Claude Scovill still has his army uniform which is now almost 70 years old.
Claude Scovill in the army. He traveled from Africa to Italy, France and points in between during World War II.
Claude and Jeanne Scovill in their younger years.
Claude and Jeanne Scovill as they are today still living the good life in Orangeville.
Claude and Jeanne Scovill on their wedding day on March 8, 1948.
Claude Scovill will turn 90 on Feb. 8. Most of these 90 years were spent in Orangeville in the same house. Scovill said he's had a good life and has been able to accomplish much. He is most proud of his family. "They turned out real well. They are successful people in their fields. One grandson is an officer in the Navy and his name is Carid Scovill."
"I did spend nine years in jail," joked Scovill. He was speaking of his time in the branch ward for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where they take church to those spending time in the Emery County jail. He said he enjoyed spending time there and trying to help those in need. He still receives thank you letters from people he helped during his time serving in the jail.
Scovill has prided himself on always being able to take care of himself and his family. He remembers only drawing two unemployment checks through the years. "We've always been able to get by," he said.
Scovill grew up in Orangeville he is the son of Alma Asahel and Artemissia Scovill. He came from a family of 10 children. He remembers always having food on the table that they raised themselves and clothes on their back. Times were tough, but they learned early the basics of life, honesty, integrity, love and hard work. He started milking cows at an early age and they helped their dad during the summers at the sawmill by Blue Lake on Little Creek. His father also taught him to do carpentry work.
Scovill said, "It was 64 years ago that we moved into our house in Orangeville. It was three rooms at the time and it had a bare floor. We moved for a time to Price when I ran a garage over there, but we soon moved home and I drove back and forth. I spent years working as the post master at the Orangeville post office. I've worked at a lot of different things. One of the things I've enjoyed the most is doing mechanic work. It's always been a hobby of mine. I like to be with my family. I love to hunt, camp and fish. I've never really caught a big fish, maybe 16-18 inches long, but I sure enjoy getting out. We had a boat and we enjoyed getting out on the lake. We've always enjoyed camping with our family. We like to get out and do things. We drive around a lot and see what's going on in the county. If there's a new house going in or a project going on we like to check it out.
"I get tired now more quickly than I used to, but we still like to get out. We attend the senior citizen lunches and visit with the people down there. It's been 18 years since I was diagnosed with cancer and I am a cancer survivor. I also survived a triple by-pass heart operation. We don't get too far away from home any more, but we still travel to Payson to see the heart doctor and the urologist. We usually go to Price once a week to dinner. They've renewed my drivers license until 2016, so I guess we're still good to go and we can still run around.
"We really enjoyed our time spent on a mission to the Chicago area in the 1980s we also worked in the Manti Temple for six years and had many beautiful experiences there.
"We've had a great life, we really enjoyed going out on the 4-wheelers. I really liked to soup-up the jeep. It was fun for the kids. I helped start the search and rescue and jeep posse in the county," said Scovill.
He has tried to keep up with the times as there have been many advancements in society over the years since he was a young boy, he's gone from horse and buggies on the Orangeville streets with few cars and he remembers when the power poles ran down the center of every road. He also helped when the farmers organized to start the local telephone company.
Scovill said he was ready for the natural gas when it came to the county and his was the first gas furnace turned on in Orangeville. He has been very active in his community running the fire truck and being the American Legion post commander. His family was involved in many mutton fries used as fund raisers for the fourth of July celebration. He served for many years on the Orangeville town council.
"It's been a good life and I've enjoyed it, of course, we've had our problems, but isn't that what we're here for to be tried and tested so we can learn," said Claude. Claude's wife Jeanne says they aren't old, just experienced.
Scovill has written songs for their family reunions which the whole family enjoys singing. He even has a book of poems he's written over the years on many subjects.
Scovill has a hard time believing it's been 30 years since he retired from the post office. He enjoyed his time there visiting with the Orangeville residents as they picked up their mail.
Jeanne said her brother teased Claude when he came back from the army, telling him he'd been all around the world and came home and married a Lemon. Jeanne's maiden name was Lemon and so Claude decided the event called for a poem which he wrote about his wife the Lemon.
One interesting note from Claude's army days was a New Testament Bible given to all those in the army by the government. Claude didn't return home with his New Testament, but a few year's back the son of the man who found the Bible sent it back to Claude. Since then one of Claude's sons has visited the man in France and he's become a family friend. Claude said he couldn't recall what happened to the book during the war, he figured he left it somewhere along the way, because they moved around a lot.
Claude knows that they were watched over during his years in the army by the good Lord. "To go through what we did and come out of it, we had special protection." Claude tells of a time when he was separated from his company and he and his truck were on a different ship. They landed and put Scovill and his truck on a barge and sent them to shore. He pulled up on the beach and asked around to see if anyone knew where the 83rd was and no one knew anything about them. He knew he had to get off the beach so he went inland and found a house where there were a lot of trucks outside. The house was blacked out and he walked down into the basement of the house and there they were, his company was there in the house.
Claude appreciates being a Veteran and the freedom we enjoy in America. He's proud of being an active member of the American Legion for the past 58 years in continuous service.
Claude knows he's slowed down a little over the years, but he still walks, shovels his snow, mows the lawn and even put new vinyl down, not long back. "I really never figured I'd live this long. We have five children, Claudia Strong, Dennis A. Scovill, Garth J. Scovill, Irene Craker, Michele Sweeten and many grandchildren including some that have been adopted in as well as numerous great grandchildren."
Claude said one of the pitfalls of living so long, is you outlive all your siblings, out of 10 children, there's only Claude and his sister Emma Jean Chidester that lives in Price. Most of his friends are gone as well as the classthe classmates from the old Central High School in Castle Dale. There's some left from his class including Joe Jeffs, Marjorie Davis, Kenneth Cox and Leah Jacobs.
One of Claude's secrets for living a good long life is just staying active. Be busy and productive. Jeanne said when they were at the hospital after Claude's heart surgery, one of the nurses wondered what their secret was for being so youthful. All they could think of was just stay active and keep going, they didn't feel like they had any special secrets. The joy the couple finds in each other and in their family makes time spent together special. The family is planning a birthday celebration for Claude as he turns 90. Jeanne is only 83 so Claude has a few years on her. The family will celebrate at the Orangeville Community Center on Feb. 11 from 2-4 p.m.
Claude wrote a poem on old age:
Your back is bent, too much work they say; Your hair is thin and getting quite gray; Your teeth are gone, what you've got are false. Your eye sight is dim and you don't have much pulse. You go after something and can't remember what. You go to the doctor and he don't know what you've got. It's not easy to walk, but it's harder to stand. You get out of breath from just raising your hand. You try to stoop over to tie your shoe laces but you lose your balance and fall flat on your face. You're slow getting up, can't move very fast. You don't think of the future only the past. You take pills in the morning and more pills at night. When it comes time to eat you can't take a bite. You ache in your joints and have cramps in your feet,
Cold weather is bad, but you can't stand the heat, If you think you've got troubles and fit into this mold, Don't worry about it, you're just getting old.
The poem Claude wrote about his wife is called: My wife is a sweet Lemon.
My wife is a Lemon, her family records show. She came from a family of Lemons, but she wants me to know that she is a sweet Lemon and she thinks it's kinda neat that one of her ancestors, James Lemon married Martha Sweet. That when you consider marriage and the children they bore that they are sweet Lemons not sour ones any more. So when she says she's a sweet Lemon the facts are hard to beat, I really have to agree with her and say she's kinda sweet.