JOHN T. LANT
ERMA (IRMA) LANT
was born 29 April 1910 in Garland, Box Elder County, Utah. She had two
older sisters and two older brothers, Lucile, Donna, Glen, and Harold.
There were two other brothers who had died as babies. When Erma was
three years old the family moved back to their home town of Payson, Utah,
where she attended the Peteetneet Elementary School. Here, in the first
grade, she became acquainted with Howard Wayne Shuler,
whom she was later to marry. They were "childhood sweethearts."
When Erma was only eight years of age, her mother
Letitia Ann Davis Lant
died in the flu epidemic, on 28 Jan 1919. (Howard's mother, Dora May
Wightman Shuler also died in this same epidemic, as did many in Payson.)
Erma recalls her mother as being very kind, loving, and patient. On one
occasion, her mother had sent her out to the barn to feed the family cow
in the wintertime. Erma came back sooner than expected, and looking out
the window, her mother saw that Erma's tracks in the snow didn't go all
the way to the barn. Instead of scolding, her mother patiently asked
questions in order to teach her, such as "Don't you think that poor cow
needs some food to stay warm in the winter? Don't you think she must
be very hungry?" and so forth.
Erma's father John T. Lant remarried a year
and a half after Letitia Ann's death. On 24 June 1920, when Erma was 10,
he married Elizabeth Charlotte ("Lottie") Lee Finlayson. In addition to a
stepmother, Erma also gained a younger step-sister and step-brother at this
time: Leeta, age 8, and Bill, 3. Her two older sisters Lucile and Donna
were already grown and married. Her brothers Glen and Harold were 14 and 12.
Being a rather quiet child, Erma felt she was often overlooked, and she
didn't ever develop a very close relationship with her stepmother. She did
become quite close to her grandmother, Margaret Ann Miller Davis, who
was a widow and lived in Spanish Fork. But Erma's family soon moved up
to Washington State, where her father had been transferred for his career,
and she had to leave all of her relatives and friends in Utah behind.
Her half-brother Dick was born in 1923 when Erma was thirteen, and
her half-sister Nancy in 1928 when she was seventeen. The family moved
three different times during the years in Washington State, so this was
a very difficult time for Erma as she felt she had no place where she
really belonged. But it sounds like she did enjoy the ocean; her older
brother Harold (who later became an attorney and lived in Bellingham,
Washington all of his life, and raised his family there), said that
when he and Erma and Leeta were teenagers their family lived on the coast
of Washington, on Puget Sound, and the three of them would swim out to a
certain rock and back every day. They made a goal to do this every day
for a whole year, but had to stop when the water got too cold in the winter.
Erma graduated from Whatcom High School in Bellingham, Washington
in 1928, and at this time she changed the spelling of her name to
"Irma." She was always a small and very slender, petite lady; only
4'11" tall, she claimed to be 5 feet. Her short stature was inherited
from her Scottish ancestors. In her high school graduation picture
Irma looked quite stylish, with her hair bobbed in the 1920's style,
and she knew how to dance the Charleston, the popular dance at the time
(sometimes she would still demonstrate this for her grandchildren).
After her graduation from high school, Irma returned to Utah. She
lived with her sisters in their homes in Ogden and worked as a secretary
to earn enough money to go to college. She attended Brigham Young
University at Provo and the Branch Agricultural College (now
Southern Utah University) at Cedar City, Utah. The dean for whom
she had been working at BYU was appointed to a new position at the
Branch A.C., and asked her to come down there as his secretary since
she was such a good one. At the time, she was dating Howard Shuler,
with whom she had become reacquainted on visits to Payson, and after
she moved to Cedar City he said that he soon became tired of driving
all that way to date her, so he decided to ask her to marry him.
Howard and Irma were married on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 1931 at
Payson, Utah, when they were both 20 years old (Irma was three months
older than Howard). Their first child, Patsy Rae Shuler, was born Feb.
17, 1932 at Payson, but she lived only four days. Their second daughter,
Sandra Shuler, was born 8 April 1934 at Payson. Irma's dear
grandmother Margaret Davis died on the 6th of April 1934, but Irma was
unable to attend the funeral because she was still confined to bed
after the birth of Sandra. Howard and Irma's first son John David
Shuler was born 6 April 1937 in Payson, and Michael Howard Shuler
was born 10 Dec 1939, also in Payson. The family moved to the east
bench of Salt Lake City in 1941. After the war the family moved to
Tooele, Utah in 1946, where Howard worked for the Tooele Army Depot as
an inspector. Their youngest child, Craig Lant Shuler, was born in
Tooele 15 June 1951. The family moved back to Salt Lake City in 1956,
where Irma was a secretary at the Veterans Administration Hospital, and
Howard continued to work for the Tooele Army Depot.
After retirement, Howard and Irma moved to Sun City, Arizona in
1972 (while Craig was on his mission in Brazil). They went on cruises
to Hawaii and Alaska, fulfilling a long-awaited desire to travel and
see a bit of the world. Every summer they would come up to stay in
Rexburg, Idaho with a group of Sun City residents, enjoying the cooler
climate. Here Howard died suddenly of a heart attack, on 27 July 1977,
at age 67.
Irma remarried on 24 June 1978, at age 68, to Paul DeOrr Tyson, a
Sun City widower. Irma had been a Relief Society visiting teacher to Paul's
wife Norma. When Norma passed away from cancer a few months after Howard's
death, Paul returned a dish to Irma after the funeral. Then he started
joining her on her daily early morning walks, and soon it developed into a
Paul and Irma decided to get married, and told all their children
and grandchildren that the date was set for the fall of 1978 (Irma
planned to wait until after she could have Howard's temple work done
and be sealed to him. This had to be a year or more after his death).
But when Irma and Paul went on a trip to Utah and Idaho to meet each other's
families, they decided to go ahead and get married right away, by a bishop
in Rexburg. He had to call their bishop in Sun City for approval. They
didn't tell their children until afterwards, and we were all very surprised
when we found out that Grandma had "eloped." They enjoyed 17 happy years
together, living in Sun City (and in Rexburg for the summers until 1994).
Paul took very good care of Irma. We called him "Grand-Paul." They were
active in the Sun City Ward. Paul passed away on 1 Jan 1996 at age 87,
and Irma passed away 2 May 1996 at age 86.
Howard Wayne Shuler and Irma Lant Shuler Tyson are both buried at
Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City, Arizona, but there is also a memorial
marker for them in the Payson City Cemetery, since both of them had strong
family roots there. Irma's second husband Paul DeOrr Tyson is buried in
Brigham City, Utah, next to his first wife, Norma.
by Karen Bray Keeley
by Sandra Shuler Bray