On July 2, 2022, Jalna Jean Johannessen Searle, of Shelley, passed away at the age of 90 years surrounded by her loved ones. She was born July 24, 1931, to Ruth Lourena Johannessen of Idaho Falls, Idaho and Fredrich Bodenstoter Ick of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She was raised by her grandparents, Edith Arvilla Beardsley and George Henry Johannessen. She joined a family of 7 sisters (Arlouine, Edith, Ruth, Alice, Alltje,Cena and Joanne). Her red hair and freckles brought out the best in her and she was cared for by all.
Jalna grew up playing with the neighborhood children and her best friend, Jerry Bloxham. They were inseparable and both loved to dance and got in trouble together. She worked at Ken Sluchers, a five and dime store, at the candy and jewelry departments during the week. She taught herself how to sew and took dance lessons and piano lessons.
She lived during the depression and World War II rationing foil, sugar and flour.
Jalna attended school at Riverside Elementary (Now Bush Elementary) till 6th grade. During the summers, when she was in 3-6th grades, she went to the Blind Bull Coal mine in Wyoming while her dad worked at the mine and mother taught school. She loved making friends with the squirrels and chipmunks. During her 7th and 8th grades she went to Salt Lake City to live with her two sisters and take care of a nephew. During her 9-10th grades she went to Idaho Falls High School. During her junior and senior years, she went to Shelley High School living in an apartment and catching a Greyhound bus to visit her parents on weekends. She worked at the Shelley movie theater to earn money for the bus fare.
After high school graduation she worked as a telephone switch operator for Mountain Bell and earned enough money to buy a new 1950 Pontiac. The car caught the eye of a special college boy, Karl Searle, visiting from Moscow, Idaho. They soon started dating and he soon realized that he was not the only one in the pond. Jalna’s boyfriend came back from the Navy to propose. Karl got wind of this through the telephone switchboard. So he jumped at the chance and asked her to marry him. Karl and Jalna were married November 8, 1950, in the Idaho Falls Temple.
A couple days after their marriage Jalna said goodbye to Karl because he was drafted and sent to Fort Ord, California for basic army training for the Korean War. They were separated for almost 2 years. Jalna got to visit him twice before he was shipped off to Korea.
While Karl was away Jalna was busy at work until she had their first child, a girl, Deborah, born a month early in the Idaho Falls Hospital. Karl came home from the Korean War when Deborah was 6-7 months old and he was excited to see her. She wanted nothing to do with this stranger.
Karl joined his 3 brothers in farming sugar beets, potatoes, hay and grain for the U and I sugar Beet company. Jalna hated farming and always told us to never marry a farmer. They lived in a three room house heated by a bot bellied stove and it had an outhouse in the back. Jalna was scared to go out by herself at night and made Karl go with her.
After a couple of years they drew up the plans and Karl’s dad helped build a red brick home on the same property she has lived in for 70 years. After being in the home for 4 days their second child, a boy, Jeffery Reed, was born. Karl was out irrigating and Jalna went into labor. She could not call him and she had the baby in the bathroom. Karl was so surprised when he got in from the fields.
Jalna worked hard in the spring and fall. The wives of the brothers would get together cutting potato seed and see who was the fastest, Jalna or Ruth. They would go from 8:00 am - evening. In 1960 Jalna was cutting potatoes the day before Karlene, their third child was born. Once again Karl was out irrigating. Jalna started into labor and finished by cutting the cord and tying the knot. He was surprised again!
Jalna worked for U and I Sugar from October through February weighing trucks and empty trucks and figuring out the tare. She then was asked to be the office manager for Fred Thompson for 5 years. This worked good because it was only till April and Jalna could be home when the children were out of school. She then started working for Roger Brothers and helped do invoices and orders for the 7 cellars they had. After 3 years she became a full time secretary. She then went with John Gellings and Fred Thompson as they expanded and built GPOD in Shelley. She soon became part owner and was on the sales floor. She had to go to work at 6:00 am till 6:00 pm in order to reach the people on both coasts. She worked hard and became the first woman in the potato industry to be in sales. She was firm and demanded good language, was great at sales and very respected. She knew she had to have quality and did not stand for second best potatoes. She loved her job and would travel to New York and see how her sales arrived and inspected the quality.
Jalna took lots of classes while raising her children. She took a Dale Carnegie public speaking course, interior design class and cake decorating classes from a local college. She was always learning something new and not afraid to try.
Jalna loved theatre, dance and singing. She knew every primary song by heart. To this day those are her favorite songs. She loved going to Broadway shows in New York and Salt Lake City. She could not sit still through the performances and her feet would be moving with those on stage.
Jalna was always busy and never idle. She not only worked, but he made sure we had dance lessons and made all of our costumes. She sewed our prom dresses and wedding dresses. She always had a quilt on and made baby receiving blankets and baby blankets for all her grandchildren. She was always giving gifts. She loved giving parties and entertaining. She was known as a shopping alcoholic. There was never a discount rack she didn’t love. She would be there when the stores opened and would leave when they closed. She loved Christmas and would have beautifully wrapped boxes for everyone. She never forgot any birthdays, too.
She took care of her mother and father Johannessen when they got sick. She also helped
getting her sister’s estate sold for her. She helped take care of a father she never knew. She helped her son by washing all their clothes and helping a grandson get on his mission after a house fire.
She served in many capacities in the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints. She was a wonderful chorister for the children in Sunday School and loved to sing and teach the Primary songs. She loved to teach the youth how to dance with Karl as her partner. She loved the dance festivals each year. Jalna loved to teach the women how to create floral arrangements, how to be creative when wrapping gifts. She loved to collect driftwood and dried flowers to make beautiful arrangements. She loved working in the temple clothing section and serving in the Senior Citizen Center as their secretary.
She loved animals and always had a dog-small ones that were good companions for her. She has had much pain in her lower body for years. She always wore a smile and no one noticed her pain. Now she is free from that pain!!
Jalna is survived by her three children, Deborah McAlpin (James) of Lehi, Utah; Reed Searle (Laura and late Cherie) of Shelley, Idaho; and Karlene Higham (Joe L.) also from Shelley, Idaho; 15 grandchildren; 64+3 on the way great grandchildren; a step sister, Anita Schrade from Pocatello, Idaho; a step sister, Mary Kay Galde,from Arizona; step brother, Roger Lundblade, from Washington; and a sister/aunt, Joanne Koester, from Downey, Idaho; and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and husband, Karl Searle.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at the Shelley South Stake Center, 675 S Milton Ave., in Shelley, Idaho. The Family will visit with friends and loved ones from 9:30 am -10:45 am prior to the services. Burial will be in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Shelley, Idaho. The family wishes to thank Symbii Hospice, Audrey, Tia, Amy, Charlotte and Susan for their loving support and care.
Those who would like to participate in the funeral service remotely are invited to view the service on a live broadcast at shelleysouthstake.org. Click on "Ward Information & Meeting Broadcasts" then "Foundry Ward", then "Sacrament Meeting."
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Primary Children’s Hospital.