Monday, November 8, 2010

My Grandma Nina

My Grandma after during a Chocolate Demo at a Macey's store
Over the last few months we have watched as my Grandma's health declined pretty rapidly. After many test and a few hospital stays they diagnosed her with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. By the time it was found it was already at a stage four. She did one round of chemo, but didn't react very well to it. After her last time at the hospital she was transferred to Aspen Ridge for rehab, but while there her health continued to decline to the point she needed more help then Aspen Ridge could give her. They transfered her to CareSource hospice, where she spent a week before passing away on October 20th.

It has been really hard one me to watch my Grandma slipping away from us. She has always been such a strong woman, someone I looked up to. I wish I would have spent more time with her, but I will always treasure the memories I was able to make with her. I know that her mission here on Earth was complete and that she has returned to Our Father in Heaven to do more work there. I also know that she is with my Grandpa again, after many many years of being apart. I am sure it was a joyous reunion up in Heaven. My Grandma will be missed by many, especially me.

The funeral for my Grandma was held on Monday October 25th and it was a beautiful service. I had the honor of doing a life sketch on her! What an amazing woman! I have included the life sketch below.

At the graveside services the Coast Guard was there to do their ceremony. It was so touching. I know that my Grandma would be very happy and honored by it. The 21 gun salute was neat!

Grandma, I love you and miss you! I do know that you are where you are needed at this time and that you will be watching over us down here on Earth. I know that I will be able to see you again someday! Thank you for the wonderful legacy you left for us. You trust were, and still are, an amazing woman!

Here is the Life Sketch :

My Grandma Nina was born in West Warren, Utah. She is from good pioneer stock. Her father died when she was 3 days old and her mother later married her uncle, so one of her sisters is also her cousin. She has 3 sisters and 2 brothers. She was raised in West Weber and in Murray. After graduating from Murray High school her first real job was at the Army Supply Depot in Ogden, but after about a year she returned to Murray where she worked at a bank as a bookkeeper on personal checking accounts.

Grandma loved the work that she was doing and the people she was working with, but she felt that she needed to do her part for the country during the war, so as soon as she was 20 she was sworn into the United States Coast Guard as a Spar. Grandma went to boot camp and later Storekeepers school in Palm Beach, Florida. She was stationed in San Francisco, California for the remainder of her service, which ended up being just 1 year and 8 and a half months. She has signed up for overseas duty but, with the end of the war ended her career in the Coast Guard. In the life sketch grandma wrote about herself she says she never regretted her decision to sign up.

In the fall of 1946 my grandma enrolled at BYU. While at BYU she was a member of the Valkeries and they won the bowling tournament that year at the Y. Also while at BYU she met Bob Despain in her English class. Their first date was on Valentine’s Day 1947. They climbed to Squaw Peak. They were married on September 19th that same year. Instead of continuing her education, she decided to stay home and be a homemaker and mother. By the time Bob graduated in 1950, they had two children, Pam and Robert (He was born the day after Grandpa graduated). Bob had stayed in the Naval Reserves so his unit was one of the first to be called up in the Korean War. He expected to be in the States for awhile, but shipped out within one month after Nina moved to Ventura, California. She was all alone with two children and mice, so she decided to come back to Utah. (Since she is not here to explain, we will assume that it was bad)

Shanna was born just after Grandpa was discharge in May 1952. In the life sketch she wrote about herself she wrote “I wanted a dozen kids, but already I was beginning to change my mind.”  Knowing my aunts and uncle I can definitely see why she was feeling this way. However she started feeling baby hungry again in 1955 and by 1960 there were three more girls added to the family, Cindy, Kaylene, and Cory. So in case you lost track that is 1 boy and 5 girls.

The family lived in Murray and Kearns where Grandma served as both a Ward and Stake Relief Society President. Later, the family moved to her home on Gumwood, where she spent the remainder of her life. 

Grandma didn’t go back to work until Cory was in school. For a while she worked as a Tupperware dealer and then she started working for C. Kay Cummings Candies. After working there for a few years, she was given the opportunity to be a medical assistant which she did for the next 20 ½ years with the same doctor. In 1987 she retired to be home to take care of her husband who had become seriously ill. He passed away in October 1988.

Grandma’s life has been full of services, dedication and love of the Gospel. She faced many trails in her life, but she always remained true to her testimony. She worked doing Spanish Name extraction for over 30 years.  She was also a member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, where she volunteered for many years. She loved working in her yard and even when her health wasn’t the best she was be out working in the yard. She would even go over to many of her neighbors’ house to shovel, rake and water their yards. During her life she was also chairman of Girls Scout Cookie Sales, Cancer drives, Heart fund drives and many other things. She was a firm believer that when you tell someone you will do something you follow through. Grandma was also a good cook. She catered dinners and weddings.
Grandma loved to camp and do anything outdoors. She also loved to travel and was able to come all over the country and to other parts of world. She also loved the Alpine slide, river rafting, a good movie, a good book, putting together puzzles, Ferrero Rocher chocolates,  the Tabernacle Choir, going to the Temple, water skiing, horse back riding, ice cream (even on top of the mountain when it’s snowing) and a cup of hot chocolate. Grandma had, and I am sure she still has, a good sense of humor and liked a good joke.

I will always remember my grandma for her fabulous carrot cake and her yummy candies she made. Her peanut butter chocolates were my favorite!

Coast Guard doing their part
Being presented the flag
My Cousin Adam playing Taps
My Mom with her remaining sibling (Robert, Cory and Cindy)

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