Our precious, loving, soft spoken, angel mother Edyth Shurtliff Ward, 96 years old, passed away at her home in Bloomington, ID on April 8, 2020. Edyth was born Sept. 18, 1923 in Ogden, UT. She was welcomed with open arms to a loving home with her parents Amy Johanna Nielson and Lorenzo Joy Shurtliff. She joined two older siblings, a brother Joy Nielson Shurtliff and a sister Darleen (Booth).
Edyth attended elementary school in a two room school house in Ovid, ID. While she was in elementary school, one of her teachers taught her to tap dance; she loved it! However, she always wished she could have taken ballet as well. When Edyth attended high school at Fielding High in Paris, ID, she played the clarinet in the marching band and belonged to the Pep Club. She often led the way during half-time performances for the football and basketball games.
When she was a freshman in high school, Edyth tap danced at a school assembly; Dean Ward, who was a senior, took notice of her beauty and talent. He always remembered that “cute little gal” tap dancing, but he didn’t ask her out until after his mission. Thus began their loving journey together. They were married and sealed for time and all eternity July 22, 1946 in the Logan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
She attended Ricks College at Rexburg, ID for two years and received her Associate’s Degree in Education on June 1, 1944. Later in June of 1966 she graduated from Utah State University in Logan, UT and received her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education. Edyth taught grades 1, 2, 3, and 4 for 26 years. She even taught three generations in one of her son’s family. Edyth loved teaching because she loved her students and realized the importance of setting a good example for them. She considered it a blessing and honor to be a teacher.
Edyth loved being a wife, mother, homemaker and teacher. She always liked to keep her hands busy and had many hobbies. Edyth was a great cook and we will all miss her homemade doughnuts (spudnuts), lemon pie, carrot pudding, caramel brownies, potato salad, sweet toast, pancakes and caramel dumplings. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, canning, quilting, crocheting, knitting, collecting stamps and coins, writing in her journal, and reading her scriptures. She loved watching her family participate in sports, scouting, plays, musicals, and other activities. She was always up for singing songs with her husband, and playing games with her family. And, of course, watching the Utah Jazz in the “new room”.
Regardless of her less than 5 foot stature, Edyth was a giant in her community. Edyth was always more than willing to do her part in her home, at her work, in the community, and in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She was very honored and proud to belong to the Daughters of Utah Pioneer (Bloomington Camp) for 28 years. She faithfully served in many callings for the church: in the Relief Society, Primary, and Mutual organizations. She and Dean served as Special Stake Missionaries in the Paris Idaho Stake. They first served as guides at the Paris Tabernacle and then as directors of the guides. The family often joked that the Paris Tabernacle was their second home. Edyth loved her Savior Jesus Christ and was a true disciple of Him throughout her entire life.
Her greatest joys in life were her husband, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews, nieces, friends and extended family. She is survived by her six children Kathleen Stucki Nelsen (Richard) of Bloomington, ID; Jay Dean Ward (Paula) of Bloomington, ID; Robert Shurtliff Ward (Marsha) of Bloomington, ID; Karen Rae Ward of Herriman, UT; Geraldine Hansen (Sid) of Richmond, UT; Philip Curtis Ward (Trice) of Bloomington, ID. Her posterity includes twenty-four grandchildren, six step-grandchildren, eighty-five great grandchildren with two more on the way. She is preceded in death by her husband Dean Thomas Ward, her parents, siblings, one son-in-law, one grandson, two great grandsons, and numerous other relatives and friends. There will be a small family service on Saturday April 11, 2020 at the Schwab-Matthews Mortuary in Montpelier, ID, and the interment will be at the Bloomington Cemetery. Only immediate family members will be invited to attend the service and interment due to recent COVID-19 virus social distancing guidelines. We as a family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have shown your love and support for our angel mother, Edyth.
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