Edith Maude Gudmundson Andra

Edith Gudmunson

Edith Maude Gudmundson Andra, 91, passed away on Monday, 18 July 2016 at her home in Stockton, Missouri, from natural causes related to age.  She was born the first of two children on 21 September 1924 in Logan, Utah, to Melvin Peter and Maude Victoria Wollaston Gudmundson.  She married William Fredrick Andra Jr 13 June 1947 in the Logan Utah LDS Temple.  Together they had six children.  William passed away in 1992.  Edith married Leland Fred Williams 10 March 1999 in Arnica, Missouri.  He predeceased her in 2011.

Edith grew up in Logan at 253 East 3rd South.  She had one sister, Shirley, born in 1928, with who she grew up.

Shirley, Melvin, and Edith

Shirley, Melvin, and Edith


Shirley and Edith Gudmundson

Shirley and Edith Gudmundson

Her mother passed away in 1931 and the family had to work through those difficult years with just the three of them.  She attended Wilson School and Logan Junior and Senior Schools where she graduated. She played the violin.

Edith Maude Gudmunson 005

Logan HS Yearbook

Logan HS Yearbook


Logan HS Yearbook

Logan HS Yearbook


Edith Maude Gudmunson 012 Edith Maude Gudmunson 014 Edith Maude Gudmunson 008 Edith Maude Gudmunson 010

She enlisted in the Navy in Salt Lake City, Utah, 21 September 1944 and served until discharge in San Francisco, California, 1 May 1946.  She trained and served as a switchboard operator for the majority of the time of her service.

Edith Maude Gudmunson 015 Edith Maude Gudmunson 016

After her military service, she attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Edith in the BYU yearbook

Edith in the BYU yearbook

Edith 002

During this time she met William Andra, who discharged from the Marines 20 June 1946.  I am not aware that he attended Brigham Young University, but I know he was living in Orem and it was likely there that William and Edith met culminating in their marriage in 1947.

Edith and William Andra Marriage Portrait

Edith and William Andra Marriage Portrait

Greg William was born in Preston, Idaho in 1948.  Chad Fredrick was born in Preston in 1949.


Bill and Edith andra with Greg and Chad

By 1950, the family was living in Boise for a short time.

Edith in 1951

Edith in 1951

The family then moved back to Logan where Kent Melvin was born in 1954.

Bill and Edith with Marc, chad, and Kent

Edith Maude Gudmunson

The family was living in Midvale by 1955 where Marc David was born.  Then to Salt Lake City in 1956.  Troy Norman was born in Providence in 1960.

Bill and Edith andra with Greg and Chad and Kent, marc

Bill & Edith in Richmond for an Andra Reunion

Bill & Edith in Richmond for an Andra Reunion

A few years later the family moved to Smithfield.  Todd Nathan was born in Smithfield in 1968.

Greg,Kent and Marc, Chad, Edith, Bill

Greg and Chad and Kent 001

It is in Smithfield that my mother came to know the family, since she was living in Richmond.  Kent and my Mom were close in age and played together.

Larry and Mom both told me stories about William and Edith being very particular about being healthy eaters.  Larry remembers Edith washing every leaf of a head of lettuce before it could be eaten.  William tried to convince Larry of the unhealthy nature of bacon and milk.  Nobody else seemed to care, but it would really get William and Edith upset when people would not come to their way of thinking.  William was also particular about when you ate, not mixing the various parts of your food with other parts.  Larry found much of this amusing.

The Andra family was a fairly tight knit family and held reunions together yearly.  Relationships started to strain in 1965 when William and Edith learned and accepted polygamy leading to their excommunication from the LDS church.  The Andra family relationships started to strain further after attempts to convert William’s parents and some of the siblings to polygamy.  Even while William’s parents were in a nursing home late in life, there were attempts to convert them to polygamy which led to final severing ties.

Bill and Edith with 5 boys

William Andra Jr FamilyBill Edith Children 1981

I don’t know when, but the family after converting to polygamy moved to Santa Clara.  Nobody in the immediate family knows when due to the severance.  After many years in Santa Clara, they then moved to Cedar County, Missouri.

Bill Edith 1981

Bill and Edith Family 1981

Bill and Edith in SLC (2)Todd, Troy, Marc, Kent, Chad, Greg 004

Todd, Edith, and Kent Andra

My first visit to Edith was in 2001.  I was moving to Branson, Missouri for work and before I left Uncle Ross Andra told me Edith lived in Missouri somewhere.  I do not have any memories with William and Edith and did not even know she was still alive.  Ross told me I should stop and visit.  I knew nothing of the divide that had come into the family.

When I stayed the night before entering Missouri in Florence, Kansas, I looked to see what I could find in the phone book.  With a last name like Andra, it wasn’t hard to find who I thought was the right name in Stockton, Missouri.  I called the number and it was Mary Andra, wife of Kent Andra who answered.  She told me I was welcome to stop by and since their shop was a bit off the beaten path, gave me directions.

I arrived later that day and found a long lost number of cousins I never knew existed.  I saw the shop, I met a number of Kent’s children, and then I was taken down to the home to meet more of the family.  When I was introduced to his wife, Tammy, I thought I had already met his wife, Mary, but I assumed I must have misunderstood.  I met more and more children.

Kent sent one of his daughters with me to help me find Edith’s home.  I sat with Edith meeting her for the first time in my memory and chatted for quite a while.  She showed me some family history, told me some sweet stories of my Grandmother Colleen, and various conversations.  Edith did not know Colleen had passed away.  She told me of her new marriage to Leland Williams.  We parted on great terms and went back to Kent’s home, enjoyed some carrot juice, and visited.

In a funny situation, I was enjoying my carrot juice trying to keep the children’s names straight when Mary came into the house.  I sat there talking with Kent, Tammy, and Mary having a good laugh.  I kept wondering how I misunderstood and was unclear on who was Kent’s wife, so I asked.  They stated that both were.  I sat there not comprehending.  I must have looked confused because they just looked at me.  It then dawned on me and I made some comment like, “Well, we are family right?”  I laughed, they laughed, and I think any tension or misunderstanding that may have been there melted away.  That was not something I was expecting that day!

We said our goodbyes knowing that we were still family.  I quite enjoyed my visit.

It was later that week I got a phone call from Edith asking me to not share names, circumstances, or anything else regarding the family because it had caused so much trouble with the rest of the family.  I told her that we were family and it did not bother me and I really did not think it bothered anyone else.

I visited again in 2002.  When Kent passed away in 2003, I thought they were very kind to let me know.

Amanda and I stopped in 2006 on our move from Utah to Virginia.  As we drove to the boonies where they lived, she joked with me that I was going to drop her off out in the middle of nowhere.  We again had a very pleasant visit with Mary, Tammy, and Edith.  Amanda was prepped with the information and quickly found out nobody had multiple heads or horns.  I think it was the boonies that gave her more concern than the polygamy.

I visited again in 2008 driving from Virginia through to Washington for work.  That time Edith had moved to a home nearer to her son Marc.  I stopped to visit Marc and Cheryl and met them for the first time.  Edith also came over to the house and we visited with her.  Here is a photo from that visit.

Paul Ross, Cheryl & Marc Andra, and Edith.

Paul Ross, Cheryl & Marc Andra, and Edith.

I tried to call Edith every other year or so.  Sometimes it was hard to track her down, but I typically found her and was able to call.  The last time I visited with her was when Donald was sick and dying with cancer in the spring of 2016.  I asked Donald if I could let some of the extended family know.  He said yes.  With that, I called Edith and visited with her about Sergene’s passing and Donald’s cancer.  She talked about how the family was distant and she appreciated the updates.  She also indicated that life continues to pass and we all end up dealing with death at some point.  She reminded me of her age and she did not know where she would be next week either.

Now she is gone.

While I know there was quite a bit of angst in the family over the beliefs and separation, but despite all that I am glad I did not know of the polygamy issues and got to know the family as just that, family.  Their position, beliefs, and practices at no point directly affected me in any way.  I am glad I know them!

Aunt Edith, until we meet again.



Parley & Eliza Wagstaff

This is a bit of a peripheral line for me, but since a cousin made the information available, I am happy to share it here.  All the credit goes to Julee Hicks for this post.  Nearly everything in this post will be from the biographies and photos she forwarded.

Eliza and Parley Wagstaff

From the Autobiography of Parley:

“I, Parley LeRoy Wagstaff was born April 9, 1903, in Glendale, Oneida (now Franklin) County, Idaho, to William Addison and Mary Magdalina Wanner Wagstaff.  The fifth child to join this union, I was blessed May 10, 1903.

“My earliest recollection was when I went to the Logan Temple to be baptized on April 18, 199 by Joseph M. Smith and confirmed April 18, 1911 by Thomas Morgan.  At the age of six I started school which was in a one-room building which served as a church and school with a black stove to keep it warm.  Father, being the custodial, it fell my lot and my brother Bill’s to go and build the fire in the mornings and at night we had to sweep and dust so it would be ready for school the next day.

“The school house being two and a half miles away we had to walk or ride a horse.  A horse fell on my leg and my Dad put a splint on it and I stayed in bed while it healed.

“At the age of 12, I was ordained a Deacon, May 3, 1914 by Joseph M. Smith.  I served as president for awhile.

“In the summers I worked for neighbors for very little money and my board.  In September 1919, we moved to West Weber; I and Bill drove a team of horses with our belongings from Idaho to West Weber.  In October or November, we were quarantined with a disease and didn’t start school until the first of 1920, then we went to Wilson, I graduated on May 29, 1920.

“I was ordained a priest March 1, 1925 by David Hancock.  I spent my time helping on the farm in the summer and running a grain binder all over Weber County.  In the winter I helped feed cattle for Lu Keller and helped Dad milk cows.

“On January 17, 1928, I was ordained an Elder by Francis F. Stratford Sr.

“On March 14, 1929, I was married to Eliza Blanch in the Salt Lake Temple.  We have been blessed with five children, two boys and three girls.  One passed away at birth.

“We have lived all our lives in West Weber, running a diary farm.  On January 5, 1964, I was ordained a Seventy by Spencer W. Kimball, and on August 9, 1970, I was ordained a High Priest by Francis E. Stratford Jr.”

This is all I have of Parley’s autobiography.  Here is his funeral program.

Here is the biography of Eliza:

“Eliza Dorthea Blanch Wagstaff was born August 2, 1908 in West Weber, Weber County, Utah.  She was one of nine children born to Joseph and Laura May Etherington Blanch.

“Like most young girls she attended school, participated in church activities and helped her parents on the farm.

“Eliza considered it a privilege to work in various homes before her marriage.  She says to know people is to love them.

“Her marriage to Parley L. Wagstaff took place in the Salt Lake Temple, March 14, 1929.  They moved several times; the last time into the old family home where she was born and reared.  They were the parents of five children, Duane LeRoy, Elelyn  W. (Purdy), LaNea W. (Rawson), Brent William and an infant daughter who died at birth.

“Before her marriage Eliza taught a Sunday School Class with Mary Penman for five years.  For 25 years she has been an ardent worker in the Primary; starting in 1933 as a teacher.  She was appointed second counselor to President Isabell Wagstaff in 1943.  Two years later she was released.  She held this same position twice under President Una C Greenwell; first, from March 1957 to August 1958 and from 1962 to 1964.  From 1949 to 1957 she helped the 11 year old Guide boys become second class scouts and graduate from Primary before they were ordained Deacons.  She was appointed by President Thomas O. Smith to work in the North Weber Stake Primary Board, February 3, 1958 and was assigned tot he Guide Patrol Department.  She was released August 20, 1962.

“Sister ELiza had the privilege of teaching Evelyn during her three years as Mother Bee Keeper, daughter Beehive girl.

“Sister Wagstaff was appointed second counselor to President Leila C. Heslop in the Ward Relief Socity January 3, 1965.  She was changed to first counselor September 12, 1965, and is currently working in this capacity.  She has been a visiting teacher for several years.

“Parley and Eliza were called to work on the Old Folks Committee in May 1955 and are still working on this assignment (1968).

“Eliza has been a member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers since 1947 and has held the following positions in the organizations: Captain from 1953 to 1955 and Historial from 1961 to the present time (1968).

“The following quotation is from Sister Wagstaff:  “The crowning glory of my life came with motherhood.  Children of angels of God in disguise; they are idols of hearts and households.”

This photo was taken at a birthday party for Sarah Judkins in 1941.

Back (l-r): Eve Baxter Blanch(1904-1992), Voletta Belnap Blanch(1905-2000), Lee Stoker(1910-1998), Laura Blanch Hancock(1903-1963), Wilford Newell Judkins(1881-1956).  5th Row: Alta Bailey, Albert Bailey(1919-2009), Parley Wagstaff(1903-1996).  4th Row: Nina Judkins(1924-2010), Laura Mae Blanch(1873-1942), Eliza Blanch Wagstaff(1908-1992).  3rd Row: Lynn Judkins, Ruth Hancock(1922-1998), Ethel Blanch Stoker(1910-1987), Don Blanch(1913-1997), Heber Hancock(1902-1960).  2nd Row: Newell Judkins(1917-1979), Myreta Judkins, MaryBell Judkins(1919-2000), Sarah Judkins(1899-1974), Keith Stoker(1930-1990), Val Hancock(1929-2010), Gene Hancock.  Front: Bobbie Blanch, Jesse Stoker(1932-1997), Joyce Judkins, LaNae Wagstaff, Evelyn Wagstaff, Duane Wagstaff, Reed Hancock, Jerri Blanch.

Eliza died 12 March 1992 in West Weber.  She was buried 15 March 1992 in the West Weber Cemetery.  Parley died 18 January 1996 in Bountiful, Davis, Utah.  He was buried 22 January 1996 beside his wife.