LaRae Ficklin


A senior, small in stature with a big heart, is LaRae Ficklin.  She was born at home in February, 1930 in Leland, Utah (now part of Spanish Fork) to LeRoy and Twila Mae Allen Isaac.  She loved growing up in Leland.  She was 15 yeras old during WWII and she remembers they had to be careful with their nylons because they were hard to get.  Her father and his brother owned and operated the Leland Rolling Mills, so they had flour and other necessities to live on during the war.

She had three older sisters and one younger brother. While growing up she worked at Elmer's Drug Store, which is now Stone Drug.  Everyone used to go there for a hamburger, french fries, drink, and ice cream. She picked beets for one day, and picked cherrys for Sorenson's Cherry Orchard in Springville for two summers. She also worked at the Del Monte Cannery for two summers.  At the end of the war she remembers riding in a rumble seat car and going to Provo where there was street dancing and a celebration. There was a celebration all over the county.

Her older sister was on a mission for the L.D.S. Church in Louisiana and she met the Andrew and Ida Ficklin family. She wrote letters home about them.  Their son, Fred, joined the Navy during WWII. After the war he moved to Salt Lake.  He came to visit the Isaacs and this is where LaRae met him.  They were married on June 6, 1950.  Fred passed away on July 4, 2011.  They had five children: Kaye (deceased) Mike Halliday; Terry and LeAnn Ficklin; Randy Ficklin (deceased); Robert Ficklin; Karla and Scott Wallentine.  They have 22 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.  Fred's parents moved to Salem to be with family and where their two younger sons could marry Mormon girls, which they did.  Fred and LaRae moved to Salem in 1981 in help take care of his parents.

She and Fred loved to dance.  They danced to some of the main bands like Ink Spots, Harry James, and Mills brothers at the Rainbow Rendezvous in Salt Lake.  The Talk of the Town in Springville was another popular band they danced to.  Fred was the Jitter Bug King in Louisiana.  They were Ward, Stake and Regional Dance Directors when they lived in Las Vegas and they came to Salt Lake for Regional Dance Festivals.

Fred managed a hardware store in Las Vegas.  Their family was able to go on business trips with him.  Later he became the Sales Manager for Ames Tool Company for the Western half of the United States.  LaRae was able to go to many areas with Fred for conventions in the United States and abroad. They lived in Spanish Fork, Provo, Cedar City, Las Vegas, Salt Lake, and Salem.

LaRae has served in many callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints either as a teacher, counselor, or president in the Primary, Young Women or Relief Society.  Relief Society has been the main part of her life.  After Fred retired they served a mission to Nauvoo, Illinois for one year.

While in Salt Lake, LaRae worked as a secretary at Utah Technical College for two years, volunteered with the Festival of Trees for a couple of years, was a Judge of Electons and was a realtor.  They family was "Salem Family of the Year" in 1993. She likes to swim and when she was younger she took piano lessons.  She can play a few hymns and plays for her own enjoyment but she regrets she didn't further her talent on the piano.  She always wanted to play the violin like her Dad did, but never learned how.

She writes some poetry and used to make up songs.  She sewed a lot when she was younger, making her children's clothing.  She quilts, reads, does genealogy, extractions and FamilySearch. She is a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.  Some of their family traditions are "Back to Bethlehem: at Christmas time, seafood gumbo from Louisiana, and going to Lake Powell every summer.  Growing up she didn't like spinach or turnips, but she loves them now.  Her favorite food is chocolate or vanilla ice cram -- anything with nuts.

When they first moved to Salem she liked the closeness and friendly atmosphere.  She feels there is security here.  She said if she had a choice of anywhere she's been she would choose Salem.  When growing up in Leland it was a simple life and Salem reminds her of that.

What a delight it was to visit with LaRae.


Senior Spotlight, Salem City Newsletter, June 2015, page 3

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