Esther Mariah Hanks Fowlke

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OCTOBER 4, 1989

Esther Mariah Hanks Fowlke was born in Charleston, Wasatch County, Utah on October 16, 1888, was my mother.  My earliest recollections of her was when she was teaching me to do what she had done, to make the house orderly and clean -that of cleaning the lamp chimney for the coal oil lamp and putting our two room home in order to greet Santa Clause as it was Christmas Eve.

My mother must have been a beautiful young girl as she was still lovely in her later years.  She was of medium height and weight and presented a pleasing appearance.

Mother did not have the advantage of higher education.  She completed the eighth grade that was the common practice at that time.  She wrote well and enjoyed reading when she could find the time for her schedule was a busy one.  Mother sewed beautifully with a special gift for making attractive dresses out of used material.  She was an especially good, but frugal cook. Her talents showed a flare for the artistic "know how" of ordinary life.

Perhaps one of her most valuable gifts was her ability to organize, keeping order and cleanliness paramount in our home of a large family.  Mother taught us how to work by the example she set for us.  Her responsibilities took her even out of the home to the barn and fields where she instructed and supervised our jobs when Dad was away with a load of produce.  Her untiring efforts kept the family functioning and forging ahead.

Mother's dedication to constant supervision and teaching by example made a lasting impression on all of her children.  We learned thrift, industry and the blessing of cleanliness in our personal lives.  We came to feel the importance of the expectations of our Heavenly Father. Her main goal was to teach, supervise and direct the children born into our large family.  Her dedication and devotion gave a noble quality to my memory of her character.

Mother was capable as a home nurse.  She efficiently cared for all our childhood illnesses as well as some long seizes of serious problems such as:  Mae's rheumatic fever; scarlet fever with D. H; Winifred's hip joint ball broken; Lucille's life threatening case of diphtheria; as well as Aunt Rhean's final illness and death.  The longest and most difficult problems were Dad's years of ill health with heart and painful cancer diseases.  All of these trials mother coped with cheerfully in spite of limited means and without many modern conveniences to assist her.  She was a stalwart person with a deep commitment of loyalty and love to her family.

Mother thought seriously of her religious commitments, teaching her children to pray, to have faith and depend on our Heavenly Father, to be honest, dependable and responsible. For a period of time she was a counselor in the Lindon Ward's Young Women Organization. Mother always had time to help a grandchild or help her daughters as their babies arrived.

I am thankful to be the daughter of Esther M. Hanks Fowlke, who all of her friends called "ETTA".  I will be forever grateful to her for the important example in being steadfast under stress.  I am amazed at her ability to have stimulated the lives of nine very different children to achieve in spite of their meager resources and many hardships.  Without exception, her children have honored her by living moral, clean lives, raising worthy families and being law-biding citizens.  The sum total of their varied, notable achievements speak well for this outstanding woman as the scriptures state, "By their fruits ye shall know them."   She lived a long and hard life, but one of real worth, being treasured and esteemed by her loved ones. Mother passed this life to her well deserved rest and reward on January 10, 1972.

Flora Fowlke Halliday


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