Florence Alta Myers Leishman
By Geraldine Guymon
She loved the large attractive white house which her mother and step father, Alex, had leased. It was a gracious and pretty one. The house's living room contained a beautiful baby grand piano. Florence was very disappointed when the family moved from that lively home. She had walked many times into Wellsville and back to that wonderful home again. The owners had come back to live.
Alex had bright lights shining on the large poplar trees on the night of her temple wedding. Even though he was a catholic he had consented to her baptism in the Mormon church. He helped build the beautiful large church in Wellsville. It was used as the tabernacle for sometime and has a wonderful pipe organ. Our town has always been noted for its good singers.
When I joined the fmily Alex would rock me by the hour. In the toddling days of my life he bought a little green wagon and would pull me up and down the street with me yelling "more Grandpa, more."
Moving from the Parker home to the Gunnell home Grandma and Alex set up housekeeping for a short time but when I was three years old Alex died in the doctor's office in Hyrum Utah. He died of a heart attack. Grandma then moved to Ogden and started to work at Hill Field where she worked for four years as a cook and then she worked at the Army Depot in Ogden for another four years. When she came home to see us I was always happy to see her and she loved to come home. After the eight years in Ogden she came back to Cache Valley and worked in Hyrum Utah as a cook and housekeeper for Doctor J. Paul Burgess. She kept the house sparkling clean and cooked scrumptious meals for the family of the doctor, his wife and three hungry sons. She was a marvelous cook. The house was a very large one and contained five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a very large living room, a regular sized kitchen. The backyard was also large. There were pens for ducks and a pasture for the horses. The family also owned two black lab dogs and several longhaired cats.
After Grandma had worked there several years she felt that she could not keep up with that pace of their busy household and she found a job at Utah State University as a cook and sandwich maker. Those were the years when my Dianna Lynn was a baby and Grandma would walk home by our apartment to see us and live the "little doll" Dianna. Grandma was forced to retire when she was seventy two years young and went in and really told the boss how mean it was. They had to hire two girls to replace Grandma T. She was a very energetic little lady.
Florence and Grandma were very devoted to each other. Mom would set Grandma's hair in the beautiful old fashioned Marcel wave and no one could duplicate it. Mom made Grandma feel welcome in her home and would take food to Grandma while she lived in Logan. She came to our home regularly, though. Grandma, on finding what we as a family was short of, would buy groceries for us many, many times.
Mother was so special. She saw good in everyone and tried to do something for as many as she possibly could. She used to tell me that anything good that happened to people she was happy for their good fortune. She was fun loving and very loyal to those who knew her. She loved to make cookies for neighbors, helped the sick, and supported her family in all of their endeavors. She loved good music and in her younger days played a violin and alto saxophone. She was self-sacrificing for her family and others.
She lived the gospel and was very dedicated to her callings. She taught the classes in which I was enrolled in Primary and mutual. She supported me in coming to programs that I performed in. I could look down at the audience and always see her assuring smiling face. She had a beautiful smile. When she was so sick with cancer that she could not climb the church steps she would ask Dad to carry her. She wanted to be at church regardless of how she felt. Too late she was called on a genealogical mission but was too weak to continue.
I will always remember numerous mornings of waking up to delicious aromas coming from her kitchen. She would be doing her work around the house with music playing and she would be humming or signing with the music. She was beautiful in the eyes of many who knew her, especially to her children. When she died people came from miles around to show their love and respect and were lined up for a block waiting to see her. We thought that the line would never end, but we did appreciate their coming. All had such deep love and respect for her. They knew her thoughtful ways and her courage, even through intense pain, she truly did know the full meaning of charity and made it a part of her life.
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