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Alta Mae Wadsworth

10/07/1936 - 08/03/2020

Alta Mae (Crater) Wadsworth, 83, of Mesa, Arizona, passed away, peacefully on August 3, 2020, at her home of twenty years following a lingering illness.  Alta was born October 7, 1936, in Phoenix, Arizona, to Alfred William Crater and Edna Faye Graeber.  Alta attended Wilson Elementary and Phoenix Union High School class of 1955.  After graduation she worked as a long-distance telephone switchboard operator.  She and Ralph lived in California, Arizona, Idaho and Utah as they raised their children.  Alta stayed home with them most of their childhoods preferring to care for the home and family to being a career woman.  She had studied child care in school and was a gifted mother.  After the children were reared she went to work for Beneficial Life in Salt Lake City as a premiums receipt clerk.  She loved so much going to the company gatherings with some of the Apostles of the Church.  It was a wonderful experience for her and one that she talked about fondly long after retiring from Beneficial.

Alta is survived by her husband of sixty two years, Ralph, their five children: Mark (Jean) Wadsworth, Michael (Susan) Wadsworth, Julie Wadsworth, Joni (Michael) Williams, and Sandra (Michael) Wise, fourteen grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.  She is also survived by her older sister, Evelyn Garcia, her younger sister, Joyce (Eugene) Curtis, two half-brothers, Michael Smith and David (Roxanne) Smith and stepfather, Louis Smith (Lee Sweetman).

Alta was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She was a woman of great faith and she had an abiding testimony of her Savior.  She testified often of her belief to her children.  Her favorite service calling was as a nursery teacher. She dearly loved the little children.  Alta was a loving person who was kind and generous.  She served whenever she was asked. Alta loved everyone, and everyone who knew her loved her.  She will be greatly missed!



(An Ode is a poem or expressive statement describing one’s virtues and characteristics.)

ALTA: The name itself exudes royalty, nobility, or an elevated station.

The name in Spanish means, “Highness”.


Written and read by her admiring husband, who, after years of blindness, came to see her as the valued treasure she really is, a glistening gem, a diamond named, “ALTA”.

The crest of her head is adorned with golden strands like a gossamer tiara shimmering in the morning sunlight.

Her mind seeks the truth, always. It is steadfast in sharing light and knowledge and offers love to all. It exerts mental effort to gain wisdom and understanding, and to develop skills and talents.

Her face, lovely in features, glows with enthusiasm and is fascinated with the creations of life and the wonders of nature.

Her eyes, ever seeking and finding the good in others, sparkle with the light of Christ and the love of God.

Her ears, so sensitive to the sounds of uplifting music, the spoken word of God, the subtle yen of one pleading for a friendly visit or a word of comfort and encouragement.

Her mouth, full of favorable comments, praise, comfort, and encouragement. Because of her love for and interest in her fellow beings, questions come, in order for her to perceive a need she may address.

Her tongue, never prone to tell an untrue tale, speaks only that which is honest and true.

Her lips, so soft and sweet, kiss away the salty tears of a troubled child, and quick to soothe, comfort and chase away any semblance of fear and pain.  

Her neck, firm in directing her regal head to a straight road, turning neither to the right nor the left, but forward following the path of all righteousness.

Her shoulders, tho not broad, are strong and resolute in their determination to do good, minister, faithfully bare the burdens of life, serve, and follow the savior.

Her arms, always willing to lovingly hold and embrace, cuddle and enfold infants, babies, sweet little children, (her own or those of another mother), and to provide a comforting and encouraging hug to family member or friend alike.

Her hands, outstretched to any and all in need of help, to lighten loads, ease burdens, come early, stay late until the work is done. Hands teeming with talent for sewing, drawing, cooking and helping.

Her heart is noble and full of love for God and all His children. It beats a rhythm of relentless love for her children, and radiates an earnest and passionate regard for their welfare and wellbeing.

Her back has born the burden of daily labor which accompanied the carrying, bearing, nurturing and caring for the little ones, and the supporting, comforting, encouraging and enduring a mate.

Her bosom, soft and warm, provided comfort, security, peace and nourishment for the God-given infants entrusted to her care.

Her womb wherein were formed the essential components of mortal tabernacles to house God’s spirit children.

Her legs, the sturdy columns of flesh and bone, blood and sinew, supporting and fortifying the sacred Temple that embodies the spirit of God.

Her feet, shod with the desire to always tread the pathway leading to eternal life, and swift to overtake obedience and righteousness.

Her spirit that elicited shouts of joy from the angels of heaven as they celebrated her departure from their presence, to sojourn in the mortal realm, for they knew that she would be faithful here as she had been there. A spirit empowered with resolute determination to do what is right, and the dogged perseverance to pursue truth and righteousness. A spirit that above all else wishes to love God and obey his commandments.


  • Ralph, this is a beautiful tribute for a beautiful lady and dear friend. I will never forget the hours we spent together sharing music, life and love. I will never forget how the room would light up with your smile and enthusiasm. I will miss you, Alta, but know you are happy and busy and in a small moment, we will all be together again.

  • Alta is a sweet Sister! She always thought of others first. She never complained but we knew she was not well. Ralph gave a beautiful tribute to a beautiful wife, mother, grandmother! How we love you Alta! We love the Wadsworth family and pray that you will be comforted and blessed at this time! We are grateful that we have the knowledge that Families are Forever and we will see our loved ones again and be with them for eternity! LOVE YOU! Kay Chapman

  • Dean and Sandra Harper

    Our hearts are broken with this news concerning the passing of Alta. We loved her with all our hearts and knowing that she is gone beyond the veil sends the tears a flowing. Sandy and I would like to send our deepest condolences to the Wadsworth family for the loss of your dear sweet wife and mother.
    Your family is blessed with what I called “The beautiful spark within the Wadsworth’s household.” Alta’s smile always lit up the room and her advice was deep and thought provoking. We will treasure her advice always and simply put, she was pure magic for all that knew her. She will surely be missed.
    I am sure that your hearts are broken and my heart weeps for Ralph because those two have an unbreakable bond that will go on beyond this earthly sphere. I am sure that this short separation is going to be painful for him.
    So hold on to that thought that she is still there to offer you encouragement like she did before. I have no doubt that she will deliver. Now go and take care of your mother’s needs and become that eternal bond that will always keep you together forever. It is a wonderful blessing.
    We are sending our love to Ralph, Mark, Mike, Julie, Joni, and Sandy. May her light always burn within your hearts. She would want nothing less for her family.

    Sending our deepest sympathies,
    Dean and Sandra Harper

  • Richard Johnson

    A more gentle, patient and loving person has not been met. Linda, Amy and I will miss her smile and smiling welcome each Sunday morning as we entered to worship with her. We’re proud to associate with Ralph, Alta and Julie – feeling more motivated to live worthy of their eternal friendship. We love the Wadsworths.

  • She was and is an amazing woman. Never said anything unkind but always thought the best of everyone. She had a ready smile and made you feel like you were the most important person around. She was a great example to all she came in contact with. We felt it an honor to know her.

  • I ,like so many who have been touched by her spirit, will always remember and cherish our time we had together.
    Her love and joy of life were an inspiration to all who really knew her.
    She will be sorely missed.

  • Florene Brinkerhoff

    How fleeting the time we’ve had with such a noble and resplendent soul as is Alta. One would not know of her suffering through the beautiful, heartwarming smile she always gave as we visited. As visiting teaching companions of years past Alta always exemplified the loving compassion of our Savior as we ministered to our sisters; and her sunshine smile always brought a visible response of joy from them. That was one of Alta’s gifts. It hasn’t changed in all the years of our friendship. How very blessed we are to know that our dear Alta is free of pain, she can see now, and is enjoying the sweet environment she lived here on earth to have at this very time. I’m so happy for her. I will miss her. But in not so distant future I expect to see her smile again.

  • Danny Adams & Greg Naylor

    Dear Brother Ralph, as friends & brothers in Christ, we’d like to extend our deepest & most sincere condolences as well as our genuine love, thoughts & prayers to you & your family. (We’d like to think the music we created which brought such listening enjoyment to your sweet wife, will continued to be heard by her, even on the other side).🎶 May you all find peace & comfort in the Lord, especially at this time with the bittersweet passing of your eternal companion, Alta.❤️🙏🏼🕊

  • I will miss dear Alta’s beautiful smile and sweet Spirit that always greeted me each Sunday. She was a woman as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. Her gifts of love and comfort to so many will always be cherished. May your family have comfort and peace at this difficult time.

  • Keith & Marie (Altom) Fitton

    So sorry that we are so late in sending our sympathies and love to the Wadsworth family. When I heard of Alta’s passing, I thought, “There goes a beautiful soul!” We loved our associations with Alta and the whole Wadsworth family. We hope that time has helped heal some of the heartache you have felt. Keep the eternal perspective. Cherish the memories. Know that you will see her again and she will not be suffering.

    Much love,
    The Fittons

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