Geraldine Anne Henley was born on 22 December, 1938, in Hot Springs, New Mexico. Her parents were Gerald and Georgia Henley. She was the younger sister to Hank (who was in the US Navy most of her early life) and the older sister to Rosemary and Richard. Her father worked in the shipyards during World War II, and her mom was a housewife. Anne (which is what she went by) moved to Casa Grande when she was five. She was a good student and popular at Casa Grande High School, where she was a cheerleader and was on the student council. While she was not a math fan, she did enjoy her Spanish class. She went to Mexico on a high school field trip a couple of times, where she stayed with a family for a week each time. (She also said that she lost election to senior class president because she didn’t think it was right to vote for herself, and voted for someone else.)
She attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, majoring in education. She married Aubrey Stephen Johnson in 1958 and had the first of her five children (Steve) in 1959. Within a few years, she divorced Aubrey and taught school in Casa Grande, Arizona. She began to attend a church with her sister, and was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1963. In November, she married Vern Holland.
Soon, the family moved to Tempe where Anne taught in an all-black school. She later reminisced about the insights she received into prejudice and poverty as a result of this experience. A little later, the family moved to south Phoenix, where she taught 1st Grade in a school that was more racially diverse, but just as poor. The family also bought a house that had been repossessed; the purchase price was $7,000 and it was in need of repair. They fixed up the two-bedroom house and added a 3rd bedroom. In 1966, Anne’s only daughter (Lisa) was born. Clay came along in 1970.
When the family moved to mid-Phoenix by 1972, Anne had stopped teaching school and spent her time taking care of the growing family. In 1974, the family moved to north Phoenix and soon moved into a brand-new house. Here, she served as Relief Society president for their local women’s organization. This meant that she was responsible for teaching and serving the women and their spiritual, physical, emotional and social needs. She engaged in numerous crafts including creating macrame, plaster castings, decoupage and clusters of glass grapes that were the rage at the time. She also shared her love of music, including Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles, Neil Diamond, etc., with her children.
Her final two children, Trent and Chad, were born in 1976 and 1978, respectively. Anne spent a good bit of her time driving her children to their activities, shopping for the large family and making sure they had clean clothes and suitable meals. She knew how to stretch the budget; she sewed, used powdered milk whenever possible, cooked with TVP, made bread from home-milled flour and dehydrated various foods. It was during this time that she took 2nd place in a state-wide cooking contest for her “chicken and rice” recipe and began developing her ideas for a book about the challenges of raising a large family, which she eventually published as “Take Me to The Funny Farm—I Need a Vacation”.
The family moved to Orem, Utah in 1980 where Anne finally fulfilled her dream to live in an area with four seasons. She continued to manage her family. When she had time, she read Tom Clancy novels and watched “Murder, She Wrote” and other murder mystery shows. She and Vern were divorced in 1987 (and subsequently remarried for a short time). She, and the children who had not yet moved out of the home (Trent and Chad), moved to Pinon, Arizona, where she taught on the Navajo Native American Reservation. She ended up teaching there for five and a half years, and then moved to Colville, Washington where she lived with her oldest son for a short time. It was here that she met the love of her life, Charlie Curtis, whom she married in 1997.
Charlie and Anne moved to Casa Grande for approximately two years to help her parents. When they passed, she and Charlie moved to Orem. Charlie passed away in 2012 and Anne continued to live in her home with Trent, Nicolle and their family until her passing. She loved to laugh and had a dry but witty sense of humor. She loved to spend time with her children and with those with whom she maintained the same select friendships for years. She is survived by Steve (Kathy), Lisa (Ray), Clay (Prim), Trent (Nicolle) and Chad (Janae) and 20 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Thursday, July 27, 2023 at the Park 4th Ward located at 114 South 400 West, Orem, Utah, 84058. A viewing will be held from 10 – 10:45 am prior to the services at the church. Anne will be laid to rest at the Memorial Lake Hills Cemetery.Service Information
Viewing July 27, 2023 at 10 - 10:45 AM
114 South 400 West, Orem, Utah, 84058
July 27, 2023 at 11 am
114 South 400 West, Orem, Utah, 84058