Afton Ahlander Dahlquist
1922 ~ 2013
Afton Ahlander Dahlquist, age 90, passed away peacefully on Monday, June 24th, 2013, surrounded by her family. And what a great legacy of love and service and music and positive outlook she has left her posterity and all she met. Afton was born on July 24, 1922 in Provo, Utah to Joseph Walter and Annie Lucile Ahlander. Afton loved music and danced and sang her way through school in various groups, including the Afleloy Dancers. She was involved in many school organizations at Provo High School, served as Senior Class Vice President, and was crowned the "Goddess of Love" for the Provo Fourth of July Parade in 1939.
Afton met her eternal companion, C. Winston, when he returned from his mission to Montana, but it was not until after World War II that they were married on March 12, 1946 in the Salt Lake Temple. To Afton, life was all about family, friends, music and her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She and Winn had four children; Charles Winston II (Zella) of Sandy Utah, Jeanene Ellis (Frank) of Twin Falls, Idaho, Craig Joseph (Jan) of Middleton, Idaho, and Taylor A. (Judy) of Boise, Idaho; as well 11 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and 3 more on the way. Afton loved her family and wanted nothing more than for them to be happy. She loved being surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
Afton was always active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many stake and ward callings in the Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society; but was primarily known for her work in music directing ward, stake and institute choirs. She had never lead the music in her life, until she was called to be the ward chorister in the Boise 4th Ward in the 1950s. From then on, she did everything possible to become the best choir director she could, including taking lessons from Mormon Tabernacle choir conductors as they visited Idaho during the summers, attending BYU Music Conferences and serving her very best. She was called to be the conductor of the Boise College Institute Choir and in 1967 was awarded the "King Benjamin Award" for her service in that calling. When she moved into her present ward after Dad passed away, she was immediately called as the Ward Choir Director, although she was nearing 80 years old.
Mother was a wonderful piano player and continued to take piano lessons well into her 70's from Del Parkinson. In a word, she loved music and would spontaneously break into song when the occasion warranted. She taught her children to love music and, in her waning moments just before she died, her children often sang to her those songs she loved so well.
Mom was always fun growing up, but after Dad died suddenly on April 16, 1994, and she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just 2 months later, she became extremely positive and was grateful for each waking moment. She could turn lemons into lemonade more quickly than anyone we know! She and Dad were eternal sweethearts and served faithfully together in Church and community organizations for many years. They served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Sweden in 1988-1989. Mom missed Dad deeply after his death, and we are grateful for the reassurance that she and Dad are together again. Mom continued to share her positive attitude and faith with her family and those around her. Just before her 90th birthday in 2012, when asked what she most deeply wanted her posterity to know, she responded "I think the trials and tribulations have been few and far between actually. And I think that is because of the blessings that have helped us through. So, if I were to talk to my little great-grandchildren, I think I would just want to say, 'Honey, I love you, just do what Heavenly Father wants you to do, and you can always be happy."
She was preceded in death by her eternal companion, C. Winston; her parents; her brother, J. Fred; and her beloved sister, Diane, whom she dearly loved. We express appreciation to the loving staff of Willow Park, where Mom has lived for the past year; for the staff at Life Care of Treasure Valley; and particularly to Dr. Ryan Williams and the nursing staff at St. Alphonsus Hospital, especially Jennifer and Sara, who made mom's last hours comfortable and were so kind to her family and friends who visited.
Funeral Services will be held at 12:00 noon on Friday, June 28, 2013 at the Boise North Stake Center, 8620 Goddard Street in Boise. There will be a viewing from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Thursday evening, June 27th at Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 North Latah; and at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 28th prior to the services at the Boise North Stake Center. Interment will follow at Cloverdale Cemetery.
Relyea Funeral Chapel
318 North Latah Street Boise, ID 83706
Published in Idaho Statesman on June 26, 2013