Leah May Jessen Saastamoinen, age 81, passed away on Tuesday, March 17, with her loving husband Robert by her side in the final days. Leah suffered many years with the effects of Alzheimer’s.
Leah was born in Price, Utah where she excelled in school & participated in many school, work, & church activities with friends, including cheerleading & Pep Club. She graduated with an Associate Degree from Carbon College before transferring to the University of Utah. Leah was a lifelong, devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She diligently held church callings throughout her lifetime, including serving in the Seattle Temple. Leah was a dedicated mother to five daughters & a loving grandmother to her eight grandchildren. Leah was outgoing & a wonderful friend, & was always the life of the party. Leah had many friends all over the country. After leaving Price-Salt Lake City, she lived with her husband & family in Pocatello, ID, Broomfield, CO, Cheyenne, WY, Spokane, WA, Miami, FL, Bellevue, WA, Anacortes, WA, & finally, Albuquerque, NM
Leah was high energy & never stopped moving, enjoying many activities: caring for her family, scrapbooking, documenting family history, writing, cooking, sewing, entertaining, Lunch-Bunching with friends, decorating, traveling, serving others, attending church & activities, & singing church hymns even in her final years.
Leah was preceded in death by her baby daughter Hope; mother Henrietta Hunter Jessen; father Henry Wesley Jessen; brothers Neldon Eugene Jessen & Howard (Georgeanna) Wesley Jessen; & sisters Thelma Pearl Jessen Phipps & Evelyn La Rue (Cecil) Jessen Bohn.
Leah is survived by her eternal companion of 61 years, Robert Arthur Saastamoinen, & her daughters Holly (Dennis) Southwick, Heidi Saastam, Heather (Matthew) Gibbs, Hilary Hunter, & Hildja (Eric) Saas. Her grandchildren Travis, Taylor, Trent (Chloe) & Tate (Nick McGee) Southwick; Joshua, Kelley, & Adam Gibbs; & Sebastian Saas. Leah’s sister Jean Wagstaff & nieces & nephews Paula (Skip) Andringa, Howard (Laurie) Jessen Jr., George (Karyl) Jessen, John (Jean) Jessen, Jennifer Jessen, Patsy (Roy) McWhorter & Stacey Wagstaff. Also, her best friend Janet (Ron) Norviel, & many other family members & beloved friends.
The Saastamoinen Family would like to thank the many caregivers & administrators who helped care for Leah in her final years in Albuquerque: Share Your Care, The Retreat, The Woodmark, & in the final months, Life Spire & Armada Hospice.
Memorial Services will be conducted at her graveside in the Price Cemetery in Price, Utah, following restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19.
WHEN HE COMES AGAIN - Sung at Baby Hope’s Funeral
Words & Music: Mirla Greenwood Thayne
I wonder, when he comes again,
Will herald angels sing?
Will earth be white with drifted snow,
Or will the world know spring?
I wonder if one star will shine
Far brighter than the rest;
Will daylight stay the whole night through?
Will songbirds leave their nests?
I’m sure he’ll call his little ones
Together ‘round his knee,
Because he said in days gone by
“Suffer them to come to me.”
I wonder, when he comes again,
Will I be ready there
To look upon his loving face
And join with him in prayer?
Each day I’ll try to do his will
And let my light so shine
That others seeing me may seek
For greater light divine.
Then, when that blessed day is here,
He’ll love me and he’ll say,
You’ve served me well, my little child;
Come unto my arms to stay.”
To plant a tree in memory of Leah May Jessen Saastamoinen, please visit our tribute store.