Phyllis Mae Garr (1908 - 1965)


(written by Marilyn)

As I am busy getting ready for Kelly's wedding, I am reminded of how special Mother wanted things for her own daughters weddings.  She always wanted her children to have as much as she could possibly give them.  Mother was a very unselfish person.

I would be interesting to check back in the record and find out how many years she taught Sunday school.  As I think back, I always remember her being a very good and dependable teacher who cared about her class members.  She seemed very happy and content serving in that capacity.  She felt inferior to adults but really enjoyed children.

There was one other church calling I remember her and Dad doing.  That was serving on the old folks committee.  They worked hard to prepare a delicious dinner with a very interesting program and then that evening they would have another meal with another program.  Back in the good old days they really went all out to have a special old folks reunion.  They served in this committee with Vincent and Mary Nielsen, Joseph and Lael Olsen, Wes and Mary Gunderson, Lew and Gladys Johanson and Wallace and Minnie Christenson.  They always had a good time making the plans for the big day.  They would have a committee party to plan the party.

Mother was a very gracious person when people came to pay visit.  I remember Uncle Jack and Aunt Leone used to come over on Sunday afternoon quite often.  And so did Fred and Sarah Crookston.  When they came, Mother always fixed a special lunch.  Often it was Salmon with cold slaw and chips and rolls.  Uncle Fred always praised Mother for her good cooking and hospitality.  Uncle Fred wasn't the only one who found Mother a very loving and caring person.  Everyone who knew her felt that she was a very special person and always had many good things to way about her.

She was an outstanding homemaker and she wanted her daughters to become good cooks.  I remember how at a very young age she would have me make most of the cakes and cookies for the family.  She encouraged me to cook often.  If I made something in school she would buy the things so I could make them at home also.

Everyone remembers what a good cook Mother was but I remember her making homemade soup and some of the more unique things.  She made some special hand towels for my trousseau and embroidered a tablecloth, which I will always cherish.

She taught us to be good workers.  With her at my side I picked beans and raspberries many summers to earn money for school.  I will always remember her saying "Marilyn, if you want to get the best berries you've got to get down in the bushes.”  Many times through out my life, I have remembered those words because she taught me at that time the best things in life didn't come the easiest.

Mother taught me to take pride in the things I did.  She taught me to work as hard if not a little better than those I labored with.  "If you do a job, do it well" was her motto.  I can remember Mother praising her children on their accomplishments.  I can remember her saying, "You'll have to try a piece of Marilyn's delicious cake”, or she would always compliment me on my accomplishments.  Because of her confidence and acknowledgments, I felt I could try about anything even though I felt many times inferior to others.  She had faith in her children and I think we all knew this and tried to live up to her expectations.

She taught me to be thoughtful of others, especially the older people.  I would never be able to count the times she encouraged me to make and take things over to Dalt and Agnes Reed.

Mother always wore dresses and aprons. I remember some of her apron material; they always looked so fresh and nice. She made the best bread and what I really liked was when she would take the bread dough and fry it in the frying pan. Put butter and jam on those scones and you were in for a delicious treat.

Mother was very good to Grandpa. It was no wonder why he wanted to live with us. He often said he loved her as much as his own daughters. Mother was busy but she always found time to visit her own mother at least once a week. Often she would make caramel corn, rice krispie candy or some other goodie she thought Grandmother would enjoy munching on.

When I was quite young I remember Mother working over to the Logan Laundry.  She always hired the best people to come in and stay with us.  There was a Jones lady from Wellsville and then Luana tended us also.  Mother always put in an honest days work for an honest days pay.  However, I would question whether or not she got paid what she was worth.

She quit work when she had several children at home, but after they were older she returned back to the Logan Laundry.  She was their main pressor.  It was a hard job and before she returned they had a man do the job.  She stood on hard cement floors and was constantly lifting one leg and pressing down on the lever to lower the upper part of the press.  I understood why she had a lot of back problems.  But whether she was in pain or not she always went to work.  Mr. Postma and Mr. Smith would always agree she was the best.

Mother loved her children more that anything in the world.  When Richard was in the service fighting our country, Mother spent many sleepless nights worrying about her son who was so far away.  I was attending High School at the time and I remember how hard it was for me to talk to people when they asked about my brother, but my sorrow didn't even compare to what my mother was going through.

When Garr was so sick with polio I remember again how dedicated she was to making sure he had the best possible care and medical help.  She never once complained about her many trips to the hospital for his treatments.  Her only concern was his complete recovery.  I also remember the grief stricken look she had when Dr. Burgess told us Tommy had it also.  Now that we have children of our own we can realize somewhat what she went through.

I never remember my Mother ever sitting down and giving me a lecture.  But in her quiet way she was able to let me know what she appreciated and what she didn't like.  Her whole life was truly an example for me and the rest of the family.  I don't think any of us received a lot of punishment from her.  We wanted to be the kind of people she wanted us to become.  We never wanted to let her down.

The greatest compliment I can ever receive is when people say, “you remind me of your Mother.”  Not that I even come close to measuring up to her but hopefully I have just a few of her fine traits.

Mother had a testimony of the gospel.  She believed in paying her tithing and I remember seeing her do it often.  It was a glorious day for her when her family was sealed to her.  It was something she had looked forward to for a long time.  Having her children with her forever was her goal.  And I think she is working hard to prepare a place for us.  I just hope we can do our part and be worthy to join her.

My parents trained me well.  I treasure my memories of home.  If I don't succeed in life it certainly isn't their fault.  How grateful I am for my whole family.  I belong to a family that I am very proud of and I love them very much.

 (written by Lora Lee)

I remember how much Mother enjoyed flowers especially gladiolas.  She was such a good cook.  I wish I could make bread like her.  She was always sharing her good food and flowers with people.  She was very thoughtful and kind to her mother.  She would make rice pudding to take to Grandma's when she didn't feel well.  Friday night you could find bean soup and homemade bread for dinner.  It is still one of my favorites.

(written by Kathy)

Memories of Mother are probably not the experiences I have with her as much as the things she taught me by her thoughts and actions.

Patience was something that Mother had a great deal of and not at convenient times but all the time.  Along with this patience was caring.  Waiting up at night for her children to return home.  Sitting in her chair trying to stay awake working on one of those treasured table clothes I have in my possession.

One of Mother's greatest traits was compassion for others.  I can remember when Mother took food, clothing or whatever to those in need and those who were lonely.  When someone had troubles or problems, Mother always said, "Don't criticize - that could be you".

Taking cows to the pasture wasn't my favorite past time.  But when she showed me the bachelor button flowers or pointed out the fresh spring of water below the hill I enjoyed my walks a little more.

She enjoyed her garden and her flowers whether it was the petunias in her flower box or her special gladiolas.  She took great pride in caring for them.  This has made me appreciate the beauty of flowers and find such an enjoyment in their splendor.

I remember Mother washing the sheets and hanging them out on the line.  Then that night when I crawled in between those crisp, clean sheets I had a great feeling - - I had the most wonderful Mother ever.

When I was young sitting with Mom in church and while laying my head on her lap I felt a most wonderful feeling of security.  Maybe it was the feeling of her hard working hands.

Sometimes Mother would laugh and laugh with me over something really funny.  I thought how fun she was to be with.  I can remember going to some fashion shows with her in Hyrum thinking it was such a wonderful time and wondering why I hadn't gone with her to more places and functions such as this one.

I feel very fortunate in spending time with Mother riding to my Saturday dental appointments in Ogden each month for four years.  We would talk about many things or just ride along enjoying some quiet time together.  After the appointments we would go shopping or out to eat!  This took a lot of her time especially when she worked all week.  But this was one way she displayed how unselfish she was.  I look back thinking this was such a special time for me.  I think she would have done anything for us kids.

I can't remember Mother complaining or showing anger very much.  This to me is something I wished she had taught me more about.

When I had a decision to make, Mother always made suggestions but never made the decision for me.  Through these experiences she gave me some faith in myse1f.

I could probably write pages and pages about memories and thoughts of Mother.  These are just a few little memories I have of her.  She taught me so much to build my life on - - sometimes I don't take all that she taught me and use it wisely.  I need her still and I can still find her in a little silent moment.  She is there and guides me.  I still ask the question "How would Mother feel about me doing this."

Many times I start thinking and find it hard to forgive myself for not taking the time to show appreciation to Mother and tell her how much I loved her.

(written by Garr) 

One of my first memories of Mother was when I had polio.  Once Dr. Burgess made the diagnosis, I was sent to the St. Benedict hospital in Ogden.  I was only 6 years old and each day was like a year.  I waited each day for mom's visit.  She usually came each day from Cache Valley and brought me a comic book.  She also purchased a radio so I could listen to the Lone Ranger each afternoon at 4 o'clock.  I know this was hard time for her especially since Richard was also in Korea.

As I look back now everything Mother did was for us kids.  She worked hard every day at the Logan Laundry.  Her days would begin usually at 5 am.  This was necessary to get the family up to breakfast and the chores.  I remember so vividly the scene each morning.  Usually I would hear her call at about five thirty.  This was followed by a five minute warning call.  Needless to say there was usually an ultimatum call in another five minutes.  That was usually the call that brought Tommy and I out of bed.  (Trying to catch every last second of sleep possible.)  Tommy and I would join Dad at the breakfast table.  Usually Dad was finished and ready to head for the barn.  At that time Tommy and I usually had a contest to see who could eat the slowest.  Finally we would run out of food and head for the stairs to put on our chore clothes.  With one of us on the top and one on the bottom we would spend at least another 15 minutes putting on our boots and coveralls.  Mother would try to hurry us but she seemed to realize how hard it was for us to get excited about milking cows and especially on cold wintry mornings.  Our plan was clear -- catch as much sleep as possible and allow Dad enough time to get the fire in the stove started and the chores underway.

Mom was not with out a sense of humor.  I remember so clearly waking up to the yell of mom's voice in the east room of the log house - - "The cows are out!”  Since we lived in the middle of Hyrum that was a call for all the troops.  I could just visualize huge holes in the church lawn or cows tromping through Bishop Yeates' garden.  Down the stairs I ran, no five minutes on the steps.  My boots and clothes were on in a flash and out the door I went.  Where were the cows?  In wonder I looked back to the door where Mom stood to wish me a happy April fools day.  That was one of the few days when I was the first one to start the chores.

When I think of Mom I remember:  The good homemade bread usually with holes in the sides where Richard had made his mark.  Trips to Millville to visit Grandmother.  Frequent trips over to Dalt and Agnes' to bring hot meals.  Fresh spudnuts from Mom's Saturday shopping trips to Logan.  Bess and Bill at our home for one of Mom's chicken dinners.

What a blessing she was to all of us kids.  We need to be forever grateful for her example of love and unselfishness.

Last updated Saturday, November 21, 2009