A Century of Sunshine
“I shall always remember you as the sweetest little bundle of sunshine the A.C. ever educated,” so said the autograph in her 1933 college year book. This century of sunshine concluded on Friday, July 9, 2010.
On that date ,Maxine returned to her heavenly home to a joyous throng celebrating her much anticipated arrival. She was 96 years old, just shy of a full century.
For as long as anyone can remember, Maxine has been a sweet bundle of sunshine. Her extra twinge of sparkle and shine made her fun to be around and gave her a delightful personality everyone enjoyed. She loved to serve.
There is something of a noble, righteous, uplifting, edifying and nurturing nature to her service. She did not like to impose on anyone. Perhaps the most difficult part of her later life was having to be the one receiving service instead of the one giving service.
Her family called her Ceenee. Her classmates, because of her diminutive size (5 feet), called her Half-Pint, Shorty and Little Bit. What she lacked in physical size she more than made up for in compassion, love, faith and perseverance. She was a giant in each.
Maxine was a teacher all her life. She loved to teach and was a much loved teacher. She taught school for 31 years, both elementary school and high school. She taught primary 50 years. Her 4th Grade poetry festivals, which she sponsored for many years, were legendary. Fifty years later, her students can be heard reminiscing of their participation in them.
She was a prodigious letter writer. She sent letters and cards to Primary graduates, school graduates, eagle scouts, missionaries and newlyweds. Along with the letters and cards she has sent thousands of gifts, hymn books, dictionaries, glass bluebirds and missionary journals.
She wrote each of her children a weekly letter from the time they left home till she could no longer see to write. Most her letters were hand written, some typed.
Her sister-in-law, Ellen Lyman Atkin, said Maxine’s handwriting, even at age 95, was still easily recognized.
Maxine was born January 26, l914 in Cedar City, UT to David Sharp Jr. and Adelene Patti Barrett. Dave was professor at the Branch Agriculture College in Cedar City. She was the oldest of six children – three girls and three boys.
Her early years were spent on the Day farm in Parowan and in Cedar City. At age ten, her father moved the family first to Logan and then to Coalville, where he was the County Agricultural Agent of Summit County.
She was active in North Summit High School in Coalville. She was Junior Class President and Student Body Vice President. She started the first 4-H club in Coalville. She won state awards, trips and two scholarships to Utah State for her 4-H work. She had been active as an award winning 4-H leader for most of her adult life.
Maxine has always enjoyed good music. She played in the band all through high school and all four years of college. She took first place in state on the clarinet three years in a row. Later in Monticello, she signed up for the original Community Concert series and was first to sign up for annual tickets. She sang in the choir for most of her life.
She received a bachelor’s degree in English and Physical Education from Utah State University in 1936. That fall, she accepted a job to teach school in Monticello. At the high school she taught English, P.E., directed plays and coached the first women’s basketball team. Her students loved her as a teacher and friend for her sportsmanship, optimism and sterling example.
Vint Perkins Lyman, a young man from Blanding, became impressed with this young, charming Monticello teacher, whom he met at a Republican caucus in La Sal. They married in l939. In 1948 Vint and Maxine moved to Phoenix, AZ for Vint’s health. He died a year later of Bright’s disease, a family kidney disorder, leaving her a widow with six children to raise.
Maxine returned to Monticello to teach school. They lived first at Dodge Point in a house provided by C. A. Frost. There was no running water, indoor plumbing, or electricity, yet it was a welcome shelter. When the winter snow came, they moved into a one room house in town, courtesy of A.B. Barton. Eventually Maxine purchased the old Ucola school house and moved it to town. The big one room building was divided into a three bedroom, one bath home; where she resided until her death.
In 1980, Maxine served a mission for the LDS Church at the Boise, Idaho Mission. Much of her time was spent in Jackson Hole, WY. Following her mission in 1989, after being a widow for 40 years, she married a dear friend, John Himmelberger whom she had known since 1951.
The marriage was a blessing to both of them. They both loved to serve. Their time together was like an “Indian Summer”, a pleasant period of mild, calm weather in the late fall following a freezing frost. This was a tranquil period in the fall of each of their lives.
Maxine is predeceased by her first husband, Vint Perkins Lyman, her parents, her sisters Rae Carol and Ruth, her brothers Bill Sharp and Lawrence Vernon Sharp, two grand children, Wilby Husted, and Bryce Tam Lyman.
She is survived by her second husband, John Himmelberger and by six children Sheree (Jim) Walstad of Tropic, UT; Larry (Tu Trinh) Lyman of St. George, UT; Patti Husted of Monticello; Janean (Ralph) Tullis of Sandy, UT; Tauna (Dave) Larson of Monticello; and Robyn (Patti) Lyman of Citrus Heights, CA.
She is also survived by a brother Paul H. (Daphne) Sharp of Logan, UT. She has 30 grand children, 67 great grand children and two great-great grand children.
At this time her current posterity is 125, including in-laws.
Funeral Services will be Saturday, July 17 at noon in the Monticello North LDS Chapel, next to the temple. There will be two viewings, on Friday, July 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and on Saturday, July 17 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., both in the North Chapel. Friday night viewing is encouraged. Interment will be in the Blanding City Cemetery.