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  • Writer's pictureAmyanne rigby

It's kind of my favorite holiday

"Only two defining forces ever offered to die for you... Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul and the other died for your freedom."

Maleck kneeling at the grave of his great great Uncle Lynn Lunt's grave in Cedar City. Lynn served in World War II and was a co-pilot of a glider plane flying out of England. Lynn saw much action in the ally drive towards Berlin

I was lucky enough to be raised by parents who honored and cherished family- both the living and the dead. As a young girl, our Memorial Day weekends were spent visiting the graves of departed ancestors. Mom and dad would load their seven kids into our 1974 Ford Esquire station wagon and we would visit the Beaver and Parowan cemeteries.

We would stand at the headstones of these graves and our parents would recount the stories. The gravestones of children caught my young eyes. Such as Pearl and Cecil. Pearl Evans was my maternal grandmother's older sister who died of spinal meningitis at the age of 12. And then there was Cecil Hofheins. Cecil was the younger brother of my maternal grandfather. He lived nearly 6 weeks. These and other family stories contribute to my own life story. They help establish my core identity.

Last week, I was fortunate to join my dad, mom, and my dad's siblings at the graves of his parents and brother. My cousins Taressa and Jenimarie joined me for the fun. It was a delight to spend time with family as we remembered those we have lost. Family matters.

Jenimarie, Taressa, and me at the grave of Thomas Howe and Hannah Masters Howe in American Fork, Utah.

Janet, Kimball, Jenimarie, Taressa, Dean, Katherine, Scott, Ruth Kay and Dave at the grave of Kurt Stoddard Weaver in American Fork Utah. Missing, Rhonda, Nancy, and Vickie. EdWynn Stoddard Weaver, deceased.

While we gathered to honor and remember Kurt. Taressa shared one of his favorite Civil War stories, The Angel of Marye's Heights, read the story here-

Janet, Kimball, Dave, Ruth Kay, Scott, Katherine and Dean at Ruth and Max Weaver's Grave, Orem Utah.

In the Beaver cemetery, four generations of my ancestors on my mom's side are buried. Ora and Lucile are my grandparents- their wedding announcement in the Parowan paper read, "Temple marriage unites local girl, Beaver boy.

Ora's parents- John Michael was a stone mason and later a farmer. He passed away while his son Irel was serving in Europe during World War II. He and Martha Jane (Jennie) were married in the Manti Temple in August 1911.

Ora's maternal grandparents. Martha Jane and Edward were married in 1881. They were later sealed in the Manti temple.

Ora's maternal great grandparents. Their home still stands at 295 South 100 West Beaver Utah. Andrew married Margaret Fife in Scotland in 1937. Andrew was baptized on October 25, 1847 in Newtonshaw, Clackmannan, Scotland. The Patterson family made their way to Utah in 1848 via New Orleans and then a steamboat up the Mississippi river. His wife Margaret died of Cholera in Kanesville, Iowa in 1849. He married Jane Mcgill Nelson at Council Bluffs in 1851. Their first son Edward Nelson Patterson was born there in 1852 before the couple traveled to Utah and settled for a time in Cedar City. Andrew and Jane were among the first 14 families who settled beaver in the Spring of 1856.


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