Gwen Thomas Anderson passed away peacefully at the age of 88 on January 17, 2012, in Boise, Idaho. Gwen was born in Lewiston, Utah, on December 7, 1923, the youngest of three daughters born to John Evans and Mahala Deseret Bybee Thomas. She grew up in Devil Creek near Malad on “the old ranch,” which to her was God’s country. She was quite the tomboy and quickly became known as the son her father never had, riding horses side by side, helping him with farm chores and working in the fields.
Gwen graduated from Malad High School and soon ventured to the Los Angeles area where she worked in the office of a factory for several years before returning to Idaho. There she met and married Clive Ivan Anderson on August 23, 1947. They made their home in Downey, Idaho, a small town which Gwen quickly adopted as her own. Here they built their life and raised a family. Clive worked as a heavy duty mechanic and was often on the road, which put Gwen at the forefront of her family. She was a devoted mother to her three children, constantly assisting them in various school and church activities and driving them wherever they needed to go.
Gwen taught third grade for three years in Downey. She followed her students through the rest of their lives. In addition to teaching school, she worked as a Liberian on the March Valley Bookmobile and at the library in Downey.
Gwen loved being involved in her community. She was an active member in the Downey Federated Women’s Club, Daughters of Utah Pioneers and the American Legion Auxiliary. She, also, served tirelessly in numerous callings in the LDS church, her favorite was serving with Clive as a full-time missionary in the Atlanta, Georgia mission from January 1991 – December 1991. Other treasured memories include spending time with Clive in their retirement years, working together in the Logan, Utah, LDS temple and driving coast to coast, eventually visiting all 50 states. Gwen enjoyed the outdoors and loved nothing more than taking a ride on a Sunday afternoon up the canyon or around the countryside of her beloved Marsh Valley.
Family and friends were amazed by Gwen’s talent to make friends wherever she went. She truly cared more for others than herself and had an amazing ability to remember everything about those she met.
Gwen’s greatest joy in life was family. Not only a devoted wife and mother, she was also deeply involved in the lives of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Because of poor health, she moved to Boise, Idaho, to live with her daughter, Sharon in 2008. Here she was further able to enjoy her posterity and be a positive influence in their lives.
She is survived by daughter Sharon Lowry, Boise, Idaho; son Dirk Anderson (Shirley), Elko, Nevada; son Eric Anderson (Karen), Provo, Utah. 11 grandchildren, Chris Lowry (Jessica), Brett Anderson (Stacy), Brianne Waters (Jeff); Kyle (Evelyn), Kory, Jon (Melody), Tiffiny Anderson, Amy Bastian (Jon); Ashley, Tyler, Casey, and McKay (Due April 2012) Anderson; and 21 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Funeral services will be held on Monday January 23, 2012 at 12 noon in the Downey 1st LDS Ward Chapel, Bishop Rex Nielsen, officiating. Friends may visit with the Anderson family on monday at the church from 10:30-11:45 am. Burial will follow in the Downey City Cemetery.