Life Story of Leila Moore Beck - 1951 to 1971

by Milton M. Beck, grandson

Leila Moore Beck is my grandmother. Desiring to extend my grandmother's life story beyond June 1951, the end date of her first account, I am writing this second account. The source of what I write is based on letters written to my father, John Milton Beck, Jr., from 1950 until the time of her death in 1971. These were preserved by my father in multiple binders, which are in my possession. I also had personal intermittent association with my grandmother during these years. In this account I will refer to her as Grandma Leila.

Grandma Leila's husband was John Milton Beck (now referred to as John Milton Beck, Sr.), whom she referred to as "J Milton" and "Daddy". Upon the death of her husband on June 4, 1951. She, as his widow, maintained contact with their six living children, who were all married. The children are John Milton Beck, Jr., Carol Mae Beck Johnson, Wayne Moore Beck, Frank Preston Beck, Margaret Leila Beck Millett, and Donald Lynn Beck. At this present time, August 2015, all are deceased.

Grandma Leila became owner of all the assets that were common with J Milton. These assets included the house and lot, other structures, farm equipment, farm land, vehicles, and animals. The management of all these assets was difficult for her. Early on she sold horses and cows. She also sold vehicles, a truck and an automobile. She never obtained a driver's license. She kept the sheep for awhile. She kept the chickens many years. They were in three large adjacent coops and numbered in the hundreds. Sale of the eggs provided income. The farm land was rented. The northwest half of her lot became part of the I-15 freeway. Only the house and garage remained on the lot.

Grandma Leila tended a garden and a small orchard, which were on her lot. Grass surrounded the house. Water for the lot was provided from a small canal located adjacent to the south property line and parallel to the street. The water was available during scheduled water turns based on a 24-hour clock. Pressurized culinary water was provided to the house and a valve located in the front lawn. In the garden she raised vegetables. There were also raspberries bushes and grape vines. In the orchard were cherry and apple trees. When fruit was harvested, Grandma Leila bottled much of it, which was stored in her basement.

Grandma Leila lived in her house, which contained on the main floor a living room, parlor, kitchen, breakfast nook, and one bathroom Upstairs were two bedrooms and a storage area. There was a basement. The house was originally heated by a coal furnace located in the basement. Later this furnace was replaced by a natural gas furnace. For many years food was cooked on and in a coal fired stove and oven. Later a hot water heater was installed in the basement.

Grandma Leila was a seamstress. She made temple clothes and her own dresses. She was authorized by the Church to make temple clothes. The making of temple clothes provided significant income. Most often temple clothes were provided for the burial of deceased persons who did not own their own set. She made temple clothes as gifts for close family members. Paying customers included local persons and friends of her children.

Grandma Leila was sociable. She liked to visit and be visited. Of her children, Wayne and his family members were the most frequent visitors. J Milton, Jr. came to visit once or twice a year for multiple days. Carol, Margaret, and Donald came less frequently. Frank lived many years in Alexandra, Virginia (near Washington D. C.) and made contact mostly with letters. Grandma Leila had much contact with her brothers and sisters and their families. Neighbors and other person in Payson visited with her. Warrington and Keturah (Mac and Kate) McAllister, the parents of J Milton Jr.'s wife Rhean, came frequently.

Grandma Leila frequently attended the temple, mostly the Salt Lake Temple, and less frequently the Manti Temple. When she was at home in Payson, she arranged to ride to the temple once or twice a month. Grandma Leila also assisted in family history work.

Grandma Leila, during winter months, often visited her children who lived in California: Carol, Margaret, Donald, and J Milton, Jr. She typically spent multiple days with each family. At least twice she received airline tickets and visited her friends in Hawaii.

Grandma Leila enjoyed attending family reunions. There were Moore, Beck, and Thomas reunions. She also participated in the festive activities of Payson Onion Days the first week in September. She periodically attended the Church's General Conference in Salt Lake City. At these times, Hawaiian Mission reunions were held, which she joyfully attended.

Grandma Leila was very active and worked hard. From time to time her activity was interrupted by health conditions and accidents. One of her ears was operated on, and her ability to hear was increased. Because of the development of gall stones, her gall bladder was removed. From time to time she fell while working outside. In one case a long wire got entangled in her lawn mower, was ejected, and painfully wrapped around a leg. She was seriously injured in an automobile accident when she was riding with her brother, Walter. During one fall she broke bones in her foot. She did not receive adequate care and her leg became seriously infected. An operation was performed to place the bones in their correct position. She wore a heavy cast around her foot and leg for many weeks, while healing took place.

Grandma Leila was living at home January 8, 1970. On February 13 she fell and was injured. She was cared for at Payson Hospital. A vertebrae in her spine was broken. She remained in the hospital until March 27 when she was moved to a convalescent hospital and care center located in the southmost part of Provo. Her health gradually improved. Carol spent three days with her at Thanksgiving time. On Christmas Day she was a guest at Wayne's home. She attended the temple the next morning, before being taken back to the care center. Grandma Leila wrote letters to her son, J. Milton Jr., on December 27, January 8, and January 19, She died in the care center on January 30, 1971.