Tribute to my father's brother's wife, LaRue Barrus Gee, turning 80 this month
Just a few years ago, as we came to participate as temple workers in the Bountiful temple,
Aunt LaRue welcomed me with her winning smile. One day when no one could make it up the hill in a winter storm, I remember finding Aunt LaRue pitching in, shoes
or no shoes, at the organ...ever prompt at her duty, ready to fill in where someone else fell short. Music is a forte for the aunt whose footsteps I would be happy to follow. With sixty piano students at a time, patience and exactness mark her contributions.
I loved reading stories of her missions: about rabbit steps in Finland appearing out of nowhere to direct lost ones temple spires,
of finding lost communication devices in Africa
and divine protection on snowy roads in the Ural mountains of Yekaterinburg, Russia.
One of my earliest memories of Aunt LaRue came with porridge at their Ohio home.
I had never seen bowls so large (the boys used serving bowls) and wondered if Goldilocks would enjoy it
until we found an even better snack invented by her family: Scooby Snacks, named after something talked about by a favorite contemporary cartoon character
--Scooby Dooby Doo.
Koolaid or fruit drink syrup
mixed into a drink and frozen into cups or ice cubes. Add fruit or cut into squares.
Then add your own flair.
I also remember on one of our summer trips "out west," hiking up Mount Timpanogas with her family
I heard Aunt LaRue tell us the story about the princess on the mountain and another about timber wolves. I remember sleeping at our grandparents during our big cousin gatherings and having nightmares about the timber wolves. Last Saturday (during the birthday celebration narrative) I learned that I am not alone. Aunt LaRue makes stories come alive.
I love the way Aunt LaRue has taught me how to let my feet be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
Once in the temple, she told us a story of how, filling in at the organ, a tabernacle organist approached and suggested that she wear shoes, which she was accidentally missing, but which she usually wears.
If I could wear someone else's shoes,
I would try to walk the steps
that Aunt LaRue continues to walk
in loving her Heavenly Father, her husband, her children, her grandchildren and all she sees around her.
Monday, Val and I escaped "south," not far enough to have to speak Spanish for more than 30 minutes at our lodging, where we met a helper from Mexico, but because I have these lovely mountiains, and it is such a eye catching thing to share...I will share some mountains, that were worth putting our feet upon...Happy Valentine month to each of you!
Grateful not to be left without root or branch
Grateful for family members and friends with balance and those who stand out with distinction
Those who help us remember the special ones who came before
Blessings to you each as your feet seek beautiful mountains.
Laurene and Val
Tribute to my forever sister, LaRue Barrus Gee, by Shirley Gee
The thing that I had the most in common with LaRue was that we were planning to marry the two Gee brothers that we met at Ricks College!
I was blessed to have many sleepovers at the Barrus home in Sugar City, Idaho, and many pleasant experiences together at Ricks College.
LaRue shared her amazing family with me. I love the live on the farm--her brothers, Clyn and LaMar--her kind and busy father and animals and the chores.
Sleeping in her upstairs bedroom, I learned that the early morning practicing of the piano and the flute meant that you did not get to help with the morning milking and the chores.
I also got to enjoy the fabulous cooking of her grandmother Hammond, who lived at their house. I think of Grandmother Hammond often when I am in the temple, because she stitched the beautiful apron that she gave to me for my temple wedding.
I worked in the English department for LaRue's mom and corrected and grated the papers of many of her freshman English students. He mom was a gifted teacher, writer, and musician. I was often included as a guest in their home, to concerts and to meet folks who come to gatherings there. Her parents and family loved each other very much and shared lots of special things.
LaRue was student body secretary at Ricks college and was loved and admired there. I was the student newspaper editor. So we both went to the student council meetings the first year that Ricks College was a two year school.
I was blessed to go with La Rue to Lander, Wyoming to Martell's missionary farewell. He went to Finland for three very long years. We waited for missionaries together. When Martell came home, they were happily married around Christmastime.
I would like to say that LaRue is one of the happiest and most balanced people that I know! Her life is a testimony to me that families can be together forever!
Thank you for sharing your life and your family with me! ----Shirley Gee