HOOPER -- Some people look upon onions and work in much the same light, believing they are irritating. But at 75, Hooper resident DeLora Fowers doesn't look down on either one. Just when most people are slowing down, DeLora stays as busy as ever on the job.
"I'm just glad I can still go and do it," she said.
She is a service missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Temple Square.
Before that, she drove a forklift and worked in the office at the church's Ogden cannery. She also had an office career with the Norm Thompson Lumber Company.
But what's really important to DeLora is driving farm trucks to haul produce to market for her family's farms. She hasn't missed a harvest season in 59 years.
From now until Nov. 1, she'll be hauling onions for her grandson, Cole Fowers. Son Bret Fowers drives the loader and said he wouldn't have it any other way.
"Women are better truck drivers, because all they do is drive their truck and do what you tell them," he said. "Guys are always trying to out-think you. Usually when the women drivers are in the field, I'm more relaxed."
Bret said there's no question he learned to work from his mom.
"When I got out of school and it was harvest time, she tended me in a truck," Brett said of his childhood. "This was back before there was seat belts and stuff."
He said he remembers learning his times tables in a corn truck and a sugar beet truck.
It was 1976 when the Fowers family began hauling onions each October in Hooper. Now, it's all families with a Fowers last name that are spilling onions here and there up and down Hooper roads out of their large commercial trucks. Picking up the fresh onions has become an adventure for many Hooper residents.
DeLora grew up working in Plain City. She doesn't remember ever taking it easy, but she does remember skirting the law a bit.
"I didn't have a driver's license, but I picked up all the kids in the spring and I would take them to Willard Bay," she said. "We'd pick 10 acres of asparagus before school."
She ran a Plain City restaurant her family owned when she was 14, taking all of the orders and cooking all of the food. When she was 15, she went to work for Farr's Ice Cream.
"I was glad I learned to work," DeLora said. "Some parents don't teach their kids to work these days."
She got married after her junior year of high school in 1953 and started helping on the now four-generation Fowers family farm. She has driven farm trucks ever since.
In the last decade or so, family members have worried that DeLora works too hard.
"She wants to climb up and move the onions," Bret said. "We keep telling her, 'You're going to break a hip or something.' "
But the mother of five boys, all of whom are now farmers, said she isn't worried. Her sons are Bart, of Little Valley, Idaho; Brad and Stan, both of Hooper; and Bret and Russ, both of Bear River.
"Until 2002, we all ran one farm, but it's all split up now," Bret said. "I think everyone has done pretty good since we split up."
And DeLora helps them all when they ask.
Three years ago, she went to Idaho for a week to drive a truck for Bart.
"My son gave me a hug and said, 'Thanks for coming.' I said, 'Hey, I had a blast.' "
DeLora talks about how she enjoyed seeing deer, coyotes, hawks and crows while she driving her truck.
But the truth probably is that she just flat-out liked the work.