A retired teacher and one of Utah's oldest citizens, Lettie Critchlow Bickmore, 105, died of causes incident to age Thursday, April 18, 1991 in Ogden. She was a former resident of Paradise and Logan.
A talented musician and inspiring teacher, Mrs. Bickmore was born on December 21, 1885 in Hyrum, Utah, while her mother was on the Mormon "underground." As a young child, she moved with her mother, Elizabeth Critchlow, to Star Valley, Wyoming. In the early 1890's her father, Benjamin C. Critchlow, moved the family to Hyrum, Utah, where she spent the rest of her childhood years. She attended schools in Hyrum and was a church organist at the age of eight and a popular pianist in the community. To save money for her education, she took a job as one of the early night telephone operators in Hyrum.After graduating from Brigham Young College in Logan, she taught in one-room schools in Mount Sterling and Cornish, teaching six grades in one room--heated by a wood-burning stove that required frequent attention during the severe winters. She later taught in elementary schools in Hyrum and Paradise and in the Brigham Young College training school.
In October of 1907, she married Alf Emil Sorensen in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. She supported him by teaching while he filled an LDS mission to Norway. he died in 1911, leaving her with an infant daughter to support. She went back to teaching and began to further her education by summer studies at the University of Utah, Utah State University and the University of California at Berkeley.
Always a person who helped others in need, she nursed several families in Logan during the influenza epidemic of 1919, since she had had the disease in childhood and was immune. In 1922, she married Danford M. Bickmore, a widower with eight children, and moved to a farm in Paradise. There she reared these children and three children born to her on the farm, while taking an active role in community affairs and in the LDS Church.
Because of the wartime teacher shortage, she returned to teaching in 1941 in Paradise elementary school, continuing until 1951. Many of her former students over her long teaching career are regularly in touch with her and acknowledge her strong influence on their lives. An avid reader, she enjoyed history, biography and good literature and stimulated her students and her children to enjoy reading. Her husband, who was president of the Hyrum LDS Stake for many years, died in 1962, ten years after they moved to Logan. She lived there until moving to Ogden in 1985.
She has seven living children: Mrs. Robert (Ann) Lepper, Sacramento, Calif.; Mrs. leslie M. (Edna) Bartlett, Lakeside, Mont.; Mrs. Wallace J. (Alfarette) Liddle, Victorville, Calif.; Vaughan S. Bickmore, Brigham City; Mrs. Sterling D. (Barbara) Sessions, Ogden and Carmel Valley, Calif.; Mrs. John Stephen (Jean) White, Farmington; and Danford C. Bickmore, Bell Canyon, Calif.; also 40 grandchildren and numerous great and great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Martha; and five sons, David, Rulon, Lee, LeRoy, and Raymond.
Funeral services will be held 12 noon, Tuesday, April 23, in the Paradise Ward Chapel. Friends may call Monday, from 6-8 p.m. at the Allen-Hall Mortuary, 34 East Center Street, Logan, and one hour before the services at the Paradise Chapel. Burial will be in the Hyrum City Cemetery.
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