Nedra Recognized as Honored Pioneer

By: Eric Bedke

In our small town every year, we celebrate Pioneer Days where we honor those who have paved the way and left a legacy for us. We also honor people in our community who have deep roots and are currently leaving a legacy for their families and our community. This year, grandma was celebrated as one of those honored pioneers. 

Nedra Pauline Bedke was born August 1932, the daughter of Lyman C. and Erma Deborah Gabrielsen. The youngest of five children, she grew up in Logan Utah. Her father was a building contractor and he built over 500 homes plus some churches and schools in Logan. Most of them are in use today. She attended schools in Logan including her college time at Utah State University where she met the love of her life, Ray C. Bedke. They were married 12 September 1952. Upon Dad‘s graduation, he was inducted into the military. Mom and Dad moved back to the family ranch in 1955 and have lived here ever since. Going from Logan to the Winecup Ranch on Goose Creek is a big adjustment for a city girl. Mom rose to the occasion and assumed her role of taking care of large hay crews, cooking meals and doing laundry for all, without indoor plumbing or electricity. She became the master of the old wood-burning Majestic stove.

Mom and Dad are the parents of six children. Derek, the oldest, passed away after 12 days. Scott, Eric, Alex, Leslie, and Brice followed. Life with five children, maintaining two households, one in Oakley and one up Goose Creek, would be plenty to keep her busy. Somehow she managed to squeeze in organ and piano lessons from 1956 to the present day, teaching literally hundreds of students to play the piano/organ. Among these has been many of her grandchildren and her great grandchildren as well. She served as president of the PTA, board member of the Oakley City Council, as a member of the Cassia Memorial Hospital board, as well as on the board of the Oakley Valley Arts Council. All this while serving in many capacities in her church, including president of the Relief Society, president of the Primary, and president of the Young Women, as well as the ward organist for years. Dad passed away in 1998. Even without the support of Dad, she has continued playing a major role in the family business as the bookkeeper. She finally retired from the ranch books in 2020, having done this for well over 50 years.

She is known, especially by her family, as a wonderful cook, and to this day, is the hostess of all the major holiday events. Her yard is always beautifully manicured and though fairly recently she turned over the grass mowing, she’s still in charge of all the flowers and flowerbeds around her house.

She has made quilts for all of her children’s weddings, all of her grand children’s graduations and weddings, and says she still has three left to make.

Her greatest desire is that her family remains close, and a source of strength to each other. She has organized multiple family-get-together’s, and does all she can to be present for any big events in the lives of her children and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.