Former Craig resident Marthella Beck passed away Oct. 23, 2004, in Billings, Mont. She was 89.
Marthella Willis was born Aug. 3, 1915, in Henrieville, Utah. She was the oldest of eight children born to John and Rachel Ella Willis. Seven of the children grew to adulthood; an infant brother, Henry Bradford, passed away when he was 4 months old.
In 1921, the family moved to Junction, Utah, where her father farmed. He later was employed by the U.S. Biological Survey. In 1933, he was transferred to Vernal, Utah, to work as a trapper with U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
After completing school in Vernal, Marthella moved to Oakland, Calif., where she worked for several years as a housekeeper for families she knew there. Her sisters, Rita and Glenna, spent time with her in Oakland during World War II.
Marthella moved to western Colorado to work with her parents at the Macedona Lodge. In 1948, she met her future husband, Linnie Beck, who was a truck driver for Stanton's Transportation Company. He enjoyed stopping at the lodge for a good meal during his trips hauling Gilsonite from the mine in Bonanza, Utah, to Craig.
The couple moved to Casper, Wyo., in 1949, where the Stantons had started a branch of their trucking company. They returned to Craig in the late 1950s to raise a family.
Marthella was a gifted cook and spent many years working in restaurants in Craig, including Easley's Cafe, The Galveston Restaurant and the M&M Cafe.
She shared a love of the outdoors with her husband and enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping with family and friends. She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held many positions in its primary school, Sunday school and Relief Society auxiliaries. Marthella was proud of her heritage and had a great love for her ancestors, parents and brothers and sisters.
Marthella will be remembered as a hard worker and a loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt and friend. She had a great sense of humor and her smile and the twinkle in her eye will long be remembered by all those who knew and loved her.
She was preceded in death by her infant brother, Henry; her parents; and her husband, Linnie.
Marthella is survived by two sons, John and his wife, Kaye, of Thornton, and Dale and his wife, Judy, of Billings, Mont.; two brothers, Maynard Willis of Montrose and Dale Willis of Salt Lake City; four sisters, Rita Forbis of Horse Cave, Ken., Ovid Luck of Vernal, Utah and Glenna Meadows and Mary Lauchnor of Salt Lake City; four grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral was held Oct. 28, 2004, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Craig. Bishop Brian Herring officiated.