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Larkin Mortuary

Betty Lou Stewart Hemingway Wickham

03/10/1928 - 05/15/2019

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Our beautiful and loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend Betty Lou Stewart Hemingway Wickham, passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on May 15, 2019 in her home. She was born on March 10, 1928 in Park City, Utah to her father William Urban Stewart and her mother Florence Huntsman. After her parents divorced, Florence married Joseph H. Rankers. Betty was raised in the mining town of Bingham, Utah, then Tooele, Utah and later in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. She graduated from South High School in 1945.

Betty had excellent office skills, including typing and shorthand and worked using these skills as a stenographer and secretary in various jobs throughout her life. Shortly after High School, she got a job with Western Union as a WUX (Western Union Exchange) operator. This job took her to Portland, Oregon, San Francisco and Los Angeles California.

After returning from Los Angeles, Betty met Vern Theo Hemingway and the two were married on August 1, 1947 in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Logan Utah Temple. Betty and Vern were blessed with 10 children (3 sons and 7 daughters) before they divorced.

Betty married John Henry Wickham II on June 26, 1970 (Later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple). They had one son.

After living in the Salt Lake City Utah area most of her life, in 1985 Betty was offered and accepted a job as an apartment office manager in Port Neches, Texas. After working there for 4 years she was offered the same position in another apartment in Oceanside, California and moved there in 1989.

In 1991 Betty and John served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Missouri, Independence Mission, after which she and John settled in Ivins, Utah. The two briefly returned to Port Neches in 1993 to work. After finishing this final employment, they settled in Mesa, Arizona for a few years before finally settling back in their home in West Valley City.

Betty was very active and served faithfully with devotion in her church. She had a strong testimony of her Savior Jesus Christ and loved and taught the Gospel to her family and friends.

Betty’s greatest pride and joy was her children and grandchildren. She was very loving, kind, generous and tried to help anyone in need.

She had an active mind and was a talented author and also learned to play the piano. She loved country music and she and John hosted many live music-playing parties at their home for years. Later in life she spent time with the friends she loved at the Eddie P. Mayne Kearns Senior Center where she also learned Spanish and learned how to play the Harmonica and Melodica.

While at the Senior Center Betty was also active in the Pinochle Card Club, the Chorus, the Red Hats Society, the Bookclub and the Harmonicats.

Betty is survived by 2 sisters: Margaret Jackson and Bonnie Brown , 9 children: Vern Rulon Hemingway (son) with wife Debra, Colleen Sadler (daughter) with husband Lee, Chris Ellis (daughter) with husband Randy, Rabien Hemingway (son), Jody VanValkenburg (daughter) with husband Dyrk, Carma Hemingway (daughter) with husband Tim Pilling, Jennis Hemingway (daughter) with husband Tracy Magann, Marcus Hemingway (son) with wife Jan, and Jerry Wickham (son) with wife Allison. 4 stepchildren, Gloria Olds, (stepdaughter), Beverly Shellebarger (stepdaughter) with husband Gary, Julie Sawyer (stepdaughter) with husband Bob, and Jon Van Allen (stepson) and his wife Joy Hintze and several nieces and nephews and friends. She is also survived by 33 grandchildren, 16 step grandchildren. 44 great-grandchildren, 54 step great-grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild and 2 step great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, William Urban Stewart and Florence Huntsman, her husband, John Henry Wickham II, former husband Vern Theo Hemingway, 3 sisters, Verona Stewart Harris, Cleta Mae Stewart Anderson, Fannie Patricia Stewart Mott, a brother, Roger Stewart, two daughters: Electa Pauleen Hemingway and Dixie Amanda Hemingway, a step son: John Henry Wickham III, 3 grandchildren: Courtney Coleman, Tanya Mae Ellis Maeser and Stewart Hemingway and two step-grandsons: David Wickham and Jesse Van Allen.

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28th at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Academy Park Ward Building, 4605 Westpoint Drive, West Valley City, Utah. A viewing will be held one hour prior to the services. Interment will be held at Larkin Sunset Gardens Cemetery.

Recent Condolences

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  • Sorry for the loss of this amazing woman she was a strength even when ill and she taught life lessons by example and unconditional love her laughter will be missed

    — Adrieana Stewart
  • I’m saddened to hear of your mothers passing. I remember her very fondly, the times spent at her home in Holiday with Carma and family.
    Betty was a very caring exceptional women with a love of life and family.
    Nan tucker

    — nan n tucker
  • Rabien,
    I was so saddened to hear of the loss of your mother and your son. I can only imagine the sorrow you are dealing with. Wishing you peace, comfort, and courage to face the days ahead. I hope the loving memories you hold in your heart will help heal you at this difficult time.

    Roxie Roark

    — Roxie Roark

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