William Don and Gretta Rawlings Wiser

Don was born September 9, 1916 in Fairview, Idaho and died May 8, 1982 in St. George, Utah.  His parents are William Harvey and Emma Jones Haslam Wiser and his seven siblings are George born June 15, 1914, Myrl Haslam born July 28, 1918, Eva (Davis) born July 22, 1920, Wendell Haslam born December 16, 1922, Helen (Child) born December 1, 1924, Verl Haslam born November 15, 1926, and Van Haslam born October 16, 1931.


He and his siblings were born and reared in the family home situated on a forty-acre farm located on the Idaho side of the UtahIdaho border in Fairview.  His education was received at the Fairview School, North Cache High in Richmond, Utah and Preston High in Preston, Idaho where he graduated with the class of 1934.  He learned much about farming while working in the fields with his father and uncle Cliff Wiser.  He also acquired some knowledge about building while helping his father expand their home.


Gretta was born at the family home October 11, 1914 in Fairview, Idaho and died December 1, 2006 in St. George, Utah.  Her parents are Edis Irwin and Leah Bathsheba Bodily Rawlings.  Her five siblings are Edis LaVern born September 28, 1910, Carl Alden born March 22, 1912, Dorine (Betts) born July 23, 1916, Marjorie born November 9, 1923, and Ardeth (Kierstead) born December 24, 1927.


When Gretta was about four years old, both parents were stricken with Typhoid Fever and she was sent to live with her paternal grandparents, Ephraim James and Eliza Jane Shirts Rawlings who lived several miles away, but also in Fairview, Idaho.  With recovery of her parents, Gretta returned home and, while the recovery of her father was very good, the illness had severely damaged her mother’s kidneys, which left her with marginal health for the rest of her life.


Following the birth and death of sister Marjorie in November of 1923, Leah’s health was such that she wasn’t expected to recover.  Gretta, at nine years of age, was called upon to assist with the care giving for her mother and also assume many of the homemaker tasks normally handled by her mother.  Much to the surprise of everyone except herself, Leah did recover and found that, with fatherly assistance and supervision, Gretta had become a real homemaker requiring little parental assistance or supervision.


Gretta attended the first and third through eighth grades at the Fairview School, which was about a mile or so up the road from the family home.  Due to class overcrowding, she skipped the second grade which made her a year younger than most of her classmates.  She attended Preston High School for her freshman, sophomore, and junior years and, at the urging of Leah’s cousin Arnold Barnes, she lived with Arnold and Jessie in Kaysville, Utah during her senior year and graduated from Davis High School in 1932.


In the fall of 1934, Don and Gretta became partners in the church sponsored dance competitions.  They participated in several types of dances, but found they were best in the waltz and subsequently received several awards for their effort.  The dance partnership led to romantic involvement and, after dancing and dating for a couple of years, they were married in 1936 at Logan, Utah.


In early December of 1936, the couple moved to Salt Lake City, Utah where they resided at several locations until the summer of 1942 when they moved to Ogden, Utah.  Their first two children, Irwin Don and Marcia, were born during these initial years in Salt Lake.


The summer of 1943 found the family returning to Salt Lake City, Utah where they moved into their first home located in Sugarhouse.  They remained at this location until the spring of 1947 and it was during these years that their last two children, William Lee “Bill” and Van Rawlings, were born.


During the twenty-year period of the spring of 1947 through the fall of 1967, the family resided in Springville, Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah.  In the fall of 1967, Don and Gretta relocated to southern California spending the next eleven years in San Diego, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido.  In March of 1979, the couple moved to Hurricane, Utah.


Don’s vocation was that of a salesman which included working for the Fuller Brush Company, Jewel Tea Company, National Public Service Life Insurance Company and as a real estate salesman and broker.  He was a sport minded individual who played basketball and softball during his younger years along with fishing and hunting for most of his adult life.  He had a quality voice and really enjoyed singing.  His musical talents frequently led to assignments as a church chorister.


Gretta’s career outside the home began in 1958 when she took a job in the Insurance Department of the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.  She continued this vocation at the Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California and the Tri-City Hospital in Oceanside, California until moving to Hurricane, Utah in 1979.  Following Don’s passing and until her failing health of the late 1990’s, she remained active and engaged through “Pink Lady” volunteer work at the Dixie Regional Medical Center and patron support at the Hurricane Family History Library.




Wm Don Wiser Descendants

SOURCE:  Gretta Rawlings Wiser and Irwin Don Wiser.