Monday, October 11, 2010

Gerald Merl Wittwer

How do you describe emotions at a funeral?  All over the place?  Happy. Sad. Longing. Learning. 

Grandpa Wittwer was a good man.  He was a hard worker.  He loved bees. 
 Too bad his kids hated them.
Didn't stop his love for good honey.  
He loved to travel.  
He loved God.  
He loved my Grandma.  Of this I am SURE. 
 He loved to sing. 
 I will always think fondly of him walking around the house humming to himself. 
He would wind up the grandfather clock (and a few others) every Sunday.  
He carried a stepstool in his big ol' truck for my little ol' grandma.  
He loved bacon and eggs and toast every Saturday morning.  
He loved watching Lawrence Welk (probably for the singing).  
He loved war movies.  
He liked essays to be "like a girl's skirt: short enough to be interesting but long enough to cover the subject." 
He loved to garden. 
And loved (or at least always had) zipper ties. 
 He rarely made it all the way through a joke without laughing at the punchline before he told it.  
(My dad does the same thing- and so does Sean.)  
He knew his neighbors.  How many of us can say that now? 
 He liked to go for walks in the morning.  
He always took care of the snakes for grandma (she HATES snakes). 
 He kept his underwear in the bathroom not his dresser (makes sense doesn't it?).  
He loved sports and BYU.  
His heart has always been in Mesquite. 
When he was asked why he and my grandma were moving back to Mesquite- his reply was, "To die."  He was in tune with the Spirit and always felt Mesquite to be his home.  I wonder what place will feel like that to me.  Cedar City and Blanding feel a lot like home.  Visalia has changed so much but the area I grew up in will always be one of my homes.  
Below is the land in Switzerland that my ancestors called home: 
Then the land that my grandparents call home: Mesquite/Bunkerville:
Grandpa was buried in Bunkerville. 
Parents, grandparents and great grandparents are all buried in this little cemetery:
These are my great-great-grandparents (my Grandpa's grandparents) 
Grandpa is buried near them. 

This is the memorial for Dudley Leavitt.  Not sure how many greats he is. 

Matt and I got Grandma a vase of Tab and lifesavers to let her know we love her.  
(Mostly it was Matt's idea).  
Grandpa's last and biggest concern was that Grandma would be taken care of.  Once we was assured that she would be he could move on.  

Love you Grandpa.  We'll miss you and your cranky ways and silly jokes.  
We'll make sure Grandma is cared for. 


  1. It's always hard losing a loved one. No matter how old or young. Sound like you have a lot of great memories. I had no idea that's where your family is from. That's where I grew up! (I had my wedding reception in Bunkerville)

  2. Maggie, this is a lovely post. I've always thought someone should write a story entitled "Bury Me in Bunkerville", and now it looks like you have. Beautiful. I love you BIG.

  3. Yep Yep. My dad's side of the family is from Bunkerville and Mesquite. Some of them still live there. Well Mesquite. I think my great grandpa was the last to live in Bunkerville and he died 15 years ago or so. They used to have a cool rock house in the back that my great grandpa built and my grandpa was born in... but alas it has been torn down. It was fun to actually get to stop and visit this time instead of bathroom break at McyD's. Are you from Mesquite? Did you have Mrs. Crowther for 2nd grade? (it seems everybody had her)She's my grandma's sister.

  4. I'm sorry about your Grandpa. It sounds like you have a lot of great memories of him. Reading this makes me wish I was better at writing down memories of everyday occurrences of my family like you've done.

  5. What a small world. I did have Mrs. Crowther, but 1st grade instead of second. I can't believe we haven't made this connection before. I know a few Wittwers in Mesqutite. I'm from Mesquite, but my grandparents and other family lives in B-ville.

  6. Dude- I'm SURE we're cousins somehow! AWESOME! What's your maiden name?

  7. Wonder if I could use the photo of your grandpa in the National Association of Leavitt Families newsletter "Leavitt Leaves" as it is nicer than the one in the on line obituary? Have to send it to the printer today or tomorrow. If I don't hear from you in time, no worries, I don't want to use this without permission.

    FYI he and wife Nedra are both 10th generation from ancestor John Leavitt of Hingham through his son Moses. Dudley Leavitt was Nedra's great grandfather and his brother Lemuel Sturdevant Leavitt was George's great grandfather.

    It is wonderful to see your family is interested in their heritage!