Betty Whitehead Staples "Life-Long Learner"
Our beautiful mother, Betty W. Staples, 81, adored grandmother, sister and friend, passed peacefully on Saturday, June 11, 2011. With children gathered round, she was re-united with her loving husband, parents and grandson in their heavenly home.Her dance of life began March 1, 1930 when she was born pre-mature at the L.D.S. Hospital in S.L.C., UT. She is the daughter of Richard Owen Whitehead and Emma Pearl Olpin. Momma lived a lot of places as a girl and spoke of the wintery times in Nevada, when in horse-drawn wagon, she would ride to school. Her love for learning began with the many books she would read around the fire. She found her heart in the gospel and her security in education. Evenings were spent around the radio listening to Lux Radio Theater, Jack Benny, Bob Hope and Jack Armstrong. She loved it when her Daddy would play his guitar and sing. Her parents owned a piano before they had electricity. She learned to play and later shared the gift of music with her children. Her high school years were spent with activities; track, basketball, plays, newspaper, yearbook, dance committees, piano lesson and playing the trumpet in the Pleasant Grove Marching Band. She graduated Valedictorian of her class. Uncle Ray Olpin took her under his wing as she took her next steps attending the University of Utah on scholarship. She played the trumpet in the marching band at the U of U football games. She chose to go on a mission for the LDS church. She served in the Western Canadian Mission for two years. After her release, she met Dad in a religion class at the BYU and married on March 4, 1954 in the Salt Lake Temple. Over the next 12 years she had nine children, seven sons and two daughters. She finished her college education at BYU doing night classes until she graduated with her Bachelor's Degree, Phi Cappa Phi, in 1967. She taught school for 23 years at Whittier and Truman Elementary schools. After retiring, she and dad served missions in the San Jose California, Jordan River Temple and the Toronto Canada Temple. She dedicated much of her time in service to the community and held many callings in the church. Her testimony of Jesus Christ was strong and is held as a beacon of light to her family. Dad would call her "an elect lady and her worth far above rubies". Thanks for your quick sense of humor, the half glasses of milk, and songs around the ol' piano, the poems, all the giggles and bed-side prayers. We love you and miss you as your dance continues in heaven. Survived by her children: Mark (Jana), Scott (Susan), Brent (Debbie), Jonathon (Denice), Deborah (Kevin), Lisa, Ben (Brenda), Paul (Corin), Richard (Jennifer) and her 40 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and four on the way; her siblings, Richard Whitehead (Elaine), Steve Whitehead (Betty), JoAnne Brady (Ross). She was preceded in death by her parents, Owen and Pearl; her husband, Mark and grandson, Jackson. We appreciate the love and care received at Legacy Retirement, Access Hospice and Our House Assisted Living. Funeral services will be held Friday, June 17, 2011, 11:00 a.m., at the Taylorsville Utah Central Stake Center, 4950 South 1950 West, Taylorsville, UT. A viewing will be held Thursday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 South Redwood Road and Friday at the church, 9:30-10:30 a.m. prior to services. Interment, Valley View Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Perpetual Education Fund.