Beloved Mormon women’s leader Chieko Okazaki dies

On best-selling Mormon author Chieko Okazaki’s 84th birthday in October, her family reluctantly moved her to an assisted-living center.

When she blew out the candles on a cake the family had provided, the frail and gray-haired grandmother said her birthday wish was “to get to know each and every one of [the residents],” adding that she was “so grateful” to be there and to have “all these new friends.”

Gratitude in the face of health setbacks, loss of independence and an uncertain future is rare, but “a classic Chieko response,” recalled Carol Lee Hawkins, a longtime friend who was with her at the time. “At every turn, she was totally at peace.”

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