On May 2, 1933, in the tiny town of Milford, Utah, Lindsay and Lois Waddingham welcomed their third and youngest child into the world---a beautiful baby girl. Her dad held her in his big hand and said, “that’s my Jewel!” And that’s how she got her name. While her first name is Lois, after her mom, she has always been known simply as Jewel, because that’s what she was to her dad.
It was a magical life in their beloved little town of Milford. Some of mom’s favorite childhood memories were of spending time at Ponderosa Park in the Beaver Mountains, playing with her Story book dolls and winning all of the spelling bees in school. When asked what she did as a child that her parents would be surprised about she confessed she always knew what Santa was bringing. And…in later years, she found out that her own kids did, too!
Mom idolized her dad, who was an engineer for Union Pacific Railroad. She loved traveling with him to Caliente, Nevada, with him guiding the train. He always had hard candy in his pockets that he threw out to the other kids when he walked down the street. When she was just 12 years old, this man, who she so adored, passed away from a sudden heart attack. It was a painful loss. She and her mother were suddenly uprooted from their beautiful home, extended family and friends, and forced to move to Salt Lake City where her mother struggled to support the two of them against overwhelming odds.
While there were many challenges along the way, over time, Jewel learned to overcome her fears and shyness and created a good life for her own little family. She married George Buckle and they raised four children together in North Salt Lake: Jody, Rodd, Brenda and Kae Lynne. Only Kae Lynne remains in the Salt Lake Valley, but Jewel’s 10 grandchildren, scattered between Mississippi, Michigan, Arizona, California, and Utah, are absolutely devoted to her. She has 4 great-grandchildren. They all love Grandma Jewel.
Jewel found her niche as a switchboard operator and receptionist and excelled at her job. She worked for many years as the switchboard operator and receptionist for Husky Oil in North Salt Lake. Her warm sparkle and smile endeared all the employees and customers who crossed her path. She had a gift for helping others feel welcome whether by phone or in person. She made many lifelong friends that she maintained contact with for decades.
When George retired, he and Jewel decided to be adventurous and sell the family home to live in their 5th wheel, traveling to as many different states as they could. They simply enjoyed their journey as it unfolded and made friends in KOA’s all across the country. They spent the good weather traveling and the winter months in Yuma, Arizona. When George lost his eyesight, they settled in Yuma permanently and created a wonderful life in their neighborhood of other retired people. Just as they had always done, they continued to host “Happy Hour” every day in their carport. George and Jewel had a gift for welcoming others and invited everyone who walked by to come sit and join and visit for a while. They built many close friendships and created connections within their little community just as they had done everywhere they lived. George passed away in 2011 and Jewel carried on the tradition of “Happy Hour” alone, even though it was never quite the same without him. Mom’s neighbors and friends continued the tradition of “Happy Hour” after she moved back to Salt Lake.
It broke mom’s heart to leave her friends in Yuma, Arizona, a few years ago, but she moved into Cottonwood Place and quickly made new friends. And, you guessed it, she started to make a difference, quickly becoming a favorite of both residents and staff.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 11:00am at the Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 South 2300 East, where friends and family are invited to visit one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
The family would like to express their appreciation for the wonderful love and care that Jewel received from the memory care staff at The Ridge Cottonwood.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lois Jewel Buckle, please visit our floral store.