The funeral services for Mary Malinda Hall Alger

At Enterprise, Utah, 28th January 1964, 1:00 P.M.

Bishop Ervin Truman Conducting


Bis. Truman: Mary Malinda Hall Alger was born April 8, 1884 at Thurber, Utah, a daughter of William Wesley and Malinda Hunt Hall. The Hall family lived there until Mary was ten years old when they came to Enterprise, Utah, and have resided there since.

            John Zera Alger and Mary were married December 26, 1900 at Enterprise and went to the Temple where they were sealed March 11, 1903 when one of Mary’s brothers got married. Her death was caused from injuries suffered from a car accident November 7, 1963. She died January 25, 1964 at her home.

            She helped her father organize the first choir in Enterprise when she was 12 years old and has been an active member of the choir for 67 years. She was an active visiting teacher in Relief society for 45 years and in Primary for 15 years.

            She has been a faithful Temple worker for four years and was on her way to the Temple when the accident happened.

            Mary’s husband, John, died November 10, 1959 at St. George, Utah. They were the parents of 18 children, eleven of them living; 54 grandchildren and 124 great grandchildren. They leave 189 descendants.

            I am sure Brothers and sisters that your presence here today depict the love and appreciation you have for this great family. The program will be as follows:

            “Abide With Me,” by Enterprise Wards combing choirs.

            LeRoy Staheli conducting, Gertrude Lund accompanying.


            Invocation by Bill O’Neill, grandson.


Mary Emma Hunt: As we were going through Grandma’s things, we found this poem in her purse. It’s called “Grandma’s Prayer.”

            I pray that, risen from the dead,

            I may in Glory stand –

            A crown, perhaps, upon my head,

            But a needle in my hand.


            I’ve never learned to sing and play

            So let no harp be mine;

            From birth unto my dying day

            Plain sewing as been my line.


            Therefore, accustomed to the end

            To plying useful stitches,

            I’ll be content if asked to mend

            The little angels’ breeches.


            And this poem called “As We Prayed,” represents our feeling this last few months, especially the last week or more:

            Often as we watched her there

            From our lips there fell this prayer:

            ‘God, give us the pain to bear!

            Let us suffer in her place,

            Take the anguish from her face,

            Soothe her with Thy holy grace.


            Then the angels came, and they

            Took her lovely soul away

            From the torture house of clay,

            As we’d prayed, they brought release,

            Smoothed her brow with gentle peace,

But our pain shall never cease.


Ours is now the hurt to bear

Ours the anguish and despair,

Ours the agony to share!

When our hearts with grief were stirred

Thus we prayed and thus were heard,

Shall we fail to keep our word?


Was our promise all in vain?

Would we call her back again

Just to spare ourselves the pain?

We are hurt, oh, that is true!

Desolate and lonely, too,

Suffering as we pledged to do.


Lovely now her life shall be

Safe through all eternity,

Always beautiful to see;

Now the Pain is ours to know,

But we prayed to bear this blow

That she need not suffer so.”


Song:    “Abide With Me ‘tis Eventide,” by grandsons Paul and Merle Robinson, John Thomas and Norman Hunt, accompanied by Marion Hunt.

Rilla Davenport: A letter to Aunt Mary, November 1963

(This letter is attached in Rilla’s own handwriting – Note from LJ Nisse – no note was found)


Songs:  “That Wonderful Mother of Mine” and “My Mom I Love Her,” by Irvin Holt and Alta Holt Truman, niece and nephew, accompanied by Gertrude Lund.


Dolph Grimshaw:

            It was in 1940 that I first met Brother and Sister Alger. Since then she has worked her way into my heart. I lost my own mother when I was 14 years old and she has filled that void.

            My wife and I lived in the same house with Aunt Mary and Uncle John for two years, with only an unlocked door between us. They were a big help to us in so many ways. Our first baby was born here. He cried so hard that we wondered how she could stand it. But she only said, “It’s a good thing he is put together so well or he would tear himself apart with such crying.” So she helped us care for him saying that this was natural in most children.

            We have neglected her since we moved away. We did not come to see her as often as we should. We talked of coming to get her and have her stay with us for awhile, but just didn’t get around to coming.

            Paul was like a brother to me when we lived with them. He would stay with us once in awhile when his folks would leave for a visit to the others. He liked to play tricks on me. One morning he fixed me some special toast. I was surprised because we used to fight over the heel of the loaf. That morning he toasted the heel extra brown and covered it with pepper. I should have been suspicious when he didn’t try to beat me to it. But I didn’t suspect a thing until I took a bite. Then how he did laugh at me! Their family was just the way our family should have been.

            I wanted to come to see Aunt Mary after she had her accident but heard that she could not have visitors. Then I knew I had put off my visit too long.

            Our son just came from Germany. He told us of a woman who travels all over the world. She has been everywhere and seen everything and made many friends. My wife said, “It’s too bad Aunt Mary doesn’t travel like that. She would be such a good example, with her love and friendship for everyone, that there would be no more wars. People would follow her example of love and kindness.”

            Aunt Mary kept the first and second great commandments: “Thou shalt love the Lord, they God, with all thy might, mind and strength” and the second is like unto it, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” She kept these two great commandments so well that she had no need for any of the others. “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me,” she didn’t need that. “Thou salt not steal,” she had no need of that commandment. “Thou shalt not covet,” she did not have much of this world’s goods but she did not covet the goods of others. She rejoiced with their good fortune. I believe that she kept all the commandments.

            I always felt so welcome wherever she was. She showed such love and consideration to me it reminded me of the Savior’s words, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” She was this way with everyone. We have all been blessed by her life on this earth, and by our association with her. If everyone had her attitude there would be no more wars. She had love for everyone. She understood and lived the laws that perfect people and prepare them for the Celestial Kingdom.

            She taught us that it is important to do good continually, love the Lord and keep His commandments. If we do these we will be preparing ourselves for the Celestial Kingdom. In school we learn laws, but we cannot use them unless we understand them. Aunt Mary did not understand the atomic bomb, or any atomic power, but if she had understood such things, she would have used that knowledge to do right and help people, never to cause harm. The Lord would not be afraid to entrust Aunt Mary with this knowledge and power because he knows she would use it only for good. She is a grand and glorious woman. She was always kind and patient with everyone.

            If we wonder why Grandma Alger was so loved by everyone we need only look at her life and see the love she had for everyone.

            I bear you my testimony that God is our all powerful Father and Creator, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that the principles of the gospel are for our good and benefit. If we will live these commandments we will again see Ant Mary and other loved ones who have gone on before us and we can inherit the Celestial Kingdom. I pray that we will all be able to do this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Tribute by Madge Alger Hunt, daughter:



There’s a treasure chest of Memories

Locked up in our hearts;

            Memories of a faded rose

Who, from us, now must part.

Her petals which were so radiant

For so many years,

Have faded now and withered

And fallen with our tears.

But the fragrance of them lingers on

To remind us of the time

When the rose was fast unfolding

To a future so sublime.

At the age of sweet sixteen,

Just in the bloom of life,

She gave her hand in marriage

And became a loving wife.

What peace and happiness was theirs

As down life’s path they trod.

Blessed with babies one by one,

Each bundle sent from God.

And twice their joy increased twofold

As twins were sent their way,

Each time a daughter and a son

To love and romp and play.

With each wee one came added tasks

And mother’s special care;

Her hours were filled both day and night,

Her time with each to share.

Chicken pox, mumps and measles

She nursed her loved ones through;

Scarlet fever, whooping cough,

But worst was the Asiatic Flu.

In this, death almost claimed her mate

And called home baby Ray;

Her precious boy she’d waited for

While she in bed with fever lay.

These scenes seem to grip the heart,

But after tears are dried

The home seemed dearer than it was

And sort o’ sanctified.

Her humble cottage was her palace

And she the queen, to us, it seemed;

Though her days were filled with tailing

Still she smiled and sang and dreamed.

And as the rose unfolded,

And we could see within the heart

The virtues which were there enclosed

Made up the bigger part.

These virtues lay not dormant,

But were used with each new day

To build and train her loved ones

In hopes they would not go astray.

Her schooling was not of high degree

But the simple truths she taught

Of how to live with fellow men;

Be clean and chaste in deed and thought.

Unselfish of our time and talents

In charity for all mankind,

Rather than gather earthly riches

Which, with death, are left behind.

In her heart there was no place

For selfishness to breed,

Her life was freely spent for others,

Those with much and those in need.

It added brightness to her day

If she, a quilt could send,

Bringing sunshine unto others,

Building up her host of friends.

Many waiting in the foyer

Will miss her hand pat and her smile,

How she loved those treasured moments

As she lingered for awhile.

We learned from her that work was not

A curse put here on earth;

But a blessing given from above

To help us prove our worth.

She was never one to shrink

From any given task;

Giving up this life was hardest,

Still she battled to the last.

Our fondest memories are the days

We played and labored side by side

On the ranch we loved so dearly,

With Dad and Mom to be our guide.

Memories of those summer days

When to the pond we’d go

To get our Saturdays’ scribbing

While Mom would watch and sew;

Or pack a lunch and off we’d go

To help her pick wild curns,

Or gather snow-drops on the hills,

Or hunt for wood to burn.

On winter nights, around the fire,

Or in summer ‘neath the stars

We’d   thrill to songs from Mom and Dad

Accompanied by Dad’s guitar.

This seemed to draw our ties so closely

That a family gathering wasn’t complete

Without the blending of their voices

In tones, to us, so heavenly sweet.

How she loved to go to meetings,

Loved to sing the choir songs;

There’ll be an added alto now

Singing with the heavenly throngs.

How blessed we’ve been to have this rose

To be our guiding mother,

To love and counsel, laugh and play

And bind us close to one another.

God must have taken from the birds

Their cheeriest notes of love,

Gathered steadfastness from the rocks,

And gentleness from the dove;

A bit of humor just for spice,

And faith of the mustard seed,

The friendliness of hills and plains,

The courage to succeed;

Dropped them in this rosebud’s heart

And sent it down to earth

That we might better understand

The meaning of true worth.

She will ne’er be listed

In the halls of fame,

But to all who knew and loved her

There’ll be a sacredness in her name.

A rose so rare as this one

Is numbered with the chosen few

And though her petals now have fallen,

In heaven they’ll blossom out anew.

There she will continue onward

Hand in hand with her sweetheart,

Clasping in her arms her babies

From whom, so long, she’s been apart.

Today we plant her in God’s garden,

Trusting to His tender care,

In hopes we’ll all be counted worthy

To have her guidance there.


Bishop Ervin Truman: The family would like me to express their love and appreciation to all who have helped them in any way, especially this last month or so. They wish to express their appreciation for all these lovely floral offerings and wish to thank all who have taken part in these services. They want to thank all of you who have helped to ease the sorrow and suffering at this time.


Song:                “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” by choir, with duet by Heber M. Holt and Alta Holt Truman, accompanied by Gertrude Lund.


Benediction:      by Dean Robinson, grandson


Dedication of the grave by Ivor Clove.