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Marlene C. Hall Profile Photo

Marlene C. Hall

June 25, 1932 — August 16, 2022

Marlene C. Hall

Thelma Marlene Curtis Hall was born June 25, 1932, to Kenneth Elroy Curtis and Fern Audrey
Thompson in a stucco house in Downey, Idaho during the depression years. Mom had one older sister
Colleen, four years older, and eventually would have a younger brother Ken, and two later siblings
Gardell and Susan born to Fern and Vernon Hartvigsen, following the passing of their father Ken.

Mom’s father Ken worked on a ranch and loved horses, but needed to find other work so they
moved the family to Omaha, Nebraska where he worked with his two brothers in a bakery at a Safeway
store. In Omaha, they lived in an apartment where my mother grew quite fond of a black lady named
Rosa who lived upstairs in the apartment above them. My mother would visit her often, and also picked
up on her accent and slang words, traditionally used in her culture, which my grandmother really didn’t
care for too much. This accent would stay with her for quite a while but eventually went away.

Colleen also remembers while living in the apartment, that they could see, and were fascinated
by the baby kittens downstairs, that they could see through the slats in the wooden floors. At about the
age of three, my mother who was quite independent, came up missing for several hours when she
decided to take a trip down to the ice cream store.

The heat and humidity of Omaha, and the bakery eventually took a toll on grandpa when he
suffered a heat stroke and the family decided to move back to Downey for my grandfather’s health.
Grandpa got a job with the Marsh Valley Canal Company cleaning water ditches and my grandmother
worked in a café there in Downey.

In 1936, my mother was just four years old and baby Ken was just a week old, when a tragic
accident happened as my Grandpa Ken was coming home from cleaning ditches. With a pitchfork over
his left shoulder, a lightning bolt struck him, going down his left shoulder and ripping his left boot wide
open, killing him instantly. This was hard on the family, and they struggled, but stuck together and
pulled through.

My mother attended grade school at Downey elementary, and while attending grade school
came down with Rheumatic fever. This weakened her heart at the time, and as there was not much in
the way of medical advancement they could do, but to let it pass. This illness would give her later
problems in life and eventually was the cause of her passing.

When my mother was eight, my Grandmother Fern married Vernon Hartvigsen, a wheat farmer
in the Cherry Creek area in Downey. Grandpa Vernon worked on the farm with his brother Arnet.

My mother wrote, “we loved and took care of each other. My mother was a very kind and
loving person. We had a good home, food, and adequate clothing. I remember my Grandpa Vernon to
be hard working. He would wake up early, well before the sun rose so he could be on the farm at
daylight. When he returned home, he was usually covered in dirt, his face black from the heat and
sweat of the day.” Grandma always had a good meal prepared and my grandpa would stay up long
enough to watch the news and never missed the weather report for the next day. Grandpa “would
enjoy a Sunday drive, which we would often go with him, where he would look at the other wheatfields
in the valley.”

My mother attended Downey Elementary and while in school her brother Gardell, who was just
5 years old passed away during a tonsillectomy in the doctor’s office. My mother shared a story about
Gardell, I thought was appropriate to share.

“I raced upstairs of our basement home in Downey, Idaho even though we lived just across the
street from the elementary school, I was late again. Just as I was about to reach the top stair, I heard a
voice call out, “Maree, there’s something you forgot. I turned and looked down at my three-year
brother whom I adored. I had made it my responsibility to see that he was washed, dressed, and had his
hair combed each morning before I left the house. I loved him so much, and it made me feel good to be
able to do that for him. I smiled at him, and slowly went back downstairs. I found a comb and very
gently combed his hair. I looked forward to spending time with my little brother and my sister Susan
who was just one year younger than Gardell. I played with them, read to them, took care of them, and
taught them songs while I played the piano. They brought so much love and happiness to my life.” I
wanted to share this because it was the same love and care she had for the family, as she took care of
her family, that she would have later in life.

Our mom graduated in 1950 with her High School diploma. While in Highschool she worked at
the Downey Theater. After graduating, she attended Grimm’s School of Business in Pocatello where she
learned secretarial skills and shorthand writing. She also worked at Woolworths and the Pocatello Chief
Theater. Between 1952 and 1959, as a secretary she worked for Farmers Insurance Group and became
the secretary to the office manager at Garrett Freightlines, Inc.

In 1958 she met my father Jerome B. Hall. My father was living in Montpelier at the time where
his dad ran a fly and tackle shop. My Dad loved to fly fish and one day while fishing down in Soda
Springs with a friend, he noticed the prettiest girl (my mother) he had ever seen. After packing up his
fishing gear, my dad and his friend went into the café to grab a bite to eat. While there he went over to
ask her for a dance. She gracefully declined, being engaged to another guy she was there with. But
being persistent, and anyone who knows my dad knows how persistent he can be in getting what he
wants, came up with a plan for his friend to ask her for a dance. And if his friend could get a dance, “she
could not very well say no to me!” My Dad’s plan worked and he got his dance. While dancing he

learned that my mother was working in Pocatello which was where my dad grew up. And this seemed
to be the common ground that set the wheels in motion.

My mother wrote, “Jerry is outgoing and enjoys visiting people. He enjoys camping and fishing.
He enjoys his family, but sometimes will jump to conclusions.” My mother also wrote of herself that she
is “gentle, patient, kind, and quiet.” So, each other offsets each other in strengths and personality giving
a needed balance in the home. And in my father’s patriarchal blessing it states that they knew each
other in the pre-existence. My father has always loved my mother dearly and has spoken very highly of

They were married in the Idaho Falls Temple in 1958. Dan the oldest was born in 1959. Mark
and I were born just 1 year apart and shared the same birthday in 61’ and 62’. Mom probably after
three boys and two, close together, needed a break, so there is a little gap between myself and Shaun
who was born five years later in 67’. Chris was born two years later in 69’ and Kimberly, who we had
just a short time, was born in 71’. Kimberly had dark hair and brown eyes like our mother. She only
lived one month, born on June 7 th and died on July 10 th from congenital heart disease. Kimberly’s
passing left a void in my mother’s heart for quite some time. My mother did eventually go back to
work after my sister entered school. So, between 1974 and 2006 when she retired (32 years), she
worked in the Attorneys General’s Office and for the Bannock County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. She
was retired sixteen years before her passing. About 2000, my mother went in for a triple bypass surgery
in Salt Lake where they replaced one of her valves with the valve of a pig. This surgery went very well
and lasted our mother well, beyond the expected, estimated years.

My mother’s life revolved around her family, and that mostly revolved around sporting
activities, as she kept us very busy in extracurricular activities. In the Fall we played football in the little
leagues. In Winter, we played basketball and we also learned to ice skate at Caribou Ski Resort. My
mother would pack us lunches and would sometimes leave us for the day or stay and watch us. We
always seemed to get a favorite drink of Hot Chocolate, or Hot Apple Cider with a cinnamon stick
included. My oldest brother Dan picked up skiing early, so Dan would ski while Mark and I skated. But
waking up one Christmas morning, Mark and I found skis, boots, poles, and lessons where we learned to
ski at Skyline, now Pebble Creek. Summer was filled with baseball, starting with T-ball, but later getting
involved in Bannock Boys baseball, followed by All-Star teams and a couple of years being involved in a
traveling baseball team. We were also involved with the YMCA where we learned to swim, and for a
couple of years we joined the Ross Park swim team where we competed at swim meets. When Shaun
and Chris came around, we added gymnastics and dance. So, you can tell, getting all of us kids around
to our various activities was a full-time job. We were also involved with cub scouts and primary which
was held during the middle of the week.

We always seemed to make a few trips to Downey to visit Grandma and Grandpa and cousins.
My Grandma always expected us on Memorial Day and would have a nice picnic ready for us after we
visited various gravesites and my youngest sister who was buried there.

Thanksgiving was always a big gathering with family, cousins, and uncles, and Richard would
always manage to pull out the truck and pull us around on sleds, provided we had snow. And then we
always made it down for the Bannock County Fair held in Downey for the week, and would go swimming
at Downata Hot Springs. Once a year we would usually take a few days to rent a cabin and go fly fishing
with my dad. My dad only fly-fished, while we fished off the banks until we got a little older and
eventually Dan, Mark, and I all learned to fly fish as well.

My mother was always there enjoying every minute, preparing meals, fixing wounds, scrapes,
and bruises, caring for her family. When she had time to herself, she enjoyed reading, crossword
puzzles, shopping for the family, and her favorite show was Wheel of Fortune. During the school year,
she would help us with our homework, help us to read, and read to us. Mother also held many church
callings teaching in the primary, I believe for about 20 years. Her fondness and love for the children are
where her greatest strengths lied. My mother was a very good cook. Meals were always prepared with
much care and she would always make sure to have, and prepare our favorite foods we each liked. My
grandma said that “Marlene could make the best gravy she had ever tasted!” I always thought she
made the best macaroni salad and chili I had ever tasted. My mother also taught us to work, making
sure we had chores to do in addition to running a paper route, which we held for several years.

Our mother also played the piano very well and attempted to teach us lessons which we did for
a while, but ended up getting in the way of sporting activities or playtime. We grew up with pets having
several cats, Louie, Suki, Mitsu, and Sambo who had a litter of kittens which we enjoyed until my mother
got tired of them racing all through the house and up her curtains. We had two dogs, Chico and Duke
who followed me home from school one day, and we also had a variety of other pets such as fish
aquariums, turtles, and gerbils. Mark had his own pets going on which consisted of spiders, snakes,
grasshoppers, praying mantis, ants and worms. My mother didn’t know about the worms until she was
trying to figure out one day where this terrible smell was coming from in the house. After investigating,
she found a bottle of worms tucked away in Mark’s drawer that had been there for quite some time.
When she asked Mark about it, he told mom he was keeping them as pets. Mom didn’t like it when the
spiders got loose in the house, especially the black widows.

One story really quite remarkable, and just at a different time in history, was letting three young
boys, Dan - 12, Mark - 10 and David – 9, go camping up Mink Creek area for five days, four nights by
ourselves. I’m not quite sure how Dan talked her into that, but it showed how much trust she had in us.
We spent the time hiking, camping, exploring, fishing and swimming. Our mother came up and checked
on us several times, bringing Shaun and Chris with her.

Our mother was always a source of light and example to us, teaching us honesty, light, principles
of hard work, and being smart and sensible in our actions. She will be missed here, but I’m sure she is
just delighted to meet up again with her mother and father, brother and sister and our dear sweet baby
sister, Kimberly, who she greatly missed in life.

About the last two years, my mother struggled with heart conditions, needing some oxygen, and
also struggled with swelling in her ankles from her heart not working well. She still remained mobile and
was able to do most things for herself.

Our mother passed away quickly, from heart failure on August 16 th about 11:45 am with my
brother and dad at her side. She was 90 years old. She was preceded in death by her mother and
father. Her brothers Ken and Gardell, sister Susan and daughter, Kimberly.

In closing, my mother shared her testimony after relating stories about the passing of her
brother Gardell and her daughter Kimberly.

“I love my Heavenly Father very much. I now have a deeper understanding of how He
must have felt when his own son, our Savior suffered on the cross for us. Our Savior suffered much
more than anyone of us could bear, and He died and triumphed over the grave, being resurrected so
that everyone who has ever lived on this earth could live again. I believe this with all my heart. I know
that one day I will be able to see my little brother, my baby daughter, and my father who died when I
was just 4 years old, and all of our loved ones, who have preceded us in death. I believe that we may be
a family forever and live together in our Heavenly Father’s kingdom as a family unit. I am so grateful to
my Heavenly Father and my Savior for all they have done for me and all of us. In the Name of our
Beloved Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.”

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