she shared her testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. Alma and Lila also served as officiators in the Logan Temple for 17 years and treasured the experiences they had and friendships they developed there. Lila enjoyed genealogy, being a member of Daughters of Utah Pioneers, and her Booklore Literary Club.
Lila’s earthly journey ended peacefully in her home on March 20, 2020 after a faithful life filled with service, love and joy. She died of natural causes due to age.
Mom, thank you for your love and sacrifice, your faithfulness, and Christlike example. You always had time for your family and friends. You always thought of others before yourself. These priceless gifts you’ve given to your family will continue to bless us through eternity. You were a true angel on earth. God bless you sweet Mother, until we meet again.
“All that I am, or hope to be,
I owe to my angel mother”
– Abraham Lincoln
With sincere gratitude, Lila’s family would like to thank all those who have so tenderly served and loved her.
Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, a private graveside service will be held by the family. A celebration of Lila’s extraordinary life will be held on August 18, 2020; Lila’s 99th birthday. Details will be announced closer to the date.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at allenmortuaries.net