Idaho State Journal, 3/2/18
Jennie Michaelson Spidell
On February 26, 2018 Jennie LaRue Michaelson Spidell returned home to her Heavenly Father. Jennie was born on February 1, 1920 to John Albert Michaelson and Nora Marie Peterson at the family home in St. Charles, Idaho; the fifth of eight children. She grew up during the Great Depression in a two-room log house with no electricity and no indoor plumbing.
Jennie began her education in St. Charles. She graduated in 1939 from Fielding High School in Paris, Idaho; the first to do so in her family. She continued her education in Long Beach, California where she studied music at a Junior College.
Jennie was eight years old when she first began taking piano lessons from her cousin, Mignon Michaelson; but her love for music began as a toddler when her father taught her chords on the piano. That love continued throughout her life. Piano lessons in those days were hard to come by, but Jennie was determined to learn to play. She would weed the teacher's garden all morning long just to pay for one lesson. At the age of thirteen she played in her first dance band with her brother, Alton. Jennie went on to play for numerous vocalists, dance classes, weddings, funerals, special events, musical productions and the DUP. She accompanied the Chordbusters, a well-known vocal group in the Bear Lake Valley, for twenty-seven years. She was still playing piano at the nursing home just one month ago. A lifelong love.
Jennie was a devoted member of the LDS church her entire life. She happily served when called to play for her Ward's Primary, Mutual, Choir, Stake and Relief Society. She became her Ward Organist in St. Charles at the age of 10.
While in high school she met Joseph Franklin Spidell. The two were married July 18, 1940 in the Logan Temple. In the early years of their life together Joe worked in construction, demanding the move to many cities in Wyoming and Utah. They returned to Montpelier in 1942, where they would spend the remainder of their lives. When Joe entered the service in 1943 Jennie began 53 years of teaching piano lessons, influencing and touching many lives. Joe passed away in 1987; the following thirty years her music helped to fill the void. Jennie never turned down an opportunity to play, if she was able.
Jennie's number one priority and greatest joy in life has always been her family. She loved to sew, a skill she acquired from her mother at a young age. Jennie always said that her happiest times were when her girls were growing up and she was sewing their dance costumes and frilly little dresses. She was blessed with a green thumb, enjoyed crocheting, family get-togethers and fishing and camping with Joe. Trips to the Senior Citizen Center to play bingo and gab was always a favorite.
Jennie was a kind, happy, sweet lady with a warm, caring personality. A wonderful, loving mother with many talents. She will be missed.
Surviving are her daughters Sandra Lyon (Oneal) of Montpelier, Idaho and Jo Lynn Wood (Chad) of Georgetown, Idaho; Grandchildren Kelly Keetch (Chad) and Jeffrey Lyon of Montpelier, and Zachary Wood of Clovis, New Mexico; seven great grandchildren; six great, great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, two infant grandsons, Wayne and Travis Lyon; one great grandson, Tyler Keetch and siblings Alton, Murnell, Lawana, Harvey, Elna, Flora and Orval.
Funeral services March 3, 2018, Montpelier First Ward Chapel at 1:00 pm. Visitation beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Published in Idaho State Journal on Mar. 2, 2018