July 14, 1931-Feb. 6, 2024

Our dear, sweet, laugh-at-all-the-jokes mother Louise Bood peacefully passed away Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, after having her favorite hymns sung to her by dear friends and family. With loving daughters holding her hands, she said “that’s enough” and slipped away from us into the loving arms of her family that have been waiting for her; so they can get back to their lively discussions of growing up and laughing their big “Blood” laughs about all their antics on the farm.

Mom was born in Billings, Montana, on July 14, 1931, to the parents of Russell Marion Blood and Minnie Arrilla Wasden. She was the oldest of six children.

She lived the ideal life with her siblings on the farm in the little town of Penrose, Wyoming, where they grew vegetables, iris, and lots of berries to go with the fresh cream from the dairy cows her dad raised and milked.  They lived through the Depression and were as poor as the next person, but they grew up in a loving home and mom always said she ‘didn’t ever feel poor.’

Mom landed as far away as Powell, Wyoming, (which was just a few miles from Penrose), after high school graduation, to start her college education at their small junior college. But after going to Salt Lake City with her parents to attend General Conference, it was decided that she would venture farther from home. So, Mom left home at 19, for the big city of Provo, Utah, and attended the famous Brigham Young University, where she met Merlin G. Paul and, and, as they say, the rest is history.

She received her elementary education degree from Utah State University and moved to Layton, Utah, where she raised six children. Merlin and Mom divorced in 1969, and then Mom met and married her next love, William C. Baker. And then there were seven children.  We all welcomed the new addition to our family who was 10 years younger than the last child.

Mom taught all throughout these years at several schools around Layton: Crestview Elementary, Layton Elementary and most of her 30 years of teaching was at Vae View Elementary (the “Doughnut School”), which she retired from.

She didn’t sit idle very long and started working for her daughter Cheryl at her quilt shop in Centerville, Utah, where she loved helping women choose their fabric for their projects. She loved to make quilts. Loved to dream about making a quilt. She made over 150 quilts in her lifetime, with most of those being hand quilted, and left many quilts tops waiting to be quilted.

Mom was our family’s best “audience” because she would laugh, with only the laugh mom had, at all of our stupid jokes or our dumb stories of the day. The harder she laughed the more animated the stories would become. Most important of all she was a great listener.

Mom loved jigsaw puzzles. She always had one going and the competition in the family was to get her the hardest one for birthdays and Christmases. When we told her it would keep Alzheimer’s away she did them even more. She was a prolific reader and loved to do crossword puzzles as well.

The last three years have been a rollercoaster ride starting with getting her home sold in Layton and moving her to St. George. Then the sad times of losing her beloved sister Elizabeth Gage, her bigger-than-life brother Dwight Blood, her beautiful grandson Brandon Paul and granddaughter Stormi Paul. In 2022 she received her pacemaker and was told the battery was good for 10 years and she was already 90. There were happy times of family gatherings and games, Gnoming Around being her favorite.

She had always talked of wanting to go back to her beloved Penrose to be buried by her mother and daddy, but about a year or so after being in St. George, she talked to all her children about being buried in Southern Utah, specifically Santa Clara, because she felt like this was “home.” She loved it here with the view looking from the back deck, the red cliffs and the beautiful Pine Valley Mountain behind, where she would sit for hours with her sketch book (which she just picked up 3 years ago), her iPad (which became her best friend) listening to “Don’t Miss This” or “Come Follow Me” or just soaking in the sounds of the birds and the view.

But the most amazing thing for her was her present of her AirPods. She was hesitant at first of putting something in her ears (because it wasn’t going to be hearing aids), but after watching her favorite TV shows with the volume up where she wanted it for the first time (after living with us for about 1 ½ years of doing dueling TVs), she was hooked. She didn’t watch without them after that. But we could never convince her to use them with her iPad as she listened to her music, or YouTube videos at the breakfast table eating her Captain Crunch with fresh blueberries and the tablespoon of sugar (for the blueberries, of course), a piece of toast and her glass of milk.

Mom was devout to her faith to the end, being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her testimony of paying tithing first before all else, her testimony of prayer and her testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ was unfailing.

She lived the last three months of her life at Southgate Assisted Living facility, where she fulfilled her final mission. She wondered if there was anything else for her to do and after several conversations with her, she realized that her last mission was to be kind to everyone, to be that “caring angel” because a lot of the older women didn’t have anyone. She took this to heart and tried to learn their names and their stories. She would hold a hand, say good morning or just brighten their day with her smile. She later told us that in her Patriarchal Blessing there is a line that says, “She will bring love and joy to many people.” She felt that this was being fulfilled.

We want to thank all of those wonderful Caregivers at Southgate who work so hard and took such good care of Mom. For Heather coming in with “Hello Sunshine!” that got Mom beaming first thing in the morning. She was so tender with Mom. For Alex who kept her laughing even in the most embarrassing of times with all her drawings and quirky stories. She was there in those last moments and was so helpful at a very difficult time. There are too many to mention and we will forget someone, but thank you Shilo, Blanca, Aaron, Jordan, Breanna, Echo, Leland, Kayla .

Thank you to Integrated Hospice with your wonderful Nurse Tom who didn’t have to say much but the two would look at each other and just laugh with neither one of them knowing why. Mom loved you, Tom.

Mom was preceded in death by her sister Elizabeth Gage; brother Dwight Melvin Blood; great-grandson Jace McKay Jensen; granddaughter Stormi Paul; and grandson Brandon David Paul.

Mom is survived by Diana Lucia Lockwood (Larry); Kevan Dale Paul (Karen); Cheryl Ann Styler (Lynn); David Eugene Paul (Kim); Stephanie Louise Hull (Blaine); Gary Alan Paul; Rex Charles Baker (Danna); 24 grandchildren, 49 ½ great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild.

A gathering will be held for friends and family on Friday, Feb. 16, from 9-10:30 a.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Blvd, St. George.

Graveside services will follow at 11 a.m. at the Santa Clara City Cemetery, 1950 Ancestor Way, Santa Clara, Utah.

Arrangements are under the care of Metcalf Mortuary, (435) 673-4221. Click here to visit the Metcalf Mortuary website for condolences, complete obituary and funeral listings.