Mary Pauline Humpherys Atkinson


Mary Pauline Humpherys Atkinson, 13 July 1909

Mary Pauline Humpherys Atkinson of Provo, UT died at home September 27, 2002. She was 93 years old and had been a resident of Provo since 1957.

Pauline was born July 13, 1909 in Shelley, ID, the daughter of James Marshall and Mary McDonald Humpherys. She married Melvin S. Atkinson January 6, 1932 in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints. He died in 1978.

Survivors include one son and four daughters, Irene A. Gage, Provo; Shirley (John) Beagley, Tooele, UT; Wayne (Dana) Atkinson, serving an LDS mission in Prague, Czech Republic; Nola (Robert) Taylor, Provo; Ruth (Ron) Kendrick, Ogden, UT; an infant son, Robert James, died at birth. There are also 20 grandchildren and 43 great grandchildren surviving.

As a faithful member of the LDS Church, Pauline served a mission in California prior to her marriage and later served with her husband in Nauvoo, IL. That service involved the restoration of the Times and Seasons printing office in historic Nauvoo. Prior to that mission and after the death of her husband, she was a guide for numerous tours of Mormon and American history sites.

Pauline was a gifted musician who freely gave of her talents. She and Mel played for hundreds of funerals and dances in Idaho and Utah. Pauline was the head organist at the Provo LDS Temple for more than a decade. She and her husband were also among the first group of temple workers called in 1972.

Pauline and Mel spent the early years of their marriage in Holbrook and Malad, ID where they farmed and later operated a business. It was in Idaho where she developed unusual skills as a candy maker. That talent was freely shared with others right up until the time of her death. She constantly gave gifts of chocolates and responded willingly to candy making problems from others. As co-author with one of her daughters of a nationally published book on the subject, she frequently had telephone calls from strangers who needed help.

Her church service over the years included most of the organizations but her favorite calling was as gospel doctrine teacher in the Sunday School where she served for 20 years. Until the time of her death, she presented a lesson for her ward’s monthly Relief Society leadership group which met at her home. She was an avid reader and dedicated student of the scriptures and church history.

Services will be October 2, 2002 in the Provost Chapel, Provo, UT. Directors, Walker Family Mortuary, Provo.

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