Fern Asay Prisbrey, 88, passed away Feb. 28, 2020, surrounded by her children. She was born Sept. 13, 1931, in Clawson, Utah, the fourth of five children of Jerome “Lome” Asay Jr. and Mary Louise Jensen.
The family moved to St. George when she was three and lived on the Red Hill until age 6, moving near the Temple until she graduated high school. Hers was a “perfect” upbringing. She sold chicken eggs to take her younger brother Gene to the movies and was tasked with keeping the gunnysacks covering the home wet, making it cooler in St George’s blistering summer heat.
She graduated from Dixie High School in 1949 with her high school sweetheart, LaDell Clarence Prisbrey, who she married two months later July 15, 1949, in the St. George Temple. She told her daughters she was 18 at the time, but the math says otherwise. She wanted children more than words can express. After seven years she and Ladell were finally blessed with a perfect baby girl, then six more children in the span of nine years.
When the babies came, times were tough, and the small family moved to Henderson for work. The big city was not for them. Almost broke, the small family moved back to Sandtown and raised the children in the shadows of the Red Hill. Fern worked at Odegard’s Studios where she loved meeting the “big movie stars.” She and LaDell opened the family business, St. George Refrigeration and Electric in 1970 and worked side by side until Ladell’s death in 2012. She lived in Sandtown until moving to the family farm out on the Fort Pearce Wash some 20 years ago.
She worked harder and played harder than anyone. She cared tirelessly for her family, loaded the car and was the first one in for fishing on Cedar Mountain, or hunting in the west desert. She was an avid Utah Jazz fan and hardly ever missed watching a game. She did beautiful handiwork and crocheted hundreds of afghans and doilies. She won many blue ribbons for her work at the County Fair.
She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and enjoyed serving, but her all-time favorite calling was primary chorister. She loved music and was always singing songs to the grandkids. She never said an unkind word about anyone ever. Her children feel as Abraham Lincoln did of his mother, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
Fern was preceded in death by her parents; siblings: Lynn J. Asay, Mary Adell Asay, and Gene K Asay; husband, LaDell Prisbrey; son, Kelly Jerome Prisbrey; son-in-law, Scott Andersen; and great-grandson, Alex Jason Jones. She is survived by six children: Ilene Jones, Arla Sanders (David), Boyd Prisbrey, Warren Prisbrey (Cari), Nada Andersen and Aaron Prisbrey (Kimberly); sister, Genevieve Smith; 24 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren; all of whom she loved, and they all loved her greatly for her unconditional love, charity, kindness and her many wonderful qualities and virtues.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 7, 2020, at 11 a.m. at Metcalf Mortuary Chapel, 288 W. St. George Blvd., St. George, Utah. Visitations will be held Friday evening from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday, prior to services, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., both at the mortuary. Interment will be in the St. George City Cemetery located at 700 E. Tabernacle Street.
Arrangements entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary (435) 673-4221. Please visit our website at www.metcalfmortuary.com for condolences and complete obituary and funeral listings.