Monday, October 7, 2013

Emily Steele Jensen's Life Story

Alvin and Emily 


Alvin Moroni Jensen lived over 22 years after his beloved wife Emily died.  He used that time to do genealogy work.  As part of preserving his heritage, he wrote his autobiography and this biography of his dear wife Emily.  In it, his love for Emily is clear.  This copy was typed from legal size to 8 1/2 x 11 by Alvin and Emily's son Garth.


I wanted to add an account sent to me by Emily's granddaughter Darla Jensen Pearce.  She shares her experience with the death of her Grandmother Emily Steele Jensen.

When Grandma Emily died on August 10, 1955, I was eleven years old and she hadn't been sick for a day in her life.  The night before she died, they wouldn't let us see her because she had been to the doctor and wasn't feeling good.  I told Joanie, my cousin [Mack's daughter] who lived next door to us and she came with me to see what we could see.  The little house was all lit up because it was so dark outside.  We had a perfect view peeking in the front window.  There was my grandmother throwing up in an old can from the kitchen and Ken was bending over her.  I told Joanie that this must be real serious and that we should pray to our Heavenly Father, so she would be okay.  Joanie wasn't a Mormon, did not believe in prayer but she was also alarmed at the way Grandma looked, so pale and so sickly.  So these two little girls knelt down in the patio and I said the prayer.  I prayed that Grandma would live and be healthy again.  A small child's prayer.  At five o'clock the next morning, my Dad woke us all up in our beds.  He said, "Grandma's dead and you only have a few minutes to say goodbye to her before the paramedics come."  So as a family we all trooped over in our PJ's and saw her lying in her bed, so still.  Grandpa had placed a board under the mattress the night before when she complained of not being able to breathe.  He thought if she was lifted up, she could breathe easier but she didn't.  Ken had just finished giving her CPR and it was all over.  Only the funeral was left and she was gone.  Gary, Blaine, Sandi, Joanie and I drove to the cemetery in Uncle Paul's bright orange convertible.  That was the only bearable part of that day.  Over a hundred cars followed the hearse winding up to Glen Haven where all of our loved ones are now buried.  Grandma Emily was the first.  I remember straining to turn around and watch all the cars come up that winding road one after another.  Who could have guessed how many people loved her?  I was so surprised.  Through the years, Uncle Kenny would take his fire truck up there and send a big spray of water on the thirsty ground to make sure the grass stayed green on our loved ones graves.  He did this over the years up until they moved to Nevada.  It's like we owned that place, so many relatives are [now] buried there.  (Darla Jensen Pearce, email to Melanie Johnson, January 3, 2005, p. 3)

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