Our Family Legacy
I was born on the 12 Aug. 1909 at home in Blackfoot, Ida., the first of three daughters to Charlotte Wright and Clarence S. Parkinson. My first home was across the street from Frank and Ada Parkinson. My grandfather, Samuel R. Parkinson, had three wives and Frank was from the first wife, the fifth child of Arabella Ann Chandler. He then married Charlotte and Maria Smart. My father, Clarence was Maria’s seventh child. I might say that Aunt Ada was from England and a very fine pianist and had raised a large family there in Blackfoot. When I was twelve, she taught me for two years on the piano and I had great love and respect for her.
The first home I remember was a little brown bungalow with a flower garden at the side of it in which my mother spent a great deal of time watering and cultivating. Since my cousin, Stewart Parkinson (son of Frank), lived in that neighborhood, it was called the Parkinson Addition. Our home was situated near the entrance to the city park in which I spent many happy hours playing. I remember so well our neighbor’s little girl who played with me. Though Helen West was the daughter of two rough but sometimes tender parents, we enjoyed a happy childhood together. Many times after Mrs. West had been angry at my mother for a week or two, and Mother never knew just why, Mrs. West would send a plate of shortcake to us. These incidents as I recall them now, convince me that no matter how low a person may be, there is a natural good striving for existence.
During these first years of my childhood, my father worked at the Utah Idaho Sugar Factory in Blackfoot. He was a hard-working man, one who would work at anything at all rather than see his family in need. He worked the night shift a great deal of the time. I always looked for hard brown sugar in his lunch box. My mother’s health was very poor after I was born. Dr. Budge was her doctor and must have been ignorant in comparison with doctors today. I was born just one year after my parents married so the joyous first years of married life were shadowed by her illness. Her health was never good
My mother’s parents, Joseph and Verena Wright, had moved from Whitney, Ida. to a little farm out between the rivers just outside of Blackfoot. Mother’s sister, Mildred stayed with us and went to school. We also had a bachelor who roomed and boarded with us, Roy Shelley. He worked at the sugar factory with my father. He had no relatives and enjoyed our home. I will never forget the all wool grey knit petticoat he gave me one Christmas. I know I must have worn it for three or four years! That with the long black stockings and long winter underwear which I rolled up when I got to school, was to keep out all cold, and it surely did! My first grade teacher was Miss Shoie.
How I did love to go out to the farm to see my grandparents and aunts and uncles out between the rivers. They were a great comfort to my mother and about the only recreation she had was visiting them. It was there I was left when my mother went to Salt Lake City to be operated on, and I remember Ira had a red wagon I loved. He and all of my mother’s brothers and sisters are gone now. I loved the low window sills that were in that old red brick farm house because I could sit on them.
On the 27 of Nov. 1916, my sister Ila was born. I remember I was sick at the time and we had only one bedroom so my corner was curtained off. After being alone for seven years, I surely loved and enjoyed her. I had loved watching my mother make white flannel kimonos bound in pink, and with her dark hair, she looked so lovely in them. I have had wonderful companionship with Ila, especially since we married and have had our families. We will never forget our enjoyable campouts every summer with our children together. Mother had told me right from the start that this baby was coming so it was a wonderful event in my life.
I remember going to Sunday School, Primary and Sacrament Meeting in the First ward in Blackfoot. My first school when I turned six years old was the Irving School on the West side of the railroad tracks. I particularly remember the good soup that was served with crackers at noon in the winter. I went to school here about two years when we moved to the east side of town and I went to Central School. I remember my father painting new houses as they were built and how I loved to watch them build each one. He also worked as a carpenter. I loved the smell of lumber. I remember one day I wanted 5¢ for candy and I was afraid to ask my father for it. I guess I had too much pride and I’m still very independent. It seemed like we never did have any extra nickels either. We bought a bagful of candy then for 5¢. I remember when mother ordered a can of coaloil for the lamps that they always stuck a big gumdrop on the spout which was a treat for me….
Sunday was visiting day and we often went to Grandmas on the east side of town before we moved over there. Papa would borrow Mr. Kelley’s buggy and white horse and we would all go to Grandma’s house. It was a wonderful day when we moved to the east side of town just three houses from Grandma to a two-story duplex. Aunt Verena lived in one side, and we lived in the other. My father decided to farm with his brothers Ed and Joe Parkinson in the Teton Valley about twenty miles from Rexburg. After Ila was born, we spent two or three summers there and I enjoyed every minute of it. There were groves of white barked trees to play in and there was a little path that wound down to the beautiful Teton River. It had cut its path between a wall of rock on one side and a mountain of pine forest on the other side. We could stand on top and watch the beautiful river below us winding its way between rock wall and mountain. How I loved to go down that path to the river. They had to bring barrels of water up to the cook house where we stayed. A man and his wife were there and she did the cooking.
Aunt Verena and aunt Mildred both lived within a block of us so Thelma, my cousin who was my age went to the Central School with me. I remember Hal Woodruff taking me home on his little sleigh after school. He had black hair and I surely thought he was cute. I think we were in the third grade then. I went all through school with Vella Briggs, Thelma Hodson and LaRue Miles. I remember the big trees we played under and the ditch of water in back of the school. I had a case later on Moss Hoover also. I was about ten then and his father was a doctor. He gave me a picture of two angel girls that were so popular at that time.
Papa did lots of painting now. Mother's health was still very poor and she finally had another operation. Papa had a great deal of expense and worry. I remember my mother praying for another baby and finally on the third of June 1920, Venna was born. Ila and I went out to Aunt Mildred and Uncle Alva's farm that they had moved to. School was out and we really enjoyed it. I remember Aunt Mildred sitting on the door of the big black cook stove with Uncle Alva's head in her lap. They had been married only a short time. I never heard them argue in all of my life. She was my favorite aunt.
All my life I have had the privilege of enjoying Primary, Mutual and church. Mother always took us with her on Sunday to all the meetings. We went to the Second ward now. I grew up in that ward and loved it. I couldn't wear a shoe on my left foot one summer because I let the heavy postoffice door slam on my heel so I went in my stocking foot. I think it must have brused the bone. During these years I remember being baptized by Bishop Rider and how wonderful I felt to be forgiven of all my sins and how much I wanted to do only that which was right. I have always known that the church was true and I've always had a great desire to do right. Sylvia Rider and Theona Snyder were my good friends at church. One of my happiest times was when I was a Bee Hive girl and Mrs Moore Davis was our teacher. She was a jewel. She carried on living and loving her religion even though her young husband was taken from her soon after their marriage. She married again and raised a large family of her husband's children. She was my ideal and I tried to be like her. But only a life rich in experience and knowledge and service can produce a woman such as she. One of the happy times we had together was when we Bee Hive girls went to Lava Hot Springs and stayed for a week. We had a little cabin and every night we could hear the little animals running around. I think they were mice and only the strong ones among us kept our nerves. One night Syvilla Patten had a spell of despondency and we sat up half the night persuading her not to drown herself. She was alright the next morning. She was a heavy girl and not very attractive. I'm sure that she had a poor self image. We had many slumber parties out of doors in the summer and weiner roasts down by the Blackfoot river.
When I was thirteen, my father went to Salt Lake to stay with his sister Susie and try to find work but didn't find any and went on to Los Angeles where he worked for the Union Oil Co. I remember we had corresponded and carried on a debate about "Who is most important, old maids or bachelors." He always talked about his daughters going to college but we had work to do taking care of each other and our mother in the coming years which was the best schooling we could have had because it made us unselfish and thoughtful of each other. While working with the Union Oil Co., papa fell from a scaffold while painting and the first telegram we received, he was doing quite well but the second said that he had passed away while under the antisthetic during an operation. Gangerine had set in and they didn't have the antibiotics that they have today. This was a shock to my mother and all of our family. Tom Parkinson, papa's brother, took care of sending the body home and he laid in front of our big window there in the two story home we lived in at that time. I remember how hard and cold he was when I touched him but how nice he looked in his temple clothes. I remember the funeral there in the Second ward and that Miss Truman sang a solo and the congregation sang, "Sometime we'll Understand. In the spring of 1924, I was graduating from the eighth grade and in papa's suitcase was a silver watch for my graduation. The months following were ones of anxiety and loss. We were entirely without funds and my mother was unable to work outside of her own home. My father's brother Torn and cousin Stewart sued the Union Oil Co. for us and we obtained $5,000 which was a great blessing to us. Tom said that the lawyers sued for a small fee and the case was closed quicker than they had thought it would be which was a miracle in our lives and we knew that Heavenly Father was watching over our little family. This has been a great testimony to me and has given me a stronger faith throughout my life. Mother bought a small home for $2,000 and a piano for $200.00. She wanted all of us to have music. We received $87.00 a month until I graduated from High School 3 1/2 years later. I had been kept home from school for one semester when the flu was bad when I was little. I had to make up that 1/2 year in High School so I could go to work by the time our checks stopped. My mother's brother, Glenn Wright, who was a teacher, talked to the principal about our circumstances so it was arranged for me to take geometry in the principal's office after school for that last semester. Our graduation exercises were held in the tabernacle and I wore a lavender flowered taffeta dress which I liked especially because it came from the store. All during these years mother had sewed and made most of our clothes, even our coats. People in our ward said we were the best dressed girls in the ward. My first job that June after graduating was in the office of Belo Ball, Justice of the Peace doing stenographic work.
In the June of 1927 when our ward chorus won in the Blackfoot Stake contest for M.I.A., our group of girls went to Salt Lake to enter the contest there with the many stakes participating in June conference. Verne's sister Katherine was in the group from Boise but of course I didn't know her. Sister Beck was our leader and Aunt Ada accompanied us. We sang "Bersuse" and “Roses of Picardy.” My father's sister, Susie Nielsen, lived in Salt Lake City and I stayed at her home and had a fine time getting acquainted with her and her family. We didn't win in the contest but it was a fine experience! After spending a week there, I went to Logan and visited Bell Daines and Louella Cowley, papa's sisters. My mother and sisters joined me there and we went to whitney where we stayed with Aunt Ruth and Uncle George Foster, my grandma Wright's brother. I shall never forget the good times we had at Aunt Ruth's with Cecil and Lincoln Foster. I rode horses and had water fights and picked apples and ate them. They had big farm meals in the dining room three times and how I did enjoy them. I remember grandma Wright's mother who was very old and lived there with Uncle George. I can see her walking around the big lawn in front with twin pine trees on it. She was straight as an arrow and had a grey shawl around her shoulders. We have her life story and she was a wonderful pioneer woman, an important part of my heritage.
During these years after the death of my father, Uncle Cecil, mother's brother who lived across the alley from us, planted a big garden for us every spring. We had raspberries and I can remember mother getting up at 5:30 in the morning and picking a big bowlfull for our breakfast in the summertime. She also bottled them and they were delicious! I loved to drink the juice. I enjoyed those summers at home helping with washing and canning and scrubbing through the house on Saturday, I used the baskets from papa's funeral and filled them with flowers and placed them in the front room after the house was all cleaned. I loved to read in the summertime. Venna and Ila played papperdolls out under the big maple tree at the side of the house. Mother always had a big flower garden at the side of the house which we all enjoyed. We lived at the end of the street and in the tall we raked leaves and ran and jumped in them and then had a bonfire. We loved the fall. We loved the cold winter too wearing our knee high laced boots to school and playing games--fox and geese in the snow. We were always well, thanks to mother's good cooking.
The summer I graduated from High School, I met Finley Briggs, brother of my long time friend, Vella. This friendship lasted until I left Blackfoot in 1930. He gave me lots of good times and the friendship and compionship I needed during those four years. Several times we found a hundred pound sack of potatoes in our basement and I'm sure it was from his father's farm. As a small boy in his father's sheep camp, he had learned to smoke and couldn't stop this ugly habit. I never saw him smoke but knew that he was not for me with this habit. He would get his teeth cleaned and determine to quit but didn't. Heavenly Father also knew he was not for me and had his way of letting me find the right one.
During this time I worked for Preston A. Blair Co. and later at the Palace Drug Store selling drugs and Ice Cream for $12.00 per week, keeping my mothers and sisters. It was a blessing our little home was paid for. Mother was a good cook and stretched each dollar, always paying our tithing first. I'm sure this is where I obrained a firm testimony of tithing that has lasted all my life and has been such a blessing to my own family. During these years I always had a strong testimony of the gospel especially that the boy Joseph went into the woods to pray and that Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ appeared to him. I have always known that this was true! I do love the gospel and hope I can endure and be ever true to the end of my life!
About the 13 Feb. 1929, my uncle, William Killian stopped at the drug store on his way back from Montana on a beef buying trip and said to me, "Macel why don't you go back to California with me?". At this time Grandma and Grandpa Wright and sons Glenn and Ira and daughters Hazel and Mildred and her family were all living together on Gardenia and having a hard time in the depression era in Long Beach, California. Ira and Glenn were selling Kemper radios and not making much. Many thoughts ran through my mind. I wanted to leave Blackfoot and get away from Finley. I told him to go home and see what Mother said and that I would like to go. He came back and Mother had said, yes. I explained everything to my boss Mr. Thorsen and within three hours Mother had packed my clothes and I was on the way to Calif. Mother saw a chance for me to better myself and though she didn't have any money put away, she made popcorn balls and homemade bread which Ila and Venna sold for several months. I called Finley who worked in Idaho Falls Safeway store and told him I was leaving. He felt terrible but I knew I didn't want a man who couldn't stop smoking. This habit finally killed him. How thankful I am that the Lord was watching out for me! It was hard leaving Mother and the girls knowing they had nothing to live on. Uncle Cecil lived near by and I knew I would soon get a job. The first night in Long Beach, I met Verne who was going with my cousin Hazel. I went with Fritz Vibe, a friend of Hazels and it was through him that I got a job just three weeks after I arrived at the Long Beach News Agency for Jack Showell who was a jew and my wages were $20.00 per week. I sold newspapers from all over the world. It was near the ocean and I loved it. I lived with Grandma Wright and the family and gave them my check each week which helped them considerably! It was July before I could send for Mother and the girls and I rented a small apartment on 10th street. I remember walking from work on Ocean and Pine Ave. out to Gardenia and Anaheim many nights during the summertime and enjoying it. Mother rented our home to Aunt Amanda Wright and we started a new life in California. I loved the old first ward on Atlantic Ave. and already had many friends. How thankful to have a job and have Mother and the girls there. Now we were a family again.
In 1931 the Agency changed hands and I was without work but started at Kresses in November, a short time after. They put me in charge of a big counter and I made change for all the counters on that side of the store besides waiting on the customers. For the next three years I worked harder than I had ever worked in my life. They were slavedrivers. At one time my register was ringing l¢ over at times so I would be short at the end of the day. They watched me continually and finally I kept every receipt to show them that the machine wasn't working right. I worked in the office as assistant cashier and worried a great deal about my work. At the change register, I had to be bonded and had to have letters of recommendation from Mr. Thorsen and Mr. Ball or lose my job. They laid me off until these letters came! Mr. Thorsen didn't sent one because I had quit on a Saturday and I thought he understood my going. I prayed and plead with him to send the letter I needed as my family depended on my job. Mr Ball had already sent his. Finally Mr. Thorsen sent one and I resumed work. The Lord looked after us all those years!
I took my weeks vacation one summer and went to Burley, Ida. where Finley was working. We had been writing to each other and he wanted me to come and sent me the money to pay for my ticket with a little extra. With the few dollars extra, I bought Mother some pretty mater for a dress. When I left I knew he was still smoking and that this was the end. Verne had gone on his mission and I thought he was very young, being two years younger than I. He and Hazel had quit writing to each other by the time he returned. During this time I went with Ken Potter and others but was interested in noone. For a time I had charge of one side of Kresses as a floarwalker and had many girls to arrange hours for and watch and make change for during the day. I worked six days a week for $16.00 per week. It seemed like I was always exhausted but as I look back, I was lucky to have a job and be able to take care of our family.
In July Verne Handy came home from his mission and after dancing with him at the Stake dance in Huntington Park, we started going together. I was going with Kim Wilson and Verne said, "It's either him or me, so make up your mind." Since we first started to date, I felt good about Verne. Every Friday night we had a date. He worked at Pennys then and many nights I waited until eleven o'clock to see him. We had a wonderful time together and I knew that this was what I had been waiting for. At noon we would meet and walk to the park near ocean where the library was and sit on the grass and eat our lunches together and watch and feed the pigeons. These were happy times together. For Christmas he gave me hiking pants, sweater, cap and boots. Everything fit perfectly and I loved this outfit and wore it to the mountains and snow parties. On New Years day 1930, we went to Forest Lawn with Verne's mother and Roe Hawkins, her husband. We left them and went into the building where the picture of "The Last Supper" was. We were entirely alone and as we stood there, I could hear Verne's heart pounding and then he asked me to marry him. Of course I was soo happy and said, "yes". We ran out to the car where he had a beautiful platinum diamond ring which he put on my finger. He always said that I accepted before I saw the ring! I might say here that this same diamond twenty one years later wore in two and after Verne gave me a ring for our twenty first anniversary with twenty one small diamonds in it, I let him have my big diamond made into a ring for him. He had never had a really nice ring. We were really happy. When we got home, he told mother he'd like to marry me in June. She said, "So soon?". Ila graduated a year from that next June so I worked a year after our marriage and then she took over supporting the family. Those were happy months that spring.
When the earthquake came in March, I was just getting off the bus coming home from work and it felt like we were going over bumps. I was standing in the bus since it was so crowded. I looked out of the window and saw buildings just falling over. He was just slowing down to my stop luckily. I ran accross Anaheim and down the block to our apartment. Everyone was out on the street. Our dinner came out of the oven and we couldn't open our bedroom door and everything was a mess. Grandma Wright was ill in bed at the time and she was moved out to Verne's mothers for a few days. We slept in a tent out there too on Daisy Ave. Kresses was closed so we went rabbit hunting and just had a fun time. It was great to have one week to just relax and enjoy each other. At that time we could get vegetables for 1¢ a bunch. Verne's mother was good to all of us. She was a happy person and very loving. She went with Verne to the hospital when our first three children were born and was very helpful and spiritual. She always treated us great and came in many mornings as we were having prayer with the children when they were little. Verne is much like his mother in looks and actions. She was a very capable person and had been Relief Society president for years while raising her family. It took months to repair the damage caused by that earthquake.
We decided to get married on the 13th of June in Mesa temple during my two weeks vacation. I wasn't supposed to be married and work at Kresses but I had one more year to work so I didn't say anything to anyone there. It was such a happy spring! We lived on Lime Ave. then in a small apartment. Verne's mother let us take her car to go to the temple. I remember mother and I crying in the bedroom before Verne and I left. Verne's mother was there that Saturday night after work and we all knelt down and had prayer before we left. On the way, we stopped in Banning and bought cherries and went to a dance. We had left about 7 p.m. and we had such a fun trip. As we entered Arizona the next morning, we were so tired and hot, and the wind was blowing. I wanted the window up and Verne wanted it down so we argued about that and my face was red as a beet by the time we got to Phoenix. We got two rooms adjoining each other at the hotel and after showers, we felt better and went to the show where there was air conditioning but not in our hotel rooms. It was heavenly to get into a cool place. We got our liscense the next morning and drove to Mesa temple where we went through twice with Max and Margaret Bryan from Long Beach and also John Taylor. It was hot when we finished and so we spent the afternoon in the island of the wide street by the temple where there were trees to rest under. When it was cooler and the sun had gone, we started our all night trip to San Diego where we got a room at the St. Games Hotel, showered and rested, having arrived at 11 A.M. We went to the show that evening and to Awa Calente the next morning and arrived in Long Beach about 4 P.M. bringing both of our families bunches of gladiolas bought with our last quarters. along the highway. I had three days before I went back to work so we had fun putting our Wedding gifts in our apartment that we had rented on Lime Ave not far from mother and the girls. Everyone in our ward on Atlantic had come to the basement recreation hall there and given us a ward shower. We had received many gifts and had had a wonderful time. Sister Pugh gave it for us. It was fun to cook meals those first days in our little apartment and doing all the first things that bring so much happiness in this life. We were so happy!
Verne had lost his job with Penny Co. and was working for Curtis Publishing Co. for $13.00 per week and we were on a strict budget. We had an envelope for rent, utilities, food, tithing etc. Even an ice cream cone was a luxury for us. Those were depression days and everyone was happy if they had a job. I never worried about our finances because we always paid the tithing first and then everything came out fine. Verne was always so ambitious in taking care of his family that he would do anything to keep busy and we have never wanted for the necessities. In February I was expecting a baby. I was sick to my stomach and had to run out of the office at Kresses to the lavatory to make it in time! I was working in the office with Miss Delaye at this time as assistant cashier. I worked until the middle of July, keeping my last months pay to buy things I needed for the baby. It was so much fun to have money to buy diapers, shirts and gowns for our baby! We bought a used bed and I painted it an off white color and a chest of drawers to match. I even had a pathenette which I really enjoyed. We moved next door toa little house belonging to Mrs. Schrach, a dear old lady. Here we had one large bedroom and we loved it. We also had a little kitchen and front room and a back porch where I had the washer. Verne took two weeks vacation and we went to Santa Barbara where we stayed with Glenn and Ira Wright who were going to school there. We spent one week in the mountains and Verne worked for Sears Roebuck a week. I came back and worked four weeks and was I glad to quit work! It has been a long seven years but I never regretted a minute of it. I hated Kresses and couldn't stand to even walk past that store for years. lIe worked there for three weeks but she had worked at the Telephone Co. after school to learn the contometer and soon had a steady job there. She was a diligent worker and took Care of Mother and Venna until Venna graduated at which time Venna worked and Ila married Edward Wheatfill.
I made all our Christmas presents that summer and had a wonderful time. Carol Lee was born the 17th of Dec. at Buffum's Maternity Hospital on Atlantic. It was a large old home. We had gone back and forth to the hospital for a solid week, pains in the afternoon and night and none in the morning. I didn't dialate and Verne had to assist pulling by my shoulders as the doctor pulled with forsups on the baby. It was a wonder she Was not injured at birth but finally we had a beautiful little dark haired rosebud with pink cheeks! She was beautiful! On Christmas morning, Verne came with a small tree decorated. The nurse brought little Carol in to nurse and we had a delightful Christmas morning together. Verne surely loved her. I had a fishing p~le under the bed for him that Katherine had bought for me to give to him for Christmas. Verne had been working at Sears and on Christmas Eve they told him that they wouldn't need him any longer. This was a blow to both of us but I still didn't worry. I knew he would find something.
We lived on Olive, just off Anaheim until Carol was eight months old and really enjoyed it there. Sara Samuelson, my girl friend lived next door. Verne and I went hunting that fall and I left the baby with mother for a week. It rained one night and Verne went out early to hunt and while gone a big deer stood just a few yards from me and I didn't even have a gun! Carol had infection in her breast and had to have it lanced while we were gone. We thought it would be funn to live in the country so we moved to Barber City just 10 miles out of town but soon moved back to town when I found that I was expecting again. We moved to 15th and Pine ave. and I loved working in the yard that spring. We did a lot of painting on the inside of the house. Stanton was born on the 9th of June and was a beautiful blonde boy with curls. His chest stuck out and the doctor said, “He's a football player!", and sure enough he was! Verne was overjoyed and proud to have a boy with blue eyes and curly hair. It was the same hard birth as Carols and Stan had instrument bruses around the eyes. Verne assisted in the delivery at the same Maternity Hospital. Now we had two little ones just 17 months apart and Carol never stopped after she started walking at nine months. Verne always loved and played with them and we were so proud of our little family. The following June we took our first vacation with them and went to Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake. We had a tent and sleeping bags and Verne always fished.
Nov. 20, 1937 Verne was ordained a highpriest and put on the High Council at 26 years. We were really proud! Verne has always done each church job to the very best of his ability so he was well qualified. We moved to a house in the rear on Junipero and after a year or so moved again to Lemon Ave. 1998, for a short time and then we bought a lot on Roycroft where Verne made a double garage into comfortable living quarters for us while we paid $7.50 per month for our lot. he did have a time putting in a shower but we had bunk beds and a double bed in the bedroom and kitchen facilities and a front room together. We had a piano, couch, and a big grey overstuffed rocker which was my real comfort especially while I was expecting Sharon. Reed and Violet Durham were our good neighbors. Their children always snacked on carrots and went to bed early at night. They lived the gospel, and we loved them.
In Jan. 1940, I mowed our big lawn in front and shortly after had pneumonia and had to stay at mother's for a time with the children. Verne's mother took the children for a while too. I couldn't take the new Sulfa drug it made me so sick. I was so thankful for Mother's good care. It seemed like the only time I could relax with Carol was when I took the children to mother's and lay on the couch while she watched them. She had a desk that Carol loved to play at. She started kindergarten at 4 ½ and was so little. Stan was a big handsome boy! About this time Ila and Edward got married in the St.George timple and he taught in Fullerton Jr. College. Now it was Venns's turn and she did a great job with just she and mother in their little apartment. Since we were expecting another baby, we decided to build our home on our lot. It was finished when I came home from Community Hospital up on the hill and I thought I was in heaven as I lay in my white bedroom with a new beautiful baby girl in the same room she was so beautiful and so loved by us and Carol and Stan. What a joy our children have been to us! Verne didn't mind changing diapers and bathing our babies and I always had help for three weeks after each one came.
In Jan. 1942, Verne had passed the examination for the Fire Dept. and was called to work. I typed a notebook for him and had no idea what any of it meant. This job was a blessing to us financially and though Verne was at the station for 24 hours at a time, throughout the years it gave him time to do a lot of church work that he could not have done otherwise and it has given us a wonderful retirement. Since Aunt Myrtle and Uncle Arza died, mother had been taking care of Wilbur and LaMar so we took Wilbur for three years while he went to High School. He was a fine boy and we loved him very much. Now he lives in Virginia and his son, Robert, comes to see us. Wilbur and Elizabeth had nine children. When he came home from the service, he had enough money to put himself on a mission but he got married instead. We were very disappointed.
In Jan. 1945 we bought six acres at 68th and Atlantic for $6,000.00 and Roe Hawkins helped us financially. We sold our home on Roycroft that held so many good memories for $8,000.00 and was able to pay for our acreage. That spring Verne went back and forth working out there and moved a large garage onto the property. We lived in it after we moved out there in April while Verne built a small house for us. He had to dig a sewer. We all helped and worked very hard that summer. Everything was new to Verne and he learned much on that little home. The soil was sandy and easy to plant. I held the plaster board up with a broom while he nailed it up, (the hard way). We planted a big garden and lots of gladiolas which we sold at our stand out on the boulevard. We started a nursery also--Handy Rancho Nursery. As I look hack I wonder how Verne accomplished so much. I remember running back and forth to the nursery on his days at work. We had sold 2 acres to Mr. Gazelle so we had 4 acres now and that was plenty. After selling Christmas trees in November and December on our lot out in front of our house on Atlantic Ave., our fourth little darling was born! She was a beautiful, blonde, blue eyed baby girl and how we all loved her! But what a time she had getting here and we almost lost her. Poison had set in and I had been sick to my stomach all night sitting up in my grey rocker so when Verne came home in the morning, he called the doctor. We stopped at his mother's and she got me warm and the pains started. When we got to the hospital they said the baby should have to be taken cescerian immediately so they gave me a spinal and kept ice in my mouth to keep me from vomiting. I was so sick all this time with my stomach. When she was born, she was so blue from lack of oxygen for some time. They just got her in time and we were so blessed. Verne and built a building for the nursery so on his days at work I took the baby in her basket out to the nursery at times to take care of customers. It was a hard spring. The children were never sick which was a blessing. Sharon had tonsilitos until we had her tonsils removed. Stanton had an ear infection once and we took him to the ear specialist. Carol had pneumonia when we were on Roycroft. We were blessed with well healthy children. We ate a 60 lb. can of honey every six months and the children always ate well--homemade bread included.
Verne worked every other day and had 3 days off every two weeks. He always said he went to work to rest up. Our little home had a big glassed in front porch where we had beds for all the children except the baby. I remember Sharon being very sick with tonsillitis at one time out there, and the doctor came out. Now we felt that we really needed a nice big home for our growing family. We made plans for a lovely big four bedroom and family room home on our land and Ren Davis built it for us. He was a dear friend and his wife Winnie even came and helped paint. Verne and I put all the button board on and did all the painting. We surely worked hard but it was an exciting time for all of us and we loved our new home. We had Christmas in 1947 in the front room with a big fire in the fireplace even though the house wasn't completely finished. Verne had to work the night before and wouldn't be home until 8 Christmas morning so about 4:30 AM, I took all the gifts over to the house in the car where the tree was already decorated and started a fire in the fireplace. How we all enjoyed the new fireplace and our Christmas when Daddy came home that morning. It was always hard for the children to wait until 8 on these Christmases.
While we lived in our little house, Verne had been put in as Bishop of the 2nd ward. President sponberg asked him and we all felt very humble and grateful and tried to be an example to our ward. Then the ward was divided and he was bishop of the new 6th ward. He had to buy an old church for us to meet in in Paramount. Many spiritual experiences happened as these people who had little money pledged their help on the new church and many unexpected blessings came to them. Verne was a fine bishop and everyone loved him. Most of the recreational events for the ward during these years were held in and outside of our home. They were happy, sharing years and hard ones too. I remember Stanton keeping the hardwood floars waxed while we ran the electric polisher. We stepped down to our big front room from the kitchen and dining room level to parka floaring. It was beautiful. We had Chinese hooked rugs in dining and frontroom with rose colored satin tufted couches built to order. How we enjoyed that lovely home.
At seventeen Carol was a lovely capable girl doing well on the piano and enjoying High School. She loved her church and never missed a meeting. She never dated boys outside the church and was a Stake missionary with Barbara Brown. They converted the Rail family who later sent five boys on missions and had nine children in their family. I was with the girls the first night they visited the Rail family. At nine P.P. that summer evening, we had been tracting and the girls said that since it was dark that they should quit and go home. Carol said, "Let's visit this one last home. The parents had their children in bed and were just sitting there. Brother Rail invited us in and the girls gave the Stick of Judah and Joseph and really thrilled me to hear them explain it so well. The girls asked if they could come back and they were told that it had been a very interesting lesson in history and they would like to have them come back. We were all thrilled and it was a great night for all of us when they were baptized after a few months. They have been staunch members ever since and treat us like their own family. Ruth Walker was Carol's teacher in MIA. They were always good friends. Carol went with Jack Cassidy, Rowan Cecil and others during this time and was very happy. She loved her music and practiced faithfully. She wrote to Walt Whipple while he was on his mission in Wisconson.
As I have mentioned, our home on Atlantic was used for all the showers and social events and church meetings that it was needed for while we lived there. The Volley Ball parties and Hamburger parties were many. Several weddings were performed in our front room and we were blessed continually with good health and we all developed spiritually and loved the gospel. Carol became engaged to Walt when he returned and they were married in the Mesa Temple after two lovely showers. It was a beautiful ceremony. The six of us had gone to Mesa in Whipples car with Frances and Gus. The kids had to have Verne perform a civil marriage in our front room before they left to satisfy army regulations. I had sewed three weeks on her beautiful wedding dress and veil and she made a beautiful bride with her dark hair in white. Walt was in the service so they flew back to Long Beach for him to go to Camp Roberts. The following weekend we held their reception at the church on 15th and Pine. Walt was late getting there so she was standing in line alone for a time. The music was lovely throughout the evening and they received 400 gifts. A large crowd attended. They stayed at mother's apartment that night and mother stayed with her sister Mildred. They lived in our trailer at Camp Roberts september and October. He was sent to Germany in November. She was expecting so she lived at home until Sherrilyn was born. She worked at Douglas and bought us our first automatic washer and we took care of the baby for about four months while she was with Walt in Germany. Carol's pains started one Sunday A.M. and we took her to the army hospital and had to leave her there all alone. The baby came Monday morning at 8 A.M. We took care of them and when she was well she worked the 4 PM shift at Douglas until she left for Germany. She hated to leave her baby to be with Walt but had a chance to travel in Europe and British Isles. Sherrie was a sweet good baby and we surely enjoyed and loved her. She is a lovely woman today, and she and Bart Larsen have three lovely children and, live in Virginia, and Bart works at the Pentagon.
We sold our Atlantic home and bought one at 5215 Walton near the airport. With Carol gone and Stanton soon to go on his mission, we felt that we could get along with a smaller home. Our new home had three bedrooms and we added a big family room on where we had Stan's farewell party when he left on his mission even though we didn't have the roof on. Venna and Ila lived only a few blocks from us and our families had many good times together at Easter in Irvine park and on the 4th of July we took turns having fireworks and homemade ice cream in our back yards. On fast Sunday we took turns having dinner for our families after fasting all day and then having a spiritual talk of some kind. These were wonderful times and we will never forget them. Larry remembers them even now that he is married and it is years later. There were 35 at Stan's party before he left.
His farewell sacrament meeting was one of the most spiritual meetings I have ever been to. The chapel was full and 1/3 of the recreation hall of the Stake Center on Ximeno. Everyone was so generous in giving to Stan to the amount of $300.00. We took him to the mission home on the 20th of June, 1956 and he left for Atlanta, Ga. a week later. He bore a wonderful testamony along with 40 other boys out of 325 missionaries leaving Salt Lake and the Mission Home. It was a Sunday evening testamonial. He was a great missionary just like his father and met some of the people who had known Verne when he was on his mission in the Southern States. He brought much joy and happiness to us during those two years. He had sold his Chevie Impala and so he had some money to help him on his mission. He took some of his money and bought Verne a new suit. This is so typical of Stanton. He would give you anything he had that you needed. He wrote my mother a beautiful letter before she died at our home on Walton. His letters from the missionfield and those who loved him there brought joy and happiness to all our family. My mother died in December, just six months before Stanton returned.
We were so happy when Stan returned from Mobile, Ala. and other cities he labored in. Many times he met people who knew and remembered his father who labored in S. Carolina. Stan met Dorothy Ann Young in San Jose while he was in the service. It wasn't long until they were married in the Los Angeles Temple and had a beautiful reception at our home in the patio. They lived in one of the apartments that we had built on Atlantic and they managed them for us. We had a dishonest builder who did very poor work so we lost the apartments. We could have sold the ground for $40,000. It was too big of an undertaking for us. It wasn't long until little Verne was born, our first grandchild! He was a beautiful little boy and we loved him so much. Just ten months later Steven Brent was born. On Vernie's first birthday, Dorothy was taking the babies to meet stan and have Vernie's picture taken when she blacked out and ran down the ramp off the freeway, hitting a cement piling and killing Vernie instantly because of a broken neck. Steven was in the car bed between the seats in their V.W. Dorothy had to have surgery and it was a terrible shock to Stan and all of us. We took care of them for a time but Dorothy mended rapidly. Stan was just broken hearted to lose his little boy and of course Dorothy was too. Verne had gone to do missionary work on the other side. Everyone responded in showing their love and helping them financially and the service for him was beautiful; He died 8 May 1961. Dorothy came to the funeral in a wheel chair.
Never did anyone have a better mother than we did. She always went with us to church and always paid a full tithing and cooked nutricious meals with the pay checks we gave to her through the years. She was a gentle, quiet dear and if I had the chance again, 1 would do much more for her and express my love more often. Only years without a dear one teaches us too late to express our love each day before it is too late. Many times I have longed to talk to her and tell her my joys and sorrows. She always understood and was very sensitive to the feelings of others. Her testimony of tithing and many other principles of the gospel has guided and helped me throughout my life.
In February 1961, I finally went to see Dr. Hewitt to see why I didn’t have life to live. She ordered me to the hospital where I was given three pints of blood and a curetment. Verne and Ann took good care of me. I spent time working on my Book of Rememberance and just resting. Soon I felt better than I had done for years. I have always been blessed with good health!
While Verne was bishop in the six ward, we had many wonderful times and spiritual experiences. I remember one sacrament meeting that our family there. I spoke, Sharon sang, Ann read a poem on genealogy and Stan and Ann gave beautiful strong testimonies. Verne called Carol up to bear her testimony. She told about our Swiss genealogy which she had gathered with financial help from all our family. We have done work for thousands of our Swiss families and what a joy it has been for aunts, uncles and cousins to meet at the temple in Los Angeles and have these wonderful sealing sessions. Verne spoke also and it was a very spiritual meeting. Stan and Ann had just lost their baby and they did bear testimonies of faith and courage. Verne always went to conference in Salt Lake during those years and after he was released I had the opportunity of going with him sometimes. One year Walt and Carol and Stan and Ann went with us. We stopped along the way to shoot the gun and have some fun. Ann was afraid of guns so she didn't go much for that but we kidded her a lot. We visited Sharon who was living with four other girls and really happy to get ready to teach the third grade. She was an excellent student as she had always been and such a beautiful girl. She gave us a piece of her homemade bread! President McKay conducted the conference and how we did enjoy it. We went to the Southern States reunion and met Bill and Mary Palmer there. (Bill was Verne's old missionary companion).
Carol and Walt lived in Provo at the old Army Barracks apartments with all the married couples while Walt got his Masters Degree. David and Lisa were both born there. I made trips to Provo and took care of Carol and the babies when they came. I loved Provo and enjoyed so much taking care of Carol. I loved to walk out in the evenings and walk around the different apartments and see all the young people and the beautiful mountains.
We always went camping every summer from the time that the children were little. Verne loved to fish so we always had plenty to eat. We often went with IIa’s family and sometimes Venna went with us. The cousins had wonderful times together at Yosemite, Big Sur, Lake Gregory, Strawberry, Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead. On the 4th of July our three families took turns having our own fireworks and eating homemade ice cream and how the children loved it.
Stan and Ann had bought our big home on Atlantic and lived there until Cathy was born in 1962 when they moved to Lakewood ward on Lanei. There Stan was counselor in the bishopric under Bishop John Ward. This was a happy time in their lives. John, David and Bonnie were born and Stan worked to get his electrical contractors liscense. He had been on the County Fire dept. for a long time and this gave him additional work on his days off. Dorothy is a born mother and loves it!
Sharon met David Berry at the Friday night dance in Long Beach one summer when she was home from school. She had been going with Gene Peterson from Salt Lake for three years. Dave was just finishing dental school so they were married and she finished her last year in Los Angeles and lived with Daves folks. They were married in the Los Angeles temple by Pres. Bowering and had a beautiful reception at the Stake Center on Ximeno. We had planned it together and both worked hard on it just as Carol and I did for her reception. There must have been 400 there. They went to Japan where David was a dentist in the Air Force. It was in Tatchakawa that Cynthia was born so we call her our Japanese grandaughter. They started a practice in Santa Rosa when they returned and then Julie was born and they moved to Alhambra and Hacienda Heights where they have a lovely home and david has his dental practice. Soon Stacey and Michelle came along and finally a darling boy, Michael. They couldn't believe that they finally had a boy! I was able to help Sharon when her babies came except Cindy. By the time the girls did all the work, all I did was the cooking. David has been Bishop and Sharon has supported him and been a great help to him and they have a talented family.
I was so thankful we had Ann at home. We enjoyed her High School years and her dates and I never worried about her because she had high ideals and went with fine boys. She has a beautiful voice and was in the entertainment group while at the Church College of Hawaii. She met Don,Black, a seminary teacher in Salvang, and I invited him to come to a family party on Walton which he did and it wasn't long before they were engaged. It was lonesome to have our last little chick gone but we were happy to have her married in the Los Angeles temple to a wonderful man. We love him as our own son and as we love David and Norm and our lovely daughter-in-law, Dorothy Ann. Their reception was also on Ximeno at the Stake Center. It was beautiful, and I had Betty Mae Adams help me with it. They went to Anaheim to live.
Ann and Don were married on the first of July and Verne had retired on the previous January. He had built a building in back of our house on Walton so we could travel after Ann was married. We bought a Dodge Traveler with everything in it and left about the 16th of July with Mitzie sitting on our square wooden box we had made to keep records, books etc. on the front seat between us. We wanted to see our own USA at our leisure. We followed the old Mormon trail as much as possible taking our history books along, especially Mormon Pioneer history and tried to include Revolutionary and Civil War history. We visited capitols of 42 states and museums wherever we went. We stayed with the Webecks in their old family home in N.Y. and helped them cut down a big tree. We picked berries with them and enjoyed their antique furniture belonging to her grandmother. We went to Palmyra and Hill Cumorah and thrilled to stand in the Sacred Grove and hear the missionaries bear their testimonies With Pres. Brockbank as their mission president. We loved Hill Cumorah and the beautiful pageant and could see the missionaries making many converts from the many people attending.
We loved Boston and the many things in Philadelphiz of early history, the Old North Church where Paul Revere attended. Plymouth Rock was great to see and always we found little things to send to the grandchildren once a month. I missed each family but we received wonderful letters from them as we would tell them where we would be ahead of time. Eleven months is a long time to be away from your loved ones. Christmas time was the hardest time of all. We were in the southern states at that time. Christmas morning wasn't very thrilling although we did have a motel for the night. We spent five weeks in Florida and stayed time in the home of Sister Neidfeldt who had met us at church and insisted on us staying with her. She lived right on the canal where the fishing was great so Verne really enjoyed fishing there. He fished all through the country and caught his Big Snook in Florida. We still correspond with Sister Neidfeldt in Michigan where she lived near her son. Our trip is all recorded in our large record which I kept almost daily while we were gone.
We returned in May and stopped in Provo to see Don and Ann who had been going to school there. We had a wonderful reunion with them and just as we were about to buy a beautiful lot in Indian Hills, Don and Ann came along and said they had just what we wanted--a three acre farm! Verne had always wanted to raise alfalfa and cattle and a big garden so this was his chance. It had an old home on it. They were starting to build the temple in Provo and we had always loved Provo education weeks and visiting the children there so we decided to retire there. We went to Long Beach and sold our home and as Verne jumped from the truck he was loading, he broke the tendons in his knee. I had scheduled an operation and Verne had to have an extensive operation on his knee so we were both convelesing at Ila's though Verne had come home from the hospital and insisted on staying at home in the beginning. He had a tough time. It took just a year for me to feel normal after we moved. Ila was so good to us! We were both in the same bed and she brought trays to us and treated us like two kittens. Great love was given to us at this time. Stan helped Verne move or we never could have gotten to Provo. Our love and appreciation go to Stan and we will never forget the time we had getting to Provo! When we arrived, Don, Ann and Stan had painted the outside of our white house and it looked lovely. Everything had been piled into the rooms that it went in. I couldn't lift anything and Verne was in a great deal of pain with his knee. His leg was in a cast. Little by little we emptied the boxes and all that winter we did only what we had to do. When spring came, Verne planted fruit trees and a lovely garden and we bought ten heiffers to raise since we had our own alfalfa. Verne worked hard but he thoroughly enjoyed it. His knee hurt him for years.
Dorothy Ann and children came and spent about six weeks with us one summer and we loved her so much. She worked hard and we did lots of bottling of fruit and green beans. We had our different families come for Christmas and summer time was a fun time for the grandchildren especially when Verne irrigated and they played on the lawn. I remember Carol's family helping us bottle corn off the cob one summer and cherries. David, Lisa and all the family helped and we did have fun. At nights we played "Run Sheepie, Run". One night it was so dark when we played, I fell down and skinned my knee but I did get in free! We had many freezers of Ice Cream and all the family enjoyed the farm.
After three years, we decided to quit working so hard so we sold the farm and Verne sold his beautiful heiffers to BYU for breeding. We decided to build a lovely home and then go on a mission. Mr Broderick built for us and we rented our lovely home after putting all our things in two rooms downstairs. We knew that if we bought new furniture and settled in our home, it would be very hard to leave. We rented our home to a nice couple as we had done when we left on Walton. We were overjoyed to be called to New Zealand where my father had spent three years on a mission from 1902 to 1905. Carol, Stan and Sharon and their families met us at the Los Angeles Airport and we had dinner together before flying out on the 22 of February 1972. We had spent a week in the Mission Home in Salt Lake and had been filled with good things. We flew to Honolulu and had an hour to walk around before we went on to Auckland. President and Sister Ludwick sent elders to meet us as we flew into Wellington. Elder Cullimore had set us apart before we left. What a beautiful sky we saw as we had come into Auckland. I will never forget how red and orange and beautiful it was that morning. At the mission home the elders sang to us and we had a good dinner and then a testimony meeting, and it wasn't long before we were in Nelson where Ian Waters met us and took us home for lunch. Verne was to be the Branch President in Nelson. Pres. Ludwick had told him to "clean up the branch" meaning that there were excommunications to take care of. I led the singing in MIA and taught the Spiritual Living lesson in Relief Society and had charge of the District Relief Society. The Moari saints were always late for their meetings and virtue was not their strong point but we loved and taught them and had some excommunications which they resented very much. Verne taught the elders many things when they came oyer on their day off and he spent hours with them. At Zone Conf. time, Pres. and Sister Ludwick and the elders came to Nelson and we had wonderful testimony meetings with all of us bearing testimony. It was a joyous time. I would have dinner ready so that we could all eat before they flew back to Wellington and did those elders eat! Pres. Sant was the mission president later.
We went to Christchurch for Stake Meetings and drove down there in our little Minnie car. Verne had to drive on the left side of the rode. They have a beautiful chapel on the Avon River where Chesnut trees lined the river and where we gathered acorns and chesnuts. It is beautiful country, rolling hills everywhere with big rivers and goarse on the hills which turns a beautiful yellow in the fall. The school children plant pine trees in rows on the hills and always there are sheep in the meadows. Every kind of beauty is in New Zealand. The S. Island had mountains they call the Little Alps. We were allowed to fish on our trips and our district covered a large territory wherever there were any saints. Blenhem and Greymouth were in our district so we did quite a lot of visiting these outlying families.
We had four wonderful excursions to the temple in Wellington where our people had the thrill of doing endowments and sealings for loved ones. I guess this work was the highlight of our mission. When we left the Moaries and everyone in the branch gave us a lovely party and Brother and Sister Paul sang, "A Night to Remember" with words they made to fit the music. They had a lovely program and supper for us and we were really touched. They gave us a surprise part for our Fortieth anniversary. Many of our dear saints were at the station the morning we flew out with their families. We spent the next four months traveling around the world and it is recorded in our Blue Record. We took off and landed about 42 times and visited many countries. We ended our trip in the British Isles and spent two weeks at the temple staying at the Old Manor House right by the temple. We rented a little Minnie Car and toured all through England, Scotland, Wales and also went to Ireland and tried to find some of our ancestors there as we have several lines originating there but many of their records were burned. We did enjoy Europe and especially Zurich, Switzerland where we found the old Shoffelburger home in Weinigen just outside Zurich. Such beautiful country my grandparents left to come to Zion. In Germany we visited two mission presidents, Jim and Nellie Ellsworth and Pres. and Sister Poekre and their family.
After almost mission our plane in N.Y. because of Customs, we were so happy to step off the plane in our own Provo, Utah with all our families there at the airport! Verne knelt and kissed the ground when we landed to show the grandchildren how much we love our country and how glad we were to be back on our own soil! It was just wonderful to see all our children and grandchildren again. They were beautiful. Their inspiring letters and Venna's and Ila's were what kept us going for two years. Now my sisters, Venna and Ila and their husbands are having missions in S. Africa and working hard and are accomplishing a great work. The gospel is everything in our lives!
We had left from Rivergrove 11 Ward so we reported back to that ward. We halped pay for the new Stake Center where our new ward would be just in back of our home. It was so much fun to come home and buy new furniture for our home and have Ann and Don next door in their new home. This has been a joy in our lives. We planted our raspberries and grapes and more fruit trees and had a big garden. We have a place to play Volley Ball on the middle lot between Don's house and ours. They made it like a little park and a beautiful spot connecting our two lots. I guess the thing that we have enjoyed most of all in our home is our big deck where we eat in the summertime and do our canning and entertain family and friends. This has been a real joy to us.
Tosh was born when we were at the farm and Ann was able to come there for a while. She had to have him cescerian after waiting for days for him and having pains. He was a welcome little boy and we all loved him. Two years later Celeste was born and what a beautiful girl she is. Then came Crysta and Tyler, all born cescerian and the doctor told her she would surely endanger her life if she had any more. How we have enjoyed this wonderful family right next door through the years. Little Crysta would come for breakfast and visit with us so often. These have been happy years with Stan or Sharon's families coming for Christman, Easter or in the summertime and all of us having fun together!
Verne has been patriarch here as he was in Long Beach and has also taught the Gospel Doctrine Class and has been a substitute Seminary teacher for Utah Valley. I have taught the Spiritual Living and Social Relations classes in Relief Society and have been a visiting teacher. Verne and I were on the committee here in Rivergrove III to raise finances for the payment of our new Stake Center. We were successful in this. Stan and Ann had two little boys, Mark and Mathew and they are handsome and sweet and Dorothy Ann is such a sweet mother and we love her. Sharon finally had little Michael and he is a handsome boy now and she and David have a lovely family. Carol and Norm have had two boys, Scott and Brett Robert and I know that they will bring joy and happiness to her as they grow to be leaders. So now we have 23 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Verne's back has been painful through the years since our mission. I have had high blood pressure but with medication I can control it and feel good. I had arthritis but with eating good food and care by Verne and my sisters especially, I am well now and try to walk for ~ each day to keep in shape. For a long time I didn't want food and Ila and Venna had us over many days for dinner and Venna sent her good wheat bread to us all the time. When I couldn't eat anything else, I could eat Verne's delicious tomatoes from the garden and Venna's wheat bread. I'm sure Verne has arthritis in his back because he had to take pills for the pain all the time. Verne is 69 this August and I will be 71 and I am so thankful for our health. My eyes aren't too good and I can't hear as well as I should but I am thankful for my health. Verne has his admittance to General conference and I still stand in line to get in but I am always so blessed in getting in and experiencing the thrill of conference. This has always been one of the greatest thrills of my life. Verne and I went to conference for years when we lived in Calif. as well as going to Education Week in Provo. Since moving here it has been easy for us to take advantage of these occasions.
Last summer on the 4th of Aug. we went to the Joseph and Verena Wright reunion with the descendants of their ten children. Ila and Edward had charge of it and Richard Wheatfill reserved a park clubhouse for dinner and we had the swimming pool for the day. We had an excellent program and it was great for all the cousins to get together. Edward had a genealogy handout for all of us and I spoke on Joseph and Verena Wright and their lives and our great heritage. The following saturday we had a Handy reunion and dinner at the park and I paid tribute to Verne's mother. It was wonderful to get all the family together.
Through the years I have started a Book of Remembrance for each grandchild and given them a Journal to record their lives. I wanted to give them something that they could continue on and keep their genealogy and life histories and the precious things of their lives. I do hope that they will add to these books and be faithful in keeping their Journals. Our prophet has really commanded us to keep histories now and they are so meaningful for their posterity. I have loved doing this because I love each one of the grandchildren so much. Our children have brought love and joy and happiness to us in the way that they have tried to keep the commandments of our Heavenly Father and accomplish the work that each one of them have been given to do. They and their mates love the church with all their hearts and are willing to make any sacrifice for it. They are mindful of each other and their needs and are all unselfish in helping each other when needed. For this I am thankful. The gospel and our loved ones have been our lives and we have been always blessed. Our children have been so generous always in contributing to our genealogy fund that we have been able to find many of our ancestors and do the work for thousands in the temple.
I have always had some calling in the church all of my life. In blackfoot I taught the Book of Mormon in my Sunday School class. I have been Sunday School and Sacrament meeting Chorister, led the choir and was Primary chorister. I have taught in Primary and Sunday School. I was Stake Inservice Leader for Stake Primary. I have always loved Relief Society and have taught Literature, Social Relation and Spiritual Living lessons as well as the Visiting Teaching Message which I am giving at this time. I was president of the Young Women's Mutual Association and was counselor to Erlyn Gould in the Relief Society in Lakewood Ward. Twice I have been called up out of the audience to bear my testimony in Stake Conferences in Long Beach and here in Provo. How blessed we are to have these callings in the church to keep; us studying and praying and in tune with our Heavenly Father! We have been blessed here in Provo to be able to go to the temple and get three sessions in in one day. I enjoyed being the Stake Bee Hive Leader for two years when we first came to Provo. I have loved and appreciated all my church callings and have grown so much from them. I know that service to others is the thing in life which brings joy and happiness and rich blessings. I would advise my family never to refuse a church calling. Heavenly Father will help us in whatever we are called to do and only He knows what we need to develop us and prepare us for future callings. I pay tribure to my wonderful husband who has accepted every calling and opportunity to speak and serve and has studied and prepared extensively for each thing he has been called to do. So he has grown in every way and has been a great teacher and influenced many people for good and has been a fine example of integrity and righteousness to our children and grandchildren.
I have a great desire to live to go through the temple with my grandchildren and to see them go on missions. These grandchildren are outstanding and intelligent and righteous spirits and they will accomplish much in this life and I hope that I can continue on serving and trying to do good so that I can be worthy to be with these great spirits throughout eternity. Each grandchild though different is special and surely they have come in a great time when leadership and righteousness is needed.
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