Thora Whitaker Anderson born September 14, 1920 to Frank Sanford Whitaker and Matilda Ann Darrington Whitaker in Elba, Idaho. She was one of seven children, 2 boys and 5 girls.
Thora was baptized by her father on October 7, 1928 in a cool local Elba swimming pond. She remained faithful to those principals throughout her life.
The Whitaker family moved from Elba in the early spring of 1929 to the town of Springdale, Idaho. In the spring of 1932, they made another move to View, Idaho. This became the family home and farm. Thora graduated eighth grade in View, Idaho as Valedictorian in 1933.
Thora met and dated Billy Anderson in 1934. She loved to dance, him not so much; but he went to a lot of dances. They were married on September 14, 1936. Billy introduced Thora (cards were not played in the Whitaker home) to a variety of card games, a past time she enjoyed immensely for the remainder of her life. During their first winter of married life she made playing cards from empty cereal boxes. There was no money for frivolous things like playing cards.
Thora was a lover of poetry, reading and writing many poems as a young girl, in high school and beyond. She wrote, directed and acted in plays with every opportunity that presented itself. She was a champion of women’s rights long before the movement became a nationwide movement. She was a leader and teacher in young women’s organizations, devoting time, energy, and love. She consistently ensured that every girl was given the opportunity to perform. On more than one occasion she made skirts and costumes for girls that otherwise would not have been able participate.
May 28, 1945 was an extremely sad day in the lives of Harold and Thora. Harold was a one of approximately twenty draftees from Burley, Idaho. The men were allowed to choose their branch of service, his was the Navy. Thora remembers that induction day with gratitude that she “only had to live that day once”. She was expecting their third child!
Thora and Billy had 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy. On September 14, 1956, their 20th wedding anniversary; Harold William (Billy) Anderson and Thora Whitaker Anderson and their four children were sealed as a family in the Salt Lake City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A dream fulfilled for Thora!
Noreen Anderson married Ronald Dale Hawley, Bonnie Anderson, married Leonard Bruce Weber, Harold Michael Anderson married Karen Harrold and Toinette Anderson married Steven Mendoza. Their four children were the love of their lives.
These four children gave Thora 17 grandchildren, 53 great grandchildren, and 27 great-great grandchildren.
Thora held many jobs during her married life. One position she was especially proud of was being the 1948 President of the State of Idaho Jay-c-Ettes. She also was Business Manager for Harold when he was a potato broker, a commercial dressmaker, office manager for Parma Water Lifters, Clerk of the Board for Parma School District while also serving as personal secretary to the Superintendent of Schools. She had a life-long position as a home gardener, which she loved. She served as an especially gratifying home re-modeling expert with the “Kalicutt Construction Co”, the name they gave Harold’s personal remodeling. With all this her favorite and most memorable job was wife to Harold “Billy” and mother to Noreen, Bonnie, Mike, and Toinette.
In Thora’s own words from her Family History Book:
“Harold and I are just two ordinary people who lived in an extraordinary time and place.
We have observed man traveling by horse and buggy to traveling in spaceships and conquering outer space.
We drive a car that only the rich dared to dream about 65 years ago.
We have experienced everything from scrubbing our clothes on a washboard to having a machine wash our clothes and our dishes.
We can now send a message around the world in minutes that took months in 1917.
We have traveled a long road in the past 65 years finding joy in every step.
Our greatest accomplishment in our life together is the four children that only we together could produce. You are the expression of our love and devotion to each other. You brought meaning to our lives.”
Thora was the last survivor of the Frank and Matilda Whitaker and the Edwin and Laura Andersons families.
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