This past year has been a real struggle for mom. What was supposed to be a routine back surgery with minimal risk, left her paralyzed on her left side. At age 85, learning how to walk again and how to get around without the use of one of her legs was extremely difficult, but mom worked hard to be the best she could be. Up until the time she had the surgery, mom lived alone and took care of all her needs. She never wanted to be a burden to her children. Losing her independence and having to depend on others to take care of her basic needs was devastating, but she never once complained about her situation. She handled every setback or challenge in her life with class and grace.
After her release from the hospital in November, mom moved into Birch Creek Assisted Living Center. Once there, she took on the responsibility of making sure all of the residents felt included. She was always on the lookout for people sitting at the lunch tables alone. She wanted everyone to feel welcome and loved. Mom made many new friends while residing at Birch Creek. Everyone that met our mom loved her instantly and felt of her beautiful spirit. Mom’s care givers at Birch Creek were so kind to our mom. She loved them and always expressed gratitude for the many things that they did for her.
Mom always looked pretty. Her hair and makeup had to be done before she left the house. She was beautiful; inside and out! Mom was incredibly talented and loved to learn new things. She started taking organ lessons in her late 70’s and she dearly loved her organ group friends! She had several hobbies including oil painting, crocheting, reading, sewing, golfing, bowling, and caring for plants. Mom was a meticulous housekeeper, and her home was clean and welcoming to all who visited.
Mom was a selfless generous person. She did not have tons of money or expensive material possessions, but she was willing to share what she had. Mom had a strong testimony of her Savior and was a constant and faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She loved serving others, even if her service was as simple as a hello, a wave, or a smile. Perhaps the greatest act of Christlike service and love ever given was the gift of health she gave to her son by providing him with one of her kidneys so he could resume his normal life without dialysis.
Tuesday was mom’s favorite day of the week. Tuesday was the day all of us girls would get together with mom for lunch and a competitive game of RummiKub. She loved spending time with us. She said many times that her children were her life. She was so proud of each one of us and always chose to overlook our flaws and imperfections. She made each of us feel loved and special.
Mom was first married to Val Lower. Together they had 6 children: Ron Lower (deceased), Patty (Clyde) Smith, Brenda (Kevin) Maughan, Valene (Phil) Naegle, Launa (Kevin) Leishman and Nancy Schlieper. They were later divorced. Mom then married and was sealed to Grant (Shorty) Gibbs, the love of her life. After Grant’s death mom married William Pitcher. Mom loved each of her 24 grandchildren, 61 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.
As a family we sincerely wish to thank the entire staff at Birch Creek Assisted Living Center for the love, kindness, care, and compassion they provided for our mother. We are grateful for her doctors and most especially for her hospice nurse; Bonnie who made an extremely difficult time bearable.
Funeral Services will be held at noon on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at the Green Canyon Ward, 2550 N. 400 E. in North Logan, Utah.
A viewing will be held on Thursday morning prior to the funeral from 10:45 – 11:45 at the same location.