10.31.2011

Grandma's


Both of my grandmothers passed away within 24 hours of each other. It was the craziest thing. It worked out well that Mike's parents were coming to visit us the same weekend that the funerals were being held. They were nice enough to keep Kate while Cole and I flew to Utah for the funerals. They were both amazing women. I will miss them.

1910 ~ 2011 An Amazing Woman and Born Teacher Irene Hailes Ricks, lived among us over 101 years going strong#8230;" aanxiously engaged in a good cause, and [did] many things of [her] own free will;" (DC 58:27). Instead of rusting out, she wore out. She died peacefully at her home. Those who knew her well, knew that she was a true "Ironwoman." Her life was centered around family, friends, faith, BYU, all things Blue and White, and always-a Project. The secret to her long and productive life? She "Always looked on the bright side of life" and never slowed down. She traveled the world up until just the past few years. Since she hit the ripe old age of 60, both with Eldin and friends, she traveled to North, South and Central America, the Amazon, Asia, led tours to the Middle East and most of Europe. She exercised her mind, body, and spirit every day. She was careful about what she ate and drank. She read and learned constantly, emailed regularly, learned how to "Friend" her nieces, nephews, and grandchildren and received a notice recently from Facebook that she was the oldest living person with an active Facebook account -in the world! She got up every morning with a plan in mind and the determination to see it through to the end. A BYU season ticket holder since 1949, she never left a game 1 minute early-win or lose-no matter how lopsided the score or inclement the weather, much to her not quite so loyal son's dismay! The Cougar Club has lost one of their greatest fans. Born June 10, 1910 in Portsmouth, England, she was the oldest of 7 children born to John Charles Hailes and Nellie Warwick Hailes. Her parents, enduring much opposition, joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and immigrated to Zion, Salt Lake City, in July 1911 via steamship, 1 year before the Titanic sailed, bringing their baby, Irene, with them. Her father asked to be released from the British Royal Navy, giving up a promising career, but, unable to be far from the water, he built a home on the Jordan River on California Avenue and worked at the Magna smelter. Her first memory was walking down a long hall in a white dress when she was 15 months old to be sealed to her parents in the Salt Lake Temple. She was proud to be raised amongst the "salt of the earth" in The Cannon Ward, Pioneer Stake. From her childhood she always wanted to be a teacher. She put herself through college working for 19 cents an hour and "was glad to have the job". She received her degree in Elementary Education from the University of Utah (aka "the school to the North") in 1932. She taught elementary school for ten years at the Douglas School in Salt Lake City. She then joined the Navy WAVES in 1943 as a flight trainer in the Link Department. She enthusiastically organized LDS MIA groups wherever she went. At the end of World War II she served on the LDS servicemen's committee where she met Eldin Ricks. Describing Eldin, a friend told Irene, he is #8230;"Six foot two, eyes of blue, too religious for me, but just right for you." Eldin began teaching religion at BYU in 1946. Meanwhile, Irene enrolled at BYU to pursue not one but two degrees, a master's in education and a Mrs. She fell in love with Provo, BYU, and Eldin. She received the Mrs. degree when they married three years later in 1949. They had four children: Harold, Marjorie, Dennis, and Stanford. Over the next twenty-five years she continued teaching at BYU lab school, Cascade Elementary, and several other schools. Irene served in many church callings and positions including on the YWMIA general board from 1946 - 1963. Because of her desire to share her love for hiking, x-country skiing, and the outdoors, she helped to organize the YW Camp program. She also served on the Church Correlation Committee from 1967 - 1971 where she assisted writing Primary lessons. Irene and Eldin served a mission in London, England at the LDS Genealogical Library in 1985 - 1986. She served for many years as a volunteer in the Family History library at BYU. Irene's retirement since 1975 was spent in compiling over 10 volumes of Ricks and Hailes family history, attending BYU sporting and social events, organizing family reunions and enjoying her ever growing family consisting of twenty-three grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren#8230;. and counting. Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, October 8, 2011 at the Oak Hills 7th Ward Chapel, 1038 North 1200 East, Provo. Friends may call at the Berg Mortuary of Provo, 185 East Center Street, Friday evening from 4:30-7:00 p.m. and at the church Saturday from 1:30-2:45 p.m. prior to services. Interment, East Lawn Memorial Hills, Provo. Coincidentally(?), Irene's Day of Celebration will be capped off by the BYU Homecoming Football game that evening. She will there "Rise and Shout" one more time before making her way to an even more glorious Homecoming with her Heavenly Father, beloved husband, daughter, parents, brothers and sister who have preceded her Home. >From all who knew her-we love and revere you, Mom, Grandma, Teacher and Friend.

Isabell Jean Spongberg

October 19th, 1928

October 3rd, 2011

With humble hearts we pay tribute to our sweet wife, mother, grandmother and friend Isabell Jean Spongberg. Isabell's life revolved around the things that she loved most: her husband, children, grandchildren, extended family, friends and the Church.

Isabell is survived by her loving husband V. Jay Spongberg. Children: Mark, Roland (Sandee), Craig (Robyn), Connie (Stan) Ricks, and Karen (Dave) Schiess, 21 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, brother Russell (Carol) Hewett and numerous nieces, nephews and others who considered her to be their second mother.

Isabell was born in Pocatello, Idaho. Shortly thereafter, her family moved to Long Beach, California where she lived until moving to Orem, Utah in 2004. At her home there was always room for anyone who needed love and care or a hot meal. She promised any of the youth in her ward who attended Seminary that they could come to breakfast any morning between Seminary and school, and there were many who took her up on her offer. All who passed through her door felt her love and appreciated her warmth. She always remembered names, birthdays, and phone numbers. She had a gift for making all those she knew feel loved, worthwhile and important.

She was married to the love of her life, Jay. They grew up in the same ward and attended the same schools. After they were married they were rarely apart, maintaining their relationship together in the family business (Spongberg Mortuary), church and free time together. They served together in the Melbourne Australia Mission from 1999 to 2000. They have always been true sweethearts-from their first date and forever.

Isabell loved Heavenly Father and served Him everyday. She preached the Gospel always in word and deed. She was a great example of Christ-like love. She was simply a loving, wonderful woman who touched countless lives.

She loved to travel and visited many countries around the world. She would make friends everywhere she went, from castles to campgrounds and to neighbors. She made it a point to introduce herself to new faces at Church and made them feel welcome, and often extended an invitation to Sunday dinner.

She loved to have fun and to have surprises for her grandkids. She always had a treat for them in "her secret stash!" She loved See's Candy, milkshakes and fresh pies. In her last days, when she barely ate, she could almost always make room for a Haagen- Daz bar.

Mom is as beautiful on the inside as on the outside. Truly an "Elect Lady".

Mom, you are loved by everyone who has ever known you. We will miss you and think of you often and look forward to seeing you again, as an Eternal Family. We love you.

All my cousins on my mom's side of the family came into town to celebrate our grandma Izzy's life. It was fun to see them.
My mom and her siblings
The best part of the whole weekend was that my brother Nathan, who is in the MTC, got to come to the funerals. It was so much fun seeing him. He left for Salta, Argentina a few days later.

No comments: