Fern Sophia Beck Despain passed away December 27, 2019, in Boise, Idaho, at the age of 101 of natural causes.
Fern was born December 20, 1918, in Silver City, UT, to Levi Beck and Iva Pearl Huff. Her father died in a coal mine disaster at Castle Gate, UT, in 1924. Fern was the oldest of three children. Due to the struggles resulting from the Great Depression, she lived most of her childhood with her Grandmother Beck until she was 13. Then she moved to Winslow, AZ, to live with her Uncle Alma and Aunt Florence Beck until she graduated from high school in 1936.
After graduating high school, she moved back to Provo, UT. She got a job working for the telephone company. She met and married Carroll Eldon Despain on October 9, 1939, in the Salt Lake Temple. They lived in Provo until 1950. While in Provo, three children were born: Carolyn Fern, David Allen, and Dennis Paul. They moved to Boise, ID, where Fern continued her career with Mt. Bell Telephone Co. until she retired after 33 years. Two more children were born in Boise: Thomas Eldon (died in infancy) and Becky Johanna.
Fern enjoyed traveling with her husband. She was a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. She served as den mother, 4-H leader, and various callings in her church. She enjoyed gardening, knitting, and other handwork. She attended exercise and dance classes at the Boise Senior Center until age 96. She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Carroll, and infant son, Thomas. Fern is survived by four children: Carolyn (Gary) Purcell, David (Paula), Dennis (Diana), and Becky (J.D.) Burdick; 20 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren; and 5 great-great-grandchildren.
Thank you to Horizon Hospice for their loving care, to the friends and neighbors who helped along the way, and especially to her granddaughter, Kristen Purcell, for her dedication, patience, and love.
Funeral services will be held Friday, January 3, 2020, 11:00am, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 701 S. Curtis Rd., with a viewing from 10:00-10:45am before the service begins. Interment will follow the service at Cloverdale Cemetery, Boise.