Tuesday, October 28, 2014

George Lloyd Ostler and Georgianna Ricks

George and Georgianna were the grandparents that I knew best.  I was their first grand child and I was a girl.  Having been the parents of three boys they were anxious for a little girl to spoil, and spoil me they did.

Georgianna had already been shopping for girl things and had several things put aside at the local shops. Once my gender was confirmed, she went back to pay for and pick up her purchases.  She is also somewhat responsible for my name.  If she had had a girl her name would have been Laurie Annie, not exactly what my mother wanted so I became Laurel Ann.  Grandma called me Laurie Annie. She took care of me when I was small while my mother continued to work at the hospital as a lab tech. When older, I would spend a week or more during the summer months at their home in Idaho Falls, a treat not extended to my younger siblings.  At that point, her health was not the best and I was pretty content to sit in a corner with a book.  I loved the attention, shrimp dinners out, and their new color TV.  They called each other "George" which could be a bit confusing.

George Lloyd Ostler was born in Ogden, Utah on March 20, 1904 but spent most of his early youth in Salt Lake City.  You can read more about it and his parents here.

He would be the only natural child of her mother, Lucy.  He had two adopted sisters, Marvol, pictured her as a baby, and Maxine.

He also lived for a time on a farm in Spanish Fork before his parents decided to move to Teton, Idaho but they eventually made Sugar City their home.  It was here that he would meet Georgianna Ricks.

I would love to have a long conversation with him now that I am older for I have found that I really know so little.  I would ask, "When were you in the Navy and where did you serve?  What did you think of your childhood?  Tell me about when you discovered that your father had adopted you and that you had a different birth father."

I know that he was a hard worker who excelled at what he did.  Once married to Georgianna, they farmed land that had first been cleared and farmed by Georgianna's father, Alfred Ricks.  This was also the same farm where I spent my first years and where my father farmed.  Click on the above article to read about George winning "Grassman of the Year."  My father, his oldest son Gary, was also known for his fine hay crops.

In 1955, George and Georgianna purchased a new home in Idaho Falls.  That is the home I remember.  George became a top salesman for Ahlstroms Furniture and Carpet store.  He had great taste and he and Georgianna had a beautiful home, though small, and yard.  The home sat in a cul de sac making the yard a bit bigger and the roses were lovely.  Georgianna would cut the roses and place them in glass containers throughout the house.  I tried my best to learn to roller skate in that cul de sac but without much success.

Georgianna was born on May 25, 1904 and grew up in a large beautiful house with many brothers and sisters and parents who were prominent in the community of Sugar City.  Read more about her parents and childhood here.

She was a middle child and it was her siblings, my great aunts and uncles, who I remember from my childhood in Sugar City.  Her oldest sister, Mary, tried so hard to help me learn to play the piano.

She loved the arts and beautiful things.  She painted and sang in the Glee Club of Sugar City.  I am in possession of her sewing notebook which has samples and detailed information about sewing in her handwriting.  I also have some of her books, for she was also a reader.  She loved a clean house but by the time I went and stayed with her in Idaho Falls, her health had declined and Jane Ikeda would come once a week to help out. I grew to love Jane who was cheerful and would tease me.

George and Georgianna were married in the Logan Temple located in northern Utah on July 13, 1927.  This was the closest temple for my Sugar City family until the Idaho Falls Temple was built in 1945.  When I stayed with them in Idaho Falls we would often go on drives including drives by this  new temple.  We also liked to watch the water skiers on the river in front of the temple.

George and Georgianna had three sons, Gary R born on May 26, 1928, Max Ricks born on July 7, 1931, and Paul Mansfield born on March 14, 1937.  Paul's middle name is Mansfield which was the last name of George's birth father, Gervis or Jarvis Mansfield.

My family moved to Arizona for my father's health in November of 1964. We had traveled via Colorado so that my father could see a specialist in Colorado Springs.  This is where we got word that Georgianna had passed away.  Just days before we had said our goodbyes from the parking lot of the hospital in Idaho Falls.  Children were not allowed to go inside so we waved up at her as she stood at her window a couple of floors up.  My mother had some hard decisions to make.  Would we brave an approaching winter storm and return to Idaho?  We had just experienced a small car fire in our little red Corvair and it was being repaired.  Would it make it back to Idaho?  My mother is a brave woman, but after prayer decided that her best course of action was to continue on to Arizona.  That is a whole other story, but once we stopped in front of my mother's friend's home in Tempe, Arizona, that car did not restart until major repairs were made. I'm sure that it was hard for my parents to not show their last respects to Georgianna in person.

A few months after Georgianna's death, George moved to Arizona to be near us.  He also brought some of their furniture for our use in the home my mother had bought in Tempe.  George did not enjoy the heat of Arizona and did not stay long.  In 1966 he married Alice Rumsey had lost her husband in 1957.  George moved into Alice's beautiful home in Idaho Falls and gave her yard and garden the same meticulous care he had given his own.  They were a most compatible couple and enjoyed traveling and doing things together.  Here they are shown on George's 80th birthday which I was able to attend in Idaho Falls.

George passed away on August 29, 1991.  Click on the obituary above to read more about his life. He was a man of strong opinions but kind and loving.  He was gentle and caring with his wives.  It hurt him deeply to see his son, my father Gary, in decline.  On later visits to Arizona he could not bring himself to enter the bedroom where his son rested on a hospital bed.  Some of my favorite memories are sharing his recliner as we watched Bonanza on Sunday evenings and the delicious ribs he would grill outside.  When we lived in Bountiful as a young family, George and Alice would stop in for a visit as they traveled between Salt Lake City and Idaho Falls.

George is buried in the Sugar City Cemetery next to Georgianna.  Alice would live until 2003.

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