Lola Dawn Swapp Esplin, 87, passed away Sept. 27. She was born April 13, 1930, in Kanab to Donald Clark Swapp and Lola Findlay Swapp. She was married to Fernard LeMoyne “Buster” Esplin, July 11, 1951, in Las Vegas. They were later sealed in the St. George Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 7, 1961.
During the first nine summers, she was raised on a ranch near Alton. She attended elementary, junior high and graduated from Kanab High School in 1948. She graduated from LDS Business College in Salt Lake City as a secretary. Later, she graduated from Dixie College.
She met Buster Esplin at the Panguitch Race Track in 1946. They courted five years before they were married and set up their home in St. George. Buster had been involved with livestock on the Arizona Strip all his life and in 1957 they went out on the Parashant and spent the rest of their lives there.
As a secretary, Lola’s work experience included bookkeeping at U-I Sugar Co., St. George Bank and Dix-O Gas, all in St. George.
Lola loved her country and was involved in many political organizations. She wrote many letters to Congress and the newspaper. She once ran for Washington County Recorder. She was a registration agent for over ten years.
Lola loved being involved. She was a member of the Washington County Possettes, worked as a lifeguard and water safety instructor, was involved in the Heritage Writers Guild and Dixie Reviewers and participated in and helped plan the Washington County Fair. She was also involved with the Folklife Festival in Springdale.
Lola learned to ride a sidesaddle in 1947 for a movie called “Black Bart” where she was a double for Yvonne De Carlo. After 35 years, she picked up the sidesaddle again, and became “Grandma Rides Astride” where she showed in parades, schools, festivals, fairs and wrote a newspaper column about it.
Active in the LDS, church she wrote the monthly Relief Society bulletin. She has been a visiting teacher, Sunday school teacher, MIA teacher, primary worker, helper in the genealogy department and a pianist.
She is survived by her three children Terry (Draza) Esplin, St. George, Muriel (Gabriel) King, Edgewood, New Mexico, Shawn (Lisa) Esplin, Rio Rancho, New Mexico; 11 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and family friend Lois Ames. She was preceded in death by her husband Buster, sister Hilma Swapp Dennis and brother Clark Findlay Swapp.
- Services will be Oct. 7 at 11 a.m. at the LDS Chapel on 550 E. 700 South.
- Visitation will be Oct. 6, from 5 to 6 p.m. at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff, and Oct. 7 prior to services from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.
- Interment will take place at the St. George Cemetery.
The family wishes to acknowledge the special care given by Ridgeview Gardens Assisted Living and Canyon Home Care and Hospice.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Spilsbury Mortuary, 435-673-2454.
For condolences, full obituary, and funeral listings please visit Spilsbury Mortuary online.