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Dona Ison

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Dona H. Ison
Our mother, Dona H. Ison, age 97, died of natural causes on November 20, 2012 at the home of her daughter Jana Ison Nelson. On June 30, 1915, her father, Augustus Hansen, wrote in his journal, "We got a baby girl." Mom was the 3rd of 12 children born to Augustus & Lydia Whipple Hansen in the tiny town of Lakeside, AZ.
Mom grew up and began working her way through college by waitressing, cooking at a logging camp, cleaning the college president's home, and assisting mothers after they gave birth. During those years, two serious boyfriends presented themselves. She chose the long-legged, red-headed Joseph Ison because of his integrity, work ethic, and devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mom and dad were married in the St. George LDS Temple on July 11, 1940 and moved to Twin Falls, ID on their honeymoon. Eventually his job with Swift & Company poultry processors took them to Caldwell, ID where they bought their own poultry farm. While Dad supported his family with the egg production of 10,000 hens, mom began to raise chicks of her own. Six daughters arrived over the years. We girls had a mom determined to school us in the homemaking arts. Thus our home became a hands-on incubator for cooking sewing, canning, bread-making, cleanliness, thrift, and organization. She also prayed nightly that somewhere in the world other parents were raising wonderful sons to marry her daughters.
As we each grew up and flew the coop, mom's hobbies turned to quilting, egg & cake decorating, porcelain baby dolls, dried flower pressing and most of all- grand-babies.
In partnership with dad's calling as an LDS Stake President, she welcomed LDS Apostles and future Prophets to our dining room table. She served with dad in the Boise LDS Temple for 20 years.
She survived breast cancer and heart disease in her 80s, but she could not avoid dementia in her late 90s. Though it robbed her of her memory, it never took away her smile, graciousness, and sparkly-eyed delight over a new great-grand-baby.
We girls are forever grateful for the skills she taught us and our husbands should thank their lucky stars for the whole wheat bread recipe she passed on to us.
Mom and dad were married 67 years before his passing in December 2007. Since that time we girls give gratitude to caregivers LaVora Sutton and Kendra Browning, whose service allowed mom to live in her home until three days before her death.
Mom is survived by five daughters: Jocile Wilson (Richard) of Bountiful, Utah, Angela Nielson (Noel) of Preston, ID, Lora Dawn McKinley of Meridian, ID, Jana Nelson (Kevin) of Nampa, ID and Kristen Carson (John) of Brownsburg, IN. We also claim two adopted sisters, Loretta Hales and Nan Arnold. Other survivors include mom's sister, Loma Jones of Hyrum, UT; 28 grandchildrenand 43 great-grandchildren. Along with dad, she was preceded in death by daughter and son-in-law, Hertha and Noel Hales, ten siblings, and one great-grandchild.
Memories and condolences may be shared with family at
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, November 24, 2012 at the Caldwell Idaho East LDS Stake Center, 11792 Linden Rd. Caldwell. A Viewing will be held from 7-9 p.m. Friday, November 23 at Zeyer Funeral Chapel, 83 N Midland Blvd, Nampa (467-7300) and at the church, Saturday, from 9-9:45 a.m. prior to the services.

Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Nov. 22, 2012
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