Jean Foy Call successfully completed her last step on the Covenant Path, by enduring to the end, on January 24, 2021. She was born on January 30, 1923 in Twin Falls, Idaho to Leslie Thomas Foy and Florence Howard Tuttle. Her father, Leslie, wrote in his journal at her birth, “Little girl, your mother has journeyed through the veil of death and gifted you this life. Be worthy of the sacrifice she was willing to make and become a God-fearing woman. You owe this and more to her who gave you birth.” Jean did not disappoint, as she has unselfishly spent her time, talents, and resources in serving her family and others her entire life.
As a young girl, she attended school in Malad, Idaho, until the depression forced the family to move to Monticello, Utah to live in tents on a dry farm. Times were difficult, but Jean always said, “The family was so happy that they didn’t know they were poor.” A few years later, Jean lost her father to a terrible train accident. Her widowed mother and six children then had to move home to the Tuttle family farm in Bountiful. Jean attended school at Stoker Elementary, Bountiful Jr. High, Davis High and eventually LDS business College. She would ride the Bamberger train from Bountiful to Davis High and while attending school there, made lifelong friends. She spent many happy hours involved in Marching Band and playing the French horn. Even in her older years she would spontaneously start singing “Dear Old Davis High School” without the slightest bit of prompting.
It was at high school that Jean met Lewis Call and after writing Lewis on his mission for 27 months, they were married on March 31, 1944. Jean had been married for only 2 months when Lewis had to leave again for WWII. She wrote letters for another two years and worked at the Hill Field Arsenal and Woodbury Company until Lewis safely returned home. Jean had some lonely hours to fill and would often stop after work at the temple to do a session before returning home. It was during this time she developed the love for Temple and Family History work that would carry throughout her life and pass on to her children.
Jean and Lewis raised 3 biological daughters, but their home was always filled with others who loved them and claimed them for their own. People were always coming to stay at their home. It was like Grand Central Station and Jean always had a bed, a meal, and a warm fire available. It didn’t matter if it was a day or a year, her home housed nieces, nephews, Indian Placement foster children, International Dance teams, student teachers, college roommates, mission companions, young adult conference attendees, visiting converts from other countries, run-a-ways, missionaries, friends, homeless families, and grandchildren. Jean was a marvelous hostess and many family parties were held at her home. She was fun, creative and loving. She believed you should properly set a table with china and silverware and tablecloths for all special events. Every Christmas there was a new twist to the decorations on the Christmas tree, and she was known for her flower arranging and years of flower club and flower judging. She would say, “Every person has a name and they are called by it, every flower also has a name, learn it and use it.” She was still creating fresh flower arrangements for people in need in her 97th year.
When Jean and Lewis were finally able to be together, instead of separated by missions and wars, they were an unstoppable force for good. Again, Jean could be quoted as saying, “They say that there is no ‘one’ person for anyone, but in my case, I know they are wrong.” Jean supported Lewis as Bishop and in two different Bishoprics. She supported him in High Council callings and special assignments to the area Young Adults and Welfare farm. She served as Relief Society President and teacher, Activities Committee, Young Women Sports Director, Primary, eleven year old scouts and Gospel Doctrine teacher. However, her favorite calling had to be Girls Camp. It was there she influenced countless testimonies around a campfire, Dutch oven cooking, skits and songs. Jean along with Lewis also served three additional missions. They were Docents at the Church Museum on Temple Square, full-time proselyting missionaries in the West Indies Mission, and full-time leadership missionaries in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Mission.
However, whenever asked which was more important, the church or the family, she would always say, “They are one in the same.” Family is the center of the gospel and family was the center of her life. There was no such term as extended family in her vocabulary. They were all just “family.”
Nothing could keep Jean from being a part of her children’s lives. She had an insatiable curiosity and a great sense of adventure. She followed her children and grand-children all over the country and world. Dad and Mom brought their influence to Chili, Argentina, Dubai, Singapore, Saint Lucia, Grenada and Israel. There was no family project that they did not want to be a part of. They helped their family build garages, put up fences, dig pipelines, plant orchards, lay fireplaces and chimneys, wall paper rooms, engineer skate ramps, harvest gardens and repair machinery. They traveled from one end of the state to the other helping family pick up the pieces and move forward. They went to baptisms and weddings on the Navajo reservation and traveled by train to Washington to a nieces’ wedding. Grandmother Jean loved to read and read everything that was loose. She loved to pull a grandchild onto her lap or set them side of her on the couch to share a book with them. Mother Jean taught her children to plan, prepare, cook, sew, work, pray and, yet, had the patience to put up with those who weren’t sure they wanted to learn.
She spent the last 26 years of her life without her loving partner, but continued to celebrate each mission, graduation, wedding, birth, and every return of family. She spent her time in service, her money in support and her energy single to the glory of God. She never ate a meal without a prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving, no matter when or where. She left this earth with little or nothing in terms of the world, but reaped a happiness few will ever experience. She repeated everyday how blessed she was and how she had everything she needed. She absolutely knew the difference between wants and needs.
Bless you Mother, Grandmother, Sister and Aunt for your unshakable testimony of Jesus Christ that served you for 97 years and now has been left as a legacy for your posterity forever.
Jean’s love and example has provided a spiritual head start and lasting promise to three daughters and their spouses, Linda (John Hoffman), Louise (Marvin John), Emily (Richard Williams), her Indian placement daughter, Gloria (Jim Atine), a very special “son”, Richard S. Lemon (Evelyn), twenty–one grandchildren, fifty great grandchildren, and hundreds of others who have adopted her into their hearts because of the impact she has had on their life’s journey.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the Temple Construction Fund.
Burial at Bountiful City Cemetery