My Mother was a Nurse, Her Father was a Dentist

Many years ago, my mother's sister Marilyn let me photograph the pages of her father's missionary journal.

My grandfather's name was Thomas William Innes.  In 1906 he served a mission for the Restored Church in Ireland.

After just a few months in Belfast, he was transferred to Newtownards, known simply as the Ards.  He called it "N. A." in his journal.  You can see that his writing was crisp and clean, evidence of the quality of education he received growing up in Paris, Idaho.

Over the years, Aunt Marilyn did her best to share pictures with me.  When she could, she added labels.

After his mission, Grandfather Innes attended dental school at George Washington University in Washington D. C.  He is shown here second from the left with fellow dental students.

He graduated in 1912 and opened a practice in Garland, Utah.

There, he met my grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Grover.  Aunt Marilyn accurately summed their courtship in her caption.  Grandma Mary was a secretary and worked for the Sugar Company in Garland.  Her father helped settle the town many years earlier.

At some point before their engagement, Mary spent a few weeks in Salt Lake City.  Tom wrote her a very poignant love letter.  My heart melted;  I'm sure hers did, also.  They married in August of 1912 in the Salt Lake Temple.


My mother was the third child born to my grandparents.  Today, I scanned in her blessing certificate.  How fun it was to hold a document almost a century old.

She was baptized when she was eight.

Mom, center, grew up with siblings and cousins.  While transcribing her father's missionary journal last week, I looked for her home and found it on Google Maps.

Mom graduated from Bear River High School in 1936.

She also graduated from seminary.

In my files were photographs of some letters Grandfather wrote Grandma Mary in 1937.  I can tell that I photographed these letters, certainly from Aunt Marilyn's files.  This appears to have happened just before a move in 2003, and I completely forgot about them.  Fortunately, I came across the digital files this past week.  It seems that Grandma Mary had surgery in Salt Lake.  Grandfather clearly missed her.

With Aunt Bobbie's help (she would have still been in high school), Grandfather cared for Reid and Marilyn, who were in elementary school.  Notice the last sentence, which indicates that Grandfather felt it sufficient to feed them Campbell's soup for lunch.

By 1937, Mom was a nursing student at the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City.  I was always very proud that my mother was a nurse.  In turn, she was always proud of her father.  When I'd ask her to tell me about him, she'd say.  "Dad was a dentist," and then the soup would need stirring or the phone would ring, and that was as far as we ever got.  I never knew him -- he died in 1942.  For the record, that was more than a decade before I was born.

I was pleased to come across these documents this morning.  Mom kept them throughout her life.

Mom's nursing diploma came with this embossed leather cover.

Mom kept her nursing cap clean and starched.  Even today, it appears pristine.

Mom married Dad in 1940, after her graduation from nursing.  There's way more to that story.  Ask me later.

The newspaper used this photograph for the marriage announcement.

Mom worked off and on for pay as a nurse after her marriage.  Mostly, however, she worked as a volunteer for the Red Cross.

For twenty-five years she volunteered as a nurse at State Hospital South in Blackfoot, the mental hospital for southeastern Idaho.  The first few years of her service there began while our family lived in Idaho Falls, and she drove to Blackfoot to help.

I learned more about service from watching my mother than I did from any church meeting.  Mom loved people. She helped everyone.  Sometimes, she even got me to help.

The last enveloped I opened today contained this note from Dad.  I knew I had these documents, but I had forgotten he had given them to me.  Treasures, for sure.

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