Dear Mother Lavona,
I have always admired how you have believed in and encouraged your children. In addition, you exposed them to remarkable experiences and opportunities. In every way you provided love and support for them in each of their pursuits. Last but not least, you have loved and encouraged me! Thanks!
I am so grateful to you, my mother, for helping me to develop my talents. Thank you for urging me to learn piano, flute, violin, organ and voice. How rich my life has been because I have music. And you truly “put the music in me!” Thanks for helping me to be a good student, for helping me type papers, and just all the details. What I loved was the outings, just you and me, usually to go buy material for a sewing project. You were so generous, and I was so blessed by a wise mother who encouraged me and financed me so I could learn to sew. Priceless gifts from a wonderful mother!
I was truly grateful that I had a Mom who was there for me, a mom who was home, and who I could call with my victories as well as my hard times, from the phone in the Seminary room. Thanks so much for giving me that glorious Austria experience, by realizing that I needed to go that year, and letting me pay it back later.
You helped me develop a love for good books. Both by providing them, and by your example of reading them! I love the way you are always reaching out to others. All growing up, you were always taking in so many .
Mom, I love how much you love life! Anything that’s happening, you want to be there and experience it.
And capture it too! What a great way to live!
But most of all, dear Mother, I am so indebted for you for your righteousness. Your testimony. Your prayers. You stand firm in what’s right. No question, we will live the gospel! Such a great heritage you have given me, and all the generations to come!
So much love,
As a think of what I could say as a personal tribute to you, my wonderful Grandma, I honestly do not know where to begin. I feel like my life is abundantly blessed every day by the wonderful legacy you have helped pass on to me. Where would I be if it weren’t for your enduring testimony and love of the Lord as you raised your family? Thanks for teaching my mother, Marlene, so that then she could then teach me. I’m grateful for you for so many reasons, but here are some that stand out at this point in my life:
Consistency in the Gospel – Thank you for your undeviating testimony, expressed directly in your Richardson Review letters and by example in the way you live day to day. Your consistent, unwavering resolve to do what is right strengthens mine. The example of your valiant fulfillment of your callings, acceptance of mission calls, and personal daily devotionals has not gone unnoticed. Thanks.
Appreciation of our Heritage – I feel such a connection with our ancestors because of the stories you have passed on. Thank you for telling us about your parents and grandparents (and beyond) whose examples make me want to be a better person. I recently named my new little daughter Annalie Love, in hopes she will look to you, her Great-Grandma Lavona, and to her ancestor Agnes Love Flake for righteous examples of faithful womanhood.
Journal-Keeping – I remember the special journal I got from your bookstore, embossed with my full name on the cover. You are such a great example of diligent journaling and record-keeping, as we have been counseled to do. I’m sure you have received much inspiration from “writing it down”, and my goal is to follow your good example.
Building of Others’ Self-Worth – Thanks for your love and support through my years of growing up. Thanks for taking pictures of me! My mom told me your secret: Sometimes the main goal for taking a photo of someone isn’t necessarily for later, it’s what it accomplishes right then. “Wow, I’m important enough for her to want to take a picture of me?” the person thinks as he or she smile for one of your pictures, and feels worthwhile. Am I right? You have made so so so many people feel important. And not just through photos—I’ve noticed how you keep in touch with people whose lives have intertwined with yours through the years, and I’ve been impressed by that. Thank you for showing your love and interest in my own little children and building their self-confidence now.
Setting of a High Standard of Excellence – I remember being so excited to receive a book as a gift from you. I appreciate your love of good literature. Thanks for passing this on to your descendants, along with your love of good music. Thanks for encouraging me in my studies and learning. I remember feeling so loved when you came to my BYU graduation. I was so proud to be a teacher like you, yet I felt like such a novice when you came to my classroom to help and showed the love of a wonderful, knowledgeable, experienced teacher. You were a great teacher for all of us grandchildren at each “Grandma School” session, too. Your and Grandpa’s “Back-to-School” fireside lessons are some I will not forget. Thank you for making us each feel that you are on our team, and are celebrating our successes while encouraging us to reach higher toward good goals and spiritual excellence.
I feel so blessed as your oldest granddaughter. I want you to know, Grandma, that I love you very much.
Melanie Ann (Ellingson) Hopkins June 2013
What I admire about Grandmother Richardson is that she spends all of her time and resources to be with her family and to serve them! Thank you for being such a Christ-like example to all of us!
Love, Spencer Stradling
Ever since I can remember, Grandma Richardson has been one of my favorite people. I remember canning tomatoes, having swim parties, sleep overs, collecting rubberbands from paper routes, Grandma School, crafts parties, Halloween parties with Grandma's special story, watching conference, etc, all with my Grandma. Every time I had the opportunity to be with her, I remember thinking (even at a very young age), that whatever it was, whatever we were doing, it always mattered to Grandma and it was special to her. Things mattered, time mattered, and I mattered. I always had a place that I belonged in her life. Every moment is always lived to its fullest. I admire her so much and have been buoyed up by her strength and testimony many times in my life.
Love, Bonnie Stradling
One of the things I admire most about Grandmother is her example of enjoying life by living it to the fullest. She insists upon making the time and effort to surround herself with the people she loves.
You are one of the happiest people I know. I am so grateful to be a part of your family. I truly admire your ability to talk to anyone and to share the gospel with them. You are such a wonderful example of a hard working missionary, as Jordan and I would someday like to serve a mission. You can carry on a conversation with anyone and you make ever one in the room feel like they are your favorite person. Thanks for all you do and for the wonderful example you have set for many.
Love you! Kaitlin
I feel so very fortunate to have grown up near your home, since it has blessed me with many, many memories with you. From Grandma School, to sleepovers, and swim parties, I have many fond memories of you and Granddad. I look up to you in many ways, but most especially I am amazed at your great capacity. Somehow you make it to almost every single baby blessing, baptism, high school graduation, mission farewell or homecoming, wedding, and college graduation; all in addition to your busy schedule of service and missionary work. Each week as I read your Richardson Review, I am always so amazed at how much you fit in in one week’s time. I also love the way you make each one of us grandkids feel so loved. You never miss calling on a birthday. I will never forget how excited you were to hold our little Maylee for the first time at Colby Beck’s open house. It meant so much to me to see how much you loved your little great-granddaughter. I always cherish our phone conversations and the great encouragement you give me. I sure could never have asked for a better Grandma! I love you Grandma!
How you do all you do I will never know. Thanks for never ceasing to lead our family in righteousness. One of my favorite things about you is your testimony and how you love to share it with others. You are a great missionary wherever you go. Thank you for your example of serving. You also love family and go to great lengths to keep us all connected. Your Richardson Review is fun to read every week. Thanks for all your love and support!
I like how Grandmother Richardson is someone who is completely devoted to the gospel. I love how enthusiastic she is about her calling and responsibilities with the conference center. I think it's really neat how she is constantly moving and learning in improving. She is and always has been very intelligent and very insightful. She is great about constantly growing. She is someone who is always actively striving to developed herself and explore new things. I love how she is so considerate of everyone in her very large family. She is always so good about making sure everyone is included and being there for everyone’s big events. She is incredibly good at keeping the family connected despite the many miles and circumstances that separate us. I think back on all the big events in my life I always remember Grandmother Richardson being there to support me. Sure love you Grandmother!! -Carl
You are one of the most energetic people. You love living and doing. Also your family is your priority and your good at loving and serving all of us. I appreciate that you come to as many of the events in our lives as you can, including our plays, graduations, sports games and holiday celebrations. Thank you for your testimony and example. You are a good example of how to live righteously and serve others. One of my favorite memories is when we would go to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Halloween, Back-to-school and all the other parties. We always had such a fun time and created some fun memories. Thanks again for being who you are and for all you do for me and your family.
Grandmother is full of light. She is always happy and anxious to share in our happy moments. I love how her family comes first and sacrifices to be a part of our lives. She focuses on showing love and spending time in what matters most. Thank you Grandmother for your motivation and love in all your letters. I love reading them and want to be a missionary like you were in Mexico! You are my hero.
Love, Hermana Rebekah Ellingson
I remember taking care of Grandpa as Grandma went to church. She always impressed me with the love she had for me and for him. It was a perfect example of their theme of a previous family reunion, "The answer is always more love". That theme struck my heart so deeply that I feel it is now a theme for my life! I really appreciate her dedication to truth and her courage to spread it to her posterity.
Love, Elder Jaron Ellingson
My dear Grandmother Richardson has a profound sense of loyalty to her family, which is manifest by her dedication to come to all of our events. I think it is so cool that she planned out her life and worked for an airplane company so that she would be able to visit and support her family, spread all over the world. I also love that Grandmother is always up for some fun. She is forever willing to host sleepovers and when gathering people for a card game, you can always be sure Grandma will want to play. Grandmother takes every moment for what it is worth. She finds the joy in every moment, which must be why she takes so many pictures--she just wants to relive all of the happy times. Also, Grandma has a burning testimony. She has a relationship with the Savior, Jesus Christ, and because of that relationships, she wants to make sure her posterity always stay rooted in the Gospel. I remember her carefully planned "Family Night" type lessons at each of our sleepovers. Lavona Richardson is a great lady. I love her so much. I hope that I can be as cool as she is when I'm a Grandma.
I’ve loved having grandma live so close to us. Because of our close proximity, I can always expect to see her sitting in the front row with her camera close at hand whenever I’d have a concert, play, and sporting events. I also can always look forward to grandmas back to school, Halloween, and Christmas parties where she give us great school year advice, present her infamous Halloween story, or had out gifts to each one of us. Another thing that I loved was when grandma came with our family one summer as we toured the church history sites and visited family. It was so fun to have her there to add her amazing insights and to be able to talk with her and learn more about her. I’ll never forget these amazing memories that I have of Grandma Richardson!
I love you,
My Grandmother Richardson is a standard of love and care for all people. In my personal life, she has given me the attention required for my most efficient growth. Her want to serve shone true not just through her influence to the community, but within the plethora of children and grandchildren she helped raise. The attended concerts, the biannual cousin sleep-overs, and the regular dose of get-togethers fly high upon her substantial to-do list. When not serving the Lord with dentistry in Indonesia to touring in Salt Lake, her commitment of genuine care and concern for her posterity always shines through. Taking continuous, well-placed, and sometimes redundant pictures is just her way of freezing the happiness of others--and ultimately--her own. If--after all her efforts to help, support, and love her grandchildren as she does her Master; if we haven't fully felt her unconditional love--at least we have all learned how to smile big for her camera.
Thank you for showing us the example of how to live with love.
I am so glad that grandma took so many pictures. I always know that she will be at my concerts, sports, and all the special things I am doing. Plus I am always able to think ahead to the parties that has for Halloween, Christmas, and back to school. I’m so glad that I have her legacy to look up to and remember. I Love you so much Grandma Richardson! Thank you for being my Grandma!
Thanks for letting me go to the Reunion. I really liked it! I guess it was kinda fun meeting all of my Mom’s cousins.
I really like such a great person you are. I hope I’m like you when I grow up.
I love you,