Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Deal is a Deal by Garry Flake

William J. Flake, who founded Snowflake 135 years ago, believed a deal is a
deal. A handshake was as binding as a written contract.

In 1878, he bargained for the land and water rights of James Stinson
in the Silver Creek Valley. The purchase became the town site for
Snowflake. With a handshake, Flake agreed to deliver, over three years,
Utah grade cattle - 200 cows, 150 two-year olds and 200 yearlings. In
exchange, Stinson agreed to sell the land, the water rights, farm equipment
and six mules.

In 1881 when the last cattle were delivered, Stinson wanted to keep a
special saddle mule. Flake said, “No, the mules was in the trade and now
belongs to me.”

Stinson acknowledge that was right and invited Flake to cut five cows out of
the delivered herd so he could keep his special mule. Flake told him, “No, a
deal is a deal and the mule is mine. Pull off your saddle.” With tears in his
eyes, Stinson pulled off the saddle and bridle, patted the mule on the neck
and handed the end of the rope to Flake and walked away.

William J. Flake stopped him and said, “Stinson, we have done a lot
of business in the past three years. For a long time, I have wondered how I
could show you my appreciation. I want to present this mule to one of the
most honest men I have ever met.” Stinson saddled the mule and rode off
without a word.

Does our word or a handshake continue to be honored by each of us?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fun questionnaire by Grandma Richardson

Top of Form
 July 15, 2013

Dear Family,

Thanks for a wonderful Tribute Program you put on for me at our Colorado Family Reunion.  Thank you Margie for planning a great reunion.   Thanks to all of my children for making an effort to be with us.  It was great to have everyone there except for Russ, Dean and Jennifer.  I hope they can be with us at our next reunion.  Thank you Melvin for a great Tribute Program and for the book of Tributes that you made for me.  I have read it over many times and cherish it. 

Before the reunion Margie sent me the following questionnaire and asked that I fill it out.  I thought you might enjoy reading my answers. I am trying to start working on writing my life story but find it so difficult since I am so busy living today.  I am enjoying writing you a Richardson Review each week to let you know where I have been and what I am doing. 

Lots of love,
Mom, Grandma Richardson

1.  Number of cameras you've owned--Many.  I always have a camera in my purse.
2.  When did you get your first camera? a box camera I still have that I probably got in high school.
3.  Number of countries you've been to.15-- United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, Japan, Chile, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Korea, Indonesia, Australia, Israel, Fiji
4.  Number of states in the U.S. you've visited. 28-- Arizona, Utah, California, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, New Mexico, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mexico, Hawaii, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts,Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, Nebraska, Idaho, Tennessee, Michigan, Kansas
5.  Have you ever broken a bone? or received stiches? no broken bones, stitches only after surgery
6.  Have you ever had any body parts (i.e. appendix, kidney)removed? kidney, appendix, gall bladder
7.  Number of times you served as a PTO president.Many years- I am not sure how many.  I served in the PTO most of the years that I had children attending the different schools .  A guess would be Broadmor about 5 years, McKemy about 6 years and Tempe High about 8 years more or less.
8.  Favorite meal as a child. steak and gravy
9.  Did you ever have a nick name? no
10. Favorite ice cream flavor- anything with nuts
11. Number of volumes of Journals you've written. I have written in my journal every day since 1974. 
12.  Number of temples you've visited.35--Mesa, Snowflake, Gila Valley, Nauvoo, Provo, Salt Lake, Mount Timpanogos, Washington DC, Seattle, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago,Tokyo Japan, Santiago, Chile, Mexico City, Newport Beach, Logan, Manti,gden,St.George,Bountiful,Brigham City, Jordan River, Denver, Kona Hawaii, Laie, Hawaii, Idaho Falls, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Palmyra, Manhattan, New York, Dallas, Houston,Columbus,

13.  Occupation you'd like to do if you were younger. Teach Church History
14.  Location you'd still like to visit. Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden.
15.  Best travel tip-visit the areas where tourists don't go and enjoy the culture.
16.  Longest layover (a.k.a getting bumped)you've had in an airport. Overnight in Las Vegas
17.  What kind of music do you like? and who are your favorite bands? Classic Music--Glen Miller band

18.  What are your favorite movies- The Inheritance, Man from Snowy River
19.  What's your favorite season? spring
20.  What sports do you like best? basketball, football, baseball
21.  What is your favorite restaurant. Mexican Food
22.  What is your favorite time of day, day of the week, time of the year?  Morning, Sunday, Christmas

23.  What is one of your favorite quotes? D & C 84:88 .."I will go before your face, I will be on your right hand and your left and my spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."
D & C. 19:23 "Learn of me and listen to my words...and you shall have peace in me."
24.  What chore do you absolutely hate doing? cleaning the bathrooms.
25.  What is your favorite mode of transportation? airplanes
26.  What sound do you love? Hymns being played on the violin, little children playing

27.  What is your favorite form of exercise? walking
28.  If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for? Dinner party with Joseph and Emma Smith with Dad helping me serve.
29.  If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint?  Cherry blossoms in Washington DC, Flowers on Temple Square
30.  If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be? 50 to have good health and be able to enjoy my children and grandchildren.
31.  If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?  Future--Being united with my eternal companion again and his embrace.
32.  If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Learn to sing.
33.  If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be? writing the wonderful experiences of my life with pictures.
34.  If you were immortal for a day, what would you do?  Visit Jay in the Spirit World.
35.  If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? I like my name. 
36.  If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?  Christ
37.  If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?  I don't know
38.  When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? Reading
39.  What would you name the autobiography of your life? 
Blessings enjoyed in my life.
40.  What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? I Know that My Redeemer Lives, I Believe in Christ, Count your Many Blessings,  God Be With You Till We Meet Again.  Love at Home
41.  Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best? Yes, when I started working at America West so we could get health insurance and I got travel blessings that I enjoy so much today.
42.  What was one of the best parties you’ve ever been to? Our Golden Wedding Family Reunion.
43.  What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up? Book, “The Infinite Atonement”.
44.  What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Tell Jay goodbye for a time
45.  What was the last experience that made you a stronger person? Having to go through life alone.
46.  What did you do growing up that got you into trouble? I can't think of anything. 
47.  What do you miss most about being a kid? no worries
48.  What was the first thing you bought with your own money? a watch with the sale of corn from my corn patch.
49.  What is something you learned in the last week? The joy of being with converts you helped find Christ and His Church.
50.  Have you ever been mentioned in the newspaper? Yes, In the Church News when my two sisters and I were all serving as missionaries in Mexico together and also in the Church News flying from Arizona each week to give service as a missionary at the Conference Center.
51.  What is your favorite seat on an airplane? window seat up front with a good view
52.  Have you ever been arrested? no
53.  What 10 items do you have in your purse right now? driver's license, temple recommend,camera,cell phone,credit card, hair brush, lipstick, notebook, pen, money
54.  Have you ever won a trophy? Yes, top performer at America West Airlines
55.  What is on your bedside table? picture of Jay, alarm clock
56.  Apple Juice or Orange Juice? orange juice
57.  If you were to perform in the circus what would you do? Sell ice cream
58.  Are you right handed or left handed? right handed
59.  Have you ever fired a gun? no
60.  If you were stranded on an island, what would be five things you would want with you. scriptures, water, shoes, food, good book, flashlight
61.  If you could go back in time for 24 hours when and where would it be? Hear Joseph Smith speak about the restoration of the Gospel.
62.  Who named you, your mom or your dad? I have no idea.  Probably my mother to make my name rhyme with Leona.
63.  What was your first job? Growing Corn, Working at Flake Store, BYU cafteria and BYU laundry
64.  If you were given a million dollars, what would you do with it? Nice Home, Travel, Gifts to my children
65.  What is one thing that makes you extremely nervous? children making bad choices
66.  Which do you prefer...camping or hotel? hotel
67.  The world would be a better place if...everyone showed love, were converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and lived it.
68.  Do you judge a book by it's cover? Yes, but I shouldn't.
69.  How often do you make your bed? Every morning
70.  Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? doing the right things
71.  If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Make good choices and show love to others
72.  What’s something you know you do differently than most people? I liked to be involved in everything going on. 
73.  Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?  Losing touch with a good friend who lives right near me because I can always keep in contact with phone, e-mail, face book, skype,  etc. with a friend that moves away.
74.  Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? Yes but I know it doesn't help.  I am impatient.
75.  What are you most grateful for? My family who are living the gospel.
76.  If you could have a room of any one things what would it be? books
77.  What is the best advice you've ever received?  show more love.
78.  What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail. Sing a solo in Sacrament Meeting.
79.  If you could see only black and white, except for one color what would that color be? green
80.  What is the longest you've ever gone without sleep? 36 hours
81.  Is there an item that you are constantly losing or looking for? my car keys
82.  Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus? the dictionary
83. Have you ever been stung by a bee? no

84. Are you afraid of heights? yes Or what are you afraid of? I am afraid of falling.

85. What is the most memorable class you have ever taken? Classes at BYU Education Week about the scriptures.

86. Have you ever been in a food fight? no

87. What is your favorite thing to spend money on? Things for my home, gifts to my children.

88. Ever had any relatives in jail? no

89. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten? Lots of strange food in Indonesia

90. Would you rather go a week without bathing, but be able to change your clothes? Or a week without changing your clothes but be able to bathe.
A week without changing my clothes but be able to bathe.

91. If you had to be trapped in a tv show for a month, which would you choose? I don't watch television.

92. What keys on a keyboard do you not use? keys used in foreign languages.

93. Have you ever danced in the rain? no, but I should because I like to dance.

94. What is your blood type?  B Positive.

95. What is your perfect pizza? 
        Papa Murphy's

96. Do you re-charge yourselve by being around others or by being by yourself? Being by myself.
97. What are two things that people do that drive you crazy? Think only about themselves and don't listen to what you are saying
98.  What is the oldest item that you own.  I have a collection of very old school books.

99. If you were to write your obituary, how would it read?
That I loved the Lord and served Him, was a good mother and left a faithful posterity
Listed below are some of my favorite things in no particular order. 

I love Jay and the wonderful family that we were blessed to have.  I love knowing that we can be together again forever. 

I love reading my scriptures. 

I love being able to pray to a Heavenly Father that I know loves me.

I am grateful for the great gift of Christ and his atonement and resurrection.

I like reading Church Doctrinal books and books about Church History.

I love to read and learn new things about different people, cultures, science,

I like to achieve.

I love being able to travel and learn about new people and cultures.

I enjoy getting to know people.

I enjoy listening to good music.
I enjoy teaching children and making a difference in their lives.  I enjoyed Grandma School with my Grandchildren.
I enjoy teaching the Gospel and loved teaching about all our standard works in the Gospel Doctrine classes.

I love giving tours of the Conference Center and learning about the people I take on tour. 
I love Church History and learning about the faith and dedication of those early pioneers who gave me the legacy of growing up in the Church.
I am grateful for parents who taught me the gospel as a child by their example.
I loved serving missions with Jay in Nauvoo and Indonesia and all the special experiences we had and the great love we have for the people we served. 

I loved giving out wheelchairs to those in need.  I loved visiting children in the hospital and giving them handmade quilts.  I enjoyed being able to make life easier for others.

I love being able to speak Spanish and relate to the Mexican people that I love so much. 

I loved traveling to the missions where my children served and seeing how much the people loved them. 

I love being invited to share special trips and events with my children.

I enjoy beautiful sunsets and beautiful flowers. 

I enjoy being with my children and grandchildren.

I love my Savior and Heavenly Father.

I love to learn new things.  In school I was good in math and spelling.

I enjoy writing in my journal.

I enjoy taking pictures and putting them on my blog.

I enjoy making scrapbooks of special memories.

I am grateful for all the children and grandchildren temple marriages that I have been able to attend.

I enjoy being at baby blessings, graduations, award programs, concerts, sports and events where my children and grandchildren are participating. 

I love beautiful jewelry.

I love to attend the temple.  I feel closer to Jay while at the temple.  I am grateful that I have been able to go to many temples throughout the world.     

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lavona Flake Richardson's life history: My BYU Experiences


I was anxious to attend Brigham Young University with my sisters Nena and Leona. Leona and I had completed three years at Snowflake High and had taken most of the classes offered and all the classes needed to graduate so we decided to graduate from Snowflake High School in three years.  We graduated in May 1952.  I had my 17th birthday just after we graduated.   We were admitted to Brigham Young University and started school there in September 1952.  Nena went her first year to ASU in Tempe and transferred to BYU with us.  

 Daddy just had a high school education and he thought that was good enough for us but he agreed to let us go to BYU if we could support ourselves.  I worked at various jobs during my years as a student there.   My first job was in the BYU Laundry where I would iron lots of sheets putting them through the big mangle.  I also had another job working at the Wymount Cafeteria early in the morning.  We fed all the students that lived in the dormitories.  Another job was to help  with registration and anything else that I could do to earn a few dollars.  I worked for a time giving out food samples at the grocery store and sometimes found a job doing housework for someone.  I was always looking for more work.   Another job I had as a BYU freshman was typing up a manuscript in the Religion department at the Joseph Smith Building for Sydney Sperry.  I helped type his book, Paul’s Life and Letters which was first published in 1955. 

My freshman year I lived with Nena and Leona and six other girls in the basement of the home at 610 North 1st East which was just across the street from the BYU Lower Campus. Some of the girls were much better off financially than we were.  One of our roommates would spend Saturday  rotating her clothes to find  new clothes to wear the following week.  I remember how amazed I was that someone would have so many clothes.  My freshman year I took shorthand and sewing, a Book of Mormon Class and Symphony orchestra.  My sewing and shorthand classes were at the lower campus but I had to walk up to the Joseph Smith Building for my Book of Mormon class.
I remember that I enjoyed going to the Matinee dances where I met lots of young men.  I never seemed to lack for dates which were different for me because I didn’t date in High School, probably mostly because almost everyone in Snowflake was related to me.  I loved meeting lots of young people.  

 I auditioned and was happy to be accepted into the BYU Symphony Orchestra as a freshman  where I played cello.  I was usually almost the last chair but it was great being with the group.  Our director was Lawrence Sardoni, the brother of Dearwyn Sundwall who later was in our Tempe Fourth Ward.   I enjoyed playing in the Symphony Orchestra most of the time while I was at BYU.  I was able to be in the Symphony even when I was working full time using my lunch hour for orchestra rehearsal.  I remember a BYU orchestra trip that we took to California where I had my first view of the Pacific Ocean.  Another great memory of the BYU Symphony orchestra is playing in the Tabernacle at Temple Square in Salt Lake as we accompanied the Tabernacle Choir in their Easter Cantata.  

When I first enrolled at BYU we had only one branch called the Campus Branch.   I was excited to have a church job in the huge branch.  I was one of many SundaySchool secretaries.  My job was to go into the room back of the Joseph Smith Building under the podium and choir benches to record the attendance of our SundaySchool classes. Among others I remember John Groberg and Newell Richardson were leaders in the ward.  I remember them dating their companions that they later married.   The wards at BYU were not established until during my mission in 1955-1957.  As a freshman at BYU the only buildings on the upper campus was the Maeser Building where we registered, , Heber J. Grant Library which is now a testing center, the Brimhall Building where I had science and the Joseph Smith building where we had our religion classes and our Campus Branch Meetings.  This building has now been torn down and a new Joseph Smith building it in its place.  

I moved to a different home in Provo every year and sometimes in the middle of the year looking for new roommates and new experiences.  One semester Leona and I lived in Heritage Halls so we had the experience of living on campus.   Other homes I remember are 343 North 100 East, and 801 North University.  I had lots of roommates during my BYU years and learned from each of them. 
My sophomore year I was blessed to get a job working as secretary for Jennie Campbell, a professor in the Elementary Education department.  She was great to work for and so good to me.  When I first started working for her she had an office on the second floor of the BYU Academy which is now the Provo Library.  I moved with her up to the new David O. McKay Education building when it was completed.  I didn’t have enough money for tuition so I stopped and worked full time for a year before continuing on in my education.  When I worked full time for Jennie Campbell I helped assign the student teachers to the various elementary schools and compiled reports from all of them. 

I enjoyed being involved in various clubs at BYU.  I was a member of Lambda Delta Sigma in the Tau Chapter.   I enjoyed the Arizona Club and loved to Square Dance.  I liked any kind of dancing and even won a competition for “jitterbugging” because of a good partner.  I remember coming out from the Matinee dance holding my cello when a student ran into me and my cello fell to the ground cracking it.  He helped me repair it but you can still see where the crack was.  One of the activities I was involved in as a BYU Freshman was painting the “Y” up on the mountain.  This was the tradition for the BYU Freshman.  Someone took my picture handing the buckets of white wash to the next person up the mountain and published it on the back cover of the BYU Alumni magazine.  We had devotionals twice a week in the field house.  

I was enrolled for another year at BYU when Mother and Daddy came up to conference in October 1955.  During the weekend I changed from being a BYU student to being a missionary and entering the Mission Home which was then in Salt Lake to go to the Mexican Mission.  I had my interviews with my Bishop and Stake President and was set apart by as general authority as a missionary.  I served as a missionary first in the Mexican Mission and later the Northern Mexican Mission for two years returning home in October 1957.
I again enrolled at BYU and worked hard to graduate with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish on August 2, 1958.  Ernest L. Wilkinson signed my diploma and was the BYU president during all my years at BYU.   I did my student teaching in the second grade at Provost School.  I had a great experience and was so excited to be a teacher.   I liked my education classes and got A’s in all of them.  My hardest class at BYU was Biology because I had no background from High School. Interestingly enough I married a man that loved Biology and Science and majored in it in College.  

Travel in those days was not like it is now.  I didn’t have anyone come to my BYU graduation. I am sure my parents were happy at my accomplishments but it just wasn’t important to be there at graduation.   I remember being alone and asking a friend to take my picture for me in my cap and gown.  Maybe this is the reason that it is so important for me to attend the graduations and other events of my children and grandchildren. 

I was blessed to be offered a job as a second grade teacher at Edison School in Mesa, Arizona without an interview.  I was hired because of my good grades and recommendation from my friends in the BYU School of Education. 

Lavona Flake Richardson's life history: My Courtship and Marriage


I finished teaching second grade at Edison School in May 1958 and loaded up my car with all my belongings to go back to Snowflake for the summer.  It was late when I finished taking care of everything that I needed to do so I decided that I would wait until morning to drive up to Snowflake.  I decided that instead of just staying home I would go to the dance at the Mezona, which was a church dance hall where they held dances every Friday evening.  I went by myself and was standing on the sideline when this handsome man came up and asked me to dance.

I remember as Jay and I danced and introduced ourselves we learned that we were both twins and both returned missionaries.  Jay was in town for his Virden High School class reunion held in Mesa where most of the classmates now lived.  Jay, as their senior class president was in charge of the reunion.  He planned to return to Virden the next day and went to the dance.  We both feel that we were meant to be at the dance that evening and meet each other.  We danced several times during the evening.  Jay asked if he could take home.  I was sad that I had my car there so he couldn’t. 

I went up to Snowflake but returned in a few days to find employment for the summer and a place to live for the following school year.  Mother came with me.  We had finished our errands and were about to return again to Snowflake when we stopped by my new home on Broadway and found a note in the door from Jay asking me on a date.  Mother and I both decided to change our plans and stay in town for the evening.  Jay did come by later and we had a fun date.  Our friendship blossomed with more dates.  I remember playing Miniature Golf with him and Jorth and Peggy.  I remember long talks and the love I had for Jay from the time that I first met him.
Jay was working for his brother Erwin to earn money to go to dental school.  Jay lived by himself in a little one room shack where he spent his days cultivating and helping put more land into crops.  He did manage to get to Mesa several times during the summer and we corresponded regularly by letters (no e-mail or Skype in those days). I was sad to learn that Jay was almost to leave for Northwestern Dental School in Chicago.  Before he left I went with him to visit his family in Virden, New Mexico and he went with me to visit my family in Snowflake, Arizona.  

I began teaching my second year at Edison School.  We kept the letters going back and forth.  On September 18, 1959 my twin sister Leona married Max Hayes.  We both knew Max at BYU. We also served together in the Northern Mexican Mission.  I knew Jay’s brother Cecil also in the Northern Mexican Mission so I knew him before his brother.  I remember when I first met Cecil he said that he had a brother also on a mission.  Little did I know then how much his brother would mean to me.  

Jay had not been in Chicago for many weeks before I got a phone call from him.  I remember listening as he put the coins into the pay phone.  Jay asked me over the phone if I would marry him.  I remember how excited I was and telling him “If I can make you happy”.  I knew that he would make me very happy.  

Travel was expensive so we decided that he would not come home for Thanksgiving but instead would come in December the very day that his school let out.  In the meantime we wrote daily letters back and forth.  I still have Jay’s letters to me but sadly enough Jay didn’t keep my letters to him.  At Thanksgiving time I took careful notice of all the preparations and wrote out the recipes for the traditional dishes so that I could fix them for my husband as his new wife.  I kept busy teaching school and sewing my own wedding dress. 
Finally the day came when Jay would be coming home from Chicago.  He rode the train from Chicago to Arizona.  The conductor told Jay that he would stop in Holbrook and let him get off but for some reason maybe they were running behind schedule the train whizzed by and didn’t stop in Holbrook.  I drove from Mesa up to Snowflake and then my Mother and Daddy went with me to meet Jay.  I will always remember Daddy saying we can beat the train as we got in the car and drove to Winslow.  We did get to Winslow before the train did and was there to meet Jay as he got off the train.  I remember he smelled of smoke because of all the smoking on the train when we first met.  I know that didn’t keep me though for wanting to marry him.  I felt that I was the most blessed girl in the whole world to have Jay want to marry me.  I wanted to introduce him to all my friends and let them see what a wonderful man he was.  

On the way back to Snowflake we stopped in Holbrook at the County Court House and got our marriage license.  Jay gave me my engagement ring in my parent’s living room.  I was excited to show it to my parents.    I was so happy.

We had to leave soon after arriving in Snowflake to go back to Mesa.  I had another day to teach before Christmas break.  It was exciting to bring Jay to my classroom and have him meet all of my second graders who I had learned to love so much.  My students were all so excited that Miss Flake was getting married.  Several of them came to an open house my roommates gave us in Mesa. 
We were married on Monday, December 22, 1958 in the Mesa Arizona Temple.  We went to the 7:30 am session and were married right after the session by Henry L. Smith who was a sealer and a friend of Jay’s family.   Our fathers, Bruce Merlin Flake and Ray L Richardson were the witnesses.  Just after our marriage Jay’s brother Cecil was married to Sylvia Smith.  We took pictures and then ate lunch at the temple before driving to Virden for a double reception that night.   My sisters Nena and Leona were neither one with us for our wedding but arrived in Snowflake for our reception there.  

The wedding reception in Virden, New Mexico honored both Jay and me and Cecil and Sylvia.  The Virden Ward gave us a nice silk quilt that they had hand quilted. Mother also quilted us a beautiful silk quilt.  Mother and Daddy met my little brothers Garry and Keith in Globe to ride with them to Virden.  Rey was on his mission and Rolf and Jean were in Florida.  

After the party in Virden we stayed our wedding night in Duncan.  Jay had reservations at a fancy hotel in Safford but we were too tired to go there so just stayed at a motel in Duncan.  We planned to have our trip back to Chicago be our honeymoon so spent the next two days with Jay’s family in New Mexico.  We spent Christmas morning with his family and then drove to Snowflake to spend the rest of Christmas day with my family.  Nena and Leona and Max had arrived by then for the Christmas holiday.  

Jay’s family all came to Snowflake for our reception the following Monday, Dec. 29, 2013.   Erwin and Barbara flew their little plane up which was exciting for Snowflake. Edwin and Virginia, Jorth and Peggy, Cecil and Sylvia, and Chet and Evelyn all came along with Mother and Dad Richardson to our Snowflake Reception.  My family was also there.  Rolf and Jean and their two little girls, LaDawn and Loretta came from Florida, Leona and Max from Logan, Utah, Nena from Texas and Garry and Keith were still living in Snowflake.  We had a nice party.  Also coming to our reception were the Strasburg’s, friends from Provo, Utah and my roommates and friends form Mesa Carol Ray and Kliena Skousen.    My bridesmaids, Leona, Nena and Carol all wore aqua dresses that they made alike.  My wedding cake had a white poinsettia on top.  

We opened our gifts on Tuesday and loaded my car to leave for Chicago.  We had to leave behind many of our wedding gifts because we had no room to take them.  Our car was loaded.  I remember Daddy wired on an ironing board at the end thinking that we would need it in Chicago.  

I remember how happy I was as we left to drive across country with the man that I was excited to spend the rest of my life and eternity with.  We spent one night on the road and arrived at our little home Jay had rented for us.    We were so happy to be together.  Jay was a wonderful companion and so kind and considerate of me.  I loved Jay with all my heart and would do anything to make him happy.  We both loved the Lord and knew that as long as we included Him in our family we would be blessed. 

Lavona's Lessons

Lavona's Lessons
(read for the tribute to Grandma Richardson at the Richardson Reunion, June 19, 2013)

The time has now come to confess
How our lives have all been blessed
By the sweet lessons taught to us
From our dear mother. They are thus:

A daily record should be kept
Of life's lessons and precepts.
Mom wrote in her journal every day,
Teaching us all this is the way.

Read your scriptures every night--
It will help you choose the right.
She always taught the power you find,
When scripture reading is enshrined.

Every week have family night,
And your clan will e'er be tight.
Gathering round to be together
Will give strength in any weather.

When you’re writing your life blueprint
Make sure that home is filled with music
Voice, piano or on trumpet
Whatever the instrument.

She showed to all of her children,
The importance of serving a mission.
Indonesia, Nauvoo or Temple Square
In Mexico, the gospel to share.

Lifelong education is so important
Don’t let your minds go dormant.
Whether it be at Tempe High
In Israel or at the “Y”.

Whatever the setting or position
At school, church or on a mission,
Taught us we might as well do our best--
Showed us how at America West!

"Remember who you are" was heard
By Mom, with the importance conferred
That more is expected of us.
Our upbringing makes it thus.

The temple is a holy place.
Its importance we must embrace.
Go there often and we will learn
How to heaven we may return.

Most of all, mom taught us well
Her love for us has no parallel.
She gave her all to teach us that
Her family is the most important.

Mom, we love and honor you.
We give thanks for all you do.
You taught us how to find success.
Our lives you have always blessed.

--With love, Vernon and Melvin

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Amy Richardson's Tribute to Grandma Richardson

Dear Mom,
    First off, I want to thank you for being my friend. I wish that I had listened to dad when I was younger and he would tell me, if you do right by your mom she will be your best friend. For that, I thank you!
My memories and continuing memories in the making are how you will do anything for your kids. I always knew at any sport event or concert that my mom would be there cheering me on no matter where the performance or game was at. I appreciate the fact that I have a mom like you to bring me up to love the lord and to try the best at anything I do. Without you pushing me I wouldn’t set goals and be the hard worker I am or have the opportunities that I have now. I am happy to say that I love the close relationship that we have now and can appreciate how far we have come. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger and I know my teenage years and early 20’s have surely made you stronger. J
    Thank you for caring for dad and never giving up. You truly showed him unconditional love during what had to be an emotional time for you. I will never ever forget your sacrifice.
    I hope someday to be half the mother that you are. I am the person that I am today because of you.     Thank you for being you!
    Love, Amy

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dean and Jennifer Richardson Family's Tributes to Grandma Richardson

I am so grateful for my mother.  She was always there when we needed her, always involved in our school activities--there to show her support and encourage us to be our best.  She is an amazing cook and would make family favorites like Missionary Stack Ups, Lasagna and her famous Mud Pie whenever it was asked for.  I really love and appreciate everything she has done for me and her family.  She is a great mother and I love her very much. Love, Dean
I am very grateful for the mother I gained when I married my husband.  I am most thankful for the effort she made in raising the caring, gentle, intelligent man that I found to spend eternity with.  I see in Dean many traits that have to be taught, and I am so thankful that she took the time to teach him those good family values.  I am grateful for all of the support she has given to us—always keeping us in her thoughts and prayers.  Even though there are many miles between us, she is never more than a phone call away. I appreciate the love that she has shown me and the welcoming feeling I had and continue to have after joining this family. Love, Jennifer

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Melvin and Tami Richardson Family's Tributes to Grandma Richardson

   Nearly every success I have ever enjoyed in life has been in some way or another thanks to the cheerleading and support of my dear mother. Even my current job is thanks in no small part to Mom and her looking out for me. She has always been there to encourage, inspire and help me. I sometimes wonder what I would ever have amounted to if she hadn't prodded me along the way to achieve my potential and always do my best.
   The running joke in high school was that Mom took more pictures of my friends than their own parents did. I appreciate Mom's expression of love to me by chronicling my life through her pictures and her journaling. She realizes the value of recording the past to know where we've come from, and using it to march us into an expectant future. The legacy continues as my kids look forward to Grandma taking pictures of them and recording their lives.
   Mom never slows down. Whether it's working hard or playing hard, she does everything with gusto and tirelessness. Mom has been a go-getter for as long as I've known her and has instilled in us the belief that life is out there waiting for us to experience it. There's so much to see and do and experience, and anything is possible if we keep working and trying and never giving up.
   Mom is also committed to the Gospel. She lives it fully and never wavers and expresses her testimony to her family and friends by the way she lives her life. She is constant in scripture study and prayer. She has loved sharing the Gospel as a missionary in various settings throughout her life. It's fun to hear her weekly reports of those she met and talked with and shared her testimony with in her current missionary endeavor at the Conference Center.
   I love and appreciate Mom. Thanks for all you do! I hope my ultimate tribute to you is the way I live my life and raise my children. You've shown the way.
   Love, Melvin

   Mom, when I think of you I think of dedication. You are so dedicated to all that you see is important. What a great attribute!
   Your dedication to dad was always so obvious, especially as you took care of him when he was ill. What a great and powerful example of dedication to us all!
   Your dedication to your children is easy to see. How you taught them, encouraged them to pursue their talents, how involved you have always been in their lives, and ultimatley in how wonderful they have all become. I am constantly in awe at the greatness in this family.
   Your dedication to your grandchildren is evident and they know it! They feel so loved as you come to their performances, praise their accomplishments, and spend time with them.
   Your dedication to the gospel is unwaivering and is seen by all. Your missionary service, the way you live your life, and the way you have taught your family is inspiring. There is no doubt about your love for the Savior and your desire to follow him.
   I am so grateful for your dedication and example. I love you so much and am thankful for your influence in my life.
   Love, Tami

   I love that Grandma always comes to our performances and always tries to help us. She always asks about what's happening in my life. She makes me feel special.
   Love, Kaitlyn

   I love that Grandma loves to take pictures of us so that she can remember us. I also love that she comes to our house a lot to play with us and have fun.
   Love, Ashley

   I love that Grandma is always there to help us. She's kind and I love her lots!
   Love, Lauren

   Grandma is nice. I love that Grandma takes pictures of me. I love that she plays with me.
   Love, Tanner

   I love when Grandma comes to our house and reads books to me.
   Love, Carter

   I love you, Grandma.
   Love, Logan

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Reese Family's Tribute to Grandma Richardson

Reese’s List of Top Ten Words to Describe Mom/Grandma Richardson.

10. Prepared!: She carries the following items in her purse at all times: driver’s license, temple recommend, camera, cell phone, credit card, hair brush, lipstick, notebook, pen, and money.

9. Passionate: She is passionate about picture taking. Although she has owned many cameras, she got her first camera when she was in high school. It was a box camera and she still has it. She is so passionate about picture taking that she never lets a day go by when she doesn’t participate in her favorite hobby.

8. Vim and Vigor: It’s a rare day when she gets sick or needs to take a rest. She once stayed awake for 36 hours. She also has never broken a bone, but has had her kidney, appendix, and gall bladder removed, which has resulted in stitches.

7. Adventuresome: Although her favorite meal as a kid was “steak and gravy,” she has gone on to try some very interesting foods as she has traveled to over 15 countries in her lifetime. Just in case you are curious she can never pass up a Mexican meal topped off with ice cream that has nuts in it.

6. Industrious: Although the chore she absolutely hates doing is cleaning the bathroom, she has done many jobs in her lifetime. As a child she had her own corn patch in which she sold corn so that she could buy a watch. In college she worked at the BYU cafeteria and laundry. If she were younger she’d like become a Church History Educator.

5. Deprived: Although she has done some pretty amazing things she’s never had the chance to learn how to sing, have a nickname, fire a gun, own a childhood pet, be stung by a bee, participate in a food fight, get arrested, or dance in the rain. With this said… you now know what you can do the next time she comes to visit.

4. Involved: Over the years she has been involved with her community, church, and family. Did you know that she served off and on as a PTO president for almost 18 years?

3. Dedicated: Since 1974 she has not missed a day of writing in her journal. She tries to call or get in contact with her posterity on or near their birthday to sing their birthday wishes. She also makes her bed every day.

2. Fearful: Although she is one tough cookie some of her fears include: heights, losing touch with a good friend, doing the wrong thing, children who make bad choices, getting bumped from a flight and missing a family event.

1. Knowledgeable: She has read countless church books, attended many hours of seminars and workshops, and loves to learn just about anything she can get her hands on about the gospel.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Ken and Jenni Richardson Family's Tributes to Grandma Richardson

Thank you, Mom, for being a great example of righteous living to me and my children!  You have done so much for me that I will never be able to repay you.  I am grateful for the unyielding support that you have given me throughout my life and that I continue to feel to this day.  You are my biggest cheerleader and I'm grateful for that!  Thank you for teaching me the gospel and showing me how to recognize the hand of God in my life.  Thank you for helping me know what it is like to live in a home where the Spirit can dwell and where living righteously and in harmony as a family is as natural as breathing.  Thank you for your example of selfless service to family, friends, and everyone you meet.  I love my memories of you caring for Dad at home during his final years on earth and how natural that was for you to do because of your great love and concern for everyone around you.  Thank you for your love of learning and your desire to teach others what you've learned.  Thank you for being so involved in our lives.  We love having you come and see us and feel spoiled every time!  I hope you know of my love for you and my admiration for the great accomplishments of your life so far.  Your posterity will be blessed by your righteous life for many generations!  I look forward to many years of your continued and important presence in our lives.
With great love and kindest regards,

There are so many admirable traits about Mom. First and foremost is her love of the gospel. There is no doubt that this is the most important thing in her life. She values her testimony and shares it often with others. I admire how she is so willing and able to do this on a weekly basis. Mom wants her family to be together forever and is always telling of her appreciation for them and  the good things they are doing with their lives. She is very supportive as a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She has developed a love of her predecessors as well, and is interested in family history work. She is a voracious learner. She loves to read and attend educational functions. She is an information keeper. Her constant desire to learn things about her family members and be involved in their activities helps bind everyone together. She loves passing traditions on to strengthen this bond. She is a memory keeper as well. This is clearly evident in her scrapbooking, journal keeping, blogging, e-mailing and picture taking. Mom loves being included in everything. This shows her enthusiasm for all life has to offer. I am grateful for the relationship we have developed these last 20 years I have known her. Most of all I am grateful for the wonderful son ("Kenneth") she has raised to be my eternal companion and father of my 5 children. Thank you Mom. I love you.

My grandma Lavona is loving and always active in keeping track of all her children and their families. I've always admired her care for others and her righteous habits. 
I love you!
- Jared


I love how you are so supportive of the activities we do and how you try to make it to as many of our performances as you can. Thank you for staying with us when our parents were gone - you helped things go really smoothly that week. And thank you for helping raise your son well; he's become a great Dad! 
We love you!

What I love about Grandma is that she's loving.  She comes to almost everyone's concerts and performances, no matter where they live.  She always cheers me up when she comes to visit.  One of my favorite memories with her is when she came and took care of us for a week while our parents were gone. We played card games and had family home evening with her.  I'll never forget how caring she was during that time. 
Lavona Flake Richardson is my grandma and she has done a lot of things in her life.  Her husband Jay Richardson died of Alzheimer's on May 30 ,2011.  But Grandma is still going strong.  She lives in Mesa, Arizona.  Lavona may have difficulty without Jay, but she still is my grandma. I love her and I know she loves me.
I have a good memory when we came and visited Grandma and Grandpa.  They let us stay with them and even let us bring our wii to play at their home.  Also she took care of us while Mom and Dad were in Spain. She helped us a lot in our homework and stuff we had to do. She is very kind and loving.
Love Andy

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ray Richardson Tribute to Grandma Richardson

Everything I really need to know I learned from my dear mother.  I have learned so many key life lessons from Mom, that I can only share today a few of them:

1. Your actions speak much louder than your words. 
Mom tirelessly taught us the gospel through family home evenings, and sharing her testimony with us formally and informally. But her life was her real testimony to us. We could tell that she really believed in gospel principles because she did all the things she would teach us to do. She was an amazing woman getting so many things done on top of raising kids. She served three full-time missions, served in many callings, and was a model of gospel living. It's safe to say that this is how we really learned what she believed.

St. Francis of Assisi taught "Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words."
Jesus taught: "Let your light so shine that others will see your good works and glorify God".

2. Life matters!
We grew up knowing that every test we took, every paper we wrote mattered to Mom. If I had an important test to take, Mom would go with me into a room and say a special prayer that I would do well, then she promised that she would be praying for me during the test! 

How many of you have heard of typewriters? For those of you who don't have any experience with typewriters, writing papers was a real pain. If you made one mistake you would either start the whole page over or try using white out, a messy proposition. I just never mastered it -- I generally wrote out my papers in pencil, then Mom would get up in the middle of the night to type up my papers for me. Invariably the papers were due on Monday morning, and Mom taught me how important it was to keep the Sabbath Day holy by waiting until Monday early morning to type the paper for me.

That taught me that mom really cared about how I did in school. Likewise she showed that things I did in all aspects of my life really mattered. If it mattered to Mom, it mattered to me. She taught that things worth doing are worth doing right and worth doing your best, even the little things. She also taught me that the Lord will bless our efforts if we do our part.

3. The value of hard work.
Mom taught us to work hard. In a family with a bunch of kids, it seemed like there was always dishes to do, laundry to help with, rooms to vacuum, piano to practice. I have never forgotten the value of hard work. This helped me to learn self-sufficiency, responsibility for my actions, and, once again, to do my best.

The corollary to this principle is the following lesson:
3b. Work hard, then play hard.
Whatever Mom did, she was all in! We had lots of fun trips together and Mom wanted to experience it all. She took life by the horns and had lots of fun too! I'll admit that I liked the "play hard" part better than the "work hard" part, but the one doesn't mean anything unless you earned it.

4. Mom has always had my best interest at heart
More than once, Dad came to me and taught me an important lesson. He said "Treat your mother right, and she'll be your best friend". There's a lot of wisdom in those words, still just as true today as when he said it. You have friends, you have best friends, and then you have Mom. I love Mom for all that she does for me.

This leads me to the greatest lesson learned:
5. True Christlike love is demonstrated through service
The Lord gave us mothers so that we would understand how much He loves us and how much He does for us that we can never repay. Moms sacrifice so much for their children, because they love them so much. From Mom I learned that love is an action word. It means a willingness to sacrifice oneself for others; it means doing things that otherwise don't sound very fun. Mom taught me this value in raising 11 kids. She taught me a lot more about love when she tirelessly took care of Dad suffering from Alzheimer's Disease for over four years. As we all know, this was very hard work, physically as well as emotionally! She taught me the inseparable link between love and service. Love means going out of your way to care for another's needs, sometimes even when it's not appreciated at the moment.

King Benjamin noted the link between love and service when he counseled parents to teach their children to love one another and serve one another.

With apologies to the apostle James who wrote about the link between faith and works, here's my coupling: "Tell me about your love without giving service; I will show you my love by my service".

Dad had a favorite saying that Mom demonstrated through her actions. It's a saying which seems to be the answer to all of life's problems: "The answer is more love."

I love you, Mom!

Love, Ray

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vernon and Connie Richardson Family's Tributes to Grandma Richardson

When I was in 6th grade, I had a dream of singing in the Phoenix Boys’ Choir.  But to be in the choir, I had to practice in North Phoenix, which had to be 45 minutes each way.  To help me fulfill my dream, mom would drive me all the way there, wait for me for an hour or so and then drive me 45 minutes back at least once during the week and on Saturday mornings.   That commitment to me, especially in the presence of many others that needed that time is a good illustration of my mom focusing on the one, a practice I try to continue today.
The other part of this tribute is to mention mom’s consistency.  Mom has consistently had scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening.  She consistently wrote in her journal.  She knows when she does those things, that we are asking for God to bless us with love and with testimony.  We all know that the gospel and family are the two most important parts of her life and that has made those two things priorities in my life as well.
Mom would be the one who would play board games with us on Sunday nights!
Mom would be the one who would follow up on our school work.  We knew school work was important to her.
Mom would be the one who would follow up on our piano practicing.  We knew music was important to her.
I enjoyed when mom and dad came to my mission and mom could talk to my investigators in Spanish!
I enjoyed spending the day with mom in Fiji!  Beautiful gardens, beautiful beaches, a beautiful for just her and me!
I love you, mom.  Thanks for being my mom. Love, Vernon

One very fond memory I have a Mom Richardson is the time that she helped us when we were trying to adopt twin boys from Boise, Idaho.  She met me in Salt Lake City and then we flew together to Boise.  That was the first and only time I have ever flown First Class!!!  We met the twins at the Boise airport and then flew back with them to Kansas.  What I really was grateful on that trip with the chance to visit with Mom Richardson during the flights and hear her accounting of their experiences with adoptions.  I felt that hearing her retell those stories helped me to understand her and know her better.  I also felt a deeper connection with her later when I had experienced some heart break in adoption proceedings because I knew she had as well. 
I also remember the time when Vernon and I lived in Illinois and I worked to surprise Vernon with a statue of Hyrum and Joseph Smith – a replica of the one at Carthage Jail in Carthage, IL.  She helped me get it and transported it to Illinois to surprise Vernon for his birthday.  Unfortunately, the head of Joseph was broken off, but we gave it to Vernon anyway and then she took it back to Arizona and helped us get it exchanged.  I really appreciated all the extra effort she put in to helping me get a surprise gift for Vernon.  Love, Connie

I remember visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Indonesia while they were on their mission. I remember helping them to deliver wheel chairs, visiting the fish farm they helped to set up, and attending the English class they helped to teach. It was neat to see all the humanitarian projects they were working on. I have always been impressed by Grandma's willingness to serve others and how she is always seeking ways to serve others more. I could see this when we visited them in Indonesia and I can see it now as Grandma comes up to Salt Lake this week to serve at the Conference Center. Grandma is a great example of service to me.  Love, Alison

One of my most recent favorite memories of Grandma Richardson is spending time with her and Melvin, Tami, Katelyn, and Ashley in Paris.  We all had so much fun together.  One night we went and saw the eiffel tower lit up and sparking at night.  Then we went on a night cruise down the Seine river.  Grandma was so sweet and paid for all of us! Grandma was a great travel companion as she was so interested in learning about all of the sites and their histories.  Grandma is great and always so supportive of us and makes me feel good about myself and the righteous decisions I make.  I love you Grandma! Love, Melissa

Grandma, the biggest memory I have is when we visited you in Indonesia.  I had some culture shock and my dad went to another city.  You and Grandpa did a wonderful job taking care of me and comforting me. I am especially proud that we are now both missionaries for the church.  I'm really enjoying my time in the MTC getting ready to serve – I can't imagine going to Mexico without any language training!  Love you, Grandma. Love, Hyrum

Joseph – I think it is cool that she goes to Salt Lake City every Wednesday to be a missionary.  She is always happy to see us when we visit!

Rebecca – We like how she always calls us on our birthdays! I always like how she likes to read books to us when she comes!

Benjamin – What more can I say than has already been said or will be awfully soon? You're awesome, Grandma! You're a great example for your children and grandchildren!

Rachel – I really love to see the pictures you take from all over the world!  I also like it when Grandma calls on my birthday!

Bethany- I love it when Grandma calls me on my birthday and that she always welcomes us into her home! Grandma, by you and grandpa serving missions, you have inspired me!!! I remember visiting you and Grandpa in Nauvoo! And when you walked us through the Carthage Jail!  I can't wait to go back there this summer!

Daniel – I like that Grandma reads us stories. I also think Grandma is a great cook! I also think Grandma is very generous!

David – I like that she takes pictures of us when we come over.  I like to see those pictures. I can't wait to see her at the reunion.

Mason – I like when grandma comes and reads me books!