Mona Rae Heaton Ketchum passed from this life with her beloved husband, Ernie, by her side, on June 19, 2020, after a long battle with Alzheimers.
Born to parents, Joseph Linden Heaton and Phyllis Lovina Webb Heaton on September 8, 1932 in Hurricane, Utah. Mona was the 5th of 8 children. She also grew up in Hurricane Utah, which cemented her lifelong love for the red rocks and great canyons of Zions National Park and Southern Utah, which she always considered “home”.
Mona loved Jesus Christ, and never apologized for or hid her faith. When her family moved to Casper, Wyoming, a dashing young man kept showing up at her door despite the several mile journey from town. Her conviction and example led to the conversion of the handsome young Elvis look-alike, who would become her eternal companion. They knew from the start they were meant for each other. Mona married Ernest Eugene Ketchum on February 5, 1951. They were later sealed in the Salt Lake City temple for time and all eternity. They welcomed nine children into their family.
She was energetically active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, serving in many callings, including Relief Society President and Young Women’s President. She also served as a missionary with her husband at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii and in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. She also served a substance Abuse Mission and Church Employment Mission.
Mona openly expressed her love for family and friends, often holding them close and whispering her affections. “You are beautiful!” “You are wonderful in every way!” “You are so talented!" She didn’t pass up any opportunity to tell others of her love and admiration for them. She was totally forgiving and never said an unkind word and always looked for the good in others and in life. She painted rainbows when sometimes the skies were dark. Each child and grandchild knew they were special to her. Her husband and family were truly her crowning glory.
She enjoyed cooking for her family and was known for her recipes and tasty dishes. Mona believed in healthy eating, but still made sure her sweetheart Ernie was stocked up with 3-gallon tubs of ice cream even when she was “off sugar” herself. Her homemade rolls made mouths water and her family are grateful she passed her recipes and skills to her children. She kept a clean and beautifully decorated home. She loved to display a few of her favorite things, including large framed nature scenes applied to canvas taken by Ernie, family pictures and scrapbooks, portraits and statues of the Savior and even a number of her own oil painting.
Throughout her life she loved spending time in nature, especially in the mountains, on countless scenic drives. In her later years she found refuge and peace on simple picnics by canyon rivers surrounded by her family.
Mona and Ernie started their life together in Casper, Wyoming. Their 69 year journey spanned from coast-to-coast and across the ocean to the islands of Hawaii. Of their nine children, eight survive her and all honor her as a beloved mother. They are: Sherri (Von) Orgill, Randy (Kathleen), Deanne (Steve) Hechtle, Doug (Mary), Mark (Darlene), Russ (Carrie), David (Teresa), Joseph (deceased) and Tova (Danny) Heaton.
Mona is also served by siblings Harvard, Sharon and Paul. She was preceded in death by Roma, Max, Colleen and Glen.
At last count, Mona and Ernie had 50 grandchildren, 64 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. She showed each of her posterity how special they were to her and to the Lord. In all she did, the two underlying themes in her life were love of her family, and love of her Savior and Heavenly Father. She will be missed by all of her 123 (and counting) descendants, who will forever cherish their beautiful Mother and Grandma. It seems even now we can hear the Savior whispering, “Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”
Graveside services were held Friday, June 26, 2020 in the Toquerville Cemetery.