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Bea Frederick Torgersen

Written by her daughter Laree Porter
Received from Charlotte Woten

History of Bea Frederick Torgersen

Written By Her Daughter

Laree Porter



BIOGRAPHY:  Bea Frederick was born in Monroe in 1915.  During her early childhood she lived in several Southern Utah communities and for a brief time, in Nevada.  She lived in Junction from the time she was twelve years old until she was married in 1935 , at the age of nineteen, to Edward Torgersen.  Their marriage was solemnized November 30, 1948 in the Manti Temple.  During their marriage of early forty years Bea and Ed lived in Salina and Mapleton for short periods but always returned to Koosharem where Bea passed away in 1974.

     During her life Bea never traveled far from home.  She would sometimes visit Ed when he was shearing sheep in neighboring states.  She visited her children and grandchildren in Montana, California and Arizona as well as throughout Utah.  She watched her children travel all over the world through missions and military service.  Her sons served mission in Norway, England, and Canada, and France.  They spent time in Europe as well as South America and the Mid East.  And Bea, who was so very proud of her boys, traveled with them in spirit.

     Bea was the oldest child of Ralph and Althea Frederick.  She had seven brothers and sisters.  She was called upon to tend her little brothers and sisters at a young age.  Her Aunt Allie remembers that when they played together the kids would turn to Bea to solve their problems as often as they turned to their mother.  This early handling of seven kids would prove prophetic because Bea herself was destined to have seven children of her own.

     Bea and her Aunt Allie, who was sixteen days younger, were best friends when Bea was growing up in Junction.  Allied lived in Panguitch and they visited each other often and spent most of their summers together.  Allie’s parents ran the Standard Café in Panguitch and in Allie’s words she and Bea felt like they were “pretty special gals”.  When Allie would come to visit in Junction she and Bea would work in the garden. Allie remembers Bea as a good worker and credits Bea with actually teaching her how to work.  Bea and Allie DID NOT spend all their time working in the garden and tending kids.  Allie recalls that one time she and Bea went walking by the spring near Cemetery Hill and decided they would hitch a ride to Panguitch.  A friend of Allie’s father came along and picked them up and gave them a ride to Panguitch.  There was big trouble in Junction until the actual whereabouts of Bea and Allie was confirmed.  Bea’s dad Ralph, tended to be a bit stern at times, and this was one of those times.

     When Bea was only three weeks old, her family moved to Alunite, Utah where her Dad got a job hauling ore from Cottonwood Canyon down to the mill.  The home they lived in that winter was a 10’ X 12’ tent with a board floor.  They had a little camp stove for heat and cooking.  Bea was six months old when she and her family moved back to Monroe.  That summer, her dad took a job herding sheep at Rock Creek in Duchesne and Bea and her mom traveled by team and wagon to stay with him for a month.  They lived in a tent, and cooked on an open fire.  Bea was nine months old at that time, and learned to walk on the dirt and rocks around the tent.

     The mill at Alunite closed down for a couple of years around 1918.  Bea and her family moved to Monroe until the mill reopened in 1920 and they moved to Deer Trail, which was about three miles from Alunite.  Bea, you remember, had learned to walk in this area some four years earlier and now was ready to put her walking ability to good use.  Bea had always enjoyed exploring and now she had a little brother, Karl, to take with her.  Bea and Karl like to walk to Alunite to visit Aunt Eva and her family.  They had been told over and over not to go that far, as it was dangerous for them to be out by themselves.  One evening when her father came home and they were down at Aunt Eva’s AGAIN, he went after them.  He was not very happy about it.  He took Karl by the hand and got a willow and told Bea if he caught her he would use the willow.  As he says “I had to slow down a few times so as not to catch her.”  Bea never lost her love of walking and hiking.  She was a lover of nature.

     When her dad worked at the smelter in Tooele in 1927, the family lived in an old building on Main Street.  Karl and Bea, despite continuing threats of “the willow”, would hop on the “work-train” up to Broadway in New Town.  Her dad said “it scared us to death to have them go up there, but when the train stopped to pick up workers, Bea and Karl would climb on”.  The stay in Tooele was short and the family moved back to Junction that same year.

     Bea went to school at Deer Trail Elementary School for two years before attending Junction Elementary, where she developed a love of reading that would continue all her life.  She always had a lot of friends, and would bring home “hordes” of girl friends to read the funnies and listen to the radio.  Electricity arrived in Junction when Bea was fifteen and one of the first things her parents got was a radio.  Bea did well in school and graduated with honors from Piute County High School in Circleville in 1934.

     While Ed operated sawmills in Glennwood, 7 Mile and eventually Koosharem, Bea was raising children and chickens and gardens.  At one point, it appeared that the children might outnumber the chickens, but with the birth of their seventh child the chickens quickly counted and remained in the majority.  Bea would eventually go to work for Pacific Trails, in Richfield, where she was a valued employee for many years.

     Bea had three children by the time she was 24 years old.  Ted, Garth and her only daughter La Ree.  Larry was born in 1942, Noel 5 years later and Rodney in 1949.  Dwaine was born in January of 1955. Bea became a grandmother two months later when Ted’s first child Teddy Ann (Theo) was born.  Ted was always very close to Bea and they had many long talks as he grew up.  Bea’s great inner strength was severely tested with the loss of Ted in1969.  She comforted her family but according to Ed spent many nights crying.  This was not the first tragedy in Bea’s life, for her little sister Gwen had died in childhood.

     Listening was certainly one of Bea’s strong points.  When the kids had problems she would listen without judging and always with compassion.  She rarely, if ever, demanded anything from the children but she clearly showed them, by example, how to live responsible.  She was kind and lived through some hard times with special grace.  Bea not only listened to her kids, but also her friends and neighbors.  She listened patiently to all their problems.  She also loved to listen to the radio.  She listened to everything from soap operas to baseball games.  Television came late to Koosharem because of the mountains, but one of her favorite shows was The Liberace Show.  She and Ed would often play cards with other townspeople.  Bea was also an avid reader.  She read everything from Carl Sandburg to the “True Confession” magazines that La Ree brought home.

     Bea’s sister Melba fondly remembers the times they spent together.  When Melba was in high school she was selected Snow Queen and needed a gown for the occasion.  She turned to Bea for help.  It seems that Ed had just presented a blue satin Dressing robe to Bea.  Very few people realized that the lovely gown of that years Snow Queen was made from the dismantled robe of a loving sister.  Later, when Melba and her husband were living at 7 Mile Bea and Melba would get together to order nice things from the catalogs.  There was a lot of excitement as they placed their orders.  They seldom (if ever) had money at the time of placing the orders, so they simply ordered C.O.D.  Unfortunately, they seldom (if ever) had money when the items arrived.  The fact that they seldom (if ever) actually go to keep the merchandise was of little consequence, as the fun as in the anticipation.

     Bedelia Frederick was born November 24, 1915.  She was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on July 5, 1924.  She graduated from Seminary on April 13, 1933 and continued as an active member of the church all her life.  Bea was active in Relief Society where she served as a counselor and teacher as well as secretary.  Bea taught Sunday School, Primary and Mutual.  She enjoyed preparing her lessons as it gave her a greater knowledge of the church teachings.  It is clear that Bea loved to learn.

     When Bedelia Frederick Torgersen passed away November 19, 1974 she was 5 days short of her 59th birthday.  Her mother, Theo, declared she had lost her best friend.

     Bea had lived to see all her children give her grandchildren except for her beloved youngest son Dwaine, who was serving a mission in France at the time of her death. 

Linked toBedelia Pearl Frederick

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