L’Deane Trueblood, renowned artist, pioneer in early education, dedicated wife and mother, passed away peacefully with her family around her, on April 29, 2024, in St. George, Utah. She was 95. L’Deane (pronounced “El Dean”) was well-known for her many beautiful bronze sculptures installed in parks and other public venues in the St. George area, throughout Utah and in other states. 

 

Born in 1928 in Norman, Oklahoma, to Hugh Lawson Minor and Dora Dean Deason Minor, she was raised in close-knit communities during the Depression and Dust Bowl days, along with her younger sister, Charlene. Early in life, she showed a strong, independent spirit and natural creative talent, which were nurtured by her parents, both educators. At 17, she entered Oklahoma University and graduated with a Fine Arts degree. 

 

In 1951 she became an Arts Director for U.S. forces in Germany, and there met the love of her life, Roger W. Trueblood, a dashing Air Force fighter pilot and WW2 veteran. They were married in 1952 and began a lifetime of adventures together while raising three children. Their travels and assignments took them to fascinating places throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and across the U.S.  

 

While stationed in Italy in the early 60s, L’Deane had her first contact with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon church) and was deeply touched by the members she met and the principles they lived by. She was baptized in 1962 and was joined by Roger a few years later. They were sealed along with their children as an eternal family in 1970 in the Logan, Utah LDS temple. 

 

Through all the challenges of being a military family, L’Deane managed to earn a Master’s Degree in Early Education and later put that training into practice. The family settled in St. George, Utah in 1973 after Roger retired as a full Colonel. Almost as soon as they’d moved into their home in Bloomington, L’Deane began to spread her wings in new directions. 

 

In 1974, she founded the Montessori Children’s Preschool, the state’s first accredited Montessori school. In the following years, many children in the St. George area were taught by L’Deane or the teachers she trained, producing lasting positive effects. Today, the Mountain View Montessori charter school in Washington, Utah, is the descendent of the preschool founded by L’Deane Trueblood. 

 

In the 1980s, she felt the urge to finally pursue a career in the arts. At an age when most people’s creative passions are winding down, L’Deane began painting vibrant watercolor portraits in a fluid style that one art historian described as “reminiscent of John Singer Sargent.” Many of those portraits are now treasured by families that commissioned them. 

 

Meanwhile, she felt drawn towards three-dimensional portrayals and began creating bronze sculptures. The demanding physicality of sculpting the human form appealed to her in a deep way.  After Roger passed suddenly in 1993, she gathered herself and re-focused on her art. Soon her life-size bronzes, mainly of children, were being offered in galleries and sought after by collectors. 

 

L’Deane Trueblood’s sculptures are best known for graceful, evocative poses and expressive faces, reflecting complex emotions beneath the surface. She was amazingly prolific, producing over 300 original bronze sculptures that now grace private collections, gardens and public venues across the country. Over thirty pieces are publicly installed in St. George and Washington County.  

 

Her work garnered numerous awards and accolades along the way, including being named as one of Utah’s 100 most-honored artists. She was also highly active in promoting the arts. Utah governors twice appointed her to the Board of the Utah Arts Council, and she was one of the founders of the popular Art Around the Corner program that places beautiful sculptures all around downtown St. George. 

 

L’Deane’s favorite motivational quote, posted prominently in her studio, came from Goethe; “Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” While her legacy in the arts will span generations, her eternal legacy will endure forever through the hearts and memories of her family. 

 

She is survived by her oldest son, Roger W. Trueblood Jr. (aka “Tad”, aka “Ajax”), of St. George; and her daughter, Jana Hannigan, of Hood River, Oregon; along with nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Her second son, David Lawson Trueblood, passed away in 2020. 

 

Funeral services will be on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at 2:00pm at Metcalf Mortuary in St. George, UT. Visitation will be held from 1:00-2:00pm. Interment will be at the Riverside National Cemetery, in Riverside CA.

 

 

Click here to view the works of L'Deane Trueblood.

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