• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


My paternal grandmother left this life a few weeks after my 8th birthday.

My paternal grandparents as I remember them being when I was a child

I often think of her and can almost smell the sweet peas that always grew along her fence. She encouraged us to pick bouquets to take home each time we visited and carefully placed a bit of wet paper napkin (or towel) around the stems until we could get them home. The more they are picked and shared the more they bloom. She loved beautiful things and loved to share them.

sweet peas from my garden

Her kind gentleness has been a model for my life. Although more than 50 years have passed I still miss her and when she comes to mind my eyes may fill with tears of longing to see her again.

Grandpa Neil's history** tells us a few details about their last years together. Grandpa was often asked to travel to small branches in Montana and other surrounding areas as a speaker. Grandma usually traveled with him. They traveled by car and bus generally. I quote now from that history for their final years, 1959 through January 1963:

"Jan 1, 1959 – Scott and Gladys left for Moses Lake. January has started out very cold and snowy. Mar 30, Chloe and I left for Washington with Duane and his family to visit Scott and Kenneth and families. We had snow most of the way to Moses Lake. We returned to Cardston April 3, it was nice weather and 55 degrees. April 12 it was 85 above. I got the front of the lot in lawn and ¼ of the back 
in garden. **This is summer temp, not spring.**

"July 1959 – I painted our house, then I started making 2 bedrooms and a bathroom in the west half of our basement, as all the family were coming for my 80th birthday. I had it all finished before they came. They were all here by August 23. We went to Woolford Park Aug 24, for the birthday dinner. There was 42 of us and we had a family photo taken in the park.

Neil Snow Forsyth family Aug 1959

"Sep 1959 – I did some small carpentry jobs in Cardston, about the middle of Nov. Chloe had a very bad heart attack, and was in the hospital for 10 days. She started taking heart pills while there, and she took them regular for the rest of her life. She felt better after getting out of the hospital.

"Dec 18 – We left for Utah with Dick Smith from Hillspring. He had a big station wagon and Chloe had the back seat all to herself. We went to Pocatello that day, and on to Salt Lake the next day in time for dinner at Ruth’s. Chloe stood the trip very well and we spent Christmas with the Horne’s. 

"Dec 27th I attended a high priests meeting where Earl J Glade (S.L. mayor) gave a very good talk on character building and personality. Chloe never left the Horne home all the time we were in Salt Lake. I had a doctor come and give her a checkup, and he left her some pills. I arranged for us to return home with Wilford Hansen and his wife Jan 4, 1960, and we arrived in Cardston the next day at 2:00 PM. I had to take Chloe to the hospital that night, and didn't bring her home until Jan 14.

"Mar 20, I have spent most of my time in the temple since returning from Utah, doing 54 endowments.

"Mar 25, I put a concrete wall out 2 ft from the south of the house a ft high along the lawn for about 20 ft to make a flower bed. Mar 28, I planted sweet peas in my new flower bed. April 7, I planted peas, radishes, lettuce and set out strawberries." 

* I, Linda, would have been about 5 1/2 years old. I remember well this wall. It is where I saw THE owl.*

"April 20, we went to Claresholm in a snow storm to visit with Mary Oviatt. April 22, we went on to Calgary, it snowed most of the way. I left Chloe there at Bryce’s and on Apr 24, I went home on the bus. Scott, Gladys and Ryan came from Moses Lake to-night and stayed with me until April 27, then they went home. **Chloe must have had some doctor care while in Calgary, and there is no record of when she returned home.**

"Aug 17 – Bob, Ruth and their family, and another family from Salt Lake City were here. That night we watched the satellite Echo go over. It was more than a 1,000 miles away and we watched it for 20 mins. 90 mins. later we watched it again. [** Ruth records in her record, 'Aug 13th - Today we started our vacation to Canada, along with our neighbors John and Tess VanKatwyk. Diane's friend Connie Johnson rode with us and Connie's brother David rode with VanKatwyks. We stayed in my Dad's motel, in Cardston, then took a short trip to Waterton Lakes one day, along with my brother Duane and his family who brought my Dad along too. When we left Canada we drove the scenic route home through Glacier Park, over Logan Pass, then along Flathead Lake in Montana...'**]

"Aug 18 – All the family was here for my 81st birthday and we went to Waterton for dinner. We had a camp kitchen on Cameron Creek and had a very enjoyable day. When I turned 70 I thought I would quit building, but people keep calling me to do their work.

"Nov 20, 1960 – It was real mild today and Victor and Susan [Hatch nee Lybbert], Chloe and I went to Raymond to John Lybberts farewell testimonial.

"Dec 10, Chloe and I went to Calgary. We visited with Bryce and Mylo’s families till Sat Dec 17. Bryce brought us home and we went to 2 sessions of the temple that day. Dec 23, we went to Duane's in Welling and spent Christmas with them. Dec 26, Duane brought us to Magrath, and we left Chloe in the hospital there for Dr. Brewerton to give her a good check up. Duane brought me on home. He brought Chloe home Dec 28, but she isn't doing very well. I took her to the hospital here Dec 29, her temperature is 101 and I have someone stay with her overnight, and I go early every morning. The doctor let me bring her home Jan 5, she is very weak.

"Mar 30, 1961 – Chloe and I left with Victor and Susan Hatch and went to Moses Lake. We stayed with Scott and Gladys there that night. The next day we went on to Seattle to visit Ken and June and family and Victor and Susan's daughter Idell and her family. April 4, we returned to Moses Lake and visited there till April 6. We went on to Green Acres near Spokane and Hatchs stayed there with her brother. Chloe and I stayed with my nephew, Charles Forsyth* and his family. We went on to Cardston Apr 7.

"May 12, I planted garden all day and it got to 62 above. Scott and Gladys came that night, and we went to Calgary with them the next morning and spent the day with Mylo and Bryce and families, then came home that evening.

"July 15, we held the Snow reunion in Waterton Park, we had a very good turnout. July 16, Forest Wood and I were sent to Browning Mont. to be speakers at their sacrament meeting. Forests wife Edyth went along to sing between the talks.

"Aug 1, I went to Lethbridge airport and got a plane and went to Calgary. There I got on a jet that took me to Toronto. My niece Marie Templeton met me at the airport and took me to her home. Aug 3, she took me and her family to see the pageant at Hill Cumorah. We returned to Toronto Aug 4. On Sunday I went to church with them. After church we went to visit her sister Velma and her husband Wendel Roven. Aug 7 and 8 Marie showed me the places of interest in and around Toronto. I flew back to Calgary Aug 9. I visited with the boys in Calgary till noon the next day, then flew to Lethbridge. Duane met me and took me to his place in Welling. I had dinner with them, then he took me to Cardston that afternoon.

Sep 8, Chloe and I went into Lethbridge and bought a bedroom suite and an ornamental fence for our front lawn. Sep 10, Victor and I took our wives with us to Browning, Montana where we had been called to speak in sacrament meeting. It rained on us most of the trip.

Sep 16, Bryce and June came from Calgary and we 4 went to the temple, then we went back to Calgary with them. Sep 17, we all went to church. Sep 19, the 4 of us went to see “The Promised Valley” in the Calgary Stake House, put on by the MIA. It was very good. The next day Chloe and I went home on the bus.

"Oct 27, I laid linoleum on the floor of our basement bedrooms and bathroom. Dec 17, we had a real blizzard with 3 inches of snow, the next day a Chinook came and took all the snow off. Bob, Ruth and family came tonight from Salt Lake. They had good roads and good weather all the way. Ruth had come early to take over in getting ready for our golden wedding Dec 20.

Golden Wedding Announcement cover

Golden Wedding Announcement

"Dec 21, Scott, Ken, Mylo, Duane, Garth and Bryce and spouses and children all arrived in time for the temple that evening. Garth’s wife Jean was in the hospital as her baby was due to arrive, the rest of the adults went to the temple. It was the first endowment session Chloe had been to for more than a year. Pres. Matkin asked me if Chloe was well enough to act as witness. I told him I thought she was able to act as a witness, but she would not be able to stand in the prayer circle. He said that would be all right, and he would call the rest of the family for the prayer circle. That was quite a thrill for us to have all of our family in the temple for our golden wedding."

Garth and Jean Forsyth and family

 [Jean attended the public reception Dec 22nd as Bonnie did not arrive until Dec 28th.] 

Neil and Chloe Forsyth

"Dec 22, We held our reception in the Stake House and had a very enjoyable time with a large crowd of relatives and friends. Scott was master of ceremonies, and everything went smoothly. Scott and Gladys left the next day for Claresholm to spend Christmas with her family. Mylo, Duane, Garth and Bryce and their families all went home after the reception. Ken and his family stayed till after Christmas, and the Horne family left for home the 28th, and went through to Salt Lake that day. The good Lord blessed us with good weather, and I thank Him that He has blessed me with such a wonderful family, and a wonderful wife. I want them all to know, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the important thing in life, and I pray continually that our posterity will continue to live and teach it.

"1962 – I started having a lot of pain in my head and neck. Dr. Spackman said it must be arthritis, and the best thing he gave me for it was aspirin. I stayed home all one week in Feb, but didn’t feel any better, so I started going to the temple again. As the weather warmed up I began to feel better and the more I worked the better I felt.

"April 19, I transplanted strawberries, planted potatoes, and by May 2 I had most of my garden in and the sweet peas were up doing fine. May 18, I set my tomato plants and onion sets out.

"July 6, it was nice weather for the rodeo. They had a very nice parade in the morning. Travis Smith had me ride one of his thoroughbred mares in the parade. The rodeo continued for a week, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of Cardston. My bro. Frank from Salt Lake spent 2 weeks with us and went home July 18.

"July 31, we had green corn out of our garden for dinner to-day. The first week in August, I got paint and gave our house its 3rd coat. I had asked a painter what it would cost to paint it. He gave me a price of $140 for paint and labor. I paid $17 for paint and painted it in less than two days.

Victor and Susan Hatch nee Lybbert

"Aug 11, Chloe and I went to Calgary with Victor and Susan Hatch to a barbeque supper at Etta Hatch Hurds, Etta’s bro, Fred Hatch from Ottowa was there. They are the children of Chloe and Victors oldest bro [Thomas Lafayette Hatch], who died of the flu in 1918. Aug 12, we went to church in Calgary in the morning then returned to Cardston that evening. Aug 21, Fred Hatch came to Victors and stayed overnight. The next morning we all went to Waterton for breakfast, then returned to Cardston.

"Aug 23, the Horne family came from Salt Lake for my 83rd birthday. Aug 24, we all went to Waterton for my birthday dinner. [** Ruth records they drove to Cardston August 13th for an early birthday party at Garth's farm in Kimball. Then we spent a day in Waterton, taking the boat to the head of the lakes, hiking and eating.] The Hornes went on to Calgary and we came home. They returned to Cardston Aug 25 and left for Salt Lake Aug 27.

"Aug 28, Mylo and Matilda brought her brother and family who are visiting from Port Arthur. They had dinner with us, then we all went to Garths. From there we went to Duanes in Welling and had supper. Then Mylo and his bunch went back to Calgary and Chloe and I returned home.

"Sep 27, I had most of my garden gathered. I had a big garden, and all who came wondered at there being no weeds. I told them that I never let the sun catch them up, I always got them before sunup!

"Oct 4, Chloe was quite bad and I called the doctor. He came and took her to the hospital. Oct 12, Chloe is showing no improvement, but she insisted on coming home so the doctor let me bring her. Oct 16, she was much worse, and I couldn't get her up for breakfast nor she couldn't eat in bed. I called the doctor. He came but said she was as well off here as in the hospital and he left her with me. I tried to find a woman to come and care for her. But could find no one. I stayed from the temple and I got her to eat some dinner. She continued to get weaker.

"Oct 19, 1962 – I had to carry her into the bathroom and bathe her and put on clean clothes and put her to bed. Garth and Jean came in and stayed all night. The next morning we took her to the hospital practically unconscious. She lay in a stupor all day. The next morning Victor [Hatch] and I administered to her, and she seemed to revive some, but was still in critical condition. Mylo, Matilda, Garth, Jean, and Duane were all here that night.

"Oct 21, Duane phoned Ruth in Salt Lake, Ruth phoned Scott in Moses Lake, and he phoned Ken in Seattle. Scott, Ken and Gladys all came to Cardston Oct 22 and stayed till Oct 25. As she seemed better they went home. Mylo and Matilda came from Calgary and stayed with her the night of Oct 27. I relieved them at 6 the next morning and they went home. She hardly slept or ate that day. Friends in town have been very good to come, so there has been one or two with her all the time since she went to the hospital this time. Garth stayed with her all night Oct 30, I always relieve the ones who stay overnight at 6 every morning. Her sister Mary Oviatt and her husband from Claresholm came and stayed Oct 31st till 3 PM Nov 1.

"Nov 2, I picked a nice dish of strawberries and again Nov 3, it was the warmest day on record in the province, it was 72 above.

"Nov 3, when I went to the hospital this morning to relieve Sis. Della Stewart, Chloe was out of bed wanting to get dressed to go home. I helped her back in bed, then let Della go home. A few minutes later she seemed to pass out, and I thought she was gone. I found she was still breathing, and I held her pulse till she came to. Her pulse was 45 to 50 for some time then it rose to 60. She was very bad all that day. The doctor says her heart is beyond repair and that she can’t last much longer.

"Nov 4, we arranged to take her home as she was pleading with me to take her. I could not find the woman I had arranged with to come take care of her, so Jean said they would take her out there and that Nisha [Necia] Bennett would come and help with her. We put her in Duane's big car and took her out there that night. She rallied some on the 5th. I kept in touch with them by phone. When I phoned at noon on the 6th, she was at the table eating and they handed her the phone. I talked with her and she talked quite cheerful. She was also in the kitchen for dinner on the 7th. About 3 PM she took a sudden turn for the worse. About 5 that evening Jean called me and said she was failing fast and wanted to come home. I got my brother John to take me in his big car. Victor and Susan went out in their car and we brought her in. Jean and Susan both stayed with her that night.

"Nov 8, Jack and Mary [Oviatt] came from Claresholm and Mary stayed with us until the end. I had the doctor come this morning, and he said she would not last many days. Florence Oviatt stayed with her that night. Mary and Jean sat with her the next night. Mylo and Bryce came from Calgary and stayed the next night. Duane and Verna came and spent the evening.

"Nov 8, 1962 – Ruth phoned from Salt Lake that evening and again the next morning, and suggested that she would come right up, but I felt it would be better for her to wait till I called her, as I didn't want her to see her mother in her present condition. The weather was fine and I was still picking strawberries and sweet peas off our vines.

"Nov 11, Chloe had a very restless night and all the next day. Johns wife Jennie and Sis. Bertha Gregson sat with her that night till 3 AM. I got up at 3 and called Mary and Jean to relieve Jennie and Bertha. Chloe was lying very quiet and I went back to bed. I got up at 6 and Mary said Chloe had never moved since they took over.

"Nov 13, when Mary, Susan and I kneeled for prayer at 7:00 AM I asked the Lord to relieve her of her suffering. About 10 to 8 I stood by her bed holding her hand, her pulse was very slow and weak. Susan was sitting there and I walked away. In about 5 minutes Susan said she was gone, I knelt by her bed and prayed for strength. All through her illness many people came, offering to help in any way they could, so we never lacked for help, day or night. She had passed peacefully away at 8 AM.

Death Certificate Chloe Roseltha Forsyth nee Hatch

Died: 13 November 1962 Carsdton, Alberta, Canada
Buried: 16 November 1962 Carsdton, Alberta, Canada

** Ruth records, "Nov 13th - My mother has been suffering from a stroke for about a month, and she passed away today. We made arrangements ... to attend Mother's funeral Nov 16th. She will long be remembered for her love and goodness to everyone she knew."

Grandpa Neil wrote, "Nov 14, Scott, Gladys and Cheryl came at 3 AM, Bob, Ruth, Diane and Danny arrived from Salt Lake at noon. Nov 15, Ken, June and Jill arrived from Seattle at 6 PM. Many called offering condolence and assistance in any way they could. Nov 16, Mylo, Bryce and their families came from Calgary, also Hugh and Lila Stanford, Charley and Della Timms all of Calgary. The Stake House was overflowing before 2 o’clock. 

Chloe Hatch Forsyth funeral program

Chloe looked as beautiful as she did the day we were married. She had a very pleasant, peaceful expression on her face. That was the way I wanted Ruth to see her, and not the look of misery before she had passed away."

I, Linda,* attended my grandmother's funeral. I was a bit puzzled that everyone was weeping and that they stood looking into the satiny smooth box [her casket]. I was very small for my age and eventually someone lifted me up for a turn to see what everyone else was looking at. I was disinterested in the person apparently sleeping there. It was not my grandmother.

My father asked if I knew that I would not be seeing her again. This also puzzled me. I thought I could see her moving about and standing in the same dignified quiet way she always had. (I realize now that dad meant I would not see her again in this life.)

Someday I know I will see her again.

I look forward to that day.

Grandpa's record continues, "Nov 17, the night of Nov 16 we got our first frost. The next morning I went out and picked some nice ripe strawberries, frozen hard. The Horne family was getting ready to leave for home so I gave the frozen berries to Ruth to show her Salt Lake friends what was picked in November in Cardston Alberta Canada. The house was desolate after everyone left. I just could not take it there alone. 

"Nov 19, I heard Chloe call my name in the night, as plain as I ever heard it. When I felt in the bed for her she wasn’t there. 

"Nov 21, I went to Claresholm and stayed with Oviatts overnight, and went on to Calgary the next day. I stayed with the boys till Nov 26, then returned to Cardston.

"Nov 30, I made plans to go to Vancouver Dec 7, and sent word to Ken that I would be in Seattle the next week, and to Scott that I would be in Moses Lake about Dec 15. I had told Ruth I would be in Salt Lake for Christmas.

"Dec 4, I went to the temple to the sealing session in the morning and to the 6 and 8 o’clock sessions that night. Dec 5, I woke about 3 AM with a pain in my right side, and I couldn’t go to sleep, so about 4:30 I got up and had a bath and shave and ate my breakfast, but I still had that pain. I went up to Hatchs and told them I did not feel like going to the temple, then I went for my mail and back home. I was feeling some better and fixed me some dinner, but got sick and had to go to the bathroom. About 3 PM I phoned Dr. Roy Spackman and he came and gave me an examination. Then he took me to the hospital, where Dr. Larsen gave me the once over. The last I remember the two doctors were standing by the door talking.

"Dec 6, about 5 in the morning, I awoke, rather dazed, not knowing where I was. I started to get out of bed and Susan Hatch grabbed me, and asked me what I wanted. I knew then I was in the hospital, I said I have to go to the bathroom, she said she would call a nurse, I said I didn’t want a nurse and out I went. When I came back, she told me I shouldn’t have done that, didn’t you know they operated on you last night? Dec 7, the doctor said they operated on me for appendicitis, but there was just a little dried up stuff there that caused inflammation of the bowels. Then I recalled when it broke in 1925 and Dr. Woolf took me to the hospital but I got better without an operation. **Duane cancelled my travel plans and notified Scott, Ken and Ruth.**

"Dec 15, Duane came and took me to Welling, I went to church with them the next day. Dec 17, Verna took me to Cardston, I went to a sealing session Tues. morning and to Patrarch Fishers funeral in the afternoon and an endowment session that night. I attended 4 sessions each day Dec 19 and 20.

"Dec 21, I had my phone cut off, my business all done and my house locked. Then Robert came and took me to Welling, in a blizzard. I had Duane make my plane reservation from Great Falls for the 22nd, when Duane and Verna drove me to Great Falls and I flew to Salt Lake. Ruth and the whole family met me in Salt Lake, we went to the airport café for supper, then on to their home.

"Dec 24, 1962 – We all went to Dick and Evelyn Hornes at Bountiful for dinner.

"Dec 25, I had Christmas dinner with Bob and Ruth and family. Then the whole Horne family went to Walter Hornes for the afternoon and evening, where they had a very good Christmas program.

"Dec 29, my grandson, David Horne, took me to Bountiful to spend the day with my sis. Florence Mercer. That evening Ruth came and took Florence and I into Salt Lake to attend a party at the Lion house, in honor of Mamie Weeks Wirthlin on her 80th birthday. I met my cousin Edna Snow Nielson and her husband Pete Nielson, Tirzah Hanson Eckersly, Frances Grundy Callahan, Chap Morrell and his wife Dora and several others.

"Dec 31, I visited Aunt Alice Swain* (Chloe's aunt) and Marion Grundy and his wife Lill Stringham Grundy. He is 88 and Lill 84. They reminded me that I was one of the witnesses who signed their marriage license in Loa, 56 years ago.

"Jan 1, 1963 – I spent the day with Florence and Ammon Mercer [Neil's younger sister] in Bountiful. In the next two weeks I partitioned off the Hornes middle bedroom, closed up the door opening to the kitchen and tore part of the kitchen cabinets out.

"Jan 8, to-night Bob, Ruth and 2 neighbors and I went to the temple in Logan. Bob and Ruth were witnesses at the altar and I worked at the veil that session.

"Jan 10, I went by bus to St. George. It was cold and stormy all the way. I got a boy with a car to take me to the temple cottages, but they were full, so I went to my cousins, Fern Musser, and stayed with them that night. The next day they helped me look for an apartment but found none. The next day I went to the temple, there I met my niece Tirzah Gardner Hendrix * and her husband. When we came out of the temple they took me to look for an apartment, but found none. Finally Jan 15, I found a Brother Stewart had an apartment I could rent. Mussers took me and my things there and I moved in."

The life story for Neil Snow Forsyth continues on an additional post.

* Linda Forsyth Ames daughter of Garth and Jean Forsyth

* Cousin Neil L. Forsyth, Mylo's son,  identified Charles according to "The John and Jennie Book, a Forsyth Family Record" published in 2003 by Zanthym House. Charles Heap Forsyth is the 3rd son and 5th child born 18 Nov 1915 at Magrath Alberta to John James and Jennie Heap Forsyth. John James in Grandpa Neil's younger brother who also immigrated to Magrath in 1904. Charles married Thea Bell Hudson 16 September 1941. They had two children, Danny and Sandra. Charles moved his family to Spokane in 1948 and became an iron worker in the region. Charles and Thea returned to Cardston regularly beginning in 1982, to do family history work as German name extraction workers. It appears that most of their grandchildren and families still live in the Spokane area ( as of 2003).

* Alice Ermina Pearce Swain (1885-1966), daughter of Sylvester Henry Pearce and Roseltha Melissa Reynolds, is a sister to Chloe's mother, Viola Melissa Pearce. Alice married Emanuel Swain 29 November 1905.

Orvill and Tirza Gardner Hendrix: Tirza (1904) is the daughter of Neil's older sister, Sarah Isabella Forsyth Gardner. Her husband, Orvil is the son of Edmund Allen Hendrix (1855). Tirza's younger sister, Alice Snow Gardner (1917) married Shirley W Hendrix (1917), the son of Orvil's brother Edmund Allen Hendrix (1882).

Roscoe S Musser, born 1884, married Leila Fern Seegmiller, born 1885 to Charles William Seegmiller and Mariamne/Minnie Forsyth - born 1848 to Thomas and Isabella (Donald) Forsyth. Minnie is Neil's father's younger sister.

** Grandpa Neil's own history, compiled and arranged in 1996 by his daughter, Ruth Forsyth Horne (Robert), from his many handwritten and typed journals, may be accessed at the LDS Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. You may need an LDS account and log in using your password to access it. We sincerely appreciate her work on these and other records as well as pictures she has shared. As much as possible she retained his spelling and punctuation.