Leah D. Widtsoe

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Leah Eudora Dunford Widtsoe (1874–1965) was the wife of John A. Widtsoe and thus the leader of all woman's auxiliaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Europe for almost six years, as well as the first lady of Utah State University and the University of Utah at different times, and a prominent figure in home economics education.

Born Leah Eudora Dunford she was the daughter of Susa Young (later Susa Young Gates) and her then husband Alma Dunford, who was a dentist. Susa was a daughter of Brigham Young. After her parents diverced Leah was raised by her father. When she was in her teens she moved to live with her mother and her stepfather, Jacob Gates.

Dunford was educated at the University of Utah, Brigham Young Academy, Pratt Institute and spent a summer term at Harvard University. It was while at Harvard that she met John A. Widtsoe. In 1898 Dunford and Widtsoe were married in the Salt Lake Temple and she them went to Germany with him while he studied chemistry. Their first child was born in Germany.

Leah Widtsoe was the first head of the home economics department at Brigham Young University (BYU).

Widtsoe was the co-author with her husband of The Word of Wisdom: A Modern Interpretation and co-authored with her mother The Life Story of Brigham Young. She was a regular contributor to many LDS Church periodicals. She was also one of the founders of the Salt Lake City League of Women Voters.

The Joseph F. Smith Family Living Center at BYU had a room named for Leah Widstoe. Her papers relating to her education and teaching are held at BYU. Utah State University has a graduate scholarship in its Family, Consumer and Human Development program named after her.

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