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Lasting legacies honored at special birthday celebration in Fredonia

The LDS Fredonia First Ward held a party on Thursday March 30, to celebrate the birthdays of the women in the ward. They started the party with a game before everyone munched on the taco bar and cupcakes. Although the dinner was delicious, the real treat was the special tribute for the women who were over the age of 80. They each received a plant and a crown to make them feel like a queen for the night. One by one, family members or friends shared history, memories and love for each individual.

Some of the women who were recently honored at a special birthday celebration. Photo by Brooke Kimball.

First on the list was Varene Tait who in 1965, lost her husband and was left with her five children. It was members of the ward that encouraged her to start working at the school, which she contributed many years working different jobs in the school system. Varene also served faithfully in the church and attended 17 young women’s camps! She is known in the community for her tidy yard and home. She is loved by many and adored for her compassionate nature.


Bonnie Howard had letters from her children read to her. All spoke of her with highest esteem and adoration. One of her daughters mentioned how her mom was her hero. Her mom always said she was not a good swimmer, but she thought the latter. Her mom was met with many tidal waves in life, but regardless of the trials she kept swimming through life. Her kids and grandkids love her and her good example.


Marilyn Heaton is a sweetheart that does not have family, but considers the ward as her family. She loves everyone and never has liked being in the spotlight. She remembers a time that her mother had her memorize a poem and recite it in front of a crowd. After the experience, she vowed to never do it again. She has a bright and cheerful attitude and radiates love wherever she goes.



Dianne Brush had an astonishing perfect attendance all four years of high school. She was married and celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2008. It was said that they moved 40 times and lived in many different states. Dianne lost her husband in 2009 but has four kids, 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Her son characterizes her as a true pioneer woman because of her many talents such as painting, ceramics, making bread and donuts, making dolls and even plucking chickens! He also described her as smart, creative and loving.


Dixie Judd is known for her delicious food, whether it is peaches and pears or a grilled cheese sandwich. No one goes hungry at Grandma Dixie’s house – including the dogs! She is very compassionate, loving and full of service. Her granddaughter wrote that going to Grandma Dixie’s was full of happiness and the best of memories. If heaven were to be just like Grandma’s, it would be perfect. Dixie’s daughter Julie said her mom is her best friend who is always there, whether they are good times or bad. Her favorite thing to do with her is getting a diet coke and riding around town.


Anita Giovanini was actually supposed to be named Annie, but the doctor messed it up and she has always gone by Anita. When she was younger, she used to like dolls, put puzzles together, sew and embroider. She met her future husband at 19 and was engaged after the third date. Her fiancé waited a year and a half to marry her while she served a mission. Together they had six boys and one girl. Her family loves and appreciates her so much.


Ada Judd was a child movie star! When she was four years old she was in the movie “Buffalo Bill” in 1944. Her catchphrase was “bye, bye bill.” Ada was very involved in the church programs first loved primary. She devoted 20 years in the cub scouts and was known for teaching the kids how to make a “Buddy Burner.” She is most proud of her large family that consists of six kids, 21 grandchildren and 47 great-grandchildren. She is a great example for her family of willingness to do whatever and do her best. Her family loves her and loves to go over for dinner every Sunday.


Carla Griffith has three boys and two girls. She loves to camp and read books. Her granddaughter notes what a good cook she is and how everything seemed to taste better if she made it. She reminisced when her grandma made the best pancakes ever and she knew that they were specially made. Lasting legacies honored at special birthday celebration in Fredonia She is a wonderful mom and grandma. They also love her stubborn but loving attitude.


Lucy Judd was the last child of eight. She had three children herself and tragically lost one of her own in the past couple years. She has eight grandchildren and family means everything to her. She is a good example, good sister, kind, loving and compassionate. She loves to go to the temple, do genealogy and is often found in her yard amongst her beautiful flowers and garden. Her sister compared it to the “Garden of Eden” because it is so beautiful. She is also a very talented artist.


Pali Smith is known for her amazing homemade taffy. A friend remembers younger times when Pali’s house was the fun house to hang out, and they loved the taffy. Pali inherited the house and has fixed it up. She unfortunately lost her husband three years ago, but continues to fix the house and plans to move there one day. She has two children and two grandchildren.


Elaine Pratt and Sally Barber were unable to attend the party but were honored in their absence.

It was a great night getting to honor the women in our community and to learn more about them. It is amazing to see where people come from and the things accomplished in their lives. It was an uplifting night that left everyone with full bellies and in good spirits.


The Relief Society would like to especially thank Jan Judd for all her help to make the party a success!

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