Everett Keith Berensen
February 14, 1924 ~ January 25, 2022
Everett was born February 14, 1924, to James Henry Berensen and Venice Nelson Berensen, in Ferron, Utah. Shortly after Everett was born, his family moved to Kenilworth Utah. Everett married Wilma Louise Hardy February 2, 1947, in Elko Nevada (She always went by Louise).
Everett worked in the coal mine in Kenilworth just as his father had. During this time, he and Louise had their first two children, Terry and Sherrie. He became a fire boss and also was a member of the mine rescue team.
In 1951, the family moved to Pleasanton California where Everett had gotten a job with the Crown Zellerbach wax paper factory. While working on the factory line, he was awarded an award and a bonus for inventing an air knife that cut giant rolls of wax paper. This greatly improved the efficiency of the factory line. While living in CA they were blessed with 3 more children; Merry, Jerry, and Gerry.
In April 1958, they made the decision to move back to Utah to be near family. Everett found work with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). They bought a home in Price, Utah with fruit trees, a garden, and a small shop in the back. Everett became active in his church while living in Price. He and Louise were able to be sealed for time and all eternity in the Manti Utah Temple on October 13, 1962. All their children, including Kerry and Candace were sealed to them at that time. Perry, their last child, was born 2 years later.
Everett was anxious to be made foreman at the UDOT. He had left high school early to help support his family and had not received his diploma. So he spent the time needed to study and received his diploma along with his daughter Sherrie in 1967. He credited his wife as instrumental in his continued education. He became foreman. His team built bridges, guardrails and cattle guards all over central and south east Utah.
Working near Bluff, Utah he fell in love with the area. Around 1976 he and Louise bought property there. Working mostly on weekends, and with some help from his sons, Everett spent the next 3 years building a little house. In 1979 Everett, Louise and their last child at home, Perry, moved to Bluff. Everett spent the next 5 years building a larger home next to the little house, which they moved into in 1984. He also retired from UDOT at that time. Everett loved his home and spent a lot of his time working in his wood shop and turning his desert property into a small green oasis.
In 2001, Everett and Louise, feeling their age, made the short move to Blanding Utah to be near doctors and other facilities. After an adjustment period Everett learned to enjoy his new home in Blanding and he and Louise spent much time together in their matching recliners side by side.
Louise passed away in 2011. Everett spent much of his time working on small projects and coloring with colored pencils in art books. He played solitaire daily and weeded his acre of property. Up until he was 95, he could be seen in the yard with his walker and a shovel hacking away at weeds.
Time takes its toll and in 2019 Everett no longer felt safe home alone. He moved in with his son Jerry and daughter-in-law Laura in Ogden Utah where he was well cared for until his health became so poor he needed professional care. He often talked about joining Louise. He had great faith in his Heavenly father’s plan and welcomed the idea of moving on from this world. He passed away comfortably in his sleep while taking an afternoon nap.
Everett was preceded in death by his wife, Louise; and two children, his oldest son, Terry Berensen and his second oldest daughter, Merry Kelly. Everett leaves behind six children: daughter, Sherrie Dodge (C.R), son, Jerry Berensen (Laura), son, Gerry Berensen, daughter, Kerry Berensen, daughter, Candace Berensen, and son, Perry Berensen (Dawn).
Life Sketch (in his words)
I, Everett Keith Berensen, was born on February 14, 1924, to my parents, Venice Nelson and James Henry Berensen, in the small town of Ferron, Utah. I lived there for two years until we moved to the town I grew up in, Kenilworth, Utah.
My parents’ ancestors came from Denmark and Iceland. My mother gave birth to 18 children, 15 who survived to adulthood, giving me 7 brothers (James, Carlyle,Clayton, Keith, Boyd, Brent, & Richard) and 7 sisters (Marjorie, Norma, Shirley, Esta Lee, Billy Jean, Carol, & Caroline). We had to share bedrooms as children, so I and my brothers shared a room with only two beds. Here is a funny story: I used to steal my sister Shirley’s baby bottle. I would grab it and get under the bed and roll one-way or the other so that my family could not get it away from me. We were only 19 months apart in age.
In school, my favorite subjects were spelling and art. I liked to draw and color. I didn’t like my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Saderswade, because one day she wouldn’t let me finish coloring a picture. Another time, my sister, Norma, bit her when she took away her jacks. I dropped out of school when I was a senior so that I could work in the coal mines to help support my family. However, I did graduate and get my diploma in 1967.
As children, we liked to play the outside games of kick-the-can, hide and seek, and I liked to jump rope. I also liked doing jumping jacks for exercise and raising my legs into the air while I was laying on my back. I did this to make my stomach muscles stronger and would have my brothers hit me in the stomach to show how strong I was. My favorite toy was a wooden gun I made by attaching a clothes pin and using an inner tube from tires. When I was older, I liked to play baseball, softball, basketball, and boxing when I was in high school. I mostly played as catcher or pitcher with both baseball and softball. In softball, I was known for my knuckleball pitch. I really liked watching the St. Louis Cardinals as they were my favorite sports team.
Not all of my childhood was play; I had chores to do too. I cleaned the back alley of our house looking for coal that the coal trucks dropped. I also mowed our lawn with my mother standing with her hands on her hips to make sure I got all the edges of the lawn cut correctly and that I did a good job. When I was older and working in the mines, I would bring my paycheck to my mother except for a little bit I kept for myself. I would buy my siblings clothes. I also would take my mother to Ferron to visit her family.
As a child, I got the illnesses of chickenpox, mumps, and measles. Our family was quarantined for 6 weeks until we were all well. I also had tonsillitis as a young man and had to have them removed because they were so infected. After my tonsils were removed, I got my growth spurt from 5’2” to the height of 6’3”.
I had a few dogs growing up. (This is Black Shash and Brown Shash from Bluff). One dog’s name was Towzer. Another dog was a police dog that would pull me on a cart. One day, he was pulling a cart with me in it while we were looking for cedar logs. A coyote came along, and the dog took off after it, tipping me and the cart over, and I skinned my face.
There wasn’t TV when I was growing up, we just listened to the radio, but we could go to a free movie on Thursdays and I especially enjoyed watching “Our Gang” of the Little Rascals, my favorite show. My mom would make my favorite meal of chili beans on Thursdays too. If I had extra time, I would spend it reading from my favorite author, Zane Grey. My favorite book was “Riders of the Purple Sage.”
Later on in life, I did get to watch TV. I liked westerns such as Bonanza and Gunsmoke. A radio favorite was listening to Orson Wells’ “Invasion from Mars.” I sure loved watching John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Randall Scott, and Jimmy Stewart in the movies.
Just to let you know, my favorite color is blue, and my favorite song is “I Stand All Amazed.” This was my wife, Wilma Louise Berensen’s, favorite song too. I used to tease her and call her “Wheezy” for Wilma and Louise, but she didn’t like it so I quit calling her that.
My favorite food growing up was when my mother would save enough money to get a steak and put it together with potatoes, carrots, peas, and onions in a roasting pan and put it in the oven. We rarely got this and lived on bread and gravy a lot. I used to like drinking Pepsi but later changed to Sprite. My favorite dessert was my mother’s strawberry shortcake with whipped cream; second favorite dessert is vanilla or strawberry ice cream. For snacks, I love pears or delicious apples.
I like flowers, especially the Sego Lilly. With my favorite animal, my dogs, we would wander through the fields also looking for bluebells because I really liked the way they smelled.
I used to be able to lift 1500 lbs., my father could lift over a ton. If I had a superpower, I would want to be like Atlas, (a Greek mythology titan condemned to hold up the celestial heavens for eternity) and be super strong.
I believe that I have been hard-working, honest, and faithful throughout my life. I have a strong testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ. I look forward to the day when I can be with my sweetheart, Louise, again for all eternity.
Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at 12 p.m. at Bluff Cemetery, Bluff, Utah. Friends may visit with family on Monday, February 7th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd.
For a more details of Everett’s life and to share condolences visit: www.lindquistmortuary.com .