2023 Grand Marshal

Ardeth Greene Kapp

Ardeth Kapp is widely recognized and beloved as a teacher, author, leader, and motivational speaker. She is an inspiration to everyone that knows her. She was born March 19, 1931, in a tiny prairie town called Glenwood, Alberta, Canada. In 1950, Ardeth married the love of her life, Heber B. Kapp. Soon afterwards they moved to Utah; she has been a resident of Bountiful since 1955. Throughout her life, Ardeth has dedicated time and talents to her community and her church. Today her influence extends far beyond the borders of our community and state.

Ardeth received an Associate’s degree from Weber State, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Utah, and a Master’s degree from Brigham Young University. Professionally, she supervised the business office and worked as an instructor for the Mountain States Telephone Company. She taught at Bountiful Oak Hills Elementary school, and in the BYU College of Education. She was a writer and instructor for the Utah Network of Instructional Television series. She taught time management for the national Charles R. Hobbs company.

As an author, religious leader, and engaged member of our community, Ardeth Kapp has held positions on the board at the Deseret News Publishing Company, the National Council of Women, the Utah Youth Village, Utah Women’s Walk, and Envision Utah. Additionally, she is known around the world for her years of service and international travel as general president of the young women’s program for her church.

Considering her lifetime of accomplishment, some may be surprised to learn that Ardeth Kapp’s earliest memories included feelings of inadequacy. She failed two grades in public school due to illness, yet she demonstrated the faith, resilience, and determination to pursue her passions. She would go on to earn an advanced degree. She was challenged by Freshman English, but later in life she would write scores of motivational speeches and articles for publication. And she would author twenty books. Although Ardeth was greatly disappointed not to be able to have children of her own, young women and older women, inspired by her world-wide leadership, each claim to be “one of her girls.”

To help deal with struggles and disappointments, Ardeth turns to the proverb:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

Through her books and speeches, Ardeth Kapp’s reach extends to many, but she touches the lives of young people individually, one by one. That influence is apparent in her interactions with those that frequent her home, participating in a popular tradition that has taken hold over many years: young people from the nearby school stop in for a visit, knowing that when they knock, they will be greeted with a warm smile and a familiar inquiry.

“How are you?” Ardeth asks.

“Better than I was, but not as good as I’m going to be.” is the usual response.

This exchange continues with a second query: “What are you doing?”

The reply: “Trying a little harder to be a little better.” The students finish the visit by signing a guestbook and selecting a treat from Ardeth’s large candy drawer.

When asked how she would like to be remembered, Ardeth could focus on her life of overcoming, her love of writing and teaching, and her many opportunities for service. But instead, her response tells us the reason she is usually smiling, with a persistent twinkle in her eye: "I hope people will remember me as being optimistic, enthusiastic, with a sense of humor and a love for people. And,” she adds, “I’m always anxious to serve, inspire, and motivate people to love one another."