Feb 12, 1923-May 25, 2011

JEROME — Mary Viola Underwood Saunders, 88, beloved mother, wife and grandmother, passed away peacefully from this life surrounded by her family Wednesday, May 25, 2011, at the home of her daughter, Reba Davis, where she had resided for the past 10 years.

Mary Viola Underwood Saunders was born Feb 12, 1923, in Sterling, Idaho. She was one of nine children born to Frank Underwood and Emma Jane Standley Underwood. She was raised on the old Underwood homestead, which is in Aberdeen, Idaho, on Underwood Loop.

She met Frank William Saunders when he came to work for her dad and they married on Sept. 28, 1940. They eloped and were married at Bishop William Kendall’s house in his kitchen in Sterling, Idaho. They hopped a freight train and headed to St Louis, Ill., where Frank was from. They traveled all across the country hitchhiking, hopping trains, in model A Fords before they settled in Jerome, Idaho. So the children were born all across the country, Illinois, Colorado, Texas and Idaho.

To this union were born six children, Frank William (Carol) Saunders III of Windermere, Fla., Fred Wayne (Pennie) Saunders of Blackfoot, Ferd “Shorty” Wyse (Judy) Saunders of Richfield, Anita Kathalene (Noel) Harris of Buhl, Reba Marie (Kevin) Davis of Jerome and F. Wyatt (Sandy) Saunders Sr. of Heyburn.

Mary Viola is survived by her brother, Jimmy (Evelyn) Underwood of Jerome; four sons, two daughters, 33 grandchildren, 73 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; and many, many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews and other extended family members. She is preceded in death by her husband, her parents; five brothers; three sisters; her beloved son-in-law, Noel Harris; and her beloved great-grandson, Joshua Kelly Peterson.

A special thank you to Visions Home Health and Hospice Visions for the special and exceptional care you provided for our mother during her extended illness. Special thanks to Casey, Dorinda and the artist lady for you loving kindness and care to our mother over the last five months.

Special thanks to Mary’s granddaughters, Janella and Suzette, for coming and sitting with GiGi and taking care of her while Uncle Kevin and Aunt Reba worked. And finally, a very special thanks to my husband for the sacrifice of your service to my mother for all these years. Thank you for your servant’s heart and the care you provided to her each day.

A visitation will be held Friday evening, May 27, at Farnsworth Mortuary Chapel, 1343 S. Lincoln in Jerome, where family and friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. and again Saturday one hour prior to the service. The funeral will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 28, also at Farnsworth Mortuary.

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