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Aden Stay

He is a quiet, unassuming man, one who doesn't stand our in the crowd. He speaks only infrequently when in the presence of large groups, his humility generally causing him listen, rather than talk. But when he does choose to talk, what he says in measured, on-target, and reflecting of his life-wrought wisdom. Although formally schooled only part way through high school, he is self-taught as the result of broad reading and avid interests in most avenues of thinking-religion, science, politics, international affairs, geography, agriculture, philosophy, humor, and current affairs. Engage him in a conversion on almost any subject, and he can hold his own with the best unless it's a highly technical topic. While most of us attribute the problems we face in life to bad luck, God's vengeance, or the actions of others, he takes life as it comes, without complaint, apparently assuming that life's like that and that we ought to make the best of whatever comes our way, bad or good.

Aden Stay turns 90 in September of this year. He is probably the oldest man in the little rural town of Draper, Utah where he has lived for most of his life since 1915. His father having purchased a farm in Draper, Aden was sent out ahead of the family to do the fall plowing with a four horse team. He didn't even know how to hook up four horses, but he learned on his own and accomplished the task as assigned. That's been his life ever since, except for a short time in California during the Great Depression, when everyone was trying just to survive. He has been tied to the land, his great life love, and has always accomplished the task assigned, whether in church, home, or work. Though never having been called to high positions in the church, he has throughout his life been actively engaged in a variety of church assignments. Even today, in his declining years, he is a faithful home teacher to several families in the Draper 7th Ward and serves their needs to his best ability. If you're Aden's home teaching partner, you'd better not even think about missing your teaching or going pasty the first few days of the month! He also works regularly in the Jordan River Temple, doing proxy sealing.

When he was 19, Aden was called to serve in the Mexican Mission. He was one of the very first missionaries in the church to proselyte among the Spanish-speaking people. In those days there were no missions in Mexico, South America, or other Spanish-speaking nations; so most of his time was among the Spanish-speaking people in New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas, with a brief time during which he was allowed into Mexico as far south as Chihuahua. After serving two years in that mission, under President Rey L. Pratt, he was called back home because of ill health.

Aden Stay and Alice Irene White were married in the Salt Lake Temple on November 16,1922, and lived together until her death on June 2, 1988. They had one child, Claire, who sill lives in her father's neighborhood with her husband, Stewart Leigh. Aden and Alice subsequently had six children, all dead at birth as the result of the negative Rh factor. Although they have borne the burden courageously, this has been a point of grief for them all their lives. They have enjoyed very much Claire's children Alice and Wallace and their only great grandchild, Jennifer.

For many years, Aden and Alice took wayward boys into their home to provide them the security they have not previously experienced.

Aden has farmed on his present farm site since 1942. Even until 1986, when he was 87 years old, he raised hay and grain and ran a herd of about 100 beef cattle, working everyday. He operated and maintained planting and harvesting equipment, mended fences, tended irrigation water, chased cattle which had out-smarted the fences, and maintained a large home garden. Needless to say, since he and Alice could eat and can only a limited quantity of garden food, most of the garden products went to neighbors, friends, relatives, and the needy. Even today, Aden can be seen almost every day working out in his garden. It was an astonishing sight in 1986 to see a man his age hiking up and down the hills on his 150 acres, taking care of his life stewardship!

Aden and Alice always lived the simple life, often doing without even the most common "luxuries," always giving more than taking. They were always faithful in the gospel. If doing what's right, especially in their relationship with others, constitutes enduring to the end, then they have reached that goal, even though for Aden, in his present state of good health and enthusiasm for life, the end seems yet some distance away.

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