Lisa Jane

Lisa and I danced together for several years at Janet's. I remember a few of our chats before ballet class would start. I was about 10, I'd say, and she was 13 or so. She and I would laugh, she would give me fashion advice, and we became pretty good friends. And sometimes we'd get in trouble for talking during barre. She stopped taking at Janet's but then we ran into each other again at Highland. She was a senior -- in dance company, of course -- and I was a freshman. I haven't kept in touch... but I was speechless when I found out that she had passed away. So, here is her obituary.

June 14, 1985 - October 17, 2009

Lisa Layton Okland passed away in Tempe, AZ on October 17, 2009. She was born to Clark and Renda Layton in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 14, 1985. An honors graduate of Highland High School in 2003, Lisa was a student leader and served as Dance Company President. She married her high school sweetheart John Christopher Okland on June 23, 2006 in the Salt Lake City Temple. Lisa graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Photography. An accomplished dancer, artist, photographer and triathlete, Lisa set a standard of excellence.

Spending time with family was Lisa’s greatest joy. She cherished her role as a wife; her greatest blessing was her loving and supportive husband, Chris. They shared many adventures in the great outdoors from the deserts of the Southwest to the Fjords of Norway, often joined by their dog Ralph and always by Lisa’s camera. Children adored Lisa! She lovingly nurtured many children in her family as an aunt, in her community as a nanny, and abroad as a teacher in Ukraine and Mexico. Sweet, giving, creative, selfless, kind, energetic, fun, thoughtful, and helpful, Lisa rained light and love on our lives. She was a blessing from above. Her grace, beauty and goodwill touched and charmed us. Always expressing appreciation, Lisa was a supreme example of what it means to be grateful.

Lisa choreographed her life with passion using every part of herself: a mind for learning, an eye for composition, an ear for listening, a heart of kindness, a hand outreached, a smile for everyone, and of course . . . a sense of humor.

Indeed Lisa showed us all how to “take life by the hand and dance.”

Lisa is survived by her husband John Christopher Okland, her parents Clark Layton (Christine), Renda Layton (Robert Strong); her grandparents Arthur and Joy Wiscombe, Richard Layton; her brother Jacen; sisters Melissa, Katherine; half sister Elizabeth; and step siblings Brian, Randy, Darren, David, Amy.

In honor of Lisa’s passion for dance and photography and her dedication to the pursuit of higher education, a memorial scholarship fund has been established in her name. Contributions can be made online at www.slc.k12.ut.us/sites/slef/ or mailed to the Salt Lake Education Foundation, Lisa Layton Okland Scholarship 440 East 100 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 24, 2009 at 12:00 noon, at the Monument Park Stake Center, 1320 South Wasatch Blvd., Salt Lake City, UT. Friends and family may gather Thursday October 22nd from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ, and Friday, October 23rd from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, UT and from 10:45 am to 11:45 am prior to the services at the Monument Park Stake Center. Interment at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.

1 remarks:

Jenica said...

I also know Lisa. Thanks for the post.