Happy 90th Birthday!: Colleen Checketts

Saturday , August 19, 2017 - 10:00 PM

Reader Submitted

Colleen Nielsen Checketts celebrated her 90th birthday on August 14, 2017.

Colleen is the daughter of Don Carlos Floyd and Carrie Miller Nielsen and was born and grew up in Hyrum, Utah. She is the youngest of five siblings: Afton Farris Erickson, Wade Floyd, Chase Jay, Coy Scharp, and Maurine Taylor.

As a young girl, she remembers going with a brush and bucket of soapy water to the Hyrum Cemetery, the day before Memorial Day, to clean the headstones of her pioneer ancestors (Catherine Ann Miller, Sarah Ann Haigh, and Elizabeth Bradshaw).

She had a fun-loving mother who enjoyed a good prank and a kind and gentle father who was frequently the target. She was a teen during the war years and remembers the hardships and sacrifices. To this day she can pinch a nickel and get a dime!

Her brother, Chase Jay, one of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, was reported missing-in-action for over three years. She remembers the faith of a mother who never gave up hope and has demonstrated that same kind of faith her whole life.

Following graduation from South Cache, Mom started working at Defense Depot Ogden (DDO) and remembers the long, and sometimes breath-taking, bus rides through Sardine Canyon, especially during the winter months. She loved to dance, and along with her friends would frequent the Dansante in Logan.

It was there that she re-met her future husband. They had both attended South Cache High, but Art was a year older, so they knew each other only in passing. After a courtship that included killing and roasting chickens and other escapades too numerous to mention, Art and Collen were sealed for eternity in the Logan Temple on December 8, 1948. Mom jokes that WWII started for the U.S. on December 7th, and the war in the Checketts' home started December 8th. Mom and dad both worked at DDO and saved until, in 1949, they were able to buy the home they would live in for the next 68 years.

Colleen loves to sing. As a child, she sang duets with her sister Maurine. In our home, she always sang the popular songs of the 40s and 50s. She sang with the Sweet Adeline's, in a barbershop quartet, and has a natural ability to harmonize with a beautiful alto voice.

Mom is a hard worker. She hauled hay, kept a very clean house, took care of widows in the ward and served her neighbors. She was Relief Society President, Primary President, served in Ogden Temple for over 30 years and in the Temple Presidency with her husband for three years.

Until recently, she served as secretary to her Patriarch husband and typed patriarchal blessings on her faithful 1948 Royal typewriter.

Much of the food that passed through her refrigerator was not for family consumption, but destined for the homes of others. She has spent her life in service of others.

Mom, you're a wonderful example to us and we love you very much. Happy 90th birthday!

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