Lorelie Strong Stowell passed away peacefully in Salt Lake City on November 1, 2023, surrounded by her loving family, including ten grandchildren. Determined to hold her family close throughout her long life, Lorelie always made time to ask questions of each family member and then listen carefully to their answers. Her gentle insistence on yearly reunions (always at Bear Lake) created bonds of memories, love and laughter that her extended family will continue to share. Possessing deep reservoirs of patience, kindness and faith, Lorelie found joy and purpose serving her family, church, and community.
Born in Driggs, Idaho, on August 23, 1929, Lorelie was the third of four children. Her father Leon was the local Seminary teacher and her mother Mabel Holmgren served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before she was married. Lorelie and her two older brothers, Grant and Kline, and younger sister, Helen Mar, helped in the large garden and on the sugar beet farm, learning to work hard as they grew up. The Strong family was very musical and Lorelie played the piano, organ, and flute. She began her long career teaching piano lessons when she was a teenager and attended Rick’s College as a music major. There, she met Paul Stowell from nearby Rexburg after he returned from the Pacific theater of World War II. Lorelie wrote many letters to Paul during his subsequent missionary service in Texas and after he returned to Idaho, they were married in the Idaho Falls Temple on March 21, 1950. One year later, their first daughter Launa Lee was born and Paul completed his degree at the University of Utah.
The young family moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1952 for Paul to attend Yale University Medical School. Their home was a divided metal Quonset hut on the Yale campus, and Lorelie quickly made friends with other medical students' wives in the diverse village, swapping babysitting and recipes as their family grew to include son David, born in 1952, and daughter Shellie, born in 1954. Somehow, they found time to venture into New York City and Lorelie loved to describe the thrill of driving down the Henry Hudson Parkway for special evenings out to attend concerts of the Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. She and Paul continued the habit of attending concerts and were among the longest-subscribing patrons of the Utah Symphony.
Paul and Lorelie returned to Salt Lake City in 1956 for Paul’s two-year medical residency, where son Doug was born in 1957. The following year, they moved to Logan where Paul began his pediatric practice at the Budge Clinic. Marci was born in Logan in 1960. While raising her five children, Lorelie taught many piano students over a 40-year career and those students were always greeted with a smile and some questions about their lives beyond music. Once, one of them brought his pet snake to show his patient piano teacher. Lorelie took it in stride and that student later became a professional pianist in New York City. Her students knew she genuinely cared about them, whether they practiced or not. Lorelie contributed to her church and community, serving as a ward and stake Relief Society president and as president of the Utah State Medical Auxiliary. She sang in a community choir, accompanied her congregation on the piano and organ and spent many years leading the congregational hymns in her ward, always at a brisk tempo. Paul and Lorelie served a two-year mission on Temple Square and worked together in the Logan Temple for many years. They designed and built their Logan home and enjoyed living in it for 58 years. From this home base, they sent two sons on missions, saw musically accomplished daughters perform piano, organ, cello and violin recitals, and enjoyed wonderful friends and neighbors.
In her sixties, Lorelie became a devoted attendee of a community exercise class and made many younger friends who admired her strength, persistence and sense of humor. In later life, Lorelie and Paul welcomed back several grandchildren who attended Utah State University or needed a dose of love and Grandma’s home cooking. Many grandsons recall arm-wrestling with Lorelie, and her granddaughters loved dressing up in her vintage jewelry and clothes and playing with toys from the 1960s in her basement. Leaving that beloved home and neighborhood four years ago when Paul passed away was difficult, but Lorelie has cheerfully lived with her children since then, spending most of her time with Marci and Eric Hunsaker, where she continued daily exercising (sometimes too much), listened to classical music, completed scripture study, and regaled resident or visiting family members with her fun memories from many years ago.
She is survived by four children and their spouses: David & Janet of Park City, Shellie & Jim Christensen of Chino, CA, Doug & Tana of Salt Lake City and Marci & Eric Hunsaker of Los Gatos, CA. Lorelie will be missed and remembered with great love by her 18 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her siblings, husband Paul, daughter Launa Lee, and grandson Bryan Boyd.
Funeral services will be held on November 18 at Allen-Hall Mortuary at 34 East Center Street in Logan from 11:00 – 12:00, preceded by public visitation from 9:30-10:30. In lieu of flowers and in honor of Lorelie & grandson Colt, please consider a donation to;
Global Down Syndrome Foundation:
Main page: https://www.globaldownsyndrome.org/
Donation Page: https://www.globaldownsyndrome.org/2023-global-donation-form/