Beth Yardley Shurtleff
Beth Nadean Yardley Jensen Shurtleff passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 91 on November 21, 2018. Beth was born May 10, 1927 in Christenburg, Utah, the sixth of Russell and Ethel Gill Yardley’s seven children. Beth’s early life was filled with adventures on her family’s farm. When she was old enough, she enjoyed accompanying her dad and brothers on logging and deer hunting trips out the local canyons. She often reminisced about the animals they had on the farm – not just work horses and laying hens, but also an orphaned weasel and a doe fawn the Yardley kids raised as pets for a few years. She also learned the value of hard work watching her father expand his business opportunities and grow the farm during and after the Great Depression, and helping her mother with keeping their house, canning, and baking.
Beth married Miles Jensen in May, 1946. Miles and Beth had four children – son Leland (Lee) and daughter NaDene, as well as another daughter and son who died shortly after childbirth. A few years after NaDene was born, Beth and Miles moved their family to Salt Lake City. They divorced in 1964.
Beth’s adventurous spirit never left her. In 1980 she got married to Ned Shurtleff. Since Ned was the co-owner of Shurtleff and Andrews crane company, the wedding ceremony was held in a decorated crane basket elevated three stories above the crowd of family, friends, and onlookers. They later moved to Afton, WY, where Ned pursued his dream of owning a horse ranch. Beth took to small town life like she’d never left the farm. She would saddle up a horse and ride down the lane, sometimes going as far as the small post office in a nearby town via quiet backroads. She even broke her own mule, Midnight, and took pride in riding him in the 4th of July parade and participating in the local rodeo, "winning" the title for Slowest Barrel Run of the weekend. It was in Afton that Beth became active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and she served in many roles throughout the years, from Relief Society President to Temple worker in Manti. Beth and Ned divorced in 1991. After a few years, she sold the ranch house and moved to Manti to be closer to her brother, Gill. She lived next door to Gill for many years. Initially she worked for her brother serving guests at the Yardley Inn, and later rented out rooms in her own house for Inn guests and Temple workers.
She lived each day to the fullest, even in her later years. She’d coax friends to join her on the Ferris Wheel when the fair carnival came to town, and agreed to play a Mormon pioneer crossing the prairie with a hand cart in the Mormon Miracle Pageant – even though she was in her 70’s! She met with friends most weeks to play different card games, and often joked that it was her turn to host the "poker club." She grew a good-sized garden and had a few fruit trees, and worked putting up preserves each fall for many years. Family members looked forward to receiving jars of her peach-pear or apricot jam as annual Christmas gifts. Her love of animals followed her to Manti, where she adopted a stray Siamese mix kitten, Willie, who was her steady companion for almost 20 years.
Through it all, Beth’s life was marked by her sense of humor, her grit (she joked she was a tough old bird!), and her love for family, friends, and the Church. She lived a life to emulate – quick with a joke, a tune, and a smile. She was an avid reader, an author, an artist, a gardener, a baker, a seamstress, a mule trainer, an animal lover, a card shark, and so much more. She was preceded in death by her parents (Russell and Ethel), four brothers (Thomas, Birdell, Howard, and Gill), one sister (LaRue), her son Lee, and infant daughter and son. She is survived by her sister, Althea; her daughter NaDene (Jay) Edmunds; Daughter-in-law, Rainey Jensen; grandchildren Beorn (Elisa) Edmunds, Gadrie Edmunds (Dave Keir), Vickie (Dave) Hogen, and Clayton Jensen; and great-grandchildren Bryce Hogen, and MiLee and Ara Belle Jensen, as well as many nephews, nieces and other extended family members.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. in the Manti Tabernacle, 90 South Main, where friends may call prior to services from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Interment will be in the Manti City Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com