Loretta Walker Stock, age 92, passed away April 5, 2021 in Nephi, Utah, where she had been living with her daughter Shari and son-in-law David Grider.
Loretta was born December 8, 1928 in Kirtland, New Mexico to Will and Vera Walker. She, her two brothers and four sisters, grew up on a farmstead on the banks of the San Juan River. Retta, as her friends knew her, described it as “a very small, worn-out looking house, but it was the only home I knew.” This was at a time when a good-sized candy bar was a nickel and two pounds of hamburger cost 25 cents, postage stamps were two cents and then three cents, a loaf of bakery bread (which was really a rare treat) cost 12 cents.
Retta grew up learning to play the piano and organ from her mother and her older sister, Florence. She played both for church meetings and gatherings for over 66 years--from the age of 14 until she was in her 80’s. She always loved music. Four of Retta’s Great-great grandfathers knew the Prophet Joseph Smith personally and became stalwart members in the Church. With this heritage, Retta was always active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Over the years she served as Primary President and Relief Society President and as counselors in both organizations. She taught just about every age group in the Church, including nursery leader and primary classes of almost all age groups.
Retta met her future husband, Lamar Stock, in 1946 when she was a junior in High School. He was a very tall, handsome Marine. One dance, one date and 18 months later, on May 18, 1948, they were married in a double wedding ceremony with Retta’s twin, Netta, in the Mesa, Arizona Temple. To this union were born nine children--four sons and five daughters. After Lamar’s military service, they moved to the small farming community of Cotton City, near Animas, New Mexico where they raised their children. In 2014, Lamar and Retta moved from Cotton City to Nephi, Utah to live with the oldest daughter Shari and her husband David Grider. Her beloved husband of 66 years, Lamar, passed away shortly after this move.
Retta will be missed as the matriarch of her family. Her remarkable life touched 8 generations in which she knew her great grandmother and lived to hold some of her great-great grandchildren. Retta was the last Walker of her family, and was preceded in death by two brothers and four sisters. her husband Lamar and their daughter Janine. Surviving children include: Stewart (Emily) of Albuquerque, NM; Shari (David) of Nephi, UT; George (Barbara) of Katy, TX; Beverly (Jack) of Little Elm, TX; Jolene (Pat) of Woodlands, TX; Jim (Martha) of Odessa, TX; Paul (Regina) of Midland, TX, and Deidre (Terry) of Midland, TX; 26 grandchildren, 58 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren.
A viewing and Memorial Service will be held at 1 pm Monday, April 12 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Nephi, Utah. Subsequent funeral services will be held Friday, April 16, 2021 at 3:00 pm in Cotton City, New Mexico at the Animas LDS Church. Interment will be in the Busy Bee Cemetery in Cotton City, following the funeral service.
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