Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy 102th Birthday, Hannah Hegsted Wells Rose (1909-2005)!

Gawain's mother

Grandma Rose is the only Wells ancestor whom I had the privilege of knowing personally.  Since she was my husband's only living grandparent, she was an important part of their family.

Hannah was the daughter of Hannah and Victor Hegsted, the third of their four children.  However, she grew up in unusual circumstances, since her parents were married polygamously after the Manifesto.  They lived under the assumed name of Brown in Salt Lake, and her mother was a single mother with occasional visits from her Idaho husband.  After Victor's first wife died, the family lived together in Salt Lake.

Hannah married George Wells, and they had four sons which they raised in a tiny two-bedroom, one-bathroom home.

Their posterity includes twenty-three grandchildren, and many greats- and great-great-grandchildren.  Here are daughter-in-law Jillyn's wonderful tribute and granddaughter Stef's musings.
Grandma Rose at her St. George home
Hannah was a strong woman who was a professor at Dixie College in home economics, biology, foods, and nutrition.  She was widowed twice, loved to wear pretty jewelry, and always had a candy bowl out to welcome visitors.

Her obituary is online here.

Hannah's message to posterity in 1999 was:

Stay true to the gospel
Continue your education
Be honest and fair with everybody
Follow your religion
Keep an open mind.  Try to see both sides
Advise when there is an opportunity
Always be fair in your judgments
Take care of yourselves--be healthy
Be sure to pray

100th party in her honor
We enjoyed a hundredth party for her two years ago.  
Since we've had opportunities to give her birthday gifts in past years, this year please share a memory or tribute to her!  We miss you, Grandma!



  1. I remember her candy bowl and blue house. I liked it there. We spent part of a Christmas vacation in St. George when I was little, and it was really memorable for me. She used to tell me that I needed to fatten up. She's the only person I've ever really known who has passed away; her funeral was very sad.

  2. I loved visiting Grandma Rose. I remember every Christmas morning we would head over for aibleskievers(spelling?). She always had everything set up so nicely with her nicest dishes and she always had a whole saucer of melted butter to pour over the already buttered pancakes. I loved it! I remember my Dad would visit her on a daily bases because his office was so close. He showed great love and devotion to her and it was a good example for me. I love you and miss you Grandma Rose, Happy Birthday!

  3. I remember that coke tasted way better at Grandma Rose's house then anywhere else. She always had an open bottle in the fridge. My dad always loved to go over to her house for a swig. I always followed suit.

    This is Lauri

  4. I remember going to Grandma's after school on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to wait for Matt and Greg. As soon as I got there I would rake all of the leaves into a massive pile around the trunk of the tree. Then we would spend hours jumping out of the tree into the leaves. It was great fun. As an additional incentive Grandma always gave me $5 or $10 bucks in spending money.

    I loved spending my summers doing the yard work, mowing the lawn, edging and cutting the hedges (front, side and back). Grandma always had milk and cookies or watermelon or an ice cold 7-up waiting for me when the job was finished.

    Grandma was well respected by those who knew her. The first summer I worked on the Bar 10 Ranch I met some of her friends and former students. As soon as I told them my name and answered in the affirmative that I was Hannah Wells' grandson they opened up about how much they loved her friendship or having her has their teacher. I was always proud to be her grandson.

  5. There are so many lovely memories of time spent in that tiny house, and with cousins in Washington County. But an especially important recollection is having all of her grandchildren sing "Each Life That Touches Ours for Good" at Grandma's funeral. She was a woman of faith and practicality. I mistook her common sense for stern-ness as a child, but I recognized her intense loyalty and pride in her family as I matured.

    I have kept every letter or card she ever sent me. As I read back over them now I know the value of her love. How fortunate we were as Wellses. She always did her best and her best was very fine indeed.

  6. grandma had a brown and beige blanket with a furry side and a silky side that was tied with white yarn. the yard was worn to stubble and the fur was nubby like a teddy bear, but the silky side was cool and smooth. it was the only material made by man that was totally resistant to st. george heat. and spread flat on the floor under the ceiling fan, it was the most comfortable surface on earth. no bed, no couch, no air mattress could ever compete.

    when the law of restoration is fulfilled and people are getting their limbs back on the other side, i'm going to see who i have to pay to get that blanket restored to me.

  7. thanks for all these wonderful comments!