Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Life Sketch of Idris Egbert Hebdon - given by Terry Wayne Hebdon
Idris Egbert Hebdon
A unique name, for a singular lady.
Many great people and pioneers of this area have passed away in the last several years. In timber terms “we’ve lost too many of our finest old growth trees” or in our desert we would say “sages”. Mom was one of these.
If we were to ask who has had some of moms home made bread or scones many would acknowledge. If we were to ask who has felt of her healing art many more would acknowledge. If we were to ask who has been treated as a special friend the response would be over whelming; or who has received a letter, note or word of kindness or uplifting phone call, or invitation, or visit or finally, if we were to ask who has received a lesson or been taught in any way by her and would you all stand, I’m confidant that our dearly deceased would receive a complete hearty unanimous resounding standing ovation.
If mom were beside me now she would use a bit of her dramatic flair and make sure I spoke up, stood straight, and made sure all could hear and understand. She’d say, “tell them all thanks so much for coming”. She’d say, “tell them I love them”, and sheepishly she would ask “why are there so many?” The response would be, “mom, it’s because we love you”. It’s like the scripture of Jesus. Why did the people love Him so? Because He first loved us. This would please her.
We’ve heard before of the stories of St. Peter meeting people at the Pearly Gates. The most common greeting Peter gets is “Hi Pete, I’m off to see my loved ones,” and hurriedly they would enter. When mom arrived she stopped and enjoyed the beauty of the scene. Then she greeted Peter shaking his had in both of hers and gently kissed the back of his hand as their grasp let go. She asked him how he was. She thanked him for the warm welcome when all along she had made the experience so inviting. Peter suggested she could proceed now so she slowly did. As she looked back upon leaving she was happy - Peter was there on a chair she insisted that he use. He had a glass of milk, some warm bread with peanut butter and raspberry jam. His shoes were off because she had rubbed his feet - He too was happy!
On a very bitter winter day January 7, 1921 mom challenged the -30 degree temperature and made her entrance as the first child of the Hollis Russ Egbert and Marie Antoinette Karren Egbert family, at the home of her paternal grandfather in Marysville Idaho. Cold winters and short summers instilled in mom a tenacious self reliance and determination to always be prepared. In their winter wonderland which is just south of the west entrance of Yellow Stone National Park, mom and her family were not alarmed at all to be snow bound for days / weeks at a time. During the summer they prepared and preserved food for the winter. They had sheep and cattle and pigs and chickens, and her father was a good butcher. The meat would be hung in the shed and cut off as needed. As you can imagine in these conditions there was no need for a freezer.
In mom’s younger years she was her mothers good helper, her fathers go-for girl, and a special big sister to her younger brothers and sisters. Numerous cousins, family, and friends made for many happy times growing up. They lived near the river, so between the garden, the farm, the livestock, the fish, the berry patches, their own industry, ingenuity, and fore thought, they seemed to do quite well.
Mom did very well in school. She was an excellent student and even helped others to learn. She received special assignments from some of her teachers which pleased her very much.
Once at recess a fellow male class mate tried to take the baseball bat from mom, as he almost always did when it was her turn. Somehow she got it from him and hit him over the head with it. He went down with a thud. She thought she had killed him. To her amazement and great relief he did regain consciousness before the bell rang for recess to end. Mom chose to be the last student to enter the building so she could receive her punishment somewhat by herself. The teacher said nothing. As school dismissed that day, once again she hung back just in case the teacher needed to speak with her. Nothing was ever said about this incident. As you can imagine recess was pretty smooth from then on.
Idris graduated from high school and received a guitar as a graduation present. She loved that guitar and used it to bring music and happiness to herself and others.
Mom was very pleased she could attend Ricks College in Rexburg Idaho. Once again she excelled in school. She participated in drama and music, as well as doing well in her studies. She graduated with an Associates degree in teaching and was considered at the top of her class. After college graduation she was the first one to be interviewed and offered her first teaching job $95.00 a month - things were going well. She taught 4th grade for two years. She held 5 boys back and taught them again the next year. One mother thanked her so much for taking the extra time to help so her boy could say “Now I can learn easier.”
Mom had a way with teaching music. She was often called upon to help other teachers teach their students the songs they were supposed to sing for the play they performed. Mom said, “I guess I was just born with a knack of teaching. I was happy to help them have fun learning.”
Keith Auger Hebdon was the one who finally won mom’s heart and they were married June 21st, 1944. As a special wedding gift mom’s parents gave them 2 woolen blankets from the Minnesota Woolen Mills. This was the mill to which her father sent the wool from the family flock.
The subsequent years were spent teaching school, farming, and wishing for children. Thankfully the children began coming in 1949. There would be seven in all.
The love of land and water was too great for dad so in 1955 the family came to the Quincy area to farm. There was no water on the farm they purchased at Royal so they rented land in the Quincy, George are before moving where their home is now.
As many of you know, it takes special people to settle a land and conquer it’s difficulties and progress and prosper when everything is new and different. But, as a testament to mom and dad’s success in this endeavor there are numerous posterity who are grateful they excelled at that attempt.
Mom always kept a journal. She was a prolific writer. Some may remember her column in the Royal City paper, it was named “Prevailing Westerlies” She also wrote a song as part of a contest on the radio. She sent the song to Texas, won the contest, was mentioned over the air waves for her acumen in compositions and was sent a record of her song, sung and played by the radio station singer and orchestra.
Back to mothers writing. Her final journal entry was Dec. 27th, 2011. There were six empty pages after that. She mentioned once, “this is my last notebook.” Perhaps in one of those remaining six pages we can insert the following:
It was a windy day in the land she loved
When mom was called to depart.
Though the sand and the wind, and the wind and the sand
The place had a warm spot in her heart.
Many times she’d speak of this country
And call it a land “Royal”.
Fewer times she’d mention the difficult
And the constant need to toil.
“In my home is where I want to be
To live out the end of my days.”
So she stayed home and she stayed strong
And blessed others in so many ways.
In her final weeks as many here know
Every moment was cherished.
She was true and faithful and strong
Up till the moment she perished.
The Savior said to an afflicted youth
“Take up thy bed and walk”.
Our mother, as we saw her do
Left behind her bed and walked.
Into that realm we don’t recall seeing
But yet we know is there
She’s going to Keith and other loved ones
More good cheer to share.
Thinking once again of mom’s love of words and books and learning and teaching and writing; it may be interesting to know in all her conservatism and economy, she would not abide a malfunctioning or sub par pen. One best not be between her and the trash can when a writing utensil would disappoint.
To conclude - the words of an old time hymn. This hymn was sung at her father's funeral.
“Come lay her books and papers by
She shall not need them more
The ink has dried upon the page
So, softly close the door.
Her tired head with locks of white
And like the winter sun
Has laid to peaceful rest tonight
The teachers work is done.”
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
- The poem above was written by Terry.
- The song, Come Lay His Books and Papers By
"A poem turned song was written in his (Karl G. Maeser) memory. The words were written by Annie Pike Greenwood, with the music by L.D. Edwards. It is titled "Come, Lay His Books and Papers by." This song became an LDS hymn and appeared in the 1948 edition of the hymn book as hymn #338. After the title it states "In memory of Dr. Karl G. Maeser." It is not included in the 1985 hymn book."