Edith Fern Heath
Interviewed by Godfrey T. Bey
8 November 2013
Oral History Program
Weber State University
Edith Fern Heath
Godfrey T. Bey
8 November 2013
Copyright © 2014 by Weber State University, Stewart Library
The Oral History Program of the Stewart Library was created to preserve the institutional history of Weber
State University and the Davis, Ogden and Weber County communities. By conducting carefully
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Interviews are conducted with the goal of eliciting from each participant a full and accurate account of
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(as available), who are encouraged to augment or correct their spoken words. The reviewed and
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recording so researchers can gain a sense of the interviewee's voice and intonations.
The New Zion Community Advocates worked with community members age 80 years and older to have
contributed to the history of Ogden city. The interviews looked at the legacy of the interviewees through
armed services, work, social life, church, NAACP and educational systems in an environment where their
culture was not predominant. This program has received funding from the Utah Humanities Council and
the Utah Division of State history.
Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews between a
narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events and a well-informed interviewer, with
the goal of preserving substantive additions to the historical record. Because it is primary material, oral
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It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:
Heath, Edith Fern, an oral history by
Godfrey T. Bey, 8 November 2013, WSU
Stewart Library Oral History Program,
Special Collections, Stewart Library, Weber
State University, Ogden, UT.
Edith Fern Heath, photo taken
at Marshall White Center
November 8, 2013
Abstract: The following is an oral history interview with Edith Fern Heath conducted
on November 8, 2013 by Godfrey Bey.
GB: We are here with Edith Fern Heath at the Marshall White Center where she has
been working for the last
EH: 25 years.
GB: How you doing today Edith?
EH: Oh good thanks
GB: Is it ok if I call you Edith though everyone has always called you Fern?
EH: Fern, call me whatever.
GB: I’ve never called you whatever but I’ve always called you Fern.
EH: That’s fine.
GB: Well Fern, we want to start off with were you born here? Tell us about it.
EH: I was born in Crescent, Oklahoma, on December the 31, 1924.
GB: And how long have you been in Ogden?
EH: I came to Ogden in 1978
GB: And how’d you get here?
EH: I came here to get married.
GB: Aww, that’s wonderful. And you’ve been here ever since?
GB: How many kids do you have?
EH: I have four, I had four. I lost a daughter, I have three boys.
GB: Still here in Ogden?
EH: No, they live in Oklahoma. Two live on Oklahoma City, one in Huntsville
GB: Any grandchildren, nieces and nephews?
EH: Oh, I have 2 grandchildren here in Ogden, one in Las Vegas, 3 in Alabama, and
3 in Oklahoma.
GB: And for the last thirty odd, close to forty years you’ve been living in Ogden, Utah.
GB: What have been your life experiences here?
EH: Oh, I always volunteered, so I’ve been on a lot of boards. Want me to name
GB: Well if you let us know it might be able to connect you to them so if you could
remember which ones you’ve been on?
EH: Well I’ve been on, I started volunteering in Oklahoma with the grade school. The
county nurse would come and do vaccinations and I did the names of the kids.
Then I volunteered with the school kids were in as PTA treasurer and worked
with the Democratic Party in Oklahoma and the Community Action Board when I
was in Oklahoma.
GB: And since you’ve been here in Ogden, Utah?
EH: Oh and I was a Red Cross volunteer in Oklahoma. Since I’ve been here in
Ogden, I’ve worked in the Democratic Party, NAACP, the Ogden Community
Action board, Urban Forestry Board, Rescue Mission, Marshall White Community
Board, Weber County Senior Fair board, Weber County nutrition board, Share
the Harvest, and President of the Senior Villa, and assistant girls scout leader,
and now with RSVP, which is Retired Senior Volunteer Representative, and
presently chef to serve the lunch.
GB: And that’s with the Human Services?
GB: And you’ve been with them for how long?
EH: Oh about 25 years.
GB: 25 years you’ve been out just giving your time and service to the community.
GB: That’s amazing. Do you have anything of inspiration to say to the generation
today? Why is it important to be a volunteer in your community?
EH: Well, it’s important to help other people. You’re on all these boards you’re doing
things to help in the community and so its satisfaction to yourself also to be some
GB: So in today’s economy and economics the people struggle to make ends meet,
do you still see volunteerism as a value in the community?
EH: Yes I do. There is still, I mean you can almost have your choice. If you want to
work with youth you can, or seniors, or just be on different boards you can which
is a good thing.
GB: From my experience of talking to people in the community since I’ve been here,
they have really been proud of knowing you. I want to ask you, regarding your
living in Ogden, have you ever had any challenging experiences that you can
remember or is everyday a nice day.
EH: Everyday has been a pretty nice day for me. Cause I always wake up looking
forward to coming to Marshall White Center and put on a pot of coffee and do
water aerobics and chat with the people.
GB: Every community should have an Edith Fern. Is there anything you’d like to say
to the community or the people who get an opportunity to look at this
documentary that you feel should be important?
EH: Well just try to reach out and do some good for someone besides yourself. Make
someone else happy besides trying to be happy yourself, and you make
someone else happy, you’ll be happy.
GB: Well Fern, I'm really glad that we took a moment to meet and talk to you and get
you on this video and get your testimony about Ogden. I wish I had a lot of
questions to ask you, but do you have anything to add to this?
Elliot: Do you have any particularly fond memories of Ogden or working at the
Marshall White or any stories you’d like to share?
EH: No I don’t believe so right now, can’t think of anything.
GB: Well I guess we really appreciate you taking a moment and hope we didn’t
interrupt your day or your weekend. Thank you.
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