Saturday, September 7, 2013


Fern Rust Powell
~8 July 1917 - 7 September 1995~

Lavon and Fern Rust at the home
of their Bracken Grandparents
in Roosevelt, Utah. Photographer unknown
Today marks the eighteenth anniversary of my mother's passing. She has been much neglected in this blog. Mom descended from pioneer stock. Her grandfather was with the second wagon train who entered the Salt Lake Valley the summer of 1847.  Her father was one of the original homesteaders when the Ute Indian Reservation was first opened for settlement in Utah's remote northeast corner.

Mom was born in the small  town of Boneta, Utah.  When she was a young girl her family  moved across the Lake Fork River to the town of Mount Emmons, Utah. She lived there most of her life except for the eighteen months she spent serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ  of Latter-day Saints.  She served mostly in California with a short stint in Tuscon, Arizona. She was serving in California on  December 7, 1940 when Pearl  Harbor was bombed. Because she was close to the coast she experienced blackouts and the events caused her worry about what would happen to  the many young male missionaries who would be called to serve their country. She spent time in Salt Lake City during the war making radio tubes.  She came  home for good when her mother became seriously ill and  needed help to care for the family.  The family consisted of two  young grandchildren her parents were raising after the death of their daughter.

Fern Rust at the time of her mission.
Photographer unknown.
 After Mom and Dad married, Mt. Emmons was their home, but Dad's employment took them temporarily to the oil fields of Montana and a dairy in Lehi, Utah. Mom's greatest claim to fame was as a wife, mother  and grandmother.

 I wish I would have appreciated her more during my teenage years, but am grateful that as I matured, I
 learned how truly special she was. She had the true grandmotherly touch.  She could calm a crying child  by wrapping them securely in a quilt and holding them in her arms and rocking them. She would get their  attention by patting the bottom of their bare foot and reciting the poem, "Shoe the old horse, shoe the  old mare, but let the little colty go bare, bare bare."  They would snuggle closer when she would bring  an  imaginary dog into the room by saying something like this, "Go away bad dog, you can't have my baby.  Go lay down doggy."  If the above didn't work she had one last surefire trick, her false teeth.  She would push them out of her mouth and when the child tried to grab them, she would put them back in her mouth. The teeth would appear and disappear and soon the child would fall asleep.

Fern Rust Powell. Photographer unknown.
She had the gift to teach things that you didn't know you were learning mostly about living life.  She was patient in working with her left handed daughter, me, and discovered it worked well to sit across from me as I learned to knit, crochet and other such things.  She didn't want me to write like other left-handers, upside down.  When my sixth grade teacher wanted me to write with a slant like a right handed person, mom was wise and told me to write that way for my teacher.  She then went onto tell me that when I was not writing for that teacher I should not write that way.

Although a natural teacher she was not much for giving advice.  The one piece of advise I got before my marriage was to buy a good mattress. The salesman assured us we had bought a wonderful mattress, but as it turned out, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

When my mother passed, she took the many words spoken to her in confidence with her, unspoken.  She is missed daily, but leaves a legacy of love, humor and service to others.  Oh, how I love and miss my mother.