A self-described "common, ordinary family that hasn't contributed any more than anyone else" received rave reviews Saturday from the Utah Association of Women.
During its 11th annual meeting in the Salt Lake Hilton, the association proclaimed Woodruff and Louise Eccles Stout of Bountiful as well as their five children, 36 grandchildren of all nationalities and three great-grandchildren as Utah's "Family of the Year," one "that has made a difference in the community.""We are honored, but I am surprised that they picked us out because we are just a common, ordinary family," said Louise Stout, who has worked for 23 years as a volunteer at Primary Children's Medical Center.
Because of her love and devotion to children, Mrs. Stout organized a Primary program for handicapped members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1964, she was called to teach in this special program for youngsters, and in 1969 she became president of the South Davis Area Special Primary. She continues to serve in this position.
Of her 27 years of continued service to the handicapped children, she says, "I've found if you love them, you can do a lot for them, and it's so rewarding to have them love us."
The man behind-the-scenes in many projects, "Woody" Stout was also recognized for his contributions to others.
Last July, his daughter, Jolene Stout Johnson, enlisted the retired contractor to help build the booths and create a covered area for the West Bountiful July 4th celebration. On July 3, the wind blew the cover off. He re-covered it, only to have the wind blow it off again in the night.
Stout has also built life-sized figures of the Nativity scene he sets up each year for the Special Primary. A community leader, he has been active in several successful political campaigns, as well.
The Stouts, association officials said, were chosen for the annual award because of their constant influence in the community and because of the achievements of each member of the family.
The award is given in an effort to recognize the strengths of Utah families.
"Our family is strong because each member is active in the LDS Church, and each is an example to the other," Mrs. Stout said. "We are a real close family; we get together on birthdays and baptisms about every kind of event a family can have. We just have good times together."
The best time, she said, is each summer when the entire gang goes camping in the mountains away from everyone else.
"The kids look forward to that even as much as Christmas, which is also a big family event."
Strive to live the law of the land, be good citizens and be honest in all your endeavors are the goals the Stouts taught their children to achieve.
And the children have carried on the family tradition of solid citizenship and service to the community.
Commenting during the annual meeting on "How the Role and Recognition of Family Life Can Be Strengthened in America," Jolene Johnson said, "I believe the role of the family is vital to the strength of our country.
"It is in the home where character is formed, that is where the important qualities of honesty, cooperation, communication, hard work and unselfish love begin," she added. "Therefore, by strengthening our families, we are strengthening the families of the future."