Eunice Mary Ward Cammack
Contributor: kara.mcmurray Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
The following is taken from a life history written by Eunice Cammack:
I was born November 21, 1909, in a log house in the little town of Sterling, Idaho. My parents were Richard Alvin Ward and Irene Johns Ward. I was the 4th child joining Willis, Harley, and Hilda. My parents had come to Sterling in 1904 from Woodruff, Utah. Seven more siblings were born into the family, Velean, Eurilla, Owen, Vyron, Floyd, Idella, and LeLand
When I was 5 years old, Father started to build us a new home. It had nine rooms on the main floor with two rooms upstairs and two rooms in the basement and two large porches. It was a wonderful home for our family of 13 people. We had a Declo plant that gave us electricity and also hot and cold water in the house.
My childhood was very carefree and happy. I loved to play house and loved my dolls dearly. I have many fond memories growing up with my 6 brothers and 4 sisters. We had many parties at our house and friends were always welcome. Activity in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was always important. Father served as Bishop for 15 years and Mother was Relief Society President along with many other callings. I always enjoyed primary, sunday school, and mutual. I took some piano lessons and loved to play so my first calling at 13 years old was organist for sunday school. During my mutual years we took several trips to the Logan, Utah temple to do baptisms for the dead. I really enjoyed those trips.
I had a lot of ear ache as a child. One day I was standing by the outside door of our kitchen and Mother was standing by the stove. I heard her call my name and I turned around. She said, "Eunice , didn't you hear me until this time I called"? I answered, "No, I didn't". She called me to her and told me that she had called many times and was afraid I was getting hard of hearing. I had measles, scarlet fever, and the flu; all of which seemed to have an effect on my ears and made my hearing worse. I was very deaf by the time I was in 6th grade, but I had a very kind teacher, Eulalie Teichert. She had me sit up front and insisted the other pupils speak loud enough for me to hear. She was also my teacher in 7th grade and two subjects in 8th grade.My parents took me to many doctors over the years, but nothing they did seemed to help my hearing loss. When Dr. Pond told my folks that there was not anything that could be done for my hearing loss, I thought to myself, "Maybe you can't, but God can and will". I prayed during those years of my youth not for a miraculous healing, but that God would grant me enough hearing that I could hold my own. Also, that if I did marry, I could hear the voices of my children. The obtaining of a hearing aide in the 1940's was a great blessing.
One night, at a dance, a new boy walked in and I was introduced to him, Wilbert Cammack. We danced and he asked if he could take me home and he did. I found out his family had recently moved to Pingree from the Lost River area.
During the winter of 1929, I became very ill. It was 40 degrees below zero and the snow was above the fence posts. My parents made me a bed in the sleigh and took me by sleigh to Aberdeen where the doctor examined me and said I had to get to the hospital in Pocatello. I was taken by car to Pocatello where I was operated on for acute appendicitis and spent 15 days in the hospital. On about the 4th night, Wilbert came to see me and kissed me right in from of my Mother. I was mighty glad to see him. I had a long recovery, but Wilbert visited regularly.
On Easter, Wilbert asked me to marry him and I very happily said "Yes". He gave me a diamond ring for Christmas and we were married January 24, 1930 in the Logan Temple. We lived in two rooms of an old hotel that was used for the church in Pingree. It was the great depression and times were hard. Wilbert had a job at the Pingree store, but by March 1st of 1931, they could no longer pay him a wage. We were expecting our first baby and went to stay with my parents who now lived in Pocatello (The farm in Sterling was now covered by the American Falls Dam). Our daughter, Rodonna, was born March 21, 1931. The next few years were spent in Pingree working on farms, selling milk from our cow, and working for the sugar beet company for 35 cents per hour. We were never broke because we always kept 25 cents until the next milk check came. On February 17, 1933 our second child, Ward Wilbert was born.
In 1935, we purchased a 40-acre farm in Riverside, Idaho. In 1937, sadness filled our hearts when a baby girl was still born. On July 13, 1939, a baby girl, Elaine, was born. Our last child, Farrell Devon, was born on June 21, 1942.
Our years in Riverside were very happy ones. We made several very special friends. No one had any money, but we would get together every other week at someone's home for dinner and play games, and the other week we would attend the church dance. I always raised a big garden and canned from 500 to 600 quarts of fruits and vegetables every year. We were busy with church service with Wilbert a counselor in the bishopric and I served as R.S. President.
In 1944 we bought a dairy in Blackfoot. We spent a couple of years on Airport Road where we milked the cows then we sold the cows and bought a dairy at 498 S. Fisher Street in Blackfoot where we bought the milk from farmers and processed and delivered the milk. We worked very hard to make Cammack Dairy a success. I helped in the dairy running the bottle washer and Rodonna and Ward delivered milk each morning before going to school. The dairy started paying off and provided a good living for the family. In Blackfoot we continued our service to family, church, and community.
In 1964, Wilbert was elected to the State Legislature and served for 8 years. This increased our community involvement. I was president of the Legislature Ladies, I volunteered for the Extension Service for 8 years sand served as Idaho's Bicycle Safety Chairman. I served on the Library Board and worked with the Red Cross and Cancer societies. I was the first woman to receive Blackfoot's "Best Foot Forward" award from the local Chamber of Commerce. I spearheaded the restoration of the John Brown house for it to become the Bingham County Museum and served as director of the museum for 19 years.
After 55 years of marriage, Wilbert passed away on April 4, 1985. We had a great life together and I miss him, but I know I will be with him throughout eternity.
I have always felt that the greatest service has been to my family and church. I have always strived to serve in my many callings in the church to the best of my ability. A highlight was being able to sing in the choir at the dedication of the Idaho Falls Temple in 1945. I taught Sunday School classes for the youth for 12 years and hope I was a good influence on them. Elaine and Farrell were in my classes. After Wilbert passed away, I was asked to be over the single adults in our stake. We planned many activities and short trips. I served until 87 years of age.
I have been so blessed with wonderful children: Rodonna married Ted Katseanes and had 6 children, Ward married Ardith Ogden and had 5 children, Elaine married McKell Crawford and had 5 children and Farrell married Eunice Johnson and had 2 children. They have all been so good to me. Even though Farrell and Eunice divorced, Eunice continued to visit me regularly. All of the family would come to our house every Christmas Eve--what wonderful memories.
The greatest desire of my life is that I have taught my children such that they will have an undying testimony that God lives. This I testify that He does and will answer our prayers if we open the windows of heaven through humble prayer. If I could be granted one wish, it would be that all my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren live their religion and stay close to Heavenly Father.
Eunice Cammack passed away June 10, 2001. in Idaho Falls, Idaho at the age of 91 At the time of her death, she was survived by her 4 children, 18 grandchildren, 53 great grandchildren, and 1 great granddaughter.