Utah family shares rich history

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Though people often view early Utah pioneer history as a relic of the past, one Utah family — with early ties to the Manti Utah Temple and Brigham Young Academy — says their history still has profound influence.

Linda Andelin Orullian is a 79-year-old woman with a rich family history and personal life story. In 2016, doctors found Linda had a brain tumor, causing her to relearn even the most basic tasks post-surgery.

“I needed to work on relearning to play the piano, relearning to sew, relearning to cook,” she said.

Though challenging, Linda said the relearning process has been an adventure.

“Which is fine with me because it’s fun to learn — I’ve always liked learning,” she said.

Linda said her love of learning stems from her father and grandfather.

“I think it’s in my genes,” Linda said.

Linda’s grandfather, Olaf Wilhem Andelin, was one of the first six graduates from Brigham Young Academy. He taught languages and religion there for 20 years.

“(He) was known as a walking encyclopedia because he loved to read everything: magazines, books — everything,” she said.

Linda said the Andelin family has a deep love for art, too. Her great-grandfather, Olaf Anderson Andelin, was a well-known Swedish stonemason who joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and helped build the Manti Utah Temple.

“He was a stonemason for seven and a half years, until the last stone was put on,” Linda said.

Linda’s brother Denis Andelin said he used his shared love for art to pursue a 38-year-long career in photography, taking pictures for more than 1,400 weddings at the Manti Utah Temple. He also designed and built his own house and photography studio.

“It was easy for me to design my own house because I walked around in it before I drew it,” Denis said.

Linda’s husband Aaron Orullian is a Vietnam War air force veteran. He met and married Linda while studying at BYU and said he and Linda are happy seeing their kids continue their legacy.

“They love their kids and they love each other. And, it’s a real, real tight family,” Aaron said.

Aaron advised young couples to remember life has its ups and downs but family is always worth working things out for.

More information about Brigham Young Academy is available at the Provo City Library.

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