Sunday, November 8, 2009

Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier, Part 7

166 East Oakland Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah, Glenn's truck, trailer, and Susan’s blue Volkswagen.

Glenn and Helen’s Salt Lake home was always a crossroads, for friends and family traveling to or from a mission, school, vacation, or city shopping. There was always a welcome bed for a night, a week, or a school term.
1961 Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier, Sharon G. (seated), Inge B., Susan Frazier, Bessie and Richard Sanborn, Suzanne S. (in front) James Sanborn, Beryl Sanborn, Sherlyn N. (seated), and Pete Sanborn.

This happy occasion in 1961 is the only family picture from these years. Glenn and Helen’s son, Rex, is missing because he was in the Army Reserves at Fort Ord, California at the time of his sister’s wedding. After his Army service, Rex served a mission to Scotland, and earned his CPA from the University of Utah.

There daughter, Susan, interupted nurse's training to serve a mission to Italy in 1974. April 21, 1978 she received a degree in nursing from Brigham Young University Nurses College . The following year Susan went on a B.Y.U. study abroad to the Jerusalem Center. In the early 1980’s she moved to Bethesda, Maryland where she made her home for the next twenty-five years.
This picture of Helen with two of her fourteen grandchildren was taken in about 1976. She had a very slow healing ulcer on her ankle at the time. It didn’t slow her grand-mothering down. She was ever involved with each of her grandchildren. She and Glenn attended every birthday, baptism, confirmation, sealing, ordination, and special occasion possible. Their children and grandchildren brought Glenn and Helen great pleasure, and were always welcome at their home.

March 19, 1973 Helen R. Frazier became a member of the National Society of Daughters of Utah Pioneers (DUP), South Center County Company, Camp Lockwood, Salt Lake City, Member No. 44179. She was their lesson leader, and enjoyed sharing the stories and notes of interest learned from her lessons with her family.

Helen was an avid genealogist and purchased a typewriter with a legal sized carriage. She recorded all of the data she and other family members gathered on pedigree and family group sheets, and submitted them for temple work. She gathered pictures and stories and constructed Books of Remembrance. Glenn shared Helen’s interest in family history, and was her constant help. Together they published a monthly Stephen Vestal Frazier family newsletter in the 1970’s.

As a grandmother, Helen was called to teach the Mother Education lessons in her Relief Society. Helen dealt with asthma as a girl and throughout her life. Her health continued to be compromised as she developed emphysema and rheumatoid arthritis. Despite a life threatening illness and five-month hospital stay in 1978, she seldom complained.

Glenn and Helen pulled their trailer behind Glenn’s truck and traveled to various family and senior spots; Lava Hot Springs, Mesquite, Nevada, Death Valley, California, places where there was dry desert air, and hot springs to soak in.

In 1980 Glenn and. Helen flew for the first time. Helen’s health and limited mobility, coupled with Glenn’s reluctance to fly, didn’t deter them. Their daughter’s family would be visiting Nauvoo, Illinois that summer, and insisted they meet them there. Ever since the June 1978 dedication of the Relief Society’s Monument to Women statuary park in Nauvoo, Helen had wanted to visit Nauvoo.
Helen with daughter Bessie, and granddaughters L-R Melinda, Andrea, and Evette.

Glenn and Helen flew to St. Louis, Missouri. Helen recorded: “… 1980, June 13 we started a very wonderful trip. We left Salt Lake City on American Air lines at 1:30 p.m. and flew to St. Louis, Mo. We had never flown and was that a thrill. We (family) had been concerned whether Glenn would enjoy it because he said he would never get off the ground. St. Louis was a thrill to see because my great grandfather & grandmother Rex [William and Mary Mead Rex] came to there from England. They were converted to Mormonism in England. Grandfather [William] Rex grew up in St. Louis & finally was able to come onto Utah with his mother when a young man. We stayed at a Holiday Inn. Bessie called that evening & said they were having some car trouble, but would get us in the morning. That evening I called a telephone no. listed in St. Louis under the name Chester Rex. His wife told me he had passed away just a year ago. I talked with her for some time, and learned there are no more Rexes in St. Louis.

“We had a lovely dinner at the hotel and the next morning Bessie & Richard came for us. It was so much fun to be with them in their car. (VW Van) It is so roomy. Melinda & Dustin took turns sitting by me & I loved it. Also the older girls. We went to Hannibal, Quincy and on up the Mississippi River to Nauvoo. …We got (had reserved) a Motel in the Nauvoo State Park – Village inn. Rested a bit and then went to dinner. … they came for us & we went to the visitors Center & the homes of the early Church members – site of the Nauvoo Temple. A wonderful experience. The Women’s monuments in the garden at the visitors center are wonderful to see. Then we drove over to Carthage. … we drove across the Mississippi River through the corner of Iowa and across Missouri to Liberty. Liberty Jail is a very touching place. … the next day flew home. …What a sight to look down at the earth and see the fields of grain in Kansas and Colorado and then to see the river, reservoirs & roads. Then to fly over Denver and see the homes, city streets – I shall never forget it all and always be grateful for that wonderful experience.”

Helen’s health was precarious. All of that fun put her in the hospital for a week. Her only regret was not being able to travel to Randolph for the Rex family reunion on the 28th. Glenn was a patient caring companion to Helen throughout the remainder of their lives together. Helen suffered a heart attack June 26, 1982 while at her doctor’s office. Glenn buried his wife, Helen, June 29, 1982.
Grandchildren Melinda, Jason, Bonnie, Dustin and daughter Susan Frazier visiting in the right corner.

(To be continued.)
From Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier collection.

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