PRICE – Earlene A. Black, also known to many as "Skeeter," passed away December 12, 2018 in Price, Utah. Her father’s namesake and oldest of five, Earlene was born October 24, 1924 in Mohrland, Utah to Charles Earl & Gladys Jensen Allred.
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She grew up on three different farms in the Desert Lake and Cleveland areas. She vaguely remembered that at the Desert Lake farm the coyotes howled and came so close you could see their eyes reflecting the light from the kerosene lamps.
After the Allreds moved into the Cook place near Cleveland they also homesteaded a Nine Mile ranch 42 miles away. They built a fence, a cabin, and improved the land. Earlene milked cows, tromped hay, harnessed teams so tall she could scarcely throw the apparatus across, picked raspberries and strawberries and many other physically taxing tasks. She herded cows along the ditch banks.
Her father often encouraged her to go into nurses training. He admired the role of the nurses caring for the wounded in the war.
At 13 Earlene was unexpectedly initiated into nursing. Her Mom was expecting a new baby. Her Dad went on horseback to fetch a doctor. On the way he picked up Sister Thorderson who was a nurse, Earlene prepared the birthing bed with oil coothe and sterile sheets as her mother directed. But Fred came so fast the bed was not used. Earlene attended to her mother and brother until help arrived about 15 minutes later. Fred was the final sibling. The others were Don, Jack, and Eldyth.
After her folks went into mercantile business in Cleveland, the tomboy golden-eyed blonde dynamo had to become more indoctrinated in cooking meals for the family. She also stocked and dusted shelves at the store, was tutored in greeting the public with a big smile and pleasant greeting and got to eat foods like bananas which the family had never enjoyed before.
At 17 Earlene married Roscoe Black, a classmate at North Emery High. Ross was in sheet metal school. He enlisted in the service for three years, serving overseas for 28 months in the Air Force in North Africa. When he returned in 1945, the family which included Laura Lynn, was reunited at Cleveland for a time before moving to Logan where Roscoe studied refrigeration and air conditioning at college for two years. By the time they moved to Huntington, they had added Gladys Lee, Guy Ross, Jacka Dean, Orvin Drew, Gayle Ann, Dale Ray, Allison, Leslie Jill and Roberta Kay to the family.
In 1967, Earlene began working as a public health care worker so she could take baby Roberta along with her while visiting the elderly in their homes.
In 1969 she enrolled for the LPN course Katherine Merrill was teaching at CEU.
After all the years away from the classroom, she had to learn to study, to concentrate and take notes, and do homework at home. The kids were good to help with the work. Earlene still made twenty loaves of bread at a whack, dozens of rolls, scads of spudnuts and main dishes. In June 1970 she graduated, took two days off and reported for duty at the home.
Her daughter, Gayle McDonald, voiced the admiration they had for their college mom and her dedication to her profession.
Earlene retired October 1 in time to enter even more whole-heartedly into the traditional family hunting party. She had not missed a season since 1948. Earlene is probably the only nurse in the world to "bulldog" a deer.
“We were making a drive on the Muddy, a few years ago,” she recalled. “About 23 of us were pushing this one canyon. Guy was on the one side of me and Jack Funk on the other. Two deer came into us. I took a shot at both wounding one that ran away and Guy got it. The other dropped in front of me. I propped my gun on a tree reaching over his horns, kind of straddling him, while I reached for the knife in my belt. He came to life, kicking and struggling to get up and me screaming wildly, He scooted down the hill with me hanging on. The men came to rescue from all directions. I held on while they cut his throat. Examining the two-pointer, we found I had only hit the horns and stunned him.” She skinned and cut up the deer, canning 36 pints of meat.
Fishing was another favorite diversion. She could solve problems best while sitting on the bank at Ferron reservoir. The desert, too, with its expanse was a good place for tranquility and solitude. At home someone was always stopping by for a social call and one of her rolls or spudnuts. The family grew to such dimension she cooked by the dozens.
She is survived her children; Lynn Louie, Lee (Clair) Cratsenburg, Guy (Sharon) Black, Jacka (Russell) Jones, Drew Black, Allison (Larry) Kosikowski, Jill Anderson, Roberta (John) Poglajen, son-in-law Steve McDonald, daughter-in-law Wendy Black. Preceded in death by her husband Ross, parents, daughter Gayle McDonald, son Dale Black, son-in-law Bob Louie, daughter-in-law Helen Black, and a granddaughter Jera McDonald.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 1:00 pm at the Heritage Funeral Home with a viewing being held from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm prior to services. Interment will be in the Huntington City Cemetery entrusted to Fausett Mortuary.
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook and share a memory of Earlene at www.fausettmortuary.com