Robyn Ann Ballantyne was born on February 13, 1964, a day that would be highly celebrated for the next 59 years in the Ballantyne family. The news that Robyn had Down Syndrome was initially very difficult for her parents, Bertha and Wayne, and made more difficult by the advice from their physician that they should place Robyn in an institution rather than take her home. Thankfully they ignored that bad advice, wrapped her in love and blankets on that winter day, and brought her home where she began to light up the Ballantyne family, and teach each of us the power of love, of truly seeing someone who is different from who we are, of the connections between us all, and of the deep love that comes from serving another.
Our earliest, and lasting memories of Robyn are of a smile that lit up her face, and her pure heart filled with love for everyone around her. As a tiny, petite child, she would run, laugh, and play, giving hugs and “I love you’s” freely to family, friends, neighbors, and strangers alike. Our parents worked diligently with her, helping to teach her to read and write, which she loved to do. She went to Monte Vista school in Farmington, a school for children with special needs. When she graduated at 18, she began her work at PARC, a program that provides employment services for individuals with disabilities. She loved her work there with her friends and her supervisor Matt Elston who was both friend and mentor to Robyn. She loved riding the bus to work, having lunch with her friends, and doing her jobs. She looked forward to her weekly paycheck, which was usually between $2 and $10 dollars. She would announce, “I’m rich!” and would offer to buy us chocolate malts, one of her favorite things. After more than 35 years at PARC, she retired after our mom passed away six years ago.
Robyn was always a busy and engaged person. She loved participating in bowling at the Special Olympics and would proudly don her victory ribbons. She also loved attending the Special Needs Mutual every Thursday night, and especially loved appearing in their annual play. She would begin telling us about “her" play weeks ahead, and on performance day she was clear that we needed to bring flowers to present to her, and then take her for ice cream to celebrate. All of her family, nieces and nephews, and helpers came and cheered her on each year. She shined with each performance and loved the celebration of her star status.
Perhaps the only days more important than her plays were her birthday and Christmas. She loved both, and, being a perceptive person, would give special credit to Mrs. Claus whenever we mentioned that Santa was coming. Although she wanted to start planning for her birthday party months ahead, we would tell her we needed to wait until after Christmas to plan her February party. She went along with that, reluctantly. She loved her movies, bowling, or game parties with her dear friends (Kathryn, Diane, Marilyn, Cindy, Gloria, Roberta, Janice, and Holly), and especially loved her presents.
Robyn has a long list of things she loved: crafts, workbooks, dancing, math books, videos and DVDs, swimming, shopping, games, and more. She was not a person who could readily sit without working or playing. She was responsible, diligent, fun, and hilarious.
Like the rest of the family, she also loved Yellowstone Park and looked forward to the annual family vacations there. She especially looked forward to buying her Yellowstone calendar, and chocolate malts at the Hamilton stores with her “own money.” Her family was the center of her life, and she was especially close to her Daddy-boy, who would play with her for hours and work diligently to teach her skills, and Mother-dear, who was her heart and soul. Since they passed, she has asked about them regularly, understanding on some level that they are “in heaven,” but wishing they could be right here with her.
We love you Robyn and are so grateful that Heavenly Father blessed us with you as a part of our eternal family. Our lives are better because you were with us. We look forward to being with you in your unfettered state, and we are so happy you are with your Daddy-boy and Mother-dear.
Robyn was preceded in death by her mother and father, Bertha and Wayne Ballantyne, as well as our Van Drimmelen and Ballantyne grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and her dear friends Jill Nielson and Andrea Phillips. Siblings Todd (Julie), Kristen (Henry), Michele (Art), and her nieces Kiera, Jenika, and Lilla, and nephews Ben, Nathan, Zach, Eli, and Brendon, will all miss her influence and love.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday December 20, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. at the Fruit Heights Stake Center, 170 N. Mountain Road, Fruit Heights, Utah. Friends may visit with family Tuesday December 19, 2023 at Lindquist’s Kaysville Mortuary, 400 N. Main Street from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Wednesday 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the church.
Interment- Lindquist's Washington Heights Memorial Park, 4500 Washington Blvd. Ogden, Utah
The family wishes to express particular gratitude to Sara Cheshire who has helped and advocated for exceptional care for Robyn over many years. We are also very grateful to Susan Basset for love and care and for always making sure Robyn’s “helpers” were only the best. Taya, Beha, Shane, Kylie, Harley, Katie, and Tarrin, Robyn loves you.
In lieu of flowers please donate to PARC (Pioneer Adult Rehab Center).
Condolences may be sent to www.lindquistmortuary.com
Services will be live-streamed by going to www.lindquistmortuary.com and scrolling to the bottom of Robyn's obituary page.