February 1, 1929 ~ September 22, 2017
Cloyda Ferne Rigdon Kelso was born February 1, 1929, in Gladstone, New Mexico, fourth of eight children, to James Cloyd Rigdon and Ann Matilda Halsey. She died peacefully, surrounded by her loving family on September 22, 2017, in Clinton, Utah.
Seeds of the hearty, strong woman she would become were sown early in life. Her humble childhood was spent in a two room farmhouse with her seven siblings, parents and grandmothers.
At 16, she married James Arch Kelso Jr. on September 8, 1945. They moved to California and together they raised three sons. In 1965, James and Ferne settled in Utah, where she started her long career as a contract negotiator at Hill Air Force Base, retiring admirably as a GS14. She continued her career working for Governor Bangerter in the Department of Economic Development.
Ferne found profound joy in sharing her endless skills with her family and her faith community. Grandma Ferne always said yes to her beloved children and grandchildren. She would do everything from sewing Easter bonnets to sharing the perfect remedy for removing stains. If you needed Grandma, she could always be found French braiding her granddaughter's hair, playing the organ at church, or busily providing a loving home for a grandchild's cat or dog. Ferne had a deep and unwavering love for Jesus, and was happiest when she was in church singing His praises.
Ferne is survived by her sisters, Beatrice Ann and Bonnie Jean; sons: Randy (Lorena), Gary (Mary Clare), Bo (Sandy); 18 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; her dear friend, Terry Jessop; and her sweet puppy, Joe.
Although dementia robbed Ferne of her memory, it never claimed her sense of humor or her expression of love. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to so many of our family members for all of the tender love and endless compassion showed to Ferne throughout her final time on Earth. Special thanks to CNS Hospice and the entire staff at Barrington Place for their expert care and loving support.
Services will be held on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 1 p.m., Grace Church of Utah, 385 Golden Avenue, Layton, Utah.