Ened Crook Crossley was born on a cold winter day January 8th, 1925 in Smoot, Wyoming to Rulon James and Rula Janette Peterson Crook. She was the second child born in the family, however her older sister Cleta died when Ened was very young. The family was later blessed with two more children, a younger sister Vonda, and a younger brother James (Jim).
When Ened was around 3 years old, she became very sick and was unable to walk. Her mother, Rula, took Ened on the mail sleigh to Montpelier, Idaho. From there they caught a train to Ogden, Utah to see a doctor. The doctor had an Indian Head Nickel. He held it out to Ened and told her she could have it if she would walk to him. As she attempted to walk, her left leg gave out and she fell to the floor. The doctor diagnosed her with polio. This disease would affect her movement and walking abilities for the rest of her life. Ened and her mother then rode the mail sleigh back home. They sat on top of the mail sacks while wrapped in plenty of warm blankets. They made it home just in time to witness electricity being turned for the first time in Afton.
Ened attended elementary school in Smoot, Wyoming. It was difficult for her to watch other kids play and be unable to join in with them. When she was 12 years old, she went to Salt Lake City for the first of many surgeries on her leg. She prayed and prayed to be able to be back home for the first church service to be held in the new Smoot Church building. Her prayers were answered as they arrived on Saturday evening the night before the first service. The young men in the area shoveled the snow so she could come to church with her new crutches.
Ened attended Star Valley High School in Afton. She was in the high school band where she played the clarinet and was able to march with the band. She graduated in 1943. The morning after her graduation ceremony, she boarded a bus to attend LDS Business College in Salt Lake City and she lived in the Beehive House. Her father was already working in Salt Lake City and had purchased an apartment building. So her mom and younger siblings all moved to Salt Lake City. Ened later lived with them while going to school. She got her first job at the American Linen Supply Company as an office worker.
During her senior year in high school she went on a date with Wendell Y Crossley who was home from Army military service on a furlough. They corresponded for some time by mail as their relationship developed. During one of Wendell’s furloughs the couple was married in the Salt Lake Temple on May 25th, 1944. Ened was able to make several trips across the United States to be with her husband while he served. He was later transferred to Italy during World War II. On February 14, 1946 they had a date to meet and Wendell actually made it home. They returned to their home town of Smoot and bought the house where Ened was born.
Ened and Wendell were blessed with four children: Carolyn, Stanley, Ronell and Janalee. Ened worked for the Star Valley Drug store while they still had the Soda Fountain. Later she was hired at the Maverick Country Store office. She was a bookkeeper for 22 years with this company. She really enjoyed her time at the offices and the people with whom she worked.
Ened might be best known for her work as the Smoot correspondent for the Star Valley Independent. She started in this post in 1961 and wrote weekly for over 30 years. Everyone enjoyed reading her articles and seeing their names in the paper. She enjoyed keeping track of the people of Smoot.
Ened was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She served in many callings over the years. She especially enjoyed serving as the secretary for the Star Valley Stake Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association for 450 girls in the 12 wards. She served diligently in that calling for 12 years.
Ened is survived by her four children, Carolyn Walton (Dennis) Smoot, Wyoming; Stanley (Linda) Basin, Wyoming; Ronell (RickyLynn) American Fork, Utah; and Janalee Cary of Payson, Utah. She is also survived by 15 grandchildren, 53 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren.
Ened was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Wendell of 62 years, Grandson Kori D Walton, one great grandchild, Kazlee Walton and her siblings Jim Crook and Vonda Bateson.
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