Winifred Annie Keith was born at the home of her grandparents in Newhall, Derbeyshire, England, on October 22, 1897. Her grandmother took care of her while her mother worked as a maid in Scotland. Her grandmother died when she was two years old and was then raised by her grandfather, who she always called “Dad.”
Her aunt and uncle were living in the home after her grandmother died and her aunt was always nice to her but her uncle didn’t want anything to do with her and was very mean and rude to her. As an example, one Christmas she was excited about having a stocking, the first time she ever remembers having Christmas, but when she looked in the stocking, her uncle had put in a box of nails. She was terribly disappointed. As a result of various incidents like this she always said she had a very unhappy childhood.
She started school when she was four years old. The Newhall elementary school was the only school she ever attended. The only real friends she had were two sisters who lived across the street from her and a girl by the name of Mary Bagnall who was the only one she was real close with. When she went to play with her, her mother would always make her feel welcome.
She lived in Newhall, Derbyshire until she was thirteen years old. She quit school after completing elementary school and started an apprenticeship at a millinery shop in Burton-on-Trent, and commuted every day on a bus from Newhall to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire.
After about two years of apprenticeship, she got bored making hats and decided to quit. She would much rather have been down in the store selling the hats and meeting people instead of upstairs making them, so she struck out on her own and went to Nottingham in Nottinghamshire. She got a job in a large department store as a sales clerk and liked it much better. The name of the store was Pinders Limited and they had facilities upstairs for clerks to room and board if they so desired. It was at this store that she met a girl by the name of Daisy Hall, who became her lifelong friend.
Daisy was a member of the LDS church, but Winifred says she liked her anyway. Winn had been baptized into the Methodist church when she was born and later was confirmed into the church of England. There were so many bad and untrue stories circulating about the Mormons that she was skeptical about the Church at that time.
Winn’s mother lived away from her all her life. They would see each other only a short time during the summer between jobs. Her mother worked as a maid for Lords and Ladies. She was higher than a maid but would work at one castle or mansion for just a year, quit and spend two weeks with Winn then get another position at another castle or mansion for another year.
It was during these two week vacations that her mother took her to various places. Once she took her to London where she saw the Crown Jewels and various other attractions. Once also she took her to France where they visited her grandfather’s sister. During these times they were together, her mother never showed her any affection.
Her mother remarried when Winn was fourteen or fifteen years old. They had two children from their marriage and after they married, they moved to live in Hertfordshire and this ended the summer visits.
During the time she worked at Pinders, she and Daisy Hall would spend a lot of time together. Winn often went to the LDS branch with her but she didn’t want anything to do with it.
When the Hall’s decided to move to America, Mr. Hall had enough money to pay for all of his family except Daisy. The Mission President, John D. Hooper, who the town of Hooper, Utah is named after, borrowed enough money from the “State Bank” of Ogden, and gave it to Winn and Daisy to pay for their trip from England to Ogden, Utah. He guaranteed the loan if they couldn’t pay it back. It took them two years to pay it back but they repaid every cent.
About two weeks before she left for America, she went to see her mother and saw her two half brothers and step father for the first time. She stayed about two weeks and told her mother she was coming to America. Her mother didn’t seem to care one way or the other.
She and Daisy left Liverpool on May 26, 1921 on the ship Victorian. She was twenty three years old. There was quite a large party of LDS people on board and she had the chance to meet most of them. The members she met were such high quality people that her skepticism about the Church began to wane. She reasoned that if the Church were so terrible, how could such highly educated, ethical and good people be attracted to it?
They spent two weeks on the ocean and except for about four days Winn was sick all the time. She wasn’t able to take advantage of all the programs the ship provided. Her friend, Daisy, didn’t get sick at all.
They went down the St. Lawrence River and docked at Montreal, Canada. They then took a train to Chicago and another train on to Salt Lake City. She was quite impressed with the vastness of America, the whole of England would fit in the state of Utah.
When she arrived in Salt Lake City, she was very surprised. She expected to see a bunch of cowboys and Indians and it was greatly different than she had anticipated. She was impressed by the bigness of the Temple block, the Hotel Utah, the shops seemed so large and new as compared with the older shops in England. The wideness of the streets were something that was so different from the streets of England. Everything seemed to overwhelm her.
She stayed with the Hall family and her first job in America was with the Troy Laundry in Salt Lake City. After a while, she and Daisy got a job at the Paris Millinery Company and this is where she met a young man by the name of David Paskett, who had come to Salt Lake to get outfitted for his mission to Australia. The Hall’s knew the Paskett family through Dave’s brother, Steve, who had served a mission in England and labored in the Mansfield Branch, where he met the Hall family.
Winifred decided all the things she had heard about the church weren’t true and decided the LDS church was the church she wanted to belong to, so on September 30, 1921 she was baptized a member of the Church. She was baptized by John D. Hooper.
She lived with the Hall’s about two years then Daisy got married. Winn got restless after that and decided to go to San Francisco. She enjoyed San Francisco very much because the country was beautiful and the weather was so much like she was used to in England.
She got a job as a sales clerk in a department store called the “Emporium” and lived in a lodge for girls called “The Girls Friendly Society Club”, which has been since changed to a Mens Club. She came to Salt Lake to visit the Hall’s during her summer vacations.
After about four years working in San Francisco, she received a letter from David Paskett and after some correspondence, he asked her to marry him, but she didn’t want to get married until she was out of debt. After a short while, Winn was out of debt and she left San Francisco for Burley, Idaho, where Dave met her at the train and they were married that same evening of January 6, 1927.
They lived in Oakley, Idaho where Dave worked at various jobs. It was a rough time for Winn as nothing in her experience had prepared her for this type of living. Steve lived close by and his wife, Thursa, helped her adjust to married life and also the rough, frontier-style of living. She was used to adjusting to new circumstances so she took matters into her own hand and learned to adapt to the situations and made out all right.
They lived in and around Oakley about three years where David Keith, William Keith and Doris Jean were born. They next moved to Murtaugh, Idaho and then to a town called Gannett, Idaho. It was at Gannett that their last child, John Keith was born.
Winn had a very rough time during those years and would just as soon forget those early years of her marriage. The first six years of their life, they moved seven times and usually from one rundown shack to another. It was a very hard time for her.
In 1937 they decided to move to Grouse Creek when they got a letter from Dave’s brother Melvin, who said things looked pretty promising there. Winn didn’t really want to go but the government was drilling wells in the area and the opportunities looked good.
The trip to Grouse Creek was also a disaster. They gave their milk cow to Dave’s former employer to move them and when they got to Oakley it started to rain. The roads were dirt and soon travel became almost impossible. When they came to Richins’s pasture, they slid off the road and had to spend the night in and under the truck. Dave spent all night looking for help and the next morning he and a sheep herder came and took them to his camp, where he fed them breakfast and got them back on the road, where they continued on.
The job opportunities didn’t really work out though and Winn had about as hard a life as before they moved. They lived in a small house next to Dave’s parents and it was here she learned it’s not a good idea to live close to relatives.
They lived in that little house next to Dave’s parents for ten years. Dave bought the Mecham place and also rented the Dave Thomas place. During the summer they would move down to the Thomas place to take care of the crops, then move back to the little house for the school year.
Up to this point, the happiest time of her married life was when they bought and moved into the Lawrence Kimber house. This was in 1947. They lived there for the next thirty two years. A few years after they moved in, Dave took the mail job and remodeled the house.
Winifred had taught Relief Society and was in the Relief Society presidency, Primary presidency and a visiting teacher.
In October 1979, Winn was getting ready to take a bath, when she fainted, fell to the floor and cut her head quite bad. She was taken to Tremonton, Utah, where she received about eight stitches to close the cut in the back of her head. The doctor advised her not to return to Grouse Creek as he did not know what caused the fainting and at her age it could very well happen again and she might not be so lucky next time.
Dave was not at all happy with the move to town and actually resisted it. However, he realized it was better for her and they found an apartment close to Jean and John and at this time she was about as happy as she had ever been in her married life. She was close to her kids, in a nice place and close to shopping. They became active in the Senior Citizens Center and Dave began carving leather.
Housework was becoming harder for her to do so they moved into a place on Adams Ave. where she wouldn’t have to do housework. Her health began to fail quite rapidly and especially her mind. She couldn’t remember anything and had to have twenty-four hour nursing care. So they moved into a full care center in Roy, Utah where they spent the rest of their lives.
She passed away quietly at 11:15 p.m. on December 19, 1988 and was buried at Ogden, Utah in the Washington Heights Memorial Park.