Our crossword wizard, voracious reader, master teacher, expert gift wrapper, and dedicated full time mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother (GG), Helen Lorraine Robbins McDermott, was reunited with her eternal companion on December 6, 2021, twenty-six days after her 96th birthday. We marvel at her long and wonderful life. Born November 10, 1925, to Edgar Beresford Robbins and Anna Karoline Magdalena Masche in Salt Lake City, Utah, mom grew up during the depression, but never felt poor. Mom remembers sharing one dresser and one closet with her older sister Juanita and younger brother Eddy. There were happy summers spent visiting relatives in both New York and California. She never tired of the ocean and the salty sea air.
Mom loved the back-to-school smell of freshly waxed floors, the sight of clean chalkboards, and the prospect of a new year of learning. She was studious and excelled in the classroom. Despite her dedication to education, however, she did skip school in eighth grade to see the much anticipated, “Gone with the Wind.” She was involved in extracurricular activities at West High and attended the University of Utah during the war years. She had a loyal group of lifelong friends.
She met Dad at the Rainbow Randevu just days before he left for basic training. She agreed to write him, and they became better acquainted through letters. Lorraine married William F. McDermott (Bill), a Purple Heart army war veteran, on August 23, 1946, in the Salt Lake Temple. Eleven months later, the newlyweds became parents. Five more children later, they moved into the Cannon First Ward. There three more children were born. Mom lived in our red brick home for sixty years.
Dad loved Christmas and Mom made it happen. Mom read to us! She told the grandchildren stories spun from her imagination. She sent notes of congratulations. After the birth of each grandchild, she stayed for a few days to help. Mom nursed us back to health when sick, and for six-and-a-half years provided loving care for our dad after his stroke.
She was Cannon Ward’s gospel doctrine teacher for over twenty years. She especially loved the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Christ. She gave her last lesson, at age ninety-four, in her assisted living branch. Our classy, expressive, conversationalist, rule-following, organized mom may have felt her age, but with her salt and pepper hair, no way did she look ninety-six!
Lorraine and her forever Bill are now reunited along with Bruce Knowlton (son-in-law), Jarrod Jefferies (grandson) and Easton Fankhauser (great-grandson), her parents, siblings and oh so many dear ones. She is survived by her nine children: William Fredrick (Rick) and LuAnn; Robyn and David Osborn; Rebecca McDermott; Rourke and Elaine; Rondi Knowlton and Brad Jefferies; Rachelle and Scott Snow; Henry Lucas (Luke) and Bonnie; Lorna and Stu Parker; Ryan and Julie; 41 grandchildren, 84 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services, under the direction of McDougal Funeral Homes, will be December 16, 2021, at 1:00pm with a viewing at 11:30 am at Cannon Stake Center, 934 West Fremont Avenue in Salt Lake City. You may also attend the services via Zoom:
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