No words can adequately express how much I love my Aunt Bessie, and how sad I am to know I won't be able to see her again in this life.
I wonder who is going to feed Walker his hot dog. I am so grateful that our family made the trip to Archer Idaho last year (Click to read that post) to see Aunt Bessie and Uncle Norman. I wanted to make sure my children and their spouses knew them, and I wanted them to know how much they mean to me.Here is her obituary - perhaps it will give you a little insight into this delightful lady and her well lived life.
Bessie Amelia Small Erickson was born Aug. 10, 1916, in East Bucksport, Hancock, Maine. She passed away at her home in Archer on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2009. She was 92 years, 11 months and 22 days old.
Her siblings and one grandson preceded her in death.
Her parents, Howard Edwin Small and Janet Beatrice Giberson, died in the 1918 flu epidemic, and her grandparents, William and Maud Small, took the four orphans and raised them.
Her sweetheart, Norman B Erickson, and their six children survive her: Eric Edwin (Beverly) Erickson, Georgia Maria Erickson, Norman Small (Susan) Erickson, Tonya Jean (Gerard) Junkert, Victor Small (Mona) Erickson and Herman Small (Michelle) Erickson.
She never lost her New England accent, which endeared her to family and friends. She loved Archer and her neighbors and living in the West.
In 1939 she left Maine and traveled to Archer. She stayed with her recently married sister Laurel Hacking. When she went to church, a young man named Norman saw her and nudged the fellow next to him in the choir and said, "That's the woman I'm going to marry." Thus East meets West, and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on March 11, 1941. She retired in 1981 from Ricks College, where she worked as a switchboard operator and in the David O McKay Library. She loved her jobs and everyone there.
She and her husband served an LDS mission to Johannesburg, South Africa, from 1981 to 1982. In their family, they have been blessed with 26 members serving full-time missions and five members in the Armed Forces. They also served together for 20 years from 1984 to 2004 as Idaho Falls Temple workers. She was a Young Women leader, Relief Society leader, Primary teacher, dance director and choir member and the ward librarian for 20 years.
She was always positive, happy and was adored by all her family. She was "Grammie" to 31 grandchildren and 53 great-grandchildren.
On Thursday, Aug. 6, there will be a viewing at Archer Ward from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the Archer Ward church Aug. 7 at 11 a.m. with a viewing before from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.flammfh.com. Published in the Rexburg Standard Journal on 8/4/2009
Eric called to let me know what the funeral program was like - there were 130 people who stayed for the family luncheon. I am sure the chapel was full to overflowing. When I heard Eric's message I cried like a baby (yet once again) and was so sad that I couldn't go to Idaho to be with the family. Eric is a dear cousin and I sure do appreciate that he stays in contact with me regularly.
I love you Aunt Bessie. I love you.