This blog is dedicated to my parents, brothers, sister, and cousins who are descendants of Johannes (John) Gutke and Johanna Mork Gutke (pictured above). I am in the process of posting everything I have, so that I can back up documents/photos and also access the info from any location. There are likely to be mistakes, so check back often and feel free to comment if you have corrections!


Deniane Gutke Kartchner


This talk was given by me, Deniane Gutke, at Grandma’s funeral.

   Gladys Ann Monson Gutke was born on July 6th, 1913 in Sandy, Utah.  She was the 6th child of Jacob and Elizabeth Monson, whose families had both come from Sweden.  Grandma had one older brother, four older sisters, and one younger brother.  Grandma was especially close to Uncle Harold, who is just two years younger than she was.  When I visited with Grandma about her recollections growing up, she remembered that when they were younger she and Uncle Harold sat out in the great big sand pile in the back yard of their home in Sandy, playing with little cars and little jars and bottles that their grandma had given them, and what a fun time that was, just the two of them.          
          When Grandma was two, her father died.  Her mom struggled to keep them fed and clothed, and when Grandma was six they moved to Salt Lake City.  Over the years they lived in different houses, but Grandma's memories were happy.  They put on plays, rollerskated, played games, and babysat.  Grandma remembers how thrilled she was when for Christmas she received a little doll and Uncle Harold a krroom board. 
          When Grandma was ten years old they moved down to West Temple where she continued to participate in drama and to gain new friends.  She remembers her teachers well and enjoyed math and music.  Grandma spent the summers with her sister Norma who lived in West Jordan.  Norma and her husband Leonard had a dry farm, and every Saturday night they'd go over to Midvale to shop for groceries, have some dinner, and go to a movie.
          In Junior High Grandma took Latin and Spanish and started to play tennis.  In highschool she was a straight "A" student, played tennis, and participated in more plays.  She graduated from West High School as the valedictorian.  Grandma intended to go on to college, but her mother was still struggling and Grandma got a chance to be a highly paid dental assistant, so she did that instead. 
          When Grandma was 19 she met grandpa on a double date.  He was working for the railroad and was making good money, and Grandma said that she liked his car, nice clothes, and good looks.  But it took more than that to convince her to marry him!  They built on their relationship for two years before they got married.   Grandpa helped her through some pretty hard times, including the loss of her sister Alice in a car accident.
          After Grandma and Grandpa were married they moved to a duplex and fixed it up as a lovely first home.  Grandpa would come home from work, they'd have dinner, and then play tennis until the lights were turned out. They spent time with friends and had lots of fun. 
          About five years after they were married they had Uncle Bob, and in the meantime built their house in Holladay.  Then they had three other boys:  Kent, Jerry, and Dennis.  Grandpa worked at different jobs and so did Grandma to provide for their kids.  Over the years grandma worked as a secretary for several companies and served in many capacities in the church.  She wanted to return to school but never did. 
          In 1980 Grandpa died, and Grandma took care of herself and loved ones for almost 15 years after that.  She experienced many health problems but always seemed to bounce back until this last year, when she steadily declined.   She died peacefully in Blanding, Utah
          I have a copy of Grandma's yearbook from West High School.  One autograph written to her says,
          "When others are counting their blessings
          I find that I am among the few
          Who are richer far by millions
          For I'm thankful for just knowing you."
          I would just like to spend a few minutes and share why I am thankful for having known my Grandma.
          Grandma was a wonderful cook.  She liked to collect and try different recipes.  We remember her banana cream pies, her tender, juicy roasts, fluffy mashed potatoes and steamy, buttery carrots.  I have never found a person who could make Bisquick pancake mix taste so delicious. 
          Grandma was always concerned with her appearance and looking nice, and she kept the girls at the trade school in Holladay practiced and ready to go with their cutting and hair coloring. Grandma could pay a sincere compliment; she also knew how to complain!
          Grandma was very creative.  She liked to make up fill-in-the-word games for wedding and baby showers, she liked to collect and write humorous poetry.  She enjoyed cross word puzzles and other mind bogglers. She has always enjoyed drama. 
          Grandma related well to the youth.  She served in her ward and stake young women's presidencies at a very young age, and also as a sunday school and primary teacher.  She involved the children in those things she loved and was effecient and helpful.  She loved for youth to visit her. Even two weeks ago in her weakened state, she cooed to my 5 month old son and talked with my 2 year old daughter.
          Grandma was very knowledgeable.  She liked to watch the news and read the newspaper to find out what was going on in the world.   She liked to discuss things with people and to express her opinion.  She loved to watch the tennis matches.
          Grandma loved games . . . however, she didn't care for the game Yahtzee very well because she "never had good luck."  All the same, she played with us grandchildren often. 
          We loved to listen to Grandma's laugh.  She had a pleasant, jovial laugh which made you want to laugh along with her.  She often could find the humor in a situation, even when times were tough. 
          Change was one thing that was hard for Grandma, especially as she got older.  But to her credit my sister-in-law told me that just a while ago she watched her learn to make Navajo fry bread with a smile on her face, and bite into mutton with gusto.  
          Grandma loved to eat in nice restaurants and to take rides to visit and enjoy scenery.   She enjoyed taking trips. She liked to visit with people and especially liked it when people visited her.
          Grandma valued education.  She has always encouraged us grandchildren to go on to college and get an education. 
          Grandma knew how to save and manage money and she used her resources to help other people. 

          Grandma received her patriarchal blessing when she was 46 years old.  At that point, who knew that her life was just a little more than half over?  As we look back at Grandma's life, I see how many of the beautiful promises from that blessing have been fulfilled.   
          Grandma was blessed with leadership. She was blessed that because of the integrity of her heart, she would be able to fulfill her church callings and be magnified in the eyes of those whom she labored with.  I believe with all my heart that Grandma was genuine in trying to help people the way she thought was best. 
          Grandma was blessed to be able to instruct the children in her home, to explain to them the truths of the gospel, inspire them to do what is right, and cause them to have the desire to walk through the straight gate and narrow way that leads to eternal life.  I think it would be safe to say that all of us children and grandchildren knew what grandma wanted for us, and she has inspired us at some time in our lives - either directly or indirectly- by her example.
          Grandma was blessed to be an inspiration to those in less fortunate circumstances, to bless them in a material way as well as a spiritual way.  We do not realize to what extent Grandma has kept track of all the cousins and their spouses and children when they came along, and was always prompt to send them gifts and notes.  She supported several missionaries, she gave generous tithes, fast offerings and other charitable contributions, and she was always very thoughtful to return kindnesses with a thank-you, especially in the form of a card or note which is so hard for so many of us to do.  As her grandchildren we always knew we would have a nice present on our birthdays, baptisms, ordinations, weddings, etc. . . . or $20 to buy us "something we would like for ourselves."  As we have started to get married, our spouses have also received the same kindness. 

          Grandma loved us.  I feel that as Grandma looks upon our family- 16 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren with another on the way, and numerous other special people that have crossed or come into our lives - she is proud of us!  I want to pay tribute to my uncles, my aunts and cousins.  Grandma was grateful for the little things we did: for checking in on her, for sending her flowers and gifts, for visiting her in the hospital when she was sick, for the phone calls and the cards, and for expressions of love like the new pair of soft, comfortable slippers Tonya always gave her.  I especially know that Grandma appreciated the special visits she received from her sons and their families while she was in Blanding.  Grandma loved us all the same.
          I want to end this tribute to my sweet grandmother with my testimony.  I know the church is true.  One of the memories I will always cherish is my brothers, sister, sisters-in-law and husbnd, mom and dad standing around Grandma's bed last Christmas season, singing Christmas carols.  My sweet dad gave Grandma a blessing when we were finished, a blessing of comfort to a child of our Heavenly Father who was really struggling, and the spirit of family and forever ties was so strong in the room it felt like a blanket to me, wrapped around us to take away the chill of a hard life.  Many of our extended family's fond memories of Grandma center around Christmas, Christmases at home while the boys were growing up, Christmases at Grandma Monsons with the whole extended family, Christmases with our own families sharing gifts she had given.  I am so happy that I know that the bands of death were broken by Christ, and the eternal circle of life and death is part of the plan of our Heavenly Father.  Despite all the problems and set-backs she faced, especially in this past year, Grandma endured to the end. 
          Grandma's patriarchal blessing shares Heavenly Father's love for her - promising that if she would seek the Lord in prayer, no desire of her heart in righteousness would be denied her.  I feel at this time, that the prayers to be released from this mortal life were heard by our Father in Heaven.  How fitting that Grandma should be honored in life and death on today, her birthday!  It is a new beginning for her.  She will continue to grow, and we can continue to grow here. I hope that each of us will remember Grandma  . .
living, full of life, fun, ever wanting the best for us, and that we can live worthily to return and be with her.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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