Leola Terry was born of goodly parents, Jacob Thomas and Emily Hall Truman, on Oct. 1, 1916. She was the second oldest of 10 children. The first two were daughters, Reva and Leola, then came six boys in a row – Preston, Ervin, Howard, Melvin, Glade and Billie – followed by another girl, Pauline, and then the seventh boy, Richard.
Leola grew up in a happy and spiritual home in Enterprise. Each morning, when it came time to choose the chores for the day, Reva would choose to clean the house, and that left Leola to tend all of her little brothers. Hence, Leola always considered herself a tomboy. She spent a lot of time riding horses, playing boy games, and when any of her younger brothers did something wrong and tried to run from their mother, Leola could outrun them, catch them and bring them back to face their punishment. But all of her brothers agree that she was a wonderful big sister.
She liked to tell about the time when she and a group of her friends were having a party out at Andy Winsor’s place, when they decided it would be a big adventure to walk to Modena, so they started by taking an old road through the hills. They walked and walked and walked, then finally decided they had better turn around and head for home so that they could arrive at home before the sun came up. She said it was “the longest night ever,” and she had sore muscles the next day.
On more than one occasion, Leola would be the babysitter for a family as they attended the St. George Temple. They would travel by horse and wagon to Veyo, where they would camp for the night. Then they would go on to St. George the next day and Leola would tend the children while the parents did temple work. Then it was back to Veyo to camp for the night and then continue home to Enterprise the next day. Of course, the babysitting fee was a “big hug and a heartfelt thank you.”
Leola was always shy and quiet, but when a good-looking young man who was also shy and quiet, started paying her special attention, she was both flattered and happy. They had a sweet courtship and seldom had any disagreements. She married Merrill Holt Terry in the St. George Temple on her birthday, Oct. 1, 1935.
Merrill’s folks lived in a large house kitty-corner across the street from the present Stake Center. As was common in those days, the newlyweds moved into one room on the second floor. They shared the kitchen and living room with her in-laws for a couple of years. They eventually built a small basement home one block south and would travel to the Terry Ranch to spend the summers. Then in the 1950s Merrill built the home that still stands today, where she lived through her 101st year.
Merrill and Leola brought four children into the world: Bonita, Delance, Mical and Randy. Bonita and Delance are both deceased. Mical lives in St. George, and Randy lives in Enterprise. They have 15 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren.
Leola was exceedingly talented at painting, writing and every type of handiwork possible. She made and gave away many full-sized quilts, baby quilts, dolls, crocheted dresses and capes, and many other things that make a house homey.
She told about wanting to learn how to “tat,” but didn’t dare ask anyone to teach her, so she ordered some instructions through a catalog. She then went to a secluded spot out behind the barn where she could have privacy and taught herself the art of tatting. This is a remarkable feat, as tatting is the most difficult of all handiwork to learn.
Leola made the best vinegar taffy. It would melt in your mouth. She would start the stretching process when it was so hot it would burn your fingers, but she endured through the pain of the first few minutes because the early-stage stretching was the most critical for the production of the best taffy. The stretching process continued until it was almost impossible to pull and then was suspended vertically until it cooled completely so the light, airy product wouldn’t be compressed by its own weight.
In the olden days, Merrill played the drums for all of the dances in town. Leola was at every dance to give him her support. She would sit on the sidelines while everyone else enjoyed dancing. She was his biggest fan. She always attended all of the activities surrounding the String Band, as Merrill played the drums for them. They did everything together, whether it was riding along to feed cattle or doing other farm work. If you saw Merrill, you would see Leola also.
Leola served as a stake missionary and many other church callings. She and Merrill served as temple workers for over 20 years. Leola spent her life loving and serving her family, neighbors, friends and anyone else with whom she came in contact. She lived a life well-spent.
Leola is survived by two sons, Mical (Elaine) Terry and Randy (Anita) Terry; spouses of deceased children, Harold (Bonnie) Durrant and Trudie (Delance) Terry; four siblings, Glade, Billy Jim, Pauline and Richard; and 12 grandchildren and 40 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by Merrill Terry, Bonita Durrant, DeLance Terry, Edward, Royce, Tyrel and Eliza.
The family would like to thank Zion’s Way home health and hospice for their loving care and gentle support of mom during the last several months of her life. She was lovingly blessed with caring people who showed genuine concern and facilitated mom’s ability to stay in her home for the maximum amount of time possible. Beehive Homes, together with Zion’s Way, lovingly cared for her special needs during the final days of her life. We love you all for loving our mother.
- Funeral services will be held Nov. 10, at 11 a.m. at the Enterprise Stake Center, Enterprise.
- There will be a viewing prior to services from 9-10:30 a.m. at the church.
- Interment will take place in the Enterprise City Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Spilsbury Mortuary, 435-673-2454.
For condolences, full obituary and funeral listings please visit Spilsbury Mortuary online.