Story

Notes by Merle Alice Rees Call

Merle Alice Rees Call

(The following is based on some incomplete notes apparently written by Merle. I have taken the liberty to edit those notes to make them more readable.)

  • Daughter of Joseph Edmond Rees and Ada Blanche Thackeray.
  • Born 29 July 1911 in Coalville, Utah.
  • Attended grade school in Croydon, Utah.
  • When she was eight years old, she was baptized under the Bride in Lost Creek, Croydon, Utah.
  • Merle loved to sing.
  • In the eighth grade at Morgan High School, she had the lead in the operetta.
  • Graduated high school with a class of 13 at the age of 16.
  • Summers were spent working at Uncle Royal Thackeray’s ranch, Devil Slide Hotel, and Morgan Pea Factory.
  • Two years were spent majoring in art (and dates) in Logan, Utah at the Agricultural College. She paid her way by working in the campus hall.
  • She went to beauty school and operated first at Utah High School of Beauty Culture, then in a shop owned by Ben Katz, then Emma Stanton at Cottage Beauty Shop.
  • Married, extremely happy.
  • First home in Richmond Hotel in Salt Lake City on N. Temple, then to an apartment on 5th East. She also lived in an apartment at 7th South. She moved to the Midgley Apartments, where Marlene was born.
  • First baby Marlene was born at Bountiful on April, 18 1933.
  • Helaman Pratt Call, husband, worked for Safeway Stores.
  • First vacation was to Bryce and Grand Canyon in Southern Utah. Took Mother Call and Mother Rees and left Marlene with Lavon at the farm.
  • Second trip together we took Father and Mother Call to Los Angeles, California. Father Call’s eyes just dimming, he remarked he saw three lights to our one—always had a sense of humor.
  • Next trip Dora, Helaman’s sister, and I went to Los Angeles and HP came a few days later. We cut our vacation short when we were called home when Bob left home. He was back home when we arrived. They had our children.
  • Took Mother Call and our family to Yellowstone Park when our third baby Linda was three months old.
  • When Linda was ten months old, I took her to L.A. for three weeks with Parley Call.
  • Neil Rees Call, our second baby, was born premature. He weighed three pounds when born and two pounds, eleven ounces when I came home from hospital. Took mother’s milk to the L.D.S. Hospital daily until he weighed five pounds, which was about when he was six weeks old, at which time we brought him home. He was a lovely healthy baby. His daddy named him in the delivery room immediately after birth, May 16, 1936.
  • When our third baby, Linda was born, husband, Helaman, had won a trip with his company Prudential Insurance Co. for selling certain quota of insurance. Left two days after baby’s birth. She was born May 8, 1940. I was in the hospital on Mother’s Day.
  • Alan Brent, our fourth, was born at L.D.S. hospital on Nov. 2, 1942, Pres. Heber J. Grant’s birthday.
  • Dec. 26, 1943 Helaman received his call to report to induction center Fort Douglas Utah for physical examination. He was sworn into the U.S. Navy on Jan. 4, 1944. He left for Farragert, Idaho training center on Jan. 11, 1944.
  • After finishing boot training, he was sent to San Diego for radar school at Ft. Loma, at which time I was able to leave Neil and Marlene at sister-in-law Melba Calls and Alan and Linda at Grandma Rees at Morgan and had three wonderful weeks at A.V. Call’s home. HP got home almost daily. After graduation from Ft. Loma, he was sent to Treasure Island, San Francisco in June.
  • We started in our car going as far as Ely, Nevada where Ivan (brother) sold our car and drove us to San Francisco, where we spent three months with husband (daddy), seeing him almost daily. We had a fine government unit home in Sunny Dale and visited Bill Call. Neil later went on a mission there.
  • We returned home in time to start school in Sept.
  • Husband came with us for three days. He returned to San Francisco on a detained train and lost his birth on the ship the “Arron Ward,” which later was hit and our good friend and neighbor Farrell Fletcher was killed. He was reassigned, after being court-martialed for arriving too late, to the U.S.S. Zellars in the position of radar man.
  • His ship was hit by a kamikaze Japanese plane and he miraculously escaped injury. They patched up the ship amid constant place attacks but succeeded in making it seaworthy. Helaman arrived home by plane two days after Linda had been run over by a car, driven by Ruby Butts. She suffered all summer, was in bed during Helaman’s furlough.
  • Helaman’s father passed away May 19, 1945.
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