WHITING, Alma Snow: My Ancestor

Submitted by Aria Doman, student at Riverside Elementary School in Washington, Utah.

WHITING, Alma Snow: My Ancestor
Alma Snow Whiting (1926-2017)

Alma Snow Whiting was my Great Grandma, she died just about a year ago and I miss her so much. It is still weird to think that she is gone. I am writing about her because I want to get to know her better. I have learned so many cool things about her that I wish I would of known before.

She was born just after midnight on the 18th of December 1926. Her grandpa, Dr. Donald A. McGregor delivered her. Her father past away when she was only three and a half, leaving her mother to raise six kids on her own. She grew up in St. George Utah, and loved it here. 

Growing up with five brothers and being the only girl made her quite the tomboy. She loved running, swimming, and playing sports with her brothers. Growing up people always asked her why she had a boy’s name, but it never seemed to bother her. She loved being named after her grandmother. 

Growing up she loved to read Nancy Drew Mysteries. She was baptized a member of the LDS church when she was eight years old in the St. George temple. Ever since she was twelve years old she remembered spending Summers with her aunts and uncles. They were always trying to help her mom out by taking some of the kids. 

Throughout the years her summer jobs included; working as a nanny for her family in California, doing ranch work in Arizona, working at a bakery with her uncle, picking fruit at a fruit farm, and working as a waitress at Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge. She enjoyed those summers spending time with family.

In 1945 Alma enrolled in BYU. It was there that she met Juan Whiting and fell in love. He had just returned from serving in the Navy, and was going to be leaving for another 2% years to serve an LDS mission. Alma continued her schooling while she waited for him to get back. 

While in college, she played the violin in the symphony. She was Vice President of her sophomore class, and served on the committee that determined and presented the Honor Code to live by at BYU. She finished college with a major in English and a minor in speech and music.

September sixth 1949, she married Juan Whiting in the Salt Lake temple. They quickly started a family, and bought a 30 acre lot in Mapleton. Juan was a school teacher and farmer, while Alma stayed home with their 7 children. They loved to travel and explore the world. Throughout the years they took their family to; Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Zambia, , South , Namibia, Lesota, Swaziland, Panama, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Jamaica, Mexico, Canada, England, Switzerland, Germany, France, Japan, Tinian, Saipan, Marshall Islands, Guam, Belgian Congo, Northern Rhodesia, Kenya, Tanzania, and China.

Some difficult things that Alma had to go through in her life were when her oldest son was diagnosed with cancer. He became a paraplegic and needed constant care. He died at the age of 19. She also had to take care of her sick inlaws for 2 years in her home until they passed away. Their home caught on fire while they were out of the house, and took months to repair. And later on in life, another one of her sons died from cancer.

She was always serving in the church. She went on two LDS missions with her husband. One to Zimbabwe, and one to , South Africa. Her and Juan both worked in the temple. 

She loved having a big family, and enjoyed all of her grandchildren. She was a grandmother to 69, and a great grandma to 110 . I used to love going to her house and visiting with her. She had a fun swing in the backyard, and a jar full of suckers. I will never forget what a wonderful woman she was, and hope that I can be like her someday.

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