Lou Ann Peterson Gilliat, 91, of St. George, Utah, gently passed to the next life on Saturday, September 30, 2023, surrounded by family.
Born July 2, 1932, in Alamosa, Colorado to Robert and Nellie Peterson of LaJara, Colorado, Lou Ann was the youngest of 10 children. She grew up surrounded by the love of wonderful parents and adoring siblings. She learned from an early age the importance of serving and caring for not only her family but those around her. Lou Ann would continue to care and serve those around her throughout her life, whether it be in a church calling or for a neighbor in need.
Lou Ann was raised on a large ranch in the small town of LaJara, Colorado. Her character was formed amid the rigors and pleasures of ranch life. Treasured memories included riding her horse, skating on the creek that ran into town, fishing with her father, and bottle-feeding struggling calves.
Lou Ann received a teaching degree from Adams State College, in Alamosa, Colorado, and began teaching elementary school in Long Beach, California. There she met the love of her life, Rich Gilliat, at a young Republican’s party. They began a wonderful courtship. One night, while seated in his cute little convertible Triumph TR3 on their way to the opera, Rich dropped a wedding ring into her lap. They were married August 27, 1960, in the home of her parents, and later sealed as a family in the Salt Lake Temple.
Rich and Lou Ann were blessed with three children: Patricia, Susan, and David who they raised in a home abounding in love. Lou Ann counted her greatest blessing in life as that of being a wife and mother. Their family was raised in the Sandy, Utah area. Rich and Lou Ann later lived in Pueblo, Colorado. They retired in St. George, Utah in 1994.
Lou Ann loved: children (especially chubby little babies), her family, a good book, getting her hands dirty in the garden, the smell of lilacs, a long walk, a good strong Coke, serving others, and a big box of See’s candy (milk chocolate only). She was a wonderful teacher, a fabulous cook, and a gentle leader.
Lou Ann enjoyed her many callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She loved the Lord and loved serving His children. She had a special place in her heart for her Relief Society sisters and children in Primary. In her later years, she enjoyed serving as a senior missionary with her husband Rich.
During her last 25 years she suffered with a rare neurodegenerative disease which caused her to rely on the service and care of others. It wasn’t easy for this strong independent, dignified woman to rely on others so heavily, but she did so with grace, a sense of humor and a good attitude. She was able to show love for those around her, even with a broken body.
Lou Ann is preceded in death by her husband, Richleigh H. Gilliat, both of her parents, 7 of her siblings. She is survived by her children: Patricia Ann (Clayton) Munk, Rockland, Idaho; Susan Leigh (Aron) Baker, Santa Clara, Utah; David Scott (Heather) Gilliat, Tigard, Oregon; 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. We love you, Mom!
A graveside service will be held on Friday, September 6, 2023, followed by interment at the Tonaquint Cemetery in St. George, Utah.
We wish to acknowledge the many who have cared for and loved our mother during her time in assisted living and on hospice; From coming in on days off, spending time helping her feel pretty and loved, to sitting with her through the night. A special thank you to two sweet CNA’s: London and Thalia – you are family now.
Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah. 435-673-2454.
Friends and family are invited to sign Lou Ann’s online guest book at www.spilsburymortuary.com