Okie Bigelow

(This was scanned into a computer file by Stephen Rawlins in Feb., 1997, from the document: DON AND ANNIE BIGELOW LIFE HISTORY, prepared by their children in 1988.)

Don and Annie's eleventh child was born while Don was on his second mission. She was born Sunday, 24 November 1912. At that time, Don was living with a family in Kentucky named Thomas. They had a daughter the same age as Don' S daughter Elva. Her name was Okie. Because this girl reminded him so much of his own daughter, Don liked her and her name.

The name Okie was a strange name to Annie, but the baby was not doing well and she was afraid the baby would die without being named and blessed. Annie asked the Bishop to come to her home and bless the baby. To please Don the baby was blessed and named Okie Bigelow.

Okie, like her brothers and sisters, attended grade school in Wallsburg. She had only started high school in Heber, when on 10 December 1926, she attended Lucile Ford's birthday party. Ray Heward asked if he could walk her home. They began a wonderful courtship that lasted all through High School.

Ray Pyne Heward and Okie were married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple 15 October 1930. Theirs was a double wedding because her brother Alton and his wife Fern were married in the temple the same day.

Three daughters were born to this couple:

  • Doris born 22 August 1931 Wallsburg
  • Afton Louise born 6 March 1934 Salt Lake City
  • Darlene born 7 October 1936 Salt Lake City

Ray and Okie made their home in Salt Lake City, where Ray was working for the Rio Grande Railroad. In 1944 Okie attended the Quiet Beauty School, and in 1945 became a licensed beautician. They remodeled their home to include a beauty shop, where Okie ran a very successful beauty business for eight years.

In 1946 Ray and Okie bought the drug store on the corner of 4th east and 1700 South in Salt Lake City. This they operated with their daughters and hired help from 1946 to 1963. In 1952 Okie closed her beauty shop and started to attend the University of Utah Pharmacy School. She attended this school for a year and a quarter before she decided it was too hard to attend college, work in the drugstore and keep a home.

In 1963 they sold the drug store and just took care of the eighteen apartments that they had. acquired. In 1977 Ray's health did not allow him to work any longer, so they sold the apartments.

Ray died 24 December 1984 and was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Positions that Okie has held in the Church are Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Secretary, Relief Society teacher, Relief Society Visiting Teacher and a Visiting Teacher Supervisor. She also is Secretary and Treasurer of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Camp of which she is a member. She belongs to a home-evening group of seven widows. In 1988, she has also been called to work in the Church Extraction Program.

Okie was the last of her brothers and sisters to do extensive temple work. Don and Annie can be very proud of their children, their lives and the temple work that they have done and are doing now in 1988.


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