Obituary |


Lillian E. Riesen, age 92, passed away peacefully at home in Park City on March 2, 2007. She was born to Dora and Robert Hansen on Oct. 1, 1914 in Castor, Alberta, Canada. Before moving to Canada in 1910, Robert Hansen owned a nursery in Anaheim, Calif., which produced seeds and grafts for half of the orange groves in Anaheim. The family, which included seven children, returned to California in 1919, where they lived in Pasadena and later in Pomona.

Lillian graduated from Pomona High School in 1931. She married Melvin Witt in 1936 and they lived in Orange, Calif. They had a son Michael in 1941 and a daughter Sharon in 1947. Tragically, Melvin and Michael passed away in 1951.

She married Gerald Riesen in 1956 and, again, became a homemaker. Gerald had a daughter, Marian, and they lived together for many years. Gerald passed away in 1993.

Lillian was a bridal consultant for Bullock’s, a representative for Avon Cosmetics for over 20 years, and a crossing guard at Newport Elementary School for many years as well as an ambassador for John Wayne Airport.

The Witt family were ranchers with many orange groves in Orange and Anaheim. They purchased property in Newport Beach in 1890 and later built a summer home on the Balboa Peninsula. Lillian lived in that home for many years until moving to Park City, Utah to live with her daughter and son-in-law in order to receive healthcare for an extended illness.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Sharon and Glen Woodbury of Park City; stepdaughter, Marian Borden; three grandchildren: Charlie Anderson, Leanna Murphy and Natalie Borden; three great-grandchildren: Sage Anderson, Chas Anderson and Trevor Trujillo; and several nieces and nephews and their families.

Lillian traveled extensively during her lifetime, taking many cruises and visiting every state in the United States. She was a grand woman who woke up every morning with a smile on her face and happy to be alive. She will be greatly missed.

A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, March 10, 11 a.m., at Christ Church by the Sea United Methodist, 1400 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach. Burial will be in Fairhaven Cemetery in Santa Ana.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation in Lillian’s name at 500 Huntsman Way, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108 or

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