Thirty-nine years ago, Jean Funk graduated from BYU in child development and family relations. The day she got her diploma, she married her sweetheart, Dave, and moved to a farm in Oregon where they worked and lived off the land, raising seven kids along the way.
After most of their children moved to Utah, Jean and Dave sold the farm, retired and bought a house in Saratoga Springs. Not the types to retire and take it easy, Jean and Dave jumped at the chance to teach English in China for a year. In Nanjing, a city of more than 8 million people, they navigated crowded bus routes, tasted exotic foods and taught their students to speak English. Jean and Dave loved every minute — but were overjoyed to return to Saratoga Springs, population 22,000, where they could look out their windows and see the mighty mountains rising against a clear blue sky.
1. Little bit of country
“Saratoga Springs is suburbia with a country feel. Because it’s so new, it is organized well, with a core city area and apartments built around it.”
2. We’ve got spirit
“The Westlake High School principal’s goal is to make sure there are lots of activities for the students, so they do a little of everything — ballroom dance, sports, music. The marching band is one of the best in the state.”
3. Temple drive
“Saratoga Springs is 30 minutes away from five temples: the Oquirrh Mountain, Jordan River, Draper, Mount Timpanogos and Provo temples.”
4. The sweet time
“The view of the valley from Saratoga Springs can’t be beat. I love seeing Mt. Timpanogos during what I call the ‘sweet time,’ when the sunset casts a pink glow on the mountain and valley.”
5. Community ties
“We have a really good arts council. We’ve done the Messiah for the past few years and we’re starting an orchestra. I played the organ for the Lamb of God three years ago, and that’s become a great community event.”
6. Outdoor haven
“There are walking paths all around our side of Utah Lake, and there are parks where people like to go four wheeling up on the hills. Even closer to my home, I like to take morning walks through the sagebrush.”
7. Diverse city
“Since Saratoga Springs is relatively new, its population is diverse. Our differences have helped us get to know each other, and we’ve found that many of us have lived in similar areas. We’re all transplants.”
News Flash: Saratoga Springs was named after the Saratoga resort that opened on Utah Lake in 1884, which got its name from the famous New York spa. Although the resort is long gone, the nearby hot springs are still a popular attraction.