Ella Williams Caldwell Empey1917 ~ 2011Ella Williams Caldwell Empey passed away peacefully on November 12, 2011, in La Canada-Flintridge, California at the age of 94. She was born in Kemmerer, Wyoming, to George Elmer Williams and Merintha Althera Blacker Williams on August 6, 1917. She had one brother, Richard Grant Williams, who preceded her in death. The family had a strong Welsh background.Ella and her family moved to Salt Lake City, where she attended South High and the University of Utah. She was a member of Chi Omega Sorority. Ella was an active member of the LDS Church and lived in the East 27th and Yale 1st Wards when she lived in Salt Lake City.In 1937 Ella married Joseph H. Caldwell in the Salt Lake Temple. They had one daughter, Ann. The little family lived in Salt Lake City and Ogden before moving to Reno, Nevada, where they lived for thirteen years. Joe was drafted and served in the U.S. Army which required the family to live temporarily in Pacific Grove, California. Joe was General Agent for Occidental Life Insurance Co. for the State of Nevada. In 1953, he died in an automobile accident, leaving Ella a widow at age 34. She and Ann moved back to Salt Lake City to be near family. During this time Ella worked at KSL Radio and Western Airlines.In 1962, Ella married Harry Empey and moved to Santa Rosa, California where she and Harry owned the Lewis Shop in Montgomery Village and Denton's Apparel in Petaluma, CA. While living in Santa Rosa, she was active in music, civic, social and Church activities including past President of both The Saturday Afternoon Club and The Newcomers Club, a member of Welfare League and a volunteer for The American Red Cross and Treasure House. She was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary Club International. She and Harry hosted Rotary families from Japan and Pakistan. Harry was District Governor of Rotary Club for Northern California and died in 1983.Ella always loved music and singing. Music was an integral part of her life. She had a beautiful first soprano voice and had many leads in school musicals, and was a member of the Sonoma County Chorus and various civic choirs. She and Ann would often sing duets in public. She sang the soprano solos in Handel's Messiah in Reno, Nevada, and was a faithful and enthusiastic member of the Tabernacle Choir for over ten years. Ella led the singing in the Bennett Valley Ward in Santa Rosa for over 40 years.Ella is survived by her daughter, Ann Caldwell Cannon (Tony) and their children: Rebecca DePriest (Tim), Liza Olsen (Erik), Jennifer Terry (Cameron), Tony Cannon (Shelley), and eleven great grandchildren (Kevin, John and Andrew DePriest, Finn and Katherine Olsen, Sarah, Anna and Peter Terry, and Anthon, Ella and Quinton Cannon). She is also survived by Harry's children: Bill Empey (Sherry), Suzanne Masciorini, and Beverly Empey. Another son of Harry, Ron Empey, is deceased. Harry's grandchildren surviving are David and Jason Masciorini, and Chad Empey.Friends may call on November 26, 2011, at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., followed by a graveside service in Salt Lake City Cemetery. Any contributions in her memory are invited to be made to either the Humanitarian Aid Fund or Perpetual Education Fund of the LDS Church.Ella was a bright and sunny personality with many close and abiding friends. She touched everyone she met with her beauty, grace and elegance. She loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. We will greatly miss Mom, Grandma and Gigi.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company