History: Earl Sperry Lunt – 7

History of Earl Sperry Lunt
Written by himself, edited by granddaughter, Kellie Jeanette Lunt

Earl Sperry Lunt was born in Nephi, Juab, Utah, United States to Alfred Oscar Lunt, age 35, and Jeanette Sperry, age 30. He was the 6th of 9 children, and the 3rd of 5 sons, born to the couple. He had 2 older brothers: Alfred Oscar, Jr., who was born 10 January 1900, and Charles Gilbert, who was born 10 October 1903; and 3 older sisters: Lillian, who was born 30 October 1901, Eva Ruth, who was born 11 July 1905 and Della, who was born 15 February 1908. 

When Earl Sperry was 2 years old his brother, George Arthur was born on 5 November 1912.

When Earl Sperry was 5 years old his sister Melba was born on 17 February 1916. Sadly she only lived 3 days.

On 5 May 1918, when Earl Sperry was 8 years old he was baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Also when Earl Sperry was 8 years old, his youngest brother, Robert Sperry was born on 1 December 1918. When Robert Sperry was only 2 years old, he died on 27 July 1921.

When Earl Sperry was 20 years old, he completed his initiatory and endowment ordinances for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ Salt Lake Utah Temple, which is located at 50 North West Temple in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States.

On 25 August 1942 Earl Sperry’s brother, George Arthur died at the age of 29 in Salt Lake City.

The following is in Earl Sperry’s own words:

On May 28th 1930 I received my official call from President Heber J. Grant. The date of my departure had been appointed for September 1930. I was ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood and the office of Elder by brother Harden A. Bennion on the 1st day of June 1930.

On my birthday March 15, 1930, Mother and I went to the office of The Church Patriarch Hyrum G. Smith to receive my Patriarchal Blessing. 

While we were in the Mission Home receiving training prior to our leaving for our mission, some of us were called to go over to the Church Office Building. There we were taken up to the office of the Presidents of the Seventy Quorum where we were interviewed by President B. H. Roberts and one other of the Presidents (I don’t recall the name of the other president now). After our interview, we were ordained to the office of a seventy. I was ordained by President B. H. Roberts

They took us from the Mission Home over to the Temple where we received our endowments. Later we were taken through the Temple to become familiar with all of the rooms and special chambers where the President and his counselors meet and where they meet with the Quorum of The Twelve and the Seventies.

On September 17th we left Salt Lake City Union Pacific Railroad Depot for Los Angeles California where were to set sail for the Hawaiian Islands on the 20th of September 1930. Elmer Smith, Les Sansom and myself went down to Long Beach, California to spend the time before we embark on the S. S. Caliwail for Honolulu. On September 20th 1930 we boarded ship and set sail at 12:00 noon.

There were six Missionaries in our party. Five Elders and one Sister. Their names were: Elmer J. Smith, Lester Sansome, Thayne Free, Melvin (Bud) Brain, Sister Helen White and Myself. We had a good time on the way to Hawaii. There was a part of Theater Stock Company on board. They were going over to Honolulu to put on a show at the Princess Theater in Honolulu. There were about sixty some odd passengers on this trip. It was a very congenial group. They had dancing every night and deck games during the day time. We had a deck steward who confronted we missionaries with the statement that IF WE THOUGHT THAT WERE WERE NOT GOING TO DANCE we had better get that idea out of our minds. He said it is his job to see that the passengers had a good time, and seeing as how we were only young men on board we were going to help him succeed or he would throw us overboard. We held a meeting and decided that under the circumstances we had better cooperate with him. We decided that as long as we stayed up on the dancing deck where we could be observed that there couldn’t be any scandal.

It took us seven days to reach Honolulu Harbor. Our ship was a converted troop transport for the German Army in World War I. It had been sold to Japan for scrap iron and was on its final voyage before scrapping so you see it was a slow boat to Japan.

We arrived in Honolulu on the 27th of September 1930. It was a thrilling sight. We rounded beautiful Diamond Head about mid-morning. Our ship had slowed down considerably as we crossed Waikiki with the coral pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel nestled in it’s tropical garden and the shimmering white Moana Hotel glistening in the tropical splendor of the verdure clad Island.

As we proceeded toward Honolulu harbor the pilot boat came out to meet us. Soon a group of the welcoming committee boarded us. There were Hawaiian girls laden with garlands of flower leis, which they hung on our shoulders. Soon we were overcome with sweet smell of ginger and jasmine and many other flowers which we could not identify. As we drifted closer to the harbor, native boys were diving for coins which the passengers were tossing into the water. They would dive for the coins then come to the surface with the coins held in their teeth. Now we could hear the sweet tones of ‘Song of the Islands’ floating out to us, played by The Royal Hawaiian Band as we drifted closer to the pier.

As we approached the pier, I could pick out some familiar faces: Harriet Brooks from L.D.S. High School, who had gone out ahead of me. Also my cousins Fred and Clinton Lunt, who lived in Honolulu and the mission president and his wife.

Saturday night at the mission home, I was initiated with a bucket of water being thrown on my bed. 

Sunday, we were assigned different wards to attend. I went to Waikiki Ward for Church and then to ex-president Waddoups for dinner. We returned to the mission home that afternoon.

Monday, our assignments were made and I went to Laie where the Temple was located. We spent one month there, then we went to quarterly conference on Maui at which time a monument was dedicated at Kula honoring The 1st Branch of The Church of The Islands. After the conference, I was assigned to Hilo district on the big island (The Island of Hawaii).

When we arrived at Hilo, I was impressed with the harbor and natural beauty around the harbor. The Harbor filled in the whole front of the bay. The town was crescent shapes. The road coming into the town from the harbor, was lined with hibiscus plants. Coconut Island is a little island on the right hand side of the road as we go towards Hilo. The town is interesting. As we drove down Māmalahoa, the main street, a beautiful park was on the bay side, on the mountain side was the business district.

We were taken directly to the mission home, where I labored for the next 6 months. 

The Island of Hawaii itself is the most fascinating Island. That is where I spent the majority of my time in the mission field. It is the largest of The Islands and is divided up into four districts. They were Hilo, Hamahua, Kohala and Kona. I spent time in 3 of the districts. The big islands, Hawaii is the island where the volcano Kilauea is. Shortly after we arrived in Hilo, we heard that the volcano had erupted, so we went up there. The eruption was in a hole a thousand feet deep and 3 ½ miles in circumference. It was called lua ahi, it means fire pit.

After spending 6 months in Hilo we were called into Honolulu for conference and received our new assignments. I was assigned to Kohala district with Elder Roberts as my companion. After serving 6 months in that district we were again called to semi annual conference and this time I was assigned to the East Maui district along with Elder Kimball and Elder Smith, who had sailed with me, Elder Jensen. The district took in from Kahului to the farther points of Hana, which is on the far east side of Maui. On the island is located the largest volcano in The Hawaiian Islands,. It’s name is Hualalai. It has not erupted in many years. It is so large that you could put island of Manhattan in the bottom of the center. 

The next assignment I received was in West Maui District which was in Waikiki on the West was beautiful Lahana.

Again we were called to conference and received new assignments. For the 1st time I was made a district president and sailed back to Kona with Elder Pickett as my companion. This district has lava flows from the north clear around the mountains and several lava flows to the Kaʻū Desert, This takes in about half of the circumference of Hawaii. I was assigned to Hilo to finish out the last 5 months of my mission. At the conclusion of my mission, I left many friends on 3 of the islands and I told them in my last meeting in Kukua Branch, in my farewell speech that this was like dying and leaving many of my friends and that I would not see them until the next life.

I arrived home March 23, 1933 and it was the middle of the Great Depression and I had a hard time getting work.

Upon my return from my mission to Hawaii. I was called to labor as a state primary missionary in The Salt Lake Stake – Later I was called to labor on the Stake Genealogical Board. I had the same calling in the Hollywood Stake – I was called to the position of Ward Genealogical Leader in The Glendale West Ward.

I played “M” basketball with Ed McKay, son of President David O. McKay – His daughter, Emma Rae attended the same ward and school with me, we were very good friends. I spent many hours in the McKay house at the Miller Apartments on North Temple Street. Nicholas D. Smith, my former Bishop, was one of the most good men I have ever known.

Work:

I held many part time jobs while I attended school. After my mission, I went to California to live,I worked for Eastern-Columbia-Desmonds and Wilsons. After I came back to Utah, I started to work for the State Department of Public Instruction (15 January 1947) and I have worked for them since. I retired from the state 15 March 1975

My work for The State Board of Education (State Department of Public Instruction) continued from 16 January 1947 through 15 March 1975 on 27 years. Upon my 65 year birthday I retired from this position. I still enjoyed good health at this time.

During my years service with The State Board of Education, I served under four Governors. They were: Herbert Maw (Democrat). J. Beecher Lee (Republican); George Dewey (Republican); and Calvin Rampton (Democrat). I served under 5 state Superintendents of Public Instruction, they were: E. Allen Bateman, Wilburn H. Ball, Marion G. Merkley, D. Led H. Ball (now Commissioner of Education, US Department of Health – Education Welfare) and D. Walter S. Talbot, who was Superintendent of Public Instruction at the time of my retirement.

I served directly under the administrator for vocational education. Mark Nicols, his successor Walter E. Ulrich. My position was Accountant for Vocational Education

In 1923 we moved to Salt Lake City. I attended the West Junior High School which was just across the street from my home. We attended church in the Seventeenth Ward. Nicholas D. Smith was our Bishop. I received the Priesthood in this ward. I was ordained a Deacon by Harold W. Langton who was a member of the Bishopric on the 13th of January 1924. I received the office of a Teacher on the 2nd of March 1925. Also, ordained by Bishop Harold E. Langton. I received the office of Priest a short time later, receiving this ordination by Brother Cornelius Zappie.  

While attending the West Junior High School I had many interesting experiences. I played a trumpet in the band and participated in parades down Main Street in Salt Lake City on ‘Boys Day’ and other special occasions. I played on the basketball team and won a ‘letter’ for this sport. My special interest, however, was art. Bessie Bancroft, my teacher, encouraged me in this direction with special assignments for school exhibits and special privileges on occasions.

After West Junior High School, I attended the L.D.S. High School. I worked part time while attending L.D.S. so I only carried four classes out of a seven period school day. I operated an elevator at the Medical Arts Building during lunch period. It was my job to relieve the regular elevator operators for their lunch. Although this curtailed my school program, it gave me a job throughout my high school days. I also worked there during the summer months, so I was employed the full time while I attended High School.

I enjoyed my days at L.D.S. We had a good social life at our school. Plus we had a strong faculty. The student teacher ratio was very favorable. We felt that each teacher was interested an a friend of each student. I continued in my art work with a lot of encouragement from my art teacher, A. B. Wright. He was an accomplished Utah artist. He used to tell the art class that I had naturally what he spent much time and money in France to learn. I didn’t graduate from L.D.S. I received a call to fill a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Hawaiian Islands.

While in West Junior High, I played a trumpet in the band. My art teacher was Bessie Bancroft and she told me that I had an unusual talent for art. I had the opportunity to do much of the spring exhibit art work. When I attended the L.D.S. High School. I also worked for lunch hours at The Medical Art Building relieving the elevator operators during their lunch breaks. Therefore I had to take required subjects and a class in religion so it left me with no choice for any elective classes. I did not take art at this time.

It seems that Miss Bancroft had occasion to talk with A. B. Wright, the art teacher at L.D.S. about me. The 1st thing that I knew I was called into President Fox’s office and met Mr. Wright. Mr. Wright asked me why I had not registered for art. I explained that I didn’t have enough periods to take art. He thought it was important that my talent not be wasted. Therefore, he and President Fox went over my program and by substituting art for one of the other classes. I could take art. This was very good because I enjoyed my art class very much.

On many occasions Brother Wright would say to the class “You take Earl here, he has naturally what I spent thousands of dollars to acquire”

I did not graduate from High School before I went on a mission.

When I returned from my mission it was like the world was beneath me and I was on a plateau and I had to get down and everyone was trying to help me.

My old friends had all gone on missions or away to school or had been married and I had to make new friends.

A.B. Wright, my old art teacher, was the Professor of Art at The University of Utah and offered me the chance to come there and study, even though I couldn’t afford the tuition. He offered me the opportunity to study art with him. I had to find work at that time and couldn’t take advantage of his offer.

I found work with The Huggia Ice Company in the summer selling ice at their retail outlets. When fall came I decided to go to West High School and get my diploma. It was fun going to school when I started again. Classes that I disliked before, I enjoyed now. The teacher of my classes in short story writing was so pleased with my work that she presented me with a book “Collection of Poems” by Rupert Brook.

My church work consisted of a call to The Salt Lake Stake Mission; however, I did not finish that because I was called to The Stake Genealogical Committee. There I met an old girlfriend from my junior high, Mildred Harter and we worked in promoting a youth genealogical group and temple work.

I did not stay in Salt Lake very long because I could not find a steady job. So I accepted the opportunity of going to California with the Harter family. They were going on vacation and wanted to go to California.

I had plans of working my way back to the islands.

I stayed with Uncle Fred and Aunt Della McLaughlin in Santa Monica. After spending a few days there, I went into Los Angeles to see a friend of mine from home. He offered me a job at Eastern Outfitting Company, Eastern was a large furniture company, loading trucks, a short time. I changed jobs running a freight elevator. I started to work at Eastern at $7.00 a month. Raises were few and very hard to get during the depression. After about one year, I was offered a job in the credit office where I worked until July 1935. I decided to return to Salt Lake City because I was not getting ahead. I stayed in Salt Lake City two months, but could not find work, so I returned to Los Angeles.

I was hired by Kay’s Department Store in the credit office and left after 6 months because of deplorable conditions.

Eventually I went to Eastern, which was now called Eastern Columbia. I stayed there about two years.

Earl Sperry married and was sealed for time and eternity to his first wife, Edna Viola Nelson, age 37, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ Salt Lake Utah Temple on 20 Jun 1947. He was 37 at the time.

On 29 November 1950, Earl Sperry, age 40, and his siblings: Lillian, age 49, Charles Gilbert, age 47, Della, age 42, George Arthur, Melba and Robert Sperry were sealed for time and eternity to their parents in the Salt Lake Utah Temple. Proxies stood in for George, Melba and George. The father was 75 at the time and their mother was 71.

When Earl Sperry was 41, his father passed away on 27 August 1951 at the age of 76 in Salt Lake City. 

Edna Viola gave birth to their only child on 19 February 1952. They named him Nelson Earl Lunt and he was born in Salt Lake City.

On 19 September 1956, Earl Sperry’s mother passed away at the age of 77 in Salt Lake City.

Earl Sperry’s brother Alfred Oscar, Jr. died on 22 August 1958 when Earl was 48 years old.

While on vacation in Banff, Alberta, Canada Edna Viola passed away at the age of 57 on 23 July 1967.

On 26 December 1970, Earl Sperry’s sister, Eva Ruth, passed away in Ely, White Pine, Nevada, United States.

Earl Sperry married his 2nd wife, Norma Rachel Law, on 7 September 1971 in Davis County, Utah, United States. 

Earl Sperry’s sister Lillian died on 26 June 1979 in Ontario, Malheur, Oregon, United States.

Earl Sperry died 6 January 1983 in his sleep at his home in Bountiful, Davis, Utah, United States. He was 72 years old. He was buried, plot C-09-04-08, at Pleasant Grove City Cemetery, which is located at 500 North Main in Pleasant Grove, Utah, Utah, United States. 

After his death, he was sealed, by proxy, for time and eternity to his 2nd wife in The Salt Lake Utah Temple on 20 July 2010.

Additional Information from Earl Sperry:

Father: Alfred Oscar Lunt
Mother: Jeanette Sperry
Born: 15 March 1910
Where: Nephi, Juab, Utah, United States
Blessed: 1 May 1910
By: William W. Pettigrew
Baptized: 5 May 1918
Where: Nephi, Juab, Utah, United States
By: Eugene Gowers
Confirmed: 5 May 1918
Where: Nephi, Juab, Utah, United States
By: John Edgar Lunt
Priesthood Ordinations:
Deacon: 13 January 1924   By: Harold W. Langton
Teacher: 2 March 1925   By: Harold W. Layton
Priest:    By: Cornelius Zappie
Elder: 1 June 1930   By: Harden A. Bennion
Seventy: 11 September 1930   By: B. H. Roberts
High Priest: 19 December 1955   By: Arthur T. Morley
Married: 20 June 1947   Spouse: Edna Viola Nelson
Where: SLAKE – Salt Lake Utah Temple; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
By: Benjamin Bowering
Endowed: 22 August 1930
Where: SLAKE – Salt Lake Utah Temple; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
Sealed to Spouse: 20 June 1947  Spouse: Edna Viola Nelson
Where: SLAKE – Salt Lake Utah Temple; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
Patriarchal Blessing: 27 May 1930
By: Hyrum G. Smith
Mission: 18 September 1930-23 March 1933
Where: Hawaii

Important Events:

Schools:

Nephi Public Schools 1916-1923
West Junior High School (New Horace Mann School) 1923-1927
L.D.S. High School 1927-1930
West High School 1934-1935

Church:

Religion Class and Primary: Graduated from both
Boy Scouts: 2nd Class – Junior Assistant
Scoutmaster and Patrol Leader: Troop Bugler; Two outstanding trips were: Provo
    Canyon and Grandaddy Lakes
M.I.A.: Active in 9th Ward; Played forward on stake championship team 1935

Residences: 

Nephi, Juab, Utah, United States 1910-1923
236 West 1st North; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States 1923-1930
Hawaiian Islands 1930-1933
59 West 1st North; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States 1933-1935
Los Angeles (and vicinity), California, United States 1935-1946
59 West 1st North; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States 1946-1947
51 West 1st North; Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States 1947
Highway 91; Davis County, Utah, United States 1947-1950
7076 South 6 on West; Bountiful, Davis, Utah, United States 1950-1962
746 East 650 North; Bountiful, Davis, Utah, United States 1962-1982

Outstanding Trips: 

With Scouts to Provo Canyon and Grandaddy Lake, Utah
To Yellowstone Park 1947 (Honeymoon)
To Portland and Oregon Coast and back to Grand Coulee Dam, Washington
To Seattle, Washington; Victoria BC and Vancouver BC and return to Coulter Bay to Jackson Lake at the Grand Teton National Park

It has been my pleasure to have met the following Church People: 

President Heber J. Grant
Apostle Melvin J. Ballard
President David O. McKay
President George Albert Smith
Apostle Spencer W. Kimball (he later became a prophet)
President Levi Edgar Young
President Pentome Ivins
President Duff Hawks

Other Church positions have been: 

Ward and Stake Drama Director of the 17th Ward in The Salt Lake Stake. Genealogical Teacher in The Orchard Ward. Supervisor YM MSA in The Orchard Ward and Stake Drama Director in The South Davis Stake Board in South Davis Stake YM MSA – Junior ‘M’ men leader. A Teacher in Gospel Doctrine Class in the Orchard 2nd Ward Sunday School. Stake Board Sunday School in The South Davis Stake. Teacher trainer. I filled a Stake Mission for The South Davis Stake and was appointed Counselor to President Earl Olsen.