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The basic facts of Glenna’s existence on this earth are below, but the most important information is here as a quote from one of many who loved her:
Glenna “was one of the most beloved women that the Lord ever sent down to earth. She had so many trials and hard ships, things that you and I can't completely understand, but she truly was an angel on this earth to all people, but more so, to those who were often friendless and misunderstood. She spent the last part of her life in constant service to the unique community that she was a treasured member of. Despite her own struggles she made her life about other people. Just a few days before her passing she told me that she was struggling with the symptoms of her illness and that she was down and depressed but despite those obstacles she spent the day with her friends and working in the Wasatch House kitchen. Glenna never gave up. When she had physical problems, she fought through that...using whatever resources available to recover. When she was experiencing depression, she surrounded herself with those that she loved and then she served them.
For our sweet Glenna, it won't be Heaven without a well stocked kitchen with a freezer of food near by...and her friends anxiously waiting to see what masterpiece that she would serve up. I am confident that she is up there with your family cooking up mischief and a banquet. I loved your sweet sister. She was an example of grace under pressure and never-ending love and service to others.”
Glenna Dawn Danielson Theel was born in Aberdeen Washington on May 5, 1951, to Donald Orrin Danielson and Marion Constance Streater. She was the fourth of six siblings. She spent the years from age four to age twelve in North Dakota while her father farmed for a few years before returning to the west coast and the logging industry. Most of the rest of her early life was lived in the rain forest area of the Olympic peninsula.
Glenna was born with the gift of loving people and making each person feel special. She was an outstanding waitress and soon was so popular among the guests at the Lake Quinault Lodge that they would make their reservations requesting to be seated at one of her tables for the duration of their stay.
Glenna married Robert Theel in June 1969 and they welcomed three beautiful daughters into their family. Robert and Glenna joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1977, and Glenna was a devoted follower of our Lord Jesus Christ from then to the end of her life.
Glenna’s symptoms of mental health issues began showing up in her late teens but were largely ignored at that time and in that culture. By the time of her divorce, in her thirties, it had become a major problem for her to cope with her depression and mood swings and, worst of all were the “voices” that warned her of impending doom of various types. Her great love for her daughters and her devotion to Christ kept her from giving up to her depression and anxieties.
She moved to Utah in 2003 to be near her sister, Earlene, and thus began her trip back to near normalcy after 35 years of being hospitalized three to four times a year for crisis depression. Wasatch Mental Health programs guided and watched over her recovery. She became the “mom” or “big sister” to the unique community of those living with the most serious and most disabling of mental health challenges.
She freely talked about her issues, surprising her fellow travelers in the sheltered living program. Many apparently were not aware at that time that all of them were facing identical diagnoses until she spoke openly her own challenges.
Her greatest joy over the past few years has been making a birthday cake for each and every one of her friends on their birthday. She made breakfast everyday for months for a few friends who needed that start to their day. A few times a month when her budget allowed, she would invite a neighbor or two for dinner. Often various friends would bring a contribution of food and Glenna would cook up a delicious pot luck meal. Had she had a larger budget no doubt she would have invited everyone in several times a week! She has made and shared countless batches of lemon bars, brownies and banana bread. Her favorite meal of the year was organizing and cooking most of the food for 25 to 30 residents who had no place to go for Thanksgiving dinner. Wasatch Mental Health began supplying the food after the first year…except for the “special recipes” she just had to fix for her friends.
Over the past several months as her physical health declined those friends have reciprocated and supported her and been with her. We love them and we thank them!
She is now surrounded by friends and family who preceded her. Joyous shouts of “Glenna’s here! Glenna’s here!” are probably still ringing out throughout the Spirit world!
She is survived by her daughters Angela Theel, Darolyn Theel, and Rhonda Barclay, siblings Earlene McDonald(Chuck), Denice Cole(Paul), and Sherman Danielson(Susan),six grandchildren and two great grandchildren and friends too numerous to count.
Thank you to her case workers, Karen and Lindsey, for the many appointment trips and especially for being her friend. Thanks to all the staff at the Wasatch Club House: Kyle, Tom, Kathy and the kitchen staff that worked so patiently with her as she learned new roles. A special thank you to the Branch and Relief Society presidencies in Payson for their continuous friendship, emergency room trips and support of every kind.
Our prayer is that all of us will serve as Glenna did, loving unconditionally all those with whom we interact, no matter our challenges or theirs.