Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart)

21 May 1930 - 12 Jun 1999

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Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart)

21 May 1930 - 12 Jun 1999
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Grave site information of Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart) (21 May 1930 - 12 Jun 1999) at Benjamin Cemetery in Benjamin, Utah, Utah, United States from BillionGraves

Life Information

Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart)


Benjamin Cemetery

8435 S 3200 W
Benjamin, Utah, Utah
United States


Beloved Mother & Grandmother


June 1, 2011

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December 9, 2019


April 11, 2020


April 8, 2020


June 1, 2011

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Memories of the McKenzie's written by LaRae Garis Stewart Gillman

Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago

Remembering My Grandparents- The McKenzie’s I remember very little about Grandpa and Grandpa McKenzie. We made a trip to Ferron, each summer to visit the McKenzie’s. These trips were the highlight of my childhood. Papa drove the Model T Ford (which he took extra specially good care of,) We were crowded in like sardines. We had to take turns sitting and standing (seven girls). Brother Luther was born in 1937. Grandma died in 1932 (Ireta was a baby) and Grandpa died in 1939. Luther, did make a trip or two as a baby. The trip to Ferron, today would probably take two and one-half hours. Back in the days of the Model T, it took all day long. We carried a lunch which we ate at a park in Price. Papa would have to repair at least one flat tire on the way. Tires were very inferior to today’s tires. What I remember about Granma McKenzie is that she was very tall and wore her hair in a bun. I remember one particular time that we were all sitting on the porch watching Grandma chase a mouse around and around lilac bush with a broom. We were having a good laugh over this. Then I remember the time Grandma was sick in the hospital in Price and we all went to see her. Papa lifted each one of us up so that we could kiss her. She died shortly (maybe one month) after that. Most of us stayed with Aunt Faye and Uncle Wendell while Mama and Papa went to the funeral. Aunt Margaret was still in high school when Grandma died, so she moved in with us and finished her high school days at Spanish Fork High. Growing up, she always seemed so much like a big sister rather than an adult. Mac (Welch) joined the Navy and Joe a few years later, joined the Air Force. Uncle Bill was a tramp for about one year. Grandpa really fretted over this. During those Depression years, many men tramped around the country looking for work. They would ride the rails – usually jumping on and off the train so as not to get caught. This was so dangerous. Many men were killed doing this. Many tramps would come to our door in Benjamin begging for food. Mama always gave them something to eat. Grandpa was a small man and I loved him so much. Papa would play the piano (usually “Turkey in the Straw”) and Grandpa would dance a jig for us. In Scotland, they probably called it the Highland Fling, but we referred to it as the Scottish Jig. We would clap while he danced and we kept begging for more, more until he was exhausted. Grandpa was a hard worker. He was a carpenter and a farmer. He was born in Wallace, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Canada. After his father died, he and his brothers and sisters call moved into the states. Mary Bella and Jennie remained some place back East and Grandpa, John, James and Maria, went to California. John went to the gold rush in Alaska and was never heard from again. Maria and James remained in California until their deaths. Grandpa got a job working on the railroad being built into Utah. He helped with the building of the Union Pacific R.R.Building in Salt Lake City and also the Salt Lake County Building, the old one. Then he got the bid to build the County Building in Carbon County, the the Presbyterian Church in Ferron. It is in Ferron, where he met Grandma. Grandpa’s place was not too far, maybe one mile, from the mouth of Ferron Canyon. There was a creek bed that ran down from the canyon past the place, about one-half block away. This creek bed, with its swinging bridge across it, was a fascination to us kids. We were restricted from going there alone as we were told it was too dangerous. Aunt Vi, on our visits to Ferron, would always pack up a lunch and take us on a picnic to the swinging bridge. I remember how much fun it was crossing on the bridge. One time while there, Aunt Vi, heard a roar and yelled at us to quickly get out of the creek and up on the bank, which we did with great haste. We hadn’t been out but a few seconds when a three to four foot wall of water came rushing down in front of us. We knew then what we had been told about the danger of that place to be true. Grandpa’s place was the neatest place in Ferron. He built the house as well as many other houses in Ferron, the Presbyterian church and the L.D.S. church. There was a row of tall poplar trees on the mountain side of the house to help break the canyon winds. There were pole fences all around the place. Grandpa had a nice apple orchard, a big garden, and a place for alfalfa. He had a barnyard where he kept chickens, pigs, cows and one horse (Old Blue). He also had a bee apiary. He had a shed where he kept grain, a shed where he extracted honey and a shed where he did his carpentry. By his carpenter shop was the most beautiful big weeping willow tree. During the last two years or so of Grandpa’s life, he suffered three strokes. The first one, he overcame to the point that he could walk with the help of crutches, but the work had to be done by the family. Margaret lived with us mostly, but Aunt Vi, Uncle Bill and Uncle Joe stayed on the place and took care of Grandpa. It seems that Uncle Mac was in the Navy at this time. His second stroke put him in bed and quite helpless. He had to be lifted everywhere. Uncle Bill bathed and shaved him. Bill and joe did nnot marry until after World War II. Aunt Margaret also married later and Aunt Vi never married. I use to think and still do, that Vi would have been a good wife. She was good to us kids. And she was a good cook and an excellent housekeeper. Her one fault was she talked to much and very loudly. If she had seen a movie or read a book, she would take an hour or more to tell in great detail all about it. I got cornered in the situation more than once. But she was a good soul, very generous and thoughtful. I’ve often thought that she missed her opportunity for marriage because she spent her youthful years in Ferron caring for Grandpa. My appreciation for Joe, Bill and Vi has deepened over my years, as I have a better comprehension of the great service that they rendered. Mama’s brothers and sisters, Bill, Mac , Vi and Margaret spent a lot of time with us. Mama being the oldest in the family took responsibility for their well being after Grandpa died. We were close to them and loved them very much. Always when they left, we felt so sad. The reason I included in my journal accounts of these uncles and aunts is that they were a very real part of my youthful life. They had a tremendous influence on me, I loved them. No one in the family was very important people, according to the world’s standards of importance. After the war, Uncle Bill and Uncle Mac went to work in Detroit. Auto making was a very thriving industry then, as no cars were built during the war, just weapons of war. They both returned to Utah some years later. Uncle Bill met and married Helen while in Detroit. Mac got a job at Geneva Steel. Bill was ill with a bad heart, but did work a few years prior to his illness at buying houses – fixing them up and selling them. He also had some apartment buildings. Bill also took an old chicken coop that had a good foundation and built them a comfortable home. Mac spent his time in the Navy prior to WWII and during the war, he worked in Michigan at the plant that built war machinery. After they returned t Utah, he got employment a Geneva Steel and stayed there until retirement. I’ve often thought what a frustrated time it must have been for Mama, when her brothers were in our home. Mama was never baptized into the church, but the influence of the church’s principles in regards to the Word of Wisdom must have made sense to her. All of her brothers smoked and drank alcoholic drinks. Even Margaret after she moved to California took up smoking and became an alcoholic. In fact the alcohol was the cause of her loss of health and early death. Aunt Vi, was the only one that did not smoke cigarettes and if she drank, I can’t ever remember. Whenever they were at our house for Christmas or New Years, they would drink to the point of drunkenness. All of us kids were exposed to this behavior. I well remember Mama trying to discourage them from doing this. I well remember her telling them that they should quit smoking for it would kill them. They just ignored her warnings. Grandpa McKenzie, smoked a pipe, I remember my fascination of his pipe. When we would go to visit them in Ferron, and one of his pipes was laying on the table. If no one was watching me, I would pick it up and smell it. Papa’s two vices were coffee and during the summertime, he would sit on the porch and smoke a cigar. It didn’t seem he did this very often, perhaps no more than twice a month. He acted guilty when he did this – like a little kid sneaking a smoke. But the coffee put brewed in our house every morning. It was the smell of the coffee that seemed to wake us up, that and the radio. Papa played the radio very loudly and he always had to have his morning news. Mama’s one vise was her one cup of coffee every morning. When bling Marie was visiting with us, she also had to have her coffee. I wasn’t perfect myself. Gloria Westring, lived across the street from the school house in Benjamin. This was just a short distance west from what we called the Benjamin Corner, so we played with Gloria often. Her brother operated the gas station on the corner. One day, Gloria stole a pack of cigarettes from the counter in the station. When she showed them to us, I can’t remember how many of us or who even, but anyway, we went to the outhouses behind the church and smoked cigarettes. We did this several times, until things caught up with us. Mama must have been suspicious of our behavior, and was just waiting for the right opportunity. This came one day when Mama and I were doing some sewing at the machine in the living room. Mama said, “I smell cigarette smoke.” I knew that Ireta, Theone, and Gloria were upstairs, and that smoke smell really had made its way down the stairs and into the living room. I remember thinking how dumb they were to be smoking in the house. But I told Mama, “I don’t smell anything.” Then she told me, “ You go up and check.” Well, I tell you. I knew they were smoking and all the way up those stairs, my heart was in my throat. I told them that Mama knew they were smoking – the smell was all through the house. They replied, “you smoke too!” When I got back downstairs, Mama said, “ well?” I kind of hung my head and just nodded my head. She said, “You go cut two willows,” The willow bush was out by the well. I obeyed, but felt so sick for I knew what was coming. Ireta, and Theone, got a licking and Gloria got sent home. They must not have squealed on me for I didn’t get the licking that I deserved. I remember the welts on their legs and really felt badly. The thing that I have regretted most about the whole affair, perhaps even more than the fact we smoked those cigarettes was that I lacked the courage to confess to Mama and get my licking also. That still today bothers my conscience, but that taught me my lesson anyway. I never smoked again. When I met Howard, he was a smoker, that fact did not bother me, perhaps because I had lived around it so much of my life. Almost all of our friends in the Navy were smokers. We would play cards ‘till late hours, with the room blue with smoke. When we went dancing, the air was filled with smoke. They all tried to get me to smoke, but I never did. The lesson with the willow sticks made a lasting impression. Mama was a very quiet, shy person. I always thought that she was the most beautiful woman in the world. She had coal black hair that hung to her waist. Every morning she brushed it and rolled it some way, that it set in a bun high on the back of her head. She had big long hair pins to hold it in place. Her eyes were so dark brown and her eye brows slanted down without much arch that made her eyes appear sad. “Old Bossy,” our cow, had big sad looking eyes. I would tell Mama that she had eyes like “Old Bossy.” She was very self-sacrificing and very supportive to Papa. I don’t remember her having an unkind thought towards anyone. I’m sure that her feelings were hurt more than I’m aware of, and I’m also sure that I probably caused her some hurt feelings. There was one particular time that I’ve always felt ashamed of . I got behind the “Old Franklin” in the living room, and I was pouting over not getting my own way over something. There was a little loose piece of wallpaper. I pulled on it and ripped off a piece up the seam. It was a jagged tear about a foot long and two inches wide. Someone went squealing to Mama. When she saw that, she was very angry with me. She didn’t holler or say a word, but her face showed her anger. She started towards me and I ran out the door with Mama behind me. I out ran her and she went back into the house. I stayed outside most of the day. That was the only time I remember Mama’s wrath. Even the episode of the cigarettes, she was not angry, she had a lesson to teach and she performed that lesson well. Another lesson was taught with the torn wall paper. I remember well how guilty I felt and so very ashamed of myself. I let everyone in the family down. That wallpaper stayed torn for a long time and every time I looked at it, I was sorry for being such a little brat. I had a behavior change for I do remember being more cooperative after that. I also remember helping Mama wallpaper the bedroom walls upstairs. We stayed up ‘till the wee hours of the morning doing that job. Mama stayed up’till the wee hours of the morning doing many jobs. She sewed all out clothes (girls wore dresses to school back then) so with six girls to sew for, she had to sew at night. I liked to sew and would sit up with her on a few occasions. I learned a lot about sewing from Mama. All of her sewing was done on an old treadle machine. We had electric sewing machines in school, but Mama sewed all her life on the treadle machine. I would like to put down some of the things I know or was told about Mama’s youth. She was an only child until she was seven years old. The pictures we have of Grandpa and Grandma McKenzie, showed them to be handsome people. Mama was a beautiful child, young lady, and older person. She rode a horse to school through all kinds of weather, which was about two to three miles – I think. They live close to the mountains and on one particular occasion while on her way to school, she came upon a mountain lion perched on a log or fence. She said she was terrified. the horse was also terrified as it started to run as fast as it could. Mama dropped the reins and threw her arms around the horse’s neck and held on for dear life all the way to school. Mama only went to the eighth grade in school. Higher education was not available, unless she went to a boarding school. Money was not available for that, but in spite of only an eighth grade education, Mama was well learned. She could writ beautiful poetry, She could help us with Arithmetic, English, Spelling, Geography, and History. The things she didn’t get in her education was Biology, Algebra, and Shorthand. But she really could help especially when I was learning multiplication tables. She would drill us in thise and spelling words. She had a very good vocabulary. She also enjoyed playing the piano. The two girlfriends she had that I knew about were Blind Marie and Hattie. I’ll write about Blind Marie later. I had an interesting meeting with Hattie, however. After moving back to Utah and while a member of the 4th ward, I was assigned to visit teach Hattie. I did not know about her before this assignment. During one of my visits there, she mentioned that she was making a trip to Emery county. I told her that Mama was born in Ferron. She said “Who was you mother?” When I told her Nova Belle McKenzie, she almost went through the floor with excitement. She said she and Mama were the best of friends. She was able to tell me some of the nicest sweetest things about Mama, Grandma, Grandpa, and of all the family. I wish to explain about the family religion. The religion of Scotland, was Presbyterianism for many centuries. The McKenzies, hailed from Scotland , migrating to Nova Scotia (meaning New Scotland) sometime between the late 1700’s and the early 1800’s. Just a very few records have been found in Nova Scotia, of our McKenzies’. Alexander (grandpa’s father), was found in the census. Any records earlier than that have not as yet been found. Records were not very well kept by these early settlers. They were to busy trying to exist. Grandpa was raised in his Presbyterian religion. After settling in Ferron, Utah, where he remained the rest of his life, he remained a very staunch Presbyterian. In fact, he built the Presbyterian Church in Ferron. That building still stands – it had been renovated in recent years. Todays it si one of Utah’s early beautiful buildings chosen to be preserved for the sake of history and culture. Ferron had an ordained Presbyterian minister for many years, but the plain fact that the Mormon’s were predominant an under statement. It became necessary that his ordained minister be removed from Ferron. After that, Grandpa served as an unordained minister. When we made our trips to Ferron, we always went to Grandpa’s church. Grandpa really knew his bible well and lived the precepts he learned from his studies. I remember well his pipes and his bible. It was said by many of the men in Ferron, that Grandpa was a very good Mormon- he just had not been in the water! He was well respected and liked because of his style of life and goodness and honest, hard work. Mama also knew well the stories from the bible, and she lived a good Christian life. It was either Uncle Joe or Uncle bill that told us the story of how Mama and Papa met. Papa was 37 years old and Mama was 22 years old. Papa’s first wife Harriet Grange, had died, leaving him with two young daughters: Melva, six years old and Donna five years old. Pap was on a piano tuning trip to Emery County. Papa went to their door and asked if they owned a piano. When they replied that they did, he asked if he could come in and play it for them. I guess they were taken back with his forwardness and let him in. {a[a could really make those piano keys jump! But he told them that their piano was badly out of tune and for the job of tuning it. After their marriage, they lived in Ferron, with the two little girls. Dorothea and Kate were also born in Ferron. They moved to Provo, and lived a short time and them to Benjamin where all the rest of us were born. Mam had a tough time in Benjamin. Due mostly to her extreme shyness, and she never felt accepted by the community and most of all by Grandma Stewart. Papa’s first wife had been a very forward social person. Mama not being a Mormon, put another snag in her not being accepted, or at least in feeling unaccepted. I really believe that Grandma Stewart was not to kind to Mama. I don’t remember going to their house at all and they just lived across the field from us. Dorothea and Kate probably did , but the rest of us were probably too noisy. Grandma was sick and she did die when I was about six years old. Grandpa Stewart would come down to our house and visit frequently. Some of those in Benjamin, that I remember being good to Mama were, Uncle Walt and Aunt Inez, Uncle Wendell and Aunt Faye, and of course all the kids. Also the neighbors Jenny Ludlow, Lulu Miller, Pauline Richardson, and Mary Clark. I have reflected back much on Mama’s life in Benjamin, and I believe that if she had been fellowshipped more, she would have joined the Mormon Church. She supported all of us and permitted each of us to be baptized, and she did support all we ever did at school or at church. She would ask me sometimes, what I had learned at church. One comment I remember her making was, “Why do they teach you so much about Joseph Smith? They should teach more about Jesus.” It was always said of Mama that she earned her place in ”Heaven”. She was so good to Blind Marie. She also took responsibility of her brothers and sisters after grandma died as well as raise Melva, and Donna, and six girls and one boy of her own/

Life timeline of Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart)

Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart) was born on 21 May 1930
Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart) was 12 years old when World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy made a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, intending to neutralize the United States Pacific Fleet from influencing the war Japan was planning to wage in Southeast Asia. World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although conflicts reflecting the ideological clash between what would become the Allied and Axis blocs began earlier. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most global war in history; it directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart) was 25 years old when Disneyland Hotel opens to the public in Anaheim, California. The Disneyland Hotel is a resort hotel located at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, owned by the Walt Disney Company and operated through its Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products division. Opened on October 5, 1955, as a motor inn owned and operated by Jack Wrather under an agreement with Walt Disney, the hotel was the first to officially bear the Disney name. Under Wrather's ownership, the hotel underwent several expansions and renovations over the years before being acquired by Disney in 1988. The hotel was downsized to its present capacity in 1999 as part of the Disneyland Resort expansion.
Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart) was 34 years old when John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas; hours later, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in aboard Air Force One as the 36th President of the United States. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. As a member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented the state of Massachusetts in the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate prior to becoming president.
Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart) was 47 years old when Star Wars is released in theaters. Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first film in the original Star Wars trilogy and the beginning of the Star Wars franchise. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, and Peter Mayhew, the film focuses on the Rebel Alliance, led by Princess Leia (Fisher), and its attempt to destroy the Galactic Empire's space station, the Death Star.
Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart) was 53 years old when Michael Jackson's Thriller, the best-selling album of all time, was released. Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he was one of the most popular entertainers in the world, and was the best-selling music artist during the year of his death. Jackson's contributions to music, dance, and fashion along with his publicized personal life made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart) died on 12 Jun 1999 at the age of 69
Grave record for Ireta Nova Gunnell (Stewart) (21 May 1930 - 12 Jun 1999), BillionGraves Record 7075 Benjamin, Utah, Utah, United States