The summer of 1952 Mary Ellen was dating a local boy who was excited to have his older cousin come visit. The two 20 year olds came up with plans for Harold who was 24 and on leave from the United States Air force. They wanted to go on a couple of double dates, but the only available girl was only 16 so they decided to have Mary Ellen go out with Harold and the other two would go out together. The foursome went to a dance at Lagoon, and two weeks to the day later Mary Ellen and Harold were married! The rest was history…
Now for a quick history:
Harold R Laughter was born on April 6, 1928 in Pocatello ID, but moved just six weeks later to Green River Wyoming, where he lived until he graduated High School. He then moved to Lincoln Nebraska to get his degree in Electrical Engineering.
Mary Ellen was born on November 17, 1931 in her home in Manti Utah. Her mother’s name was Ellen, her grandmother’s name was Mary Monk, and the midwife’s name was Mary Ellen. She was given the name Mary Ellen Monk Crawford, and she has been known as Mary Ellen ever since. She moved around from Ogden, Tacoma Washington, Eugene Oregon and back to Ogden.
After their brief courtship and happy marriage they spent one month in Antioch California. Then with the honeymoon over and Harold’s leave up he went to Fairbanks, Alaska to Ladd Air Force Base. At the time this was considered an overseas deployment because Alaska had not yet become a state. Later the young bride was able to join him.
After being separated from the Air Force, the reunited couple moved to Ogden where Harold worked for the Interior Department. After a short stay there they moved to Pine Bluff, Wyoming. There Harold worked on the Minute Man Missile Silos. The area only had 11 families’ that belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and so everyone had to take on a lot of responsibilities. Harold served as the 1st counselor in the bishopric, while Mary Ellen served as the 1st counselor in the Relief Society with the wife of the bishop. Doubling on their efforts to help Mary Ellen served as Primary President and the Relief Society President she was counselor for served as her 1st counselor.
They moved back to Ogden and had three children. First born was Harold Grant who has since received his degree in Mechanical Engineering, works for Rocky Mountain Power and lives in Morgan with his wife Annette and their four children. Their second child, Scott Howard received his degree in Manufacturing Engineering. He lives in Riverdale and works at Hill Air Force Base, and has eight children. Last born Candy Cay is a Critical Care ICU nurse in Texas. She has 3 living children. Candy’s oldest child, Cheyenne battled cancer of the liver and skin. Because of this she had trouble with cold weather. During the winter Harold and Mary Ellen would take her to Henderson Nevada to keep her comfortable. They gave her great care during her final years and later were able to seal this sweet child to themselves in the temple.
Harold then began work at Hill Air Force base. While working full time he found time to build five homes as they have moved around, mostly in Morgan. The couple has been able to keep them, and now rents them to others. Harold takes care of the homes, with needs from painting to repairs. He is nearly 84 and has recently had back surgery and deals with osteoarthritis.
Mary Ellen enjoys making baby caps and has donated over 100 to hospitals. She also has been putting together 1000 piece puzzles for hospitals. She enjoys genealogy and has quite an extensive history put together. She has put together a genealogy book for each of her 15 grandchildren and 4 children. The books include one line of history with two lines of genealogy one dating to 1411 AD. She recently was able to make a connection in her family line to Helen Keller. Mary Ellen remembers a visit from Helen Keller when she was twelve years old. Helen ran her hand down a dress Mary Ellen’s mother was sewing for her. She described it to her so well Mary Ellen didn’t even realize Helen was blind!
Harold and Mary Ellen have lived a life full of service to the United States, their Church and to those around them and their family. They have held a rich life full of one of kind experiences. After all of this time they are happy that they were set up on that first date so many years ago.