Memories of Mom — Remembering Grandma Snow

From the history of my grandmother, Maurine R. Westover, comes these videos sharing a little of what life was like as her mother got ill and had to rely on some direction from Grandma Snow. The 2nd video in particular gives a glimpse into the life and personality of her Grandma Snow (Mary Nielsen Snow).

Even though this video was put together more than 30 years ago I think it appropriate to post it as part of our Memories of Mom series. In reality, these give us a little information about the lives of three women — Mary Nielsen Snow, Muriel Snow Riggs and Maurine Riggs Westover — grandmother, mother and daughter. This first video discusses the situation and what happened:

In this extended video we hear about Grandma Snow in particular. There are some tragic details as well as a humorous twist at the end that showcases some of the best of what I remember my Grandma’s personality being. Hearing her laugh again is a warm memory for me. Seeing this now is like having another visit with her…

The faint voice you hear in this video asking questions is my father, Kyle J. Westover. This video was recorded around 1985-86.

Tomorrow, continuing our series, we hear much more about Grandma Riggs, Muriel Snow Riggs, from my Aunt Evie, who recorded these memories just the other day. It too is a delight to hear.

Memories of Mom — Nobody Outguns Grandma

Mary Ann Smith

Mary Ann Smith

Here’s a great story of Grandma Westover, wife of Arnold and grandma to bunches, including Barta Westover, who shares this story originally told to her, I believe, by her dad, Darrell.

Mary Ann Smith Westover was one of our first truly great family historians. The photos that make up the Sam Westover Collection in the photo area of this site are mostly from Grandma Westover, who kept outstanding records and who faithfully completed a lot of family temple work.

Grandma Westover penned her own history. It begins, “I was born at Victor, Idaho, July 12 1896. Here I spent my childhood on my father’s ranch, three miles from town. Here I went through the grade schools. I played on the basketball team and we played against the neighboring schools. I also played baseball. In 1910 I went to Rexburg to a county fair where I had met Arnold Westover the year before. I was living in Victor when the train first came there about 1913. We used to go sleigh riding and coasting. We would go on horses up into the mountains to pick huckleberries. I was married to Arnold Westover, September 19th 1914 at Rexburg, by Bishop Henry Flamm. Here we made our home, living in the old homestead of Arnold’s father. In 1915, June 9, we went to the Salt Lake Temple and were sealed for time and all eternity. Here at Rexburg, our nine children were born….”

The photo above this post is a picture of Mary Ann around 1914, with a cousin who sits on the horse.

I’ve heard a lot of stories about Grandma Westover, though she passed in 1959, well before my time. Without exception, she has been described to me as a very strong personality. She raised 9 children, 7 of them boys! And all of them exceptional people. I love this story of Grandma not only excelling in the manly art of firearms — but humbling those who questioned her abilities:

Grandma Westover with 2 of her grandchildren, Kirk on the left and Barta on the  right.

Grandma Westover with 2 of her grandchildren, Kirk on the left and Barta on the right.

We have not yet worked up our own profile yet of Grandma Westover but you can access more information about her at FamilySearch. She is, of course, our link to a prolific Smith line that provides its own pioneer stories of faith. Her story and the stories of her ancestors are ones we are anxious to learn and share.

Memories of Mom — Christina Westover talks of Her Mom, Julia

We begin a series this week we call “Memories of Mom”, which are brief audio clips of loved ones telling a story about their mothers. Not only does this make for great family history but it also gives us a chance to hear from more voices in the family.

First up is cousin Christina Westover who shares a great experience with her Mom, Julia Westover.

Those of us who have been privileged to get to know Julia love her spunk and feisty nature. This is one Southern lady who doesn’t shy away from anything and who squeezes every moment of life for meaning. So Christina’s story here comes as no surprise.

I love to see when Keith or Julia or one their children post up new pictures. You can tell they genuinely enjoy each other’s company and are close to each other in ways that some families never achieve. There’s no doubting Julia’s part in all that. Take a listen

Thank you, Christina for sharing this great story of your Mom.

We have a few more stories lined up to share but we can always use more. If you’d like to participate in our Memories of Mom series you can simply make a voice recording on your smartphone and email it to me or get hold of me and we’ll arrange a call-in where we will record your story. We’ll take written submissions too but as you can hear from Christina’s story I think telling what you have to share really gives a greater contribution to the archives.

The Spirit of Receiving

As my Dad has labored this past year on the history of his Mother, Maurine R. Westover, I have been sitting on this video just waiting to share it now — at Christmastime. Many of you have seen these before and may, in fact, have it in your possession. But many others have not seen it. It is as timely now as when Grandma recorded it 29 years ago.

As I understand the story, even though she was very ill at this time (and I think the video makes this somewhat apparent), Grandma was asked to give the main talk in Church the Sunday before Christmas. Of course, she was in no condition to be there but Dad would video tape her message and they would playback the video for her ward during the meeting.

Watching this video brings a variety of emotions to me. Seeing Grandma, no matter her age, brings back a flood of memories. Hearing her voice and seeing her in her home always makes me remember times from my childhood. But there are other elements in this video that get to me now. The afghan in her lap was made by my mother. I’d know her work anywhere. The chair grandma is sitting in, the way she and Grandpa would decorate the Christmas tree — it all comes back even though the image is simple.

But best of all is the message of Christmas. It was never really elaborate at Grandma and Grandpa’s for Christmas. But I loved it there at that time of the year because it was always filled with conversation accented by laughter and memories. Tears were sometimes shed but only because people were fondly remembered and missed.

Please share this video with your family with our best wishes here at Westover Family History for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year:

Loris Westover Recalls His Military Experiences — Part 3

The final installment of this audio from Loris Westover.


Hear part one at this link
Hear part two at this link