Fern Furness


Fern Spaulding Furness, age 93, passed away June 30, 2019, at her home in Grant, Idaho, with loving family at her side.

Fern was born in Rexburg, Idaho, on June 5,1926, to Silas Eli Spaulding and Marion Taylor Spaulding. She was the fourth child born in their family of eight. She was raised with much love, work, and fun and always spoke of her childhood with fondness.

She attended school in Burton, and graduated from Madison High School. She attended Ricks College for a short time but quit when, because of the teacher shortage during WWII, she was asked to teach elementary school in Burton.

Her education and teaching were temporarily sidelined when she married Rex Furness on July 2,1945, in the Logan Temple, five days after he returned from serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps. They lived in Sugar City where they ran “The Stand,” a gas station and hamburger joint for two years. They moved to the Terreton/Mud Lake area where they farmed and built a business, Furness Brothers Feed Co., with Rex’s brother, Harold. They lived there for over 35 years and raised their six daughters there.

As their girls got older, Fern was approached by the school board, once again, asking her to teach at Terreton Elementary. She began teaching first grade and continued her education by attending summer school, night classes, and correspondence courses. After much hard work she graduated from BYU in elementary education. She taught first grade in Terreton for many years.

Fern served in many positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She happily served as Primary, Relief Society and Stake Young Women President, and as an Idaho Falls Temple ordinance worker, among other callings over the years. Fern was an active member in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Republican Women, and Jefferson County Museum organizations.

Fern enjoyed many hours of gardening, quilting, crocheting and reading. She learned hard work at an early age, and felt happiest when she was contributing to family, friends or neighbors.

She is survived by five of her daughters, Ellen Barzee (Milton, deceased), Mllie Batt (Alan), Lucy Simmons (Jay), Grace Smith (Bruce), Jenny Thornton (Mike), son-in-law, Allan Briggs, 21 grandchildren, 48 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, and four siblings: Bruce Spaulding, Dwight Spaulding, Naomi Anderson, and Brent Spaulding. She was preceded in death by her husband, Rex, and daughter, Marion.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 9th, at 11:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building in Grant, 3431 E. 100 N. Rigby Idaho. The family will meet with friends at the Grant Church, Monday, July 8th, 7:00-8:30 p.m. and preceding the funeral on July 9th, from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Interment will be at the Sugar City Cemetery under the direction of Eckersell Memorial Chapel in Rigby. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.eckersellfuneralhome.com.

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