Mom’s Name on Memorial Wall, as Visited by Grandkids

James and Cena recently took their squad of Olson kids to Utah for a vacation, and during their visit, stopped by the two different monuments dedicated to Utahns who donated their body to medical education and research:

The Celebration of Life Monument located by the SLC downtown library which feature a glass wall with names etched onto it. Mom’s fuuuulllll name is included taking up a good bit of glass.

The other is the Body Donor program grave marker in a corner of the SLC “Avenues” Cemetery with a simple grave marker to memorialize the body donors.

Each of these locations hosts an annual gathering – the cemetery one on Memorial Day weekend (as evidenced elsewhere in this journal) and the Celebration of Life in August.

What follows is photographic evidence of the aforementioned expedition for your perusal.

Olson kids at entrance monument to Celebration of Life memorial wall


Lauralee’s full name on the Celebration of Life memorial wall


James and Olson kids pointing out Lauralee’s name on Celebration of Life memorial wall


Olson kids observe entrance monument to Celebration of Life memorial wall


James and Cena at Body Donor program grave marker


Olson kids lounging at Body Donor program grave marker


4 Olson kids at at Body Donor program grave marker

Olson kids lounging at Body Donor program grave marker

Also for your reference, the markers’ locations are indicated thusly:

  • Celebration of Life monument is located on the SE corner of Library Square, 300 E 500 S, SLC, UT with Mom’s name at Panel 12 Row 7
  • Body Donor Program grave marker is located as indicated on map

Obituary in Hereald-Journal for the Record

As a matter for archiving, sharing Mom’s obituary (as published in Logan Herald Journal on Dec. 6, 2016) for the posterity. There is also an associated condolences/memorial Guest book with a number of lovely comments from friends and relatives.

– daveo


Lauralee C L B S O Elliott

February 17, 1944 – November 27, 2016

Lauralee Catherine Lucile Bannatyne Stevenson Olson Elliott was an inspiring and beloved mother dedicated to her five sons, Robert, David, Daniel, James, Andrew, as well as her adored grandchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings and countless friends around the world.

She led a life of abundant delight and curiosity as a courageous world traveler, enthusiastic storyteller, clever family historian, active correspondent and trusted confidant. She was also a generous giver and eager helper for many charitable causes. The many people she touched remember her constant smile, boundless energy and relentless optimism.

Her body is bequeathed to University of Utah Body Donor Program with the intent of helping train doctors who will help thousands more.

Update about Body Donor Program and Creamtion

Hello friends of Lauralee,

Just a little update about Mom… Recently received word from the “body donor program“ at University of Utah that Lauralee’s time with the program is now completed and her remaining remains were cremated.

As you likely know, Mom donated her body to medical research and her body was assigned to a group of young medical students for their training. They worked with/on her – calling her by name and treating her with dignity and respect – for almost 2 years.

Personally, I am incredibly proud of this decision as these young medical students will go on to see possibly hundreds of thousands of people throughout their careers, and she will always be “patient one” for them.

Soon, my brothers and I will receive her ashes to distribute in a manner of our choosing.

The Program director Wayne Woodward sent along the following note,

“We have been honored to have you mother with us, and she has made a significant contribution to the young medical students here at the University of Utah. You have a great family!”

(Ive included an important photo to me which I keep on my wall… A meditation dome dedicated to motherly love)

End of dispatch, davey (#2)


Agatha Christie Collection(s) – for sale

Hello Dame Agatha Christie enthusiasts,

My beloved late mother was an Agatha Christie super fan, collector and reseller (via eBay).

When she passed away, she left her huge collection with instructions for her sons to sell and make sure they “go to a good home” and don’t break up the sets.

However, I/we know very little about the Agatha Christie fan community, nor the value of the collections. As such, I’ve compiled photos of the collections and am reaching out to various associations and clubs asking for honest and candid advice about value, as well as offering these items for sale – in complete batches please, not individually.

You will notice comprehensive and complete sets in various editions and formats including: oversize editions, French language, the (extra desirable) Tom Adams covers, various paperback and hardbacks… plus books about Agatha Christie and her world, complete VHS tapes of Poirot series, finally lovely fonds / dossiers of magazine/newspaper articles, playbills, various reports and so on.

Various collections of books by Agatha Christie

Collection of VHS tapes

Dossier of Agatha Christie related articles, playbills, ephemera

Books about Agatha Christie and her world and related culture

The books are currently all in Utah (USA) and, ideally would be sold off in a few batches to minimize the work with shipping. I will be in Utah on US Labor Day weekend (early September) hoping to ship these out to the lucky recipients.

In a spirit of transparency, I welcome all opinions and assistance for assessing proper value, and finding new homes for all these items. As such, please feel free to share with any Agatha Christie associations, clubs, libraries and enthusiasts who may find any of these items of interest.

This collection was my Mother’s prize possession (besides her 5 sons :)), and I/we look forward to seeing her joy continued on someone else’s shelves.

You can contact me directly via or add comments to this post.

Yours, Dave (son #2)

Commemorating Mom at Univ of Utah’s Body Donor Program Memorial

++ Body Donor Program Memorial, Friday, May 26 in SLC ++

Friends of Mom,

As you may know, Lauralee Stevenson Olson Elliott donated her body to medical science research through a program at University of Utah. Each year the program hosts a memorial program at a special monument at a cemetery in The Avenues in SLC, Utah. Me and other Olson boys will be there so share our love for our beloved champion.

More info about the UofU program (including how to bequeath yourself), as well as the event details, are at the link included, with the most relevant bits conveniently pasted.

#Freehugs, davey (LL’s 2nd by birth but tied for favourite)


Serious Olson, Eccentric Olson, Jovial Olson. Strong team Representing for Lauralee Stevenson Olson Elliott in SLC

Bob, Dave, Gent from Body Donor Program, Andrew

Made ya a card to put on the shared headstone

Made ya a card to put on the shared headstone

Close-up of card with Queen’s from the world


Annual Memorial Service: A memorial service is held annually, on the Friday before Memorial Day, at 11 am, at the Donor Gravesite in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. All are invited to attend. The service includes speakers, music, and congregational sharing; refreshments follow. The service is attended by the families and friends of donors as well as faculty, staff, students, and others with an interest.


Lauralee Has Passed Away

Our beloved Mother, Lauralee Catherine Lucile Bannatyne Stevenson Olson Elliott (born February 17, 1944 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK) passed away peacefully on November 27, 2016 in Logan, Utah, USA of unexpected heart failure.

She donated her body to medical research at University of Utah and is memorialized on at a Monument for that purpose in the Avenues Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Utah.
If any legitimate questions or concerns, please contact her son David (Dave) at gravellybeach (at)
Dave (for her 5 Sons, Granchildren and all her relations)

Message from Olson Boys Regarding Our Mom’s Passing – video and transcript


We here assembled, are the five proud sons of Lauralee Catherine Lucille Bannatyne Stevenson Olson Elliott.

We come to you today with greetings of gratefulness for your support, as well as to provide some information to help you understand what occurred to this marvellous woman.

Indeed our beloved Mother passed away on Sunday Nov. 27 at 10 PM while she was happily talking on the phone with Brother Andrew when the line went silent,at which point, she passed away, quickly and peacefully, from heart palpitations for which she had recently begun taking medication. There were no signs of struggle or discomfort. For reference, she was born on February 17, 1944 and died at 72 years of age.

Yesterday we went to say goodbye to our Mother at the University of Utah medical school to which she bequeathed her body. Nothing prepares you for the situation if seeing your dear loved one in this state, but seeing her laying with a peaceful look on her face provided some solace for all of us.

This experience also gave us tangible realization of the generous gift she provided to many medical students where she will be their “patient number one” and help these doctor learn their craft, These doctors will go on to see an average of 30,000 people throughout their careers — all starting with Mom. Once they have finished their research with her body (up to 3 years), she will be cremated and ashes will be distributed to each of us to keep or distribute in a manner that suits us, as per her wishes.

Her name will also be engraved on a special memorial at a monument in a cemetery in the Avenues section of Salt Lake City for people like her who bequeath their bodies to science,. Each May, they hold a ceremony to celebrate those who gave their bodies over the previous year. This will provide a place for all of us to pause and remember her remarkable life and her continued spirit of giving even into death.

Mom’s death came suddenly and unexpectedly as we could imagine. After having a few tough years with back surgery and recovery, in the last several months her energy, the sparkle in her eye and all her life force had returned with renewed vigor.. Each day, she kept busy running her errands which often included multiple trips to the post office, taking donations to all manner of charitable institutions — particularly those who help single mothers, battered wives, and other women struggling to put together a life. And this was no wholesale dumping off of goods – she did this distinctly and deliberately after understanding what people needed and what would help solve those problems and make their dreams come true. Boxes put together with ironed clothes, individually wrapped treats, and handmade items plus and just the exact things people needed. She knew that everybody deserves to experience respect and kindness

We all wish to express our most sincere gratitude to the hundreds, even thousands, of you who have sent condolences, shared your stories, and otherwise expressed love for our dear Mother. Some of you we’ve never met but, every time we visit with Mom she gives us updates on dozens of different people with whom she corresponds – from people she shared a bus ride with once, to people that she met 40 some odd years ago and kept in touch, to our own buddies who would come over during our teenage years and still visited Mom regularly. We brothers loved that our friends acted as surrogate sons for Mom when we were off on various travels. She was always excited to catch us up on different friends who hung out with Mom as peers. Indeed, ever since we were children, she spoke to us as adults and expected proper behaviour in return for the respect she afforded us. She supported everyone of our crazy ideas, whether that be businesses, schooling, traveling, relationships or any other scheme..

Her circle of friends and influence is a true community of mutual affection.

We want to send a special thanks and gratitude to our cousin Scott Stevenson who after a phone call dropped, broke into Mom’s house, saw her in the chair and performed emergency first aid while calling 911. Scott, Mom adored you and your kids, and for us your cousins, we were so grateful that you were there nearby and able to participate in her life.

Mom did not wish for any kind of fancy ceremony, religious or otherwise, and instead wanted a gathering where we can celebrate her life with stories, songs, and readings from some of her favourite books. No doubt that Mom loved books!

We will have a small gathering at our Uncle Bob’s house tomorrow (Saturday Dec. 3rd). As Mom would want, dress will be casual and comfortable: Birkenstock sandals and jeans and a bright shirt and a big smile are entirely acceptable. Attendees will each be issued a pair of her ubiquitous Chums eyeglass retainers and have an opportunity to share stories and prepare some “love plates” of snacks prepared the way Mom did for us.

The five of us each feel this grief acutely but are also incredibly grateful for the good fortune we had to have such a remarkable Mother. Besides the daunting task of raising five boys into responsible men, (even gentlemen it’s true!), she was also the Akela of a Cub Scout troop for many years which extended her skill and interest of turning boys into decent men. There are hundreds of you out there and she adored each one of you.

No one who had a conversation with Mom ever forgot it — within five minutes, she had figured out your whole life story, the names of your relatives, your struggles and skills, and was already in her head preparing a special box of treats to send. Even at her house now, there are several addressed mail packages and piles of treats destined for folks unknown. We will make best efforts to find the proper homes for these projects undertaken. It would drive her nuts to think the packages weren’t delivered.

In lieu of flowers gifts and so on, we invite you to make a donation in our Mother’s name to charities that support Women, and/or organ or body donation. Both of these causes are dear to Mom’s heart. We will provide suggestions as requested.

Our Mom was a relentless optimist, over the years we had many struggles of different kinds, moved houses and cities dozens and dozens of times, broken down road trips, empty bank accounts, broken bones, and rude people who tried to bring her down, but nothing ever got Mom down. This wasn’t naïveté, this was a demonstration of true courage. She taught all of us how to work hard, to respect other people and never judge, to be kind and considerate to people and importantly, always say yes to new adventures or opportunities.

Mom never ever stopped learning or evolving, and always was dreaming big — whether it be the next trip she was taking: she was scheduled for trips to see brother Andrew in Las Vegas and brother James and Dan in British Columbia this month, or figuring out a new social media app so she could stay in touch with even more people and send greetings and prepare special posts for birthdays or holidays or when people just needed a little pick me up. She was there right on time, every time

Mom loved doing her family history research, but went far beyond dates and basic records and dug deeper to find the stories to present and share with nieces, nephews cousins grandkids and brought her personality to bring these important stories to life.

So like us, you may well cry but also will celebrate and be grateful for the contribution she made to your life, the lives of others like you, and to the future.

Again we are grateful for your kind words which lifted us and reminded us the importance of her life as we struggled to come to grips with a shocking situation. We are grateful for each other at the five of us could gather together in spirit of unity and support.

Space is very limited for Saturday’s reception, but we will also provide a web video stream where you can participate from wherever in the world you are, send in your stories, anecdotes, questions and condolences. Follow this channel as we do our best to bring all of you into the room.

Keep in mind, the five of us just arrived here in Logan yesterday from all over the globe, so please be patient as we scramble to put everything together in a matter of fitting this wonderful woman, our Mother, your Friend, Auntie, Grandma, advisor, helper, and fan.

Fondly and respectfully, the Olson boys:

Robert Lorne Olaf

David Aaron Thorvald

Daniel Mark Mathias

James William Christian

Andrew Joseph Harald