With nearly 105 years of dedicated love and service, our loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend returned to her sweetheart Monday, July 15. Christine, or “Tina” as her sweetheart always called her, was born September 17, 1914 to James Rowan Donaldson and Frances Cora Harris Donaldson in Hachita, New Mexico. She was the second youngest of 10 children. Her mom passed away when she was six-years-old, which brought her to Utah to be raised by her aunt. She graduated from Springville High School in 1933 and soon after moved to Westwood, California to work in the lumber industry. It was there she met her sweetheart, Calvin Smith Grover. They married in the Salt Lake Temple March 5, 1937 and raised seven children in California before settling once again in Springville, Utah. They loved dancing, music and being together and enjoyed serving as senior missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in San Antonio, Texas. They wanted to serve another mission, but Cal’s debilitating Parkinson’s kept them home, and Tina tenderly cared for him for 18 years.
Christine was passionate about the gospel, music and her family. She memorized more than 200 scriptures and would recite them often; learned to play the piano in her 60s; took organ lessons in her 80s and 90s and hosted amazing Halloween parties her grandkids still talk about. She was a dedicated member of the Honored Sisters and the Drifters. Her secret to the fountain of youth was a daily nap and a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses. Although we were spoiled to have her on this earth for more than a century, we will miss her dearly. She will forever be remembered by those who loved her for her cookie drawer, irrigation ditch, classy outfits, cheery disposition, positive outlook, dedication to the gospel and favorite saying, “You ain’t big. You ain’t much, but I love you.” We love you, Mom! We hope there is lots of gravy in heaven.
She is survived by her children; Robert (Mary) Grover, Linda Bingham, Sheila (Norm) Bird, Coleen (Paul) Van Patten, Cindy (John) Sowards and Lynn (Sue) Grover; 34 grandchildren, 83 great grandchildren and eight great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, a daughter (Sharel Hayes), three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. We want to thank Coleen and Paul for taking such loving care of mom these past few years.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. (400 East 400 North, Springville). Family will receive friends at Wheeler Mortuary (211 East 200 South, Springville) Friday, July 19 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and at the chapel prior to the services on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Interment will take place at Evergreen Cemetery.
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