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Designer of 'CTR' radiated love for all
Alldredge remained humble despite her many contributions
By Jessica Ravitz
The Salt Lake Tribune
Published October 6, 2006 1:06 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
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They speak of her in awesome terms. She radiated "Christ-like love," was an "absolute angel," the kind of parent they only wish they could be.

Helen Alldredge, so humble and unassuming few knew this during her lifetime, was the woman who designed the CTR (Choose the Right) shield logo - a symbol pervasive in the LDS community; a sentiment to guide moral behavior.

"I've seen [CTR rings] in Paris, England, Australia . . . in different languages," said daughter Mary Griffiths of Oregon. "Every time I see it, I just think, there's our mother."

Alldredge, whose favorite day was Sunday, even as a child, died on Sept. 28. She was 93.

It was the way she loved unconditionally that touched her family most. The notes she tucked into their lunch boxes, even their shoes. The nurturing that taught her children to believe they could achieve anything. Her extended "Happy Birthday" songs, now a family tradition, that made every person feel extra special.

Grandson Robert Lee Griffiths, 34, said Alldredge affected not just relatives but everyone who came into contact with her.

"Whether it was 30 seconds or 30 years, you walked away feeling better about yourself," he said.

Alldredge, a Salt Lake City native, was born Helen Isabel Hunter, the daughter of a Scottish immigrant father and mother with roots in Scotland as well. Her Scottish heritage was a source of pride. Alldredge would deliver, at family functions, rewritten lyrics to her favorite tune, "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean."

She found meaning in serving others. She'd fix and deliver food to the ill or to women who had just had babies. Last-minute dinner guests were welcomed into her home with open arms. When her husband, O. Claron Alldredge, served in the Navy during World War II, she wrote to him daily for three years. One Christmas Day, the mail boat arrived at his ship with 62 letters from Alldredge. Talk about a Christmas present.

The mother of five loved children. While serving on the Primary General Board of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1960s, she helped come up with the phrase, "Choose the Right," and write the original CTR lesson manual, a mainstay for children in the LDS Church. She was sitting in the living room of another committee member when she sketched - never an artist before or after - the CTR logo, now seen on everything from rings and balloons to stationery and T-shirts.

From 1950 when her husband finished building it, until the day she died, Alldredge lived in the same Browning Avenue house. She welcomed new neighbors, who extended their hands in greeting, with: "In this neighborhood, we don't give handshakes. We give hugs."

Children continued to flock to her yard and play decades after her own were gone. In recent years, she'd sit out front, in her pink robe, just so she could watch them.

Two weeks ago today, Alldredge's five children, their spouses, and some of her grandchildren gathered in the Browning Avenue home. She stayed up until 1 a.m. that night, an unthinkable hour. Earlier that evening, the doorbell rang. In walked a bagpipe player, who marched through the house, offering a serenade. She took in the music, sang along to a rendition of the Scottish classic, "Loch Lomond," and soaked in all that surrounded her.

"She was just smiling, her eyes were just shining, sparkling," daughter Jean Stevens, of Salt Lake City, said between tears. "My mother's eyes were always a window into her soul. Goodness and light, always."

jravitz@sltrib.com

Helen Alldredge

1913-2006



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