Emma Giatras, precious daughter, sister, granddaughter, and friend, stepped peacefully through the veil and into the loving care of her Heavenly Parents on the evening of Thursday, May 5th, 2022, surrounded by loving members of her family.
Emma was born to Jonathan and Stacey Giatras on June 1st, 2007, in Ogden, Utah, the fourth of seven children. From a young age, Emma proudly embraced her title as the ‘middle child’, though she certainly made sure she never went unnoticed, commanding far more than her fair share of attention. Even as a toddler living in Littleton, Colorado her contagious smile, teasing personality, and curly copper hair enchanted family and friends alike. Emma’s glowing smile was absolutely contagious.
Toward the end of her 4th grade year, she contracted a rare illness that marked the beginning of a long list of physical conditions, followed by mental illnesses. She loved people so fiercely and it hurt her deeply to see others in pain. Because of her own struggles, she learned many tools and coping skills that she eagerly shared with others in times of need. Her compassionate heart drove her to be the first to arrive with gifts and love when people were going through tough times.
Emma’s favorite way to show her love for others was through gifts. She kept mental (and even physical) notes about people’s birthdays, favorite colors, songs, etc. so she could give the most thoughtful gifts at the most needed times. When it came to giving gifts Emma was selfless. In her short life, she changed for the better the lives of so many she encountered. Her life’s mission revolved around helping those around her to feel loved and cared for in personal, meaningful ways. The moment she had any money to spend, she would beg a parent or sibling to drive her to Smith’s. Soon after, she’d arrive at home with handfuls of gifts and candy, bought with specific people in mind, having spent all or nearly all her money on others. Her gift-giving extended even beyond her family and friends. Emma felt things deeply, easily connecting with those she met. Nearly every time she was in public she would complement strangers’ shirts, smiles, or hair. She truly had a gift for bringing sunshine into other’s lives, even when her own was plagued with so many challenges. It was humbling to have the opportunity to honor Emma’s character and wishes one more time, giving beautiful gifts to improve the lives of many through organ donation.
Emma was extremely talented as an actress, singer, dancer, and pianist. She delighted the crowd as the dynamic comedic relief, Skuttle the seagull, in her High School’s production of “The Little Mermaid” just months ago. She learned dance and cheer skills, which she energetically taught to many young girls in cheer camps she planned, organized, and directed. Her family was overjoyed when her piano practicing matured from pounding out loud, fast songs to learning more peaceful ballads such as her latest favorite, Clair de Lune. Though she never learned to read music, she had an extraordinary gift for playing nearly anything she heard and even composing expressive pieces that said what words could not. She would plaster the piano keys with tiny torn up sticky note reminders to help learn a song that she would soon be playing with the most emotional and delicate touch. Though she never allowed family to take recordings of her playing the piano, her family wept with gratitude to find audio recordings of several peaceful songs saved on her phone.
Emma finally discovered joy in being at school this year as she attended Venture High School where she was loved so unconditionally. She felt especially at home with her father as the school’s seminary teacher. Emma was blessed at Venture High to be involved in musical theater, major field trips, and the Venture Dance Company. The love and support she felt (and often talked about) from staff and peers there meant the world to her and to her family.
Emma was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where her beloved bishop and many cherished young women leaders and friends loved and served her in such personal and tender ways. In addition to her family, they served as her connection to her Heavenly Parents and Savior Jesus Christ.
Emma’s final days were spent with family in the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. Every single member of the staff went above and beyond expectations to make this difficult process as comfortable and sacred as possible. Her family felt as though she was being cared for by close friends.
Emma left this world far too early. It is devastating to know her family and friends will never see her become an aunt in a few weeks, attend high school dances and performances, graduate high school, get married, and become a mother, etc.
Emma is survived by many that love her, including parents, Jonathan and Stacey Giatras, and her siblings Brooklyn (Matthew) Cragun, Bradley, Tanner, Abigail, Hannah, and Avynlee Giatras. She is also survived by adoring grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 11 a.m. at the North Ogden 23rd Ward, 787 E. 1700 N., North Ogden. Friends may visit with the family during visitation times on Friday, May 13th, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the church, and 9:30 to 10:30 Saturday morning before services.
Interment, Ben Lomond Cemetery.
Services entrusted to Lindquist's Ogden Mortuary.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the account set up in Emma's name at any America First Credit Union for a Hope Garden in her memory.