Jetta Bunker Hepworth

I've been missing in action (sadly not because I have become the queen of decluttering) because a) I forgot that my book group was meeting this week because of Thanksgiving and so every spare minute has been spent reading and b) yesterday I was privileged to attend the funeral of my Grand Aunt Jetta (She also is my Great Grand Aunt because she is both my Grandfather's Sister-in-Law and my Grandmother's Aunt).

I've got to say that though it may seem a little odd, I really enjoy attending LDS funerals. They so often feel a little bit like attending the temple with all the things I learn/remember and the refocusing for the living on the eternal. My Aunt Jetta's funeral was no exception--even with my Uncles Joe and Johnny doing their very best to get me to laugh--tsk, tsk boys ;) She was such an exceptional woman who had a great life and left for us a great example. I didn't know her really myself but it was clear that she has had such a tremendous impact on so many of the people who have impacted my own life that I love her.

As it was a family funeral, there was also a wonderful opportunity to be able to chat with some family members that I don't see nearly as often as I would like. I also had the opportunity of meeting some family members that I have never met before such as my mom's Cousin-in-Law Matt (who convinced his wife to marry him despite referring to an early conversation as a nice father/daughter talk, comparing the softness of her lips to the nose of a horse (apparently a compliment), and asking/noting out loud after their very first kiss that she hadn't done much of that), and my Grandfather's Cousin Virginia. Much talk was done on the subject of a family reunion and I hope that we can do something to bring that about because it was really quite a bit of fun talking with everyone.

And, yes, because it was an LDS funeral there were funeral potatoes.

Love you Jetta.

Jetta Bunker Hepworth 1913 ~ 2009 On November 13, 2009, Jetta Bunker Hepworth died at the age of 96 of causes incident to age. She was born on June 19, 1913 in Delta, Utah to William Edward and Emma Iverson Bunker. She was the second youngest of eight children, four of whom died in infancy or childhood. She had a happy childhood in Delta with her sisters, Grace and Dorothy, and her brother Owen. In 1929, as a high school senior, Jetta was recommended for a job at a local bank, just months before the difficulties of the Great Depression began. As banks went into receivership, Jetta worked for the Utah state banking department in Payson. After a short time, Jetta moved to Richfield to continue her work in banking and mortgage insurance. Jetta looked back fondly on her time in Payson and Richfield, where she made the dearest friends of her life. Jetta found banking, then still a man's profession, to be a challenging and rewarding career. She moved to Salt Lake City, to work at Walker Bank where she became the first female bank teller in the state of Utah, and where she made many friends. In the summer of 1942, Jetta was introduced, by one of her Walker Bank friends, to James B Hepworth. Their love was instant and enduring. Just weeks after meeting they were separated by Jim's induction into the army. They were married on September 17, 1943, and were later sealed in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. World War II separated them again from 1944 to 1946. After the war, Jim became a professor at the University of Utah, and Jetta devoted her life to him, their two daughters, her church, and her community. She served in the stake Primary presidency, as Relief Society president, as a member of both the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and the Utah Federation of Women's Clubs, as a delegate to the Salt Lake Council of Women, and as President of the University of Utah Women's Club. Together, Jim and Jetta shared their love of world travel but also spent many happy summers closer to home with family and friends at Fish Lake. Jetta was a life-long learner who valued education and the arts. She did beautiful handwork. She got her first computer at age 79 so that she could do genealogical work and was still reading voraciously in the last weeks of her life. In 1993, Jetta was preceded in death by Jim. She missed him more every day and looked forward to being with him again. She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law Kathryn (Matt) Ramirez and Jill (Jeff) Christensen, by four grandchildren, James Ramirez, Brooke Ramirez, Nate Christensen, and Tom Christensen, by a dear cousin Pearl Nelson, by her brother-and sister-in-law Jack and Caryl Hepworth, and by many beloved nieces, nephews, and other extended family members. She will be deeply missed but we know that she has had a joyous reunion with her loved ones, and are comforted by the promise she made to us: "I'll be there for you again." Funeral services for Jetta will be held on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. at the Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 East 1300 South, SLC, where family and friends may call Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. and on Wednesday morning from 11:45 to 12:45 p.m. prior to services. Interment: Bountiful City Cemetery, 2020 South 200 West, Bountiful, UT. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jetta's memory may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at www.cff.org or to the Pioneer Memorial Theater, 1400 East 300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112. Please send condolences to the family at www.larkinmortuary.co


Angee said...

What a great post! Won't it be so wonderful to be in Heaven with all our family! :) Sorry my dad was trying to make you laugh. He's so silly.

Jenny said...

I love her name!
And her hairdo in that first picture.

N.F. said...

My cousin's daughter is a Hepworth.......wonder if there's a distant relation?

Yankee Girl said...

N.F. I bet there is.