Tiny Myrtle Nelson Alldredge, mother of 12, grandmother of 55, great-grandmother of 167 and great-great-grandmother of 21 entered the arms of her eternal companion of 63 years on July 1, 2014, at the age of 97.
Myrtle was born in Ramah, New Mexico, on June 10, 1917, the fifth of twelve children, to Nellie Mariah James and James Mark Nelson. Mom was raised in Bluewater, New Mexico where she was educated in a one-room schoolhouse, and learned to read by a coal-oil lamp. Myrtle had to drop out of school in the eighth grade to help raise her siblings because of her mother’s illness of rheumatic fever. Mom said she didn’t mind too much because she hated stepping over the rattlesnakes on her way to school. At age 19, Mom’s family made the trip from Bluewater, New Mexico, to St. George, Utah, to be sealed in the Temple. After this trip, Mom’s grandfather William Price Nelson suggested that a young man from the Arizona Strip, Dee Alldredge, start a letter writing campaign to his granddaughter, Myrtle. Other than one brief meeting at Thanksgiving time in St. George, Utah, their entire courtship consisted of friendship letters to one another from July 2, 1936 to Dec. 15, 1936. Myrtle showed up in St. George on Dec. 17, 1936, to attend the wedding of her brother Mark. After spending that evening with Dee, they both decided that they would make Mark and Wenda’s wedding a double ceremony and after putting Mom’s temple recommend in order, this is exactly what they did, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Mom’s life was one of complete commitment and dedication to her husband, children, and family. She helped to raise her mother’s family, which included some cousins, her own 12 children, and 2 of her grandchildren, of whom she had legal custody.
While her children were young, she had to be very creative in providing for their needs. She sewed most of their clothes, and all of the food was made from scratch. Even when her locked cupboards were bare, she still always managed to keep us fed. We were never sure how she came up with the food to feed us all. The laundry was a 24/7 process. Clothes were always hung outside to dry and it was necessary to use the fence line along with a 120 feet of clothes line to get the laundry dry. There was always a cow and chickens in the back yard for milk, butter, cottage cheese, and eggs. Dad liked the idea of having a girl friend who could milk the cows. The twelve hundred pounds of wheat purchased yearly was ground into flour by Mom, which she used to make at least 20 loaves of bread a week. As a family, we would can 12 bushels of peaches every year along with some apricots, pears, and cherries. All of this and so much more, Mom was able to accomplish without the benefit of a driver’s license. Another thing that made her life more of a challenge was the fact that Dad always worked out of town in order to earn enough to provide for his family. This left Mom alone most of the week to attend to all activities associated with the raising of her family.
She made sure that her children understood the standards of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and encouraged each one of us to follow these teachings, which she knew to be true. She had one son and two son-in-laws that served LDS missions, and 25 grandchildren, including 3 granddaughters who served LDS missions.
Myrtle was preceded in death by her parents; her siblings, Marvia (Charles) Goodwin; Mark (Wenda Dutton) Nelson; Ada, Mom’s sister; (Verl, Dad’s brother) Alldredge; Eliza Bundy; Heber (Clella Chamberlain) Nelson; Reba (Albert) Burgess; Robert Nelson; Glenna Sullivan (Benny) Nelson; and one son, Daniel Dee Alldredge and one son-in-law, Sean Legere.
She is survived by one brother; Benny (Kathy Bunker) Nelson; one sister, Pearl (Ralph) Hafen; one sister-in-law, Maxine Dickenson (Bob) Nelson; and one brother-in-law, Bill (Eliza) Bundy. She is also survived by her eleven children: daughter-in-law, Mona (Daniel) Alldredge, Edward (DeOnn) Alldredge, Merlin (Claudia) Alldredge, Leila (Melvin) Laws, Leona (Robert) Schexnayder, Glen Ray (Barbara) Alldredge, Glenna May (Doug) Wilson, Susan (Randy) Gunnell, James Isaac (Liz) Alldredge, Renae Legere, Mary Ann (Mike) Hobson, and Kevin Alldredge.
Mom leaves behind a legacy of love and kindness to all the many people who knew and loved her. She will be greatly missed.
- Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 11 a.m. at the St. George LDS Main Street Chapel, 166 South Main Street, St. George, Utah.
- Visitations will be held on Friday, July 4, from 6-8 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 West St. George Blvd. and Saturday, prior to services, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Main Street Chapel.