Grant, Erma (Whiting)
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(1918-2013) was born in St. Johns, Arizona. The child of Pioneers Edwin Isaacson Whiting and Ethel Farr Whiting and sister to Farr (Mel), Melba (Sherwood), Virgil (LaVelle), Merwin and Lee. All have predeceased her. She was born into a world just ending its first global war. A world engulfed in a pandemic more viral and more lethal than any since the days of the bubonic plague. 20,000,000 people died from the Spanish Flu that winter. She was spared. Spared to live a life of great endowment with her eternal and extraordinary sweetheart Darwin D. Grant. Now nine and a half decades after her birth her posterity is her Opus, her communion with friends is her everlasting joy and her eternal union with Darwin D. Grant (1938) in the Salt Lake Temple with a pronouncement of marriage by Church President Uncle Heber J. Grant is her crowning achievement. She attended BYU, graduated with honors from the LDS Business College. Her skills were legendary. A prolific letter writer and a skilled newspaper reporter, she for years wrote for the Arizona Republic and contributed local color articles to her home town newspaper the Independent News. She and Darwin served faithfully in many positions in the LDS church; they were temple workers for decades, full time missionaries in the City of Nauvoo, Illinois, and a bishop and a bishop's wife. Those were times of great satisfaction and joy. She loved to dance, she loved to sing and she loved parties. With her sweetheart, she taught dance for five decades. They were dance directors for their stake, their ward and their region. She was the Miss America pageant director for Apache County for years. She found great joy in sports, especially ASU sports. She loved her Diamondbacks and her Suns. She memorized batting averages and ERAs and idolized Steve Nash. Her children knew they were loved without reserve or prejudice. They are Rita (Gary), Merwin (Charlotte), Howard (Irene), Ron (Keiko), and Robert (Jo). She has 22 grandchildren, 51 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren. Her life as a spectator was full of recitals, plays, sports of every kind, band, orchestra performances and fun. That "Barbie Grammie", per the kids, was always invited and always inviting. No child felt unloved, no child was unloved. A visitation will be held on Thursday, July 18, at Bunker Mortuary, 33 North Centennial Way, Mesa, from 6-8 PM. The funeral is on Friday, July 19, at the LDS chapel, 3344 East McDowell (between Lindsay and Val Vista) at 9:30 AM. Graveside Services at the St. Johns City Cemetery at 4 PM on Friday afternoon.
Published in The Arizona Republic on July 17, 2013