Cover photo for Lelia Wanlass's Obituary
1927 Lelia 2021

Lelia Wanlass

June 17, 1927 — December 23, 2021


Lelia, at the young age of 94, passed away peacefully in her sleep, on December 23, 2021 after a long battle with dementia. She was born June 17, 1927 in Warm River, Idaho, to the late David Levi Stone and Grace Margaret Metsker. She had 9 siblings. Lelia is survived by three sisters, Lula, Letha, Kate, and one brother, Lynn Stone. After graduating high school, she worked at the Old Faithful Inn, where she met and fell in love with William James Wanlass, her sweetheart. They were later married on October 18, 1947 and were together for 57 years before Bill’s passing. Lelia is survived by daughters Margaret (Jerry) Downs, Rachelle (Don, deceased) Small, Celia (Mike) Moore, and Grandchildren, William (Heather) Downs, Shelley (Derron) Fairbanks, Jennifer Small, Marsha (Bryce) Hammond, Henna (Andrew) Reese, and Ron (Clarissa) Moore. She had a total of 18 Great Grandchildren. Lelia was preceded in death by her parents, husband, two sons, and one grandson.

If you knew Lelia, you knew she was a Stone through and through. Being raised in Idaho, she had a farmer's work ethic; work fast, always give your all, and do it right the first time. Lelia didn’t take the time to explain things twice. If you didn’t hear what she said, you were sh## out of luck, which incidentally sh## was her favorite cuss word. If you were around her for very long, you heard her say it. Lelia had a way of knowing the name of every flower and tree she saw or stopped to smell. She always had a gorgeous thriving garden and loved showing it off to visitors. After retiring to California and building a farm, Bill and Lelia often had Grandchildren come stay, sometimes for the entire summer. Lelia would create unique ways to use things others would deem unusable. She had the grandkids using a washboard, and the dreaded hand squisher to wring out clothes. She taught them to cook, clean, do the hard manly work, and take care of the farm, all without electricity for nearly 15 years! Lelia would go to the lake with them often, and even showed them how to catch grasshoppers to fish with. When they’d ask what was for dinner, she and Grandpa would say, “whatever you go kill, skin, and help prepare by sundown.” Bill and Lelia raised hundreds of animals on their farm. She had a special love of animals, which most of her progeny have inherited. Lelia was crafty and enjoyed sewing and quilting. She was often found in her later years doing crosswords, search-a-words, and regular old jigsaw puzzles. She owned well over 150 puzzles! Lelia didn’t take no for an answer. If you weren’t fast enough at responding, she’d grab you by the collar and make you get to work. She was a social butterfly. A favorite activity of hers, before she started losing her hearing, was talking on the phone, especially to her sisters. She loved being surrounded by family whenever possible. Lelia enjoyed pulling a good practical joke and interacting with nieces and nephews. One of her favorite foods was tomatoes. While on a road trip, she would often swipe a saltshaker from a restaurant to season a freshly picked tomato, insisting she’d return the shaker on the return trip, it never happened though. Grandma loved reminiscing about growing up on the farm in Warm River, Idaho. Lelia never sat still; she was always doing something. She’d often disappear, and you’d have to search to find her. And when you did, she was moving this, or looking for that. Words to describe her are simple, practical, determined, shy, stubborn, unforgiving, and caring. She showed her love in her actions towards others. Once the work was done, she loved to play. Speaking of play, as her memory declined, she became childlike again, often hiding from her nurses at her care center. Just like a child, she would hide her possessions in her socks to prevent workers from stealing her things.

A special thanks to Dignity Hospice for her last several years of assistance. Also, thanks to Wentworth at Coventry Memory Center for her final weeks of care. An extra special thanks to a dear neighbor, Tom, who visited her almost weekly, for many years. He brought her hamburgers, fruit, root beer, and took care of her, when Margaret, her daughter was back at home in Vernal. Lelia often referred to Tom as one of her sons!

A viewing will be held Monday, January 3rd, from 12:00-1:30pm, at Peel Funeral Home 8525 West 2700 South, Magna, UT. A graveside service will take place at 2:00pm, at Utah Veterans Memorial Park, 17111 So Camp Williams Rd, in Bluffdale, UT, which will be her final resting place, next to her husband.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lelia Wanlass, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, January 3, 2022

12:00 - 1:30 pm (Mountain time)

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Graveside Service

Monday, January 3, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

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