r Our loving sister, aunt and friend to so many passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, at the age of 100.
Ora Marie Houtz was born on May 10, 1916, in Provo, Utah, to Ira Houtz and Marie Ellen Walton. She graduated from Brigham Young High and then attended Brigham Young University for two years where she studied economics. She married the love of her life, Don Lamar Hardy, on April 12, 1935. They soon moved to Los Angeles where they found jobs during the Depression. When Don was drafted into the Navy for WWII, Ora did her duty on the Homefront, working for Selective Service until the war was over. After the war she found a job at FMC Corp. where over a 27-year career she rose from secretary to union negotiator, a trailblazer in typically a man’s world. She was tough, smart and fair. She lost Don in 1967 and retired in 1975, moving back home to Springville where she pursued a life of service and travel. Never having children of her own, she helped with nieces and nephews of which there were many. She also was a generous donor to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. Her love of travel took her around the world as she enjoyed experiencing different cultures and always said, “Travel is the best education ever.” One vivid memory she liked to share was her ride on a smelly, spitting, flea-ridden camel up to the Great Pyramids in Egypt. She loved it!
Ora had wanted to reach 100 years and she did it in exactly her way with a huge party attended by over 100 family members and friends. She gained membership into the prestigious Governor’s Century Club of Utah and attended Gov. and Mrs. Herbert’s Centenarian Luncheon.
Ora always said, “Be optimistic and be happy.”
We are all happy to know she has been reunited with her eternal sweetheart Don and her parents and siblings Rowena, Alice, Jean, Walt and Juanita. She leaves behind her beloved sister Ellen Bethers, 95, of Fletcher, N.C., and many many adoring nieces and nephews who will miss her sparkling blue eyes and that mischievous smile.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in Ora’s name to Primary Children’s Hospital, 100 Mario Capecchi Dr., Salt Lake City, Utah 84132.
Services were held Oct. 25, 2016, at the Hobble Creek Stake Center in Springville, Utah. Interment was in the East Lawn Memorial Hills Cemetery in Provo. Walker Funeral Homes handled the arrangements; condolences may be sent to the family at walkerobits.com.