Leona Petersen Geary, 91, passed away at home Wednesday May 11, 2016 of natural causes due to old age. Leona was born at home in Hyrum August 28, 1924 to James LeRoy Petersen and Emma Gertrude Schmidt.
Leona was taught the value of hard work at a young age and has been a tireless worker all of her life. She worked hard alongside her Mother making school lunches for she and her brother Irvin. “Much of what we ate came from our large garden,” she recalls. The family had fruit trees, strawberries, apples, concord grapes, dewberries, gooseberries, and an abundance of green beans they would often take to be sold at the bean factory. Mom especially loved the family Thanksgiving meals that would be so lovingly prepared. The bounty of fruit, suet pudding, pumpkin pies, turkey, dressing, potatoes, and of course lots of gravy were her favorites.
Leona graduated from Logan High School May 15, 1942. “We didn’t have much money in those days, we walked a lot of places and hung out with friends doing things that did not require much cash.”
Leona was thrilled when she was hired to become a telephone operator with Mountain Bell May 19, 1942. She walked to work daily, packing her lunch and learned how to manage the intimidating switchboard which was filled with wires and connection ports. Leona witnessed the evolution of the telephone over her career. She continued working until June 24, 1978 when the Logan Mountain Bell office was closed. She worked 36 years as a valued employee of Mountain Bell. Leona liked being busy and soon after retiring from Mountain Bell began work with ZCMI in 1979. She loved meeting the public and making many new friends. When ZCMI merged with Meier & Frank Company in 2001 she retired for the second time with 23 years of service. Since retiring she has become the consummate Utah Jazz fan and rarely misses a televised game.
Leona married Wayne Welch Geary on December 19, 1947 in the Logan LDS temple. The fabric for her wedding dress was made from new white synthetic fabric that the soldiers used for parachutes during WWII. She and Dad loved to garden, producing and abundance of vegetables and flowers for friends and neighbors. Their yard was always a showplace in the neighborhood. She and Dad provided a loving environment to raise their children. Their first child, Scott Wayne Geary blessed their lives September 18, 1955 and passed away the afternoon of his birth. They had two more children LeAnn and Craig LeRoy Geary. Wayne passed away January 15, 1984.
Leona has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints all of her life. She has served many years in numerous callings in the Relief Society, Primary and Young Women’s organizations. She loved attending the temple and served as a visiting teacher until her death.
Leona lived with her daughter LeAnn and son-in-law Dallas L. Holmes for more than 25 years in Logan. She is survived by her daughter LeAnn G. Holmes (Dallas), son Craig L. Geary (Lisa), of Shelley, Idaho; seven grandchildren Jason C. Geary (Kathrin), Jason D. Holmes (Lindsey), Aleisha Geary, Kassidy Sorensen (Cody), Shannika Burtenshaw (Seth), Mikenzi Geary, one deceased granddaughter Kiley Shay Geary and ten great grandchildren.
The funeral is under the direction of Nalder Funeral Home, Shelley Idaho. Her funeral will be Monday May 16, 2016 at the Northwood Ward Chapel located at 125 East 500 North, Logan, Utah. A viewing will be held prior to the funeral at 10:30-11:40 with the funeral to follow at 12:00. Interment will be at the Hyrum City Cemetery immediately following the services. In lieu of flowers Leona would have you donate to the LDS church Missionary fund in her name.