HYDE PARK - Theresa Katherine Eckenbrecht Allred, 86, returned to her Heavenly Father on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. She was born Jan. 25, 1926, in Ogden, Utah, to Albert Clarence and Katherine W. deMik Eckenbrecht.
Theresa, her brother Henry and sister Louise were reared by their widowed mother and loving grandmother deMik after their father died when Theresa was only 7 years old. She spent her early schooling years in Ogden with brief periods in California schools while her mother attended UCLA
Theresa graduated from Weber College (now Weber State University) in 1946 and Utah State Agricultural College (now Utah State University) awarded her a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1948. She later did graduate work in that field and received a master's degree from USU in 1981.
She married J R Allred on Dec. 27, 1950, in the Logan LDS Temple. Theresa and J R raised four sons while living in Alaska, Ogden, Colorado, Logan, Maryland and Hyde Park, Utah. It was in Hyde Park that they settled for the remainder of her life.
Theresa enjoyed and encouraged support of their sons in academic school, Scouting, church work, 4-H, sports, music and art activities. With this ever-sustaining interest in the children and her family, she served not only her own family but also others through church and civic responsibility.
In 1967 she started teaching kindergarten in the public schools of Cache County. It was to become a source of great joy to her and a blessing to hundreds of children as she served in the North Park School in North Logan, River Heights Elementary, Park School in Richmond and Sunrise School in Smithfield. She used to say that it was a humbling position to have the trust and care of Heavenly Father's young children. She was grateful for the opportunity to relate to young children and their parents and to continue to have the experience of seeing young people grow from 5- and 6-year-olds into maturing adults.
Twenty-one grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren blessed the lives of Theresa and J R. "Being a grandmother is the best job I ever had."
After she retired from Kindergarten teaching in 1992 she spent even more time enjoying these grandchildren and serving in church responsibilities. She also enjoyed working as a volunteer docent for children at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art. Theresa really believed in lifelong learning and this helped her pursue an interest in art.
For her community efforts in education and other causes, she received a "Women of Achievement over 65 Award" from the USU Women's Center. In 2005, the College of Education and Human Services at Utah State honored her by naming a room in the Edith Bowen Laboratory School the Theresa K. Eckenbrecht Allred Reading Theater, in recognition to her contributions to education and reading for young children and those who teach them.
Her many callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints included Junior Sunday School coordinator, ward Relief Society president, a member of the stake Relief Society presidency, YWMIA president and a teacher in Relief Society, Primary and Sunday School.
Besides the work with children there is probably nothing she felt more privileged to do than the call she had to work as an officiator in the Logan LDS Temple.
Theresa's family includes her husband J R; sons Mark (Karen), Kirk (Leslie), Alan (Challi) and Brian (Cindy); 21 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Joyce Eckenbrecht; and sister Louise (Jonathan) Fairbanks. She was preceded in death by her daughter-in-law Wanda (wife of Brian) and brother Henry.
Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the Hyde Park Stake Center. There will be a viewing from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Allen Mortuary of North Logan and 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the church. Interment will follow in the Hyde Park Cemetery.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.allenmortuaries.net