Edna Tanner Romer

Edna Tanner Romer was born in Grouse Creek Utah on January 6, 1920 and was the third child of David Ralph Tanner and Edith Chloe Kimber Tanner.  Her siblings were: Therma, Florence, Berniece, Dean and Deloy.  She spent her time between Grouse Creek and Etna and attended school in Grouse Creek through the eighth grade when her folks moved the family to Brigham City so her two older sisters could finish high school. She was her dad’s tom-boy helper until her brother Dean got old enough to do things with his dad.  Dean was 9 years younger than Edna so she helped her dad for quite a few years.  She loved to climb the poplar trees at the ranch in Etna where she could hide and not be bothered by her folks or by her two older sisters.  She remembers going fencing with her dad and she participated in some of the chores associated with haying such as running the derrick cart and turning the grinder while her dad sharpened the mower knifes.
Edna remembers being a loner most of her life.  The only two classmates she can remember at Grouse Creek were her cousins, Mary Roberts and Elwood Wakefield.   She graduated from Box Elder High School in 1937.   Even in High School, she only made one friend and she didn’t do much with her.  She can’t even remember the girls name since she died shortly after high school graduation.  Edna does remember attending high school with Opal Miller and her sister.  Opal later became Edna’s aunt by marrying Oren Kimber.  Opal was a couple of years older than Edna in school but her sister was the same age.  After graduation, she stayed at home and took care of the house and cooked meals and did laundry for the boarders her folks had living with them at that time.  They were Rulon Kimber, Charles Jr Kimber, Ronald Ballingham and Kendall Kimber who were all finishing high school.  All of these boys were related to her.  Charles (Junior) was her uncle, Rulon was a first cousin, Kendall was a 2nd cousin and Ronald was a distant cousin (later to become a first cousin by marrying Effie Kimber.)

Her first job outside the home was working in the kitchen at the Idle Isle Café in Brigham City.   Shortly thereafter, she went to work at Hill AFB south of Ogden where she worked for about one year.  She then got a job as Secretary for the County Agent in Brigham City where she worked until shortly after she was married in 1957.  At that job she served three different county agents. For several years she had three bosses, Robert Stewart, the county agent, his assistant, Vernal Willie (who was later her stake president) and Bessie Hansen, the home economist.  The second county agent was Anson Call who took over when Stewart retired. Bessie Hansen remained as home economist but Edna can’t remember whether Willie remained or retired.  The third county agent was Fullmer Allred who lived in the same ward as Edna.  Bessie Hansen was there all the while Edna worked there.  Edna was deeply appreciated by all those she worked with.   As a side note, her brother, Deloy,  would bring his high school writing assignments to her to type and correct grammar and spelling before he turned them into his teachers.  She lived with her mom and dad during almost all of this time.

While she was working as a secretary to the County Agent, she was also secretary to the Wellsville Mountain Project Association which met once a year but had to have announcements, schedules, meeting agendas and results typed up during the year.  She did this all the while she was secretary to the County Agent and up until 1990.  She was induced to do this by her boss, Robert Stewart who was the president of this association at the time she started.

She married William Romer of Brigham City on June 14, 1957.  Bill had an adopted son, Don, who was sealed to Edna and Bill at the time they were married.  Bill had two children with his first wife, one girl Elaine and one boy Rod.  Elaine lived with her mother and her second husband while Rod lived with Bill and Edna for two years after they were married.  He then went to live with his mother and sister.  The two infrequently visited their dad, Bill.

On July 31, 1959, Edna and Bill were blessed with their only child, Sheryl Ann.

After marriage, Edna spent most of her time helping Bill remodel or build their homes, raising Don and Sheryl, taking care of her garden, tending other kids and doing her church duties.  Besides being a baby sitter, mother, homemaker and wife, Edna acted as Bill’s private secretary by keeping his books on his contracting business, going to the bank, paying bills and doing his tax returns.

Her son, Don, got married and he and his wife Pat had two children, Rocelle and Brandon.  Edna spent much of her weekends taking care of these two grandchildren.   Later, Brandon stayed with them while he attended Jr. High School.  When he started High School, he went to live with his mother, Pat.  After two years at Ogden High School, Brandon returned to stay with Edna & Bill for a couple of years or more.  He was the apple of his grandfather’s eye and went with Bill everywhere.

During this same time period, Sheryl got married and had her daughter Jennifer.  Sheryl and her husband lived with Edna and Bill until Jennifer was born and then got an apartment of their own.  Sheryl went to work and Edna tended Jennifer for several years.  Edna was taking care of Jennifer and was also taking care of her mother during the day.  Jennifer loved to tease her Grandma Tanner and when she died, Jennifer wondered when she was coming back.  She was only around 5 years old then.

Jennifer still thinks of Edna as her mother and calls her quite frequently from her home in Las Vegas where she lives with her husband and children.  (Note: Since this was written, Jennifer and her family have moved from Las Vegas to Ogden.)

From the time she was out of high school, Edna was asked to teach the 3 and 4 year olds in Sunday School.  As they changed wards, she was always asked to do the same job.  She did this up until the time the Bishop got a promise from Bill to attend church if Edna could go with him.  The bishop released Edna from her teaching position for this purpose.

Edna’s three sisters were all married by 1942 and so she had to contend with her two Brothers, Dean and Deloy, until Dean got married in 1951 and then she was stuck with only her baby brother, Deloy.  During all this time, Edna worked for the County Extension Service until she got married in 1957.  Also, during this time, her life was work, help around the house and teach Sunday School.  The only social life she had was an occasional movie or dinner at the Idle Isle with her brother.  She did have an occasional date but nothing serious until she met Bill.  She was 37 when they got married, an age when most women have had all the kids they are going to have and Edna was just starting to be a mother.  She was 39 when Sheryl was born.

Edna remembers many sad days connected with the death of people that were close to her.   She remembers being very sad when Berniece had her first child and he died at birth.  Berniece and her husband Clifford were living in Arizona since Cliff was in the Army Air Corps and it was during WWII.  They brought the baby home to Brigham City for burial and Edna returned with Berniece to Arizona to help her for a couple of weeks to adjust to the baby’s death.  Edna was always doing things for other people.

Her mother was staying with her during the day before she passed away.  Dean and Berniece were there when their mother died since they all knew it was getting close to time.  Her mom asked for a drink of water and when Edna brought it, a small amount spilled and her mom exclaimed that “she didn’t need to drowned her.”  Her mother then closed her eyes and passed away very peacefully.  It was so peaceful that Dean got a mirror to test her for breath to make sure she wasn’t just sleeping.  This was in January, 1981.

Her husband, Bill, was sick for quite a while before he passed away and thus Edna spent a great deal of time taking care of him.  He and Berniece’s husband, Clifford, were approximately the same age and passed away the same year.  This was in 2002.  Prior to that, in August of 1985, Edna’s brother, Dean, passed away after suffering his second heart attack.   She had lost her dad in November, 1967 from complications of old age.

Since her husband’s death, she has lost her son, Don, her step-son, Rod, her sister Berniece and her sister Therma.  At this date, March 2007, she has two living siblings, Florence and Deloy, her daughter, Sheryl, 4 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. (Note: Since this writing, Florence passed away in February 2008.)

Edna lives by herself (most of the time) in the house she and Bill built on 1st West in Brigham City.  Because of arthritis in her hands, she is somewhat handicapped from doing too much.  She does take care of herself, her house and with a little help, her garden.  She does have guests consisting of some of her grandchildren and their kids.  These guests will stay for just a few hours to several weeks depending on their needs at the time.  Her daughter, Sheryl lives in Roy and does come and visit her at times.  She usually brings her daughter, Shayla, with her and comes in the evening and stays till early morning (1 or 2 am.)  Edna does not have a car or a driver’s license, so she is dependent on others for transportation except she does walk to the grocery store and to church.  She has a cheerful attitude and does what she can for others.  She visits on the telephone with both her sister, Florence, and her brother, Deloy.  When she can get transportation, she even visits with Florence personally.  She sees her brother on occasion (mostly for funerals.)  On the occasion of Therma’s 91st birthday, Deloy came to Brigham and they went to visit Therma in Ogden.  This was also the day Therma died.  Thus, she got to say goodbye to her sister even though Therma was unconscious at the time.  At times, Edna says she thinks she will live to be 100 years old.  I think she will if she stays as active as she is now.  Her Grandson, Brandon, has been staying with her for several months now (8/20/2008) and is suppose to be leaving for a job in Arizona.  He is a heavy equipment operator and thus it is either feast or famine with his work.  He stays there with his three kids and sometimes their mother.  It is a lot of work for Edna but at times I think she enjoys it and misses them when they are not there.

As told to Deloy Tanner