Our precious mother, Delores Rose, and Dad’s sweetheart, “Lotus,” graduated peacefully from this life on January 7th, 2022, surrounded by her loving family. She valiantly fought over the past two years to spend every moment she could in this beautiful world with the people she loved so very much. We are certain she has earned her eternal bird wings, and mermaid tail, so that she can explore everywhere from the skies to the seas, any time she wishes. While our hearts are hurting terribly, we are very comforted knowing that Dad was there to wrap his loving arms tightly around her, and we know without a doubt, they are having the best time living it up again, just as they always did.
Mom was born on July 31st, 1960, in Tooele, Utah to William Reid and Joyce Rabineau, the 7th of 12 children. She spent her entire childhood in Tooele where she enjoyed swimming, spending time with her friends, many of whom were lifelong friends, reading books, and going on family vacations. She was also a very trusting child and allowed her big sister, Cindy, to give her haircuts. That did not always turn out very well as evidenced by some of her grade school portraits!
She met her one and only love, our handsome, sparkly blue-eyed Dad, Ralph Harold Freestone, in the summer of 1977, and married him October 27th, 1978, in Tooele. Together they had 4 children: Jeremy Lee, Rinda Janae, Andrea Nicole, and Valerie Megan. The family was sealed in the Jordan River Temple on March 21st, 1991. Mom and Dad made their home in many places, including Idaho, before buying the cutest little house Mom had ever seen, and settling in Magna, Utah in June of 1987. Dad promptly built the cutest little picket fence to match the house, and planted rose bushes, just for Mom.
Mom did everything she possibly could to make sure her family never went without. We always had nice clothes, and participated in baseball, basketball, volleyball, dance, drill team, cheer, music, or art, and she was always there to cheer us on! She was the best person to ride a rollercoaster or thrill ride with! She loved spending long days at Lagoon with us as children, and her grandbabies later in life. Mom always made Halloween and Christmas magical, special, and SO much fun! She firmly believed the holidays started in October and did not end until after the new year when she would take her Christmas tree and lights down, which occasionally was February because she thought Christmas lights were therapeutic during the cold, dreary January days. We will probably leave our own lights up a little longer this year.
Creativity and crafting were always a part of Mom’s life, including needlepoint, crochet, cross stitch, handmade hair bows for her girls, painting ceramics, and countless other hobbies. Her creativity and passion soared to new and incredible heights (literally and figuratively) when she discovered the wonderful world of birding, which quickly included photographing all her birds, because she was told, “It doesn’t count if you don’t get a picture.” We are grateful for whoever told her that, because she had an amazing, natural gift of photography, and she shared her beautiful images with all her family and friends daily. She was a bona fide Bird Nerd and was very proud of it. She never met a stranger and would tell anyone who would listen how to attract a variety of birds to their own yard. Some of her favorite yard birds included orioles, chickadees, lazuli buntings, dark eyed juncos, Steller’s jays, scrub jays, any owl she could hear or see, and all the dozens, if not hundreds, of hummingbirds that frequented her countless feeders every spring and summer! Her family was always so proud of her each time she won one of the many ribbons and awards for her beautiful photographs at the Utah State Fair and local art festivals! We also were very aware of the big, beautiful great horned owl that stood watch over Mom’s home in the hours before her passing. We are sure that was no coincidence.
There were several jobs that Mom held over the years, but none excited her more than being selected as a volunteer for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. She met so many new people from all over the world, made friends that she had until her passing, and amassed what may be the most epic collection of Olympic pins on the planet!
Mom’s favorite calling in life was being Grandma to her precious grandbabies! She absolutely adored, doted on, and spoiled them to no end. Mom’s gifting to our children at Christmas and Birthdays was unrivaled! “A little something” was usually a mountain of presents! She just loved them so much, they were the light of her life, and she lived for them these past 18 years. Her Grandbabies will miss her terribly, and they will always carry and cherish the wonderful memories of her with them.
Mom and Dad shared countless adventures, beginning with the purchase of their favorite child in 2004, their Yamaha Royal Star Venture, cleverly named “Psycle Therapy.” They put 100,000 miles on that bike cruising nearly every National Park west of Colorado, and all the scenic routes in between over the course of 10 years. Some of their favorite places to cruise were the Oregon coast, the California coast from Oregon to San Francisco, exploring The Redwoods, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, and all of Utah’s 5 National Parks. Mom’s favorite place to spend her birthday during those cruising years was Humboldt Redwoods State Park in California (Avenue of the Giants). Each year, Mom and Dad spent their anniversary in Capitol Reef National Park, Mom’s favorite of all the parks, where they explored many trails and slot canyons on their bike, and later, on in their new favorite child, their Jeep Wrangler named “Disorderly Conduct.” In 2015, Mom and Dad were introduced by their daughter to The Virgin Islands National Park in St. John, USVI, and that quickly became one of Mom’s favorite places. She could spend an entire day snorkeling with those adorable sea turtles in Maho Bay!
Mom and Dad spent 40 wonderful years together before Dad passed away in November 2017. They were best friends, partners in crime (mostly Dad’s crimes), and we could never imagine them apart. They are true soulmates, and will continue to be an example of pure, unconditional love to their children and grandchildren.
We love you to the stars and back, Momma and Grandma, and we hope you have fun racing those hummingbirds, just the way you dreamed!
Mom is survived by her children, Jeremy, Janae Mitchler (Nathan), Andrea Sperry (Travis), and Valerie Freestone (Steve); Her 5 adorable grandbabies, Skyler Jack Freestone, Austin Robbie, Jamison Todd, Isabella Taylor, and Rosslyn Sage; Her mother, Joyce; 8 brothers and sisters; Barbara (Bob), Billy, Cindy (Randy), Timmy (Diane), Tracy (Susan), Roger (Cherry), Keith (Kim), and Kim; Countless cousins, nieces and nephews; Her sweet kitties, Mamba and Baby Kitty, and her 12 furry grandchildren. Upon her death she was reunited with her Husband and sweetie pie, Ralph; Father, William; 3 siblings, Terry, Larry, and Peter; And her favorite grandpa, Arthur, who adoringly called Mom “his little shadow”.
Our family would like to thank the incredible oncology team at Huntsman Cancer Institute, especially Dr. Solomon and her nurse, Joan, for their love, kindness, compassion, and friendship to our precious mother over these past 2 years. We would also like to thank Mom’s night shift hospice caregivers, Fe and Lisa, for their tender care over the past 2 weeks, we could not have done it without you, ladies!
As a family, we would like to strongly urge you to please schedule your colonoscopy. It truly could save your life! Colon cancer is a cruel and horrific disease that can be prevented with regular screenings and early intervention. Mom kept putting it off, and it was her biggest regret. Please don’t wait, your life is precious!
Memorial Service will be held on Friday, January 14th, 2022 at the LDS stake center located at 3084 S 8400 W Magna, Utah 84044. The family will receive guests at 10:00 am, with services starting at 11:00 am. Internment at Pleasant Green Cemetery in Magna will take place on a later date. Mom always loved a good costume party and dressing up, so we encourage colorful Sunday attire, rather than black, and welcome the ladies to wear a fancy, colorful derby hat or fascinator. Mom would love it!
Streaming information below! Important: You will need to sign up for a free Zoom account prior to accessing the live stream!
When: Jan 14, 2022 11:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Masks will be required to be worn throughout the service, and social distancing measures will be taken. The family kindly asks anyone who is not feeling well to please stay home.
In lieu of flowers, please add a bird feeder to your yard (or several!), or donate to Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City, Utah, one of Mom’s favorite places to spend her precious time these past several years.
Life Story Info
I love the tribute to your mom. She was a very special person. She was right there to donate decorations when a fire destroyed all of our Christmas decorations. Delores and Ralph came and cheered me up with a sculpture of a funny bird when I came home from the hospital after brain surgery. I look at it everyday and I am reminded of their thoughtfulness and sense of humor. She will be missed. Our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers to her family.
This was truly one of the greatest obituaries I've ever seen. It describes her perfectly and not TOO serious like some are. It was playful just like her.
There are many many memories I could share but just can't find the right one. Auntie Dee Dee will always hold a special place in my heart. I'm happy knowing she has wonderful ppl taking care of her now, showing her the ropes.
Delores was so special. I knew her since first grade I think. She was so kind and funny and I have many awesome memories of her. I wish she had published a wildlife/landscape photography book. She was so talented and had such an eye for it. I miss seeing her posts on Facebook every day. I will think
Of her always. I hope she is flying high and wherever she wants. Flying with her precious birds into the sunsets. Bless you my sweet friend I love and miss you.
Mar 20, 1989
Delores your unconditionally love you had for people was incredibly. Even though you had babies at home, you still took Joshua home with you so I could rest when we came home from the hospital. You never judged and you always showed much love.