Eula Kimber

On January 2, 1921 about 12:30 a.m. in Etna, Utah, at what was called the “Morris Place” or ranch, the first child, a daughter, was born to Bertha Taylor Kimber and Joseph A. Kimber. Mrs. Ellen Blanthorn, a trained midwife was present to assist with the birth. My father blessed me and gave me the name of Eula Kimber on March 6, 1921.

I have two brothers and one sister. Viril J. was born on March 5, 1922, Lela Jane on May 7, 1928, and Irvin Gerald on December 16, 1932.

According to Mother, I was quite a challenge as a child. Some of my antics were climbing and walking the picket fence, breaking eggs, and playing in a ditch of water in January. Kendall, Viril, Barbara, Velma and I were always getting into mischief of some kind when we lived at the Kimber Ranch.

I remember some Indians coming to the ranch one day. We five, being typical children, were very curious about them. They had their camp south of the ranch just outside the fence. They traded Mother some pine nuts for some garden vegetables. One of the Indian women spit on the nuts as she handed them to Mother so Mother threw them away. We children watched the Indian women prepare the vegetables. They didn’t wash, peel, or take off the skins or carrot tops. They just put them in their pot on the open fire. I thought it was a very dirty process, especially when there was a stream of water close by.

Dad, Mother, Viril and I moved to Salt Lake City in the fall of 1926. Dad had secured a job there. We lived at 1717 Atkin Ave. I attended Kindergarten and two and one half months of first grade at Highland Elementary School. I really liked school except for the lunch break when the teacher insisted I drink milk. I remember crying about it. I hated drinking milk and I still don’t like to drink milk. The teacher finally let me have some juice to drink.

We moved back to Grouse Creek in November 1927. We moved into the front two rooms of a log home with Grandpa William Kimber. Grandpa lived in the two back rooms. David Paskett purchased the property some time after we had moved into another home. He tore it down and used the logs to build corrals, etc.

I reentered the first grade in the Grouse Creek School. Mrs. Thelma Kotter was my teacher. Recess was our P.E. period. We played several marble games, hop scotch, jumping rope, jacks, softball and anti-I-over. During the winter months we played Dog and Deer, Fox and Geese, and had snowball fights behind snow forts. The cement sidewalks were on the school grounds, but there were no lawns. At times the school grounds were very muddy.

I graduated from the tenth grade in 1937. Mr. Clyde Morris was my teacher. He started us having the “Sophomore Swing.”  Our theme was “Red Sails in the Sunset.”  Mrs. Morris helped us decorate the Grouse Creek Ward hall.

We young people grew up dancing. In the early years it was “kid dances” and later adult dances. We also had lots of parties in our homes. We made our own refreshments, mostly ice cream, candy or punch with cookies or cake.

We played lots of games outside, Flying Dutchman, Hide and Go See, Two Deep, Run Sheep Run, etc. Inside we played, How Do You Like Your Neighbor, Cootie, Wink, Musical Chairs, etc.

In September 1937 I enrolled at Box Elder High School and graduated in May 1939. While attending high school, I worked for my board and room for Jim and Virginia Barker. The Board of Education gave us students of Western Box Elder $5.00 a month to help us attend high school.

Money and jobs were hard to come by in 1939, so I did some housework for Mrs. Earl in Brigham City for $5.00 a week. In about a month later Alex’s Café advertised an opening for a waitress at $7.00 a week. I applied and got the job.

While working at Alex’s Café, World War II started. Most of the fellows from Grouse Creek and other places were being drafted or else they enlisted in one of the services, Army, Air Corps, Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard.

After working at Alex’s Café for about one and one half years, I worked at several jobs. I moved to Ogden and helped a Mrs. Wheeler with her catering business, moved to Salt Lake and worked as a clerk in Grant’s Novelty Store, worked as a bookkeeper for a linoleum company and as a typist for Salt Lake Abstract Co. in the City and County building. As a typist I made $50.00 a month. We considered this to be a good wage at that time.

After counseling with Mother and Dad I finally decided to join the Navy as a WAVE. I enlisted on June 1, 1944 and went into active duty on July 10, 1944. I’ve often wondered how I had the courage to go alone into this venture.

I boarded the train in Lucin, Utah and traveled to New York City where I received six weeks Boot Training at Hunter College. From Hunter I traveled by train to Cedar Falls, Iowa for three months training as a Yeoman at Iowa State Teacher’s College. In November 1944 I reported for duty at the 11th Naval District, San Diego, California. I was assigned to North Island Naval Air Station, BOQ, Bachelor Officer Quarters, first as a cashier in the Officer’s Mess Hall and later to be a room clerk to register the officers into their quarters while they stayed on the Air Base. I was honorably discharged on April 10, 1946.

Lyman E. Kimber and I were married on June 3, 1946 in the Salt Lake Temple. Lyman was teaching school in Grouse Creek, so we bought the Roy Frost home and we came back to Grouse Creek to live. In 1948, we decided to use our G.I. Bill and go to Utah State and get our college education.

To help with expenses Lyman, Foster B. Allen, and I started a small orchestra to play in various wards around Logan and vicinity. I had bought a saxophone and taken some lessons while in the Navy. I really wasn’t all that good, but it was fun playing with Lyman and Foster.

We graduated in June 1952 with our B.S. degrees in Education. Lyman had enough G.I. Bill to go on and get his Master’s degree, so I secured a teaching job with the Cache County Board of Education to teach first grade in the Providence Elementary School.

After Lyman received his Master’s degree in 1953, we were interviewed and hired to teach school in Grouse Creek. I taught the first grade through the fourth. Later Kindergarten was added to my teaching load. Lyman taught the fifth grade through the tenth and was Principal. We taught in Grouse Creek until we retired in May 1981. We thoroughly enjoyed the students and made many friends throughout the Box Elder County District and the State.

We participated in many school activities, Principal workshops, Sophomore Swings, track meets, Easter hikes, field trips, parties, Christmas plays, sleigh rides, ball games, and many programs in the old church building.

We both have been involved with the LDS church activities. Mine included Primary Counselor, Primary teacher, Sunday School teacher and secretary, MIA Maid Leader both ward and stake, Ward Camp Director, Relief Society Counselor and Stake Relief Society Board Member.

On August 14, 1971 I was chosen as the Stake Honorary Golden Gleaner and Lyman was chosen as the Stake Honorary Master M-Man. We were privileged to attend the last M-Men and Golden Gleaner banquet held in Salt Lake City in June 1972. We sat at the same table with Elder and Sister Boyd K. Packer.

In about 1982 a former WAVE, Virginia Glodowski had located several former WAVES here in Utah. She asked us to meet together and share our experiences at the Chuck-A-Rama restaurant in Salt Lake. Later we became Unit 93, WAVES of the Wasatch, a unit of the WAVES National Organization. I was elected by our group to be the State Director for two years 1992-1994. Then I was elected to be President for two terms, 1994-1998.

Wynn Covieo asked me to give a five minute talk about my Navy experiences at a special program honoring Utah Veterans at Weber State College on August 13, 1995. It was frightening but a challenge to speak to that many people. It was a special treat to be seated on the stand next to Elder and Sister Faust.

I appreciate the many wonderful experiences and opportunities to make many special friends. I’m grateful for the talents that I’ve been able to develop and the opportunity to use them to help others in any way that I could.

Eula passed away on December 16, 2014 after a short illness. Her funeral was held in Grouse Creek on December 27, 2014 and she is buried next to Lyman in the Grouse Creek Cemetery.