LDS Scene
July 1979

“LDS Scene,” Ensign, July 1979, 80

LDS Scene

Frances D. Burtenshaw of Logan, Utah, is the kind of neighbor who is so welcome that the neighbors take down their fence. Sister Burtenshaw, Utah’s 1979 Mother of the Year, was named American Mother of the Year in May. The mother of eight was selected from fifty-one other contestants.

She was surprised by the honor, and her neighbors applauded it. “She always has time for people,” says a woman who lives next-door, “and yet she gets so much done.” Sister Burtenshaw, a former drama and speech teacher, has written and published a history of her mother, taught drama classes in her home, and written children’s stories for her children and grandchildren. Despite an active interest in community and church, “she takes time to call when I miss a meeting, to see if I’m ill or need help with the children,” the neighbor says. “And when another neighbor was ill, the woman’s husband took down their back fence just so Sister Burtenshaw could have easy access when she came to help.”

When a sniper fired into a parade crowd in San Antonio, Texas, April 27, a member of the Church was one of two fatally injured victims. Amalio Castillo, a widowed mother of thirteen children, was killed in the incident. Three daughters and a granddaughter were injured. Nine of her children were living at home with her, and four are married. The Castillos were among some 300,000 watching the Battle of the Flowers Parade.

Two new Deseret Industries stores were opened in April. Grand openings were held at the new stores in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Portland, Oregon, April 12 and 14. They are among thirty DI stores. Five more are planned to be opened later this year.

Claire S. Poelman, 51, wife of Elder Ronald E. Poelman of the First Quorum of the Seventy, died May 5 of a heart attack. The funeral was held May 8 in Menlo Park, California, where the Poelmans lived before his call as a General Authority.

Joe J. Christensen has been called as president of the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. He has served as first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency and as associate commissioner of the Church Educational System. He succeeds Max L. Pinegar.

Ground for a Mormon Trek Handcart Historical Site on the University of Iowa campus was broken May 12. The ceremony came on the 123rd anniversary of the Mormon Pioneers’ first expedition from Iowa City, the site of the university, to the Salt Lake Valley. The site commemorates the starting point for the Mormon handcart pioneers’ expeditions in 1856–57.