Celeste Reneé Jorgensen Bohman, 95, passed away on October 13, 2022.
Reneé was the second daughter born to Arthur Lorenzo Jorgensen and Beatrice Pearl Johnson on February 6, 1927 in Ogden, Utah.
Beatrice, a schoolteacher, wanted her daughters, Margaret and Reneé, to be accomplished women. And so, at an early age, Margaret was enrolled in art lessons and Reneé in elocution lessons.
When Reneé was 5 years old, her mother passed away. But Beatrice never really left her two little girls. Her light would always shine upon them. One night as Margaret and Reneé lay awake in their shared bed, Reneé recalls that her mother came and sat on the edge of the bed—to “check in on her little girls.” Reneé always felt her mother’s presence and love. This abiding light from her mother would influence those two little girls to grow up to be strong, accomplished women. Margaret and Reneé were always there for each other – sisters bound together by the love of their mother.
As a teenager, Reneé moved to Peterson, Utah, to live with her sister Margaret and her husband, Roland Bohman. While living in Peterson, Reneé met and fell in love with Margaret’s brother-in-law, Verle Rudolph Bohman. Reneé was always willing to help Verle bring the cows in from the pasture or with other chores on the farm (even if it meant getting her white Sunday shoes muddy). After graduating from high school, Verle joined the United States Navy and served in WWII and Reneé, also wanting to serve and not content with just sitting around and waiting for Verle to return from the war, attended the Dee Hospital School of Nursing in Ogden, Utah.
In June of 1945, while on leave from the Navy, Verle went to visit Reneé while she was training at Dee Hospital. As soon as Verle saw Reneé in the hallway of the Dee Hospital, he swept her off her feet and gave her a long-awaited kiss. The hallway at the hospital erupted in whoops and hollers as everyone noticed the handsome young man in his sailor’s uniform kissing the cute young lady dressed in her white nurse’s uniform. On June 22, 1945, Reneé married Verle for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple. They were blessed with 5 wonderful children: Margaret Louise, Verle Duane, Jolene Reneé, Van Reid, and Gregory Nathan.
Like the embroidery you taught your grandchildren (both boys and girls), you knew how to carefully stitch together the beautiful colors of woman and mother. While the world argued noisily throughout your life about what it means to be woman and mother, you showed us how to find joy in womanhood and nobility in motherhood. You accepted no argument that would limit the potential of woman nor any argument that would diminish the divine role of mother. You were a woman for the ages and ahead of your time (truthfully, just who your time needed).
You taught us that a mother’s home is always open to family and stranger alike when we stayed with you as grandkids during the summer, as a grandson’s fiancée during an engagement, as a recently divorced dad with two little kids, or as a friend of a friend from out of town needing a place to stay.
You taught us that food was the pathway to the heart for most kids as you let us eat all your canned peaches and apricots and raid your taffy jar. You made us coconut islands, cherry winks, and date cakes. You covered graham crackers with applesauce and whipped cream for a quick dessert. You had a lunch box waiting on your porch each morning for us to pick up on our way to our classes at the university. And, you would leave notes in our lunch boxes and write letters to us when we were away because you also wanted to feed our souls.
You taught us about your love of life and learning as you supported your husband by babysitting and teaching nursery school at home while he completed his Ph.D. at Cornell University. In your spare time you memorized poems, and you studied the scriptures (except the Old Testament which you did not care for because of how it treated women within its passages). You cherished being a “stay-at-home” mother, and, when the time was right, you attended the University of Nevada Reno and earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in speech pathology.
You taught us to delight in service and good works as you taught speech lessons to hundreds of children within the Washoe County School District and, after you “retired,” you continued to prepare lesson plans to help your great-grandkids and all the neighbor kids with their speech impediments. When you didn’t like the local programming on TV for children, you approached the local TV station about producing your own Sunday School Bible program for kids. You and a friend wrote the scripts, designed all the artwork, and starred in the live TV productions. And, when one of your grandkids was struggling in elementary school, you decided to teach him in homeschool until things were right again.
You taught us that charity never faileth and you made yourself our ally. We love you because you first loved us.
You taught us to rejoice in the blessings of the temple and to understand our divine destiny as you took us to church on Sunday, served as a missionary with Grandpa in the Texas Fort Worth Mission, taught missionary lessons to the 8-year-old children preparing for baptism in your ward, and served in the Ogden Temple as a temple worker. You prayed with us and for us. You shared your testimony of Jesus Christ with us. You promised to vouch for us if Saint Peter gave us any problems at the pearly gates. When your oldest daughter, Louise, died at age 20 from Hodgkin’s Disease, oh, the pain we all felt. But your light was always near, and in your faith, we saw you find sunshine again. When you lost your husband 20 years ago, we knew that you knew you would be together again—and finally you are.
We miss you. We promise to be your “good little Indians” and to “wash our pattykins” before dinner.
Some wonder about a Heavenly Mother—and yet we know Her, because we have seen Her in you.
Reneé is survived by her siblings Marlin Jorgensen and Sandra Alverson, her children Duane (Deborah), Jolene Kobe, Greg (Bette), son-in-law, Dean Evans, and daughter-in-law, Valorie Bohman. Her posterity includes twenty-four grandchildren and seventy-four great grandchildren.
Reneé was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Beatrice, her step-mother, Roselle, her siblings, Junior, Donald, Gordon, and Margaret, her husband, Verle, her daughter, Louise, her son, Van, her son-in-law, Larry Kobe, and her daughter-in-law, Cecilia Evans.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 22, 2022, at 11 a.m. at the Morgan West Stake Chapel in Enterprise, Utah. Friends may call at Morgan West Stake Chapel on Saturday from 9:30-10:30. Interment, Peterson Cemetery. Funeral directors, Walker Mortuary, Morgan, Utah. Email condolences at www.walker-mortuary.com