Bertha Julia Stone Aadnesen Reeder Richards (October 28, 1892 – December 26, 1982) was the fifth general president of the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1948 to 1961.
Born in Ogden, Utah Territory, Bertha Julia Stone attended Weber Academyafter high school and married Christopher Aadnesen in 1912. The couple had two children. Christopher was killed in a hunting accident in 1930.
In 1934, Bertha married William Henry Reeder, Jr., a municipal judge who was a widower with one son. In 1941, William was called as the president of the New England States Mission of the church; the Reeders lived as church missionaries for nearly seven years in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In April 1948, less than a year after returning to Ogden, Bertha Reeder succeeded Lucy Grant Cannon as the general president of the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association. One of her counselors wasFrances Larue Carr Longden. In March 1961, William Reeder died, and in September that year Bertha was released and was succeeded as Young Women president by Florence S. Jacobsen. During her tenure, the age groups in the Young Women organization were realigned to their current configuration and the "Gleaners" were renamed the "Laurels".
In 1964, Bertha married I.L. (Lee) Richards, a friend she had known for many years. Lee died in 1981, after which Bertha moved to Pocatello, Idaho to be near her daughter. She died in Pocatello at the age of 90 and her funeral was held in Ogden.
From the church website:
From the church website:
Bertha Stone Reeder (1948–1961)
“Nature does indeed renew those who keep close to her. … If I were in my teens, I would take time to come close to nature. … I would realize again more fully the infinite variety in God's creation. I would learn to feel the difference in the seasons and to love each for what it gives to me. I would know that rain and sunshine are both important in God's plan” (in Keepers of the Flame, 75).
- 1950 — Age-groups are realigned: Beehives, ages 12–13; Mia Maids, ages 14–15; Junior Gleaners, ages 16–17; Gleaners, ages 18–24.
- 1950 — Speech and quartet festivals are held in the field and at June conference.
- 1950 — Individual awards are begun.
- 1950s — Series of posters issued: “Be Honest with Yourself.”
- 1959 — Name of Gleaners changed to Laurels.
- 1960 — “Era of Youth” section inaugurated in the Improvement Era.
From another source:
From Mormon History website:
From 1948-1961, Bertha served as the fifth Young Women’s president with several LDS women leaders such as Emily H. Bennett (first counselor) and LaRue C. Longden (second counselor). Bertha succeeded Lucy Grant Cannon as president, and when her second husband died in 1961, Florence S. Jacobsen took her place as the subsequent young women’s president (Bertha S. Reeder, Wikipedia.org).
During her presidency, she accomplished a lot and blessed the lives of many Mormon women. Bertha began individual awards, a series of posters titled “Be Honest with Yourself”, and an “Era of Youth” section in the Improvement Era. (Young Women: Bertha Stone Reeder). During the beginning of Bertha’s presidency, the young women groups were realigned as the Beehives (ages 12–13), Mia Maids (ages 14–15), Junior Gleaners (ages 16–17), and Gleaners (ages 18–24). Toward the end of her presidency, in 1959, the Gleaners class was renamed Laurels and young women classes are still known today as the Beehive class (ages 12-13), Mia Maid class (ages 14-15), and Laurel class (ages 16-17) (Bertha S. Reeder, Wikipedia.org). Bertha was humble and credited her success to others:
I can’t say enough for the counselors who worked with me and the general boards… We worked together thirteen and a half years and we never had a cross word. Never [did] any of the workers ever [feel] like they were criticized; we never felt we had to get after anybody. They all seemed to want to do everything they could do and we just loved each other.A president never works alone, and she’s only as good as her counselors and the workers she’s with. The general president isn’t good unless she gets the support of the wards and stakes. We felt we had the support of the wards and stakes because they were allowed to work on their own and a lot of them would come and ask to initiate a program (Janet Peterson, “Lessons from the Lives of the Auxiliary Leaders-The Priciple of Presidency,” Meridian Magazine, August 14, 2008).
BIOGRAPHY OF MORMON WOMAN BERTHA S. REEDER
Bertha Julia Stone was born on October 28, 1892, in Ogden, Utah. She attended Weber Academy. In 1912, she married Christopher Aadnesen and bore two children. In 1934 (four years after Aadnesen died in a hunting accident), she married William Henry Reeder, Jr., whose previous wife had left him with a son. She was a church missionary for seven years in Massachusetts and her husband the president of the New England States Mission. William died in 1961, and she married I. L. (Lee) Richards, who died in 1981. Because of her several marriages, her name is unusually long: Bertha Julia Stone Aadnesen Reeder Richards. She died at the age of 90, in Pocatello, Idaho, where her daughter lived (Bertha S. Reeder, Wikipedia.org).
Bertha had a love for nature and God’s creations. She said:
Nature does indeed renew those who keep close to her. . . . If I were in my teens, I would take time to come close to nature. . . . I would realize again more fully the infinite variety in God’s creation. I would learn to feel the difference in the seasons and to love each for what it gives to me. I would know that rain and sunshine are both important in God’s plan (“If I Were in My Teens,” Improvement Era, June 1954, 470) (“Presidents of the Young Women Organization through the Years,” Ensign, June 2008, 40–45).
|Birth:||Oct. 28, 1892|
|Death:||Dec. 26, 1982|
Christopher Aadnesen (1879 - 1930)
Oertel Riley Aadnesen Hoit (1913 - 2006)*
Ogden City Cemetery
|Birth||28 October 1892|
|Death||26 December 1982|
|Burial Place||Ogden City Cemetery|
Ogden, Utah, United States