Monday, March 30, 2009


Chelcey was so excited to go to the Twilight movie release. So I decided to make a day out of it for her and me. On Friday morning after I took the girls to school I headed off to Gallup to pre-order the movie and get a room at the Hampton Inn. (The nicest hotel in Gallup) Then I came back home and waited for the girls to get out of school. Me and Chelcey got all packed up to go back into Gallup for the night. Chelcey likes Cracker Barrel so that is were we had dinner. Then we went over to the hotel and went swimming and sat in the hot tub. Then it was time to get ready to go over to Hot Topic.

Chelcey all ready to go

Mom and Chelcey

Chelcey had a great time getting to shop at Hot Topic and hanging out with her mom we had a blast together! The next day we just spent the day shopping around and hanging out.

Chelcey with the Edward poster and her movie

Chelcey doing her best Jasper impression

Chelcey leaving Hot Topic with her loot

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pictures of Grandpa Rytkonen

Senior Picture

Grandma & Grandpa Feb. 1944

Grnadma & Grandpa 1943

Grandma, Grandpa & Carlene

Grandpa as a young boyGrandpa in the Military

Grandpa in the Navy

Grandpa at Ramah Lake

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Carl Harold Rytkonen

Carl Harold Rytkonen
August 4, 1921-February 23, 2009
Carl Harold Rytkonen was born in Hanna, Wyoming, August 4, 1921. His parents were William Rytkonen and Ida Eliina Saxberg. They had emigrated from Finland a few years before. When he was just a few months old his family decided to return to Finland for a visit. They traveled by steamboat to Finland and stayed until 1925.
When he returned to the United States his parents bought a farm in Ludlow, Vermont. Their farm, including the house, cost $4,800. Afterwards his father got very sick with a high fever, and he was taken to the hospital in Brattleboro, Vermont where he died in July of 1926, Carl was 5 when this happened.
When his father died, his mother was left with a young family: Oliver age 7, Carl age 5, Elsie age 2 and Ellen age 1. His mother managed the farm for many years by herself.Oliver and Carl worked as soon as they were old enough.
When he was still at the young age of 5 Carl had contracted tuberculosis in Finland from drinking unpasteurized milk. His mother took him to a sanitarium for children. He did not speak English at the time, and the nurses did not speak Finnish. He was taken to a large building where the nurse gave him some clothes and bloomers. He refused to put them on, saying in Finn, “I don’t wear them…. they’re girl’s”. The nurse won the argument, and he had to put them on.
He stayed there for one and a half years. His mother was only able to see him twice. Visitors were not wanted for fear of spreading the disease. When his mother came to pick him up, he recognized his mother, but he had forgotten how to speak Finn. His Mother could understand English but did not speak it making for an odd reunion.
He enjoyed school in Ludlow, Vermont. He milked ten to twelve cows before school, getting up early by light of the kerosene lamp. He recalled how they always had plenty of food, and this was during the depression. In the winter He could ski to school and he often recalled how much fun it was to ski during recess. In the summers he loved to fish. They had a good life in Ludlow.
He graduated from High School in 1939. In High School he enjoyed touch football and basketball. He was the senior class president and valedictorian of his high school…Black River Academy.
After Carl graduated from High School he wanted to go into the Coast Guard. He hitchhiked to Boston to enlist. At the recruiting station they asked him to stand on a scale for weight and height measurement. The examiner said, “Can’t have you ‘cause you’re too short”. So I hitched back home and tried my hand at mining gold in the river near the farm.
He joined the Navy in 1940. While in boot camp he recalls this experience. “After an hour we were called to attention. The inspecting party came into view; the automobile was a convertible with the inspecting officials in it. We recognized Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States.
After boot camp he was then sent to Aviation Mechanics School in Jacksonville, Florida.
After his schooling he was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas. Here he met Loretta at a dance. She was sitting across the room from him and his buddy. He has often said that he wasted no time and rushed over to ask her to dance. They were married soon after on August 14, 1943 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Carl shipped out soon after for training in Portland Oregon. Carl was in San Diego on a four day pass, that he basically had to beg for, when he realized that he would not be able to get a plane ticket or a bus ticket because of the war. He wanted to see Loretta so badly before he shipped out again that he decided to hitch hike to Texas on his four day pass. California to Texas on a four day pass….. now that’s true love.
During his 21 years of Navy Service he saw the world and while doing so he became a Senior Chief petty officer. During this time his family was truly a military family. They moved a lot and enjoyed good friends along the way. While in the military;
He fought in world War II
His first child Bonnie Carlene was born November 27, 1944
He took pilot’s training and got a license to fly a single engine plane while stationed in San Diego.
He fought in Korean conflict
His Second child was born, Pamela Ann on July 14, 1950
He spent time stationed in Alaska while the family was in Oak Harbor Washington
They were also Stationed in Norman, Oklahoma
And later in Hutchinson, Kansas-
It was in Hutchinson, Kansas that they
first heard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Carl said “Missionaries knocked on our door. They gave us a Book of Mormon, and taught us a few lessons. We even went to church once. We were transferred soon after, but we carried the Book of Mormon with us everywhere we went. We still had it when we joined the church in 1963”
Later the family was stationed in Hawaii. They enjoyed the Hawaiian beaches, toured the island, went to the Hawaiian Temple and wondered why they could not see inside?
In 1956 they family was again transferred. This time to Maine. While the family was in Maine Carl was deployed to Spain and Iceland.
The most tragic time during his service was when his ship, the Fanshaw Bay, was attacked. When the Japanese attacked they dropped a five hundred pound bomb on its deck. The bomb went through the flight deck down to the hanger deck; his duty station was on the flight deck. We had 85 wounded and sixteen men were killed.
Because I was tall one of Carl’s favorite stories to tell me was when this ship was attacked by Japanese airplanes. During the attack he was moving through the ship from one place to another and all of a sudden a bullet just passed over his head. He would then point towards my head and distinguish where it would have hit some tall like me. He would then chuckle and say how glad he was he was short.
Carl retired from the military in 1962.
He had always been an entrepreneur so he and his friend who was ready to retire from the Navy also decided to go into business together; United Rent All was their business.
Because of the move to Portland Maine they again had the opportunity to learn about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During Christmas of 1962, the missionaries again knocked on their door. Carl was baptized February 23, 1963, and he got involved in church service right away.
He said that “Our family had such tight finances at this time, mainly because of the new business. I thought, “I know the Church is true; we must pay our tithing.” So we did; even though we had no money left at all. We were blessed with food and housing, but every penny was tight. One example of our blessings occurred in the very cold winter. I desperately needed a coat. My sister Ellen sent one saying, “I thought it looked like one you’d like.” We had very recently joined the church; and our testimony of tithing was strengthened”
Another experience showing Carl and Loretta’s strong testimony was when one evening President Loren Dunn, President of the New England Mission, came to their home to ask them to donate money for the new meetinghouse. I had to borrow the money for this donation because we did not have any he said.
In January of 1969 Carl and Loretta moved to Phoenix to escape the snow and cold and to be closer to Pam and Carlene. He owned a Laundromat and Dry-Cleaning business and with those a rental beauty shop.
They later moved to Albuquerque and he worked at Allwoods, a large lumberyard. He enjoyed his work there and the people that he worked with. He enjoyed his time in Albuquerque and when it came time to retire in 1987 they decided that they would liked to retire to Ramah NM to be closer to his daughter Carlene and son in law Richard Evans.
One of the first events that he attended was his granddaughter Jennifer’s kindergarten graduation. From then on he never missed a graduation from elementary or high school. He saw his grandchildren’s football, volleyball, and basketball games over the next many years;
Carl loved to do many things. He loved to travel, and really loved to drive. A few years ago he had to let go of his last car, his white ford Taurus. You would have thought we took both of his legs. He talked of getting a car in almost every conversation after wards. Even if he could not have driven his car he would have been content just having one in the garage to change its oil and tinker with.
Carl also loved photography cameras, videos. He took all the photos for his family in Ramah for many years and would make us copies continually. He was very interested in new technologies. He was determined to buy and learn how to use a computer and every time a grandchild brought some new technology to his house he was going to buy one also. It all fascinated him.
Another favorite pass time was playing pool at the senior center. He enjoyed hanging with the guys and reminiscing about the military days. He was so funny when he would win a game because he never gave himself credit, he always said “You must have let me win that one”
On his 80th birthday his family put together a list of “80 reasons we love grandpa” We do not have time for all 80 but here is a top ten:
10- He is the most honest person I have ever known
9-He is handsome
8-He has a strong testimony
7-Grandpa honors his priesthood
6-His favorite colors are red white and blue and he has stories to prove it
5-I love him just because he is grandpa
4-He shares the chocolate chips
3-He would solve everyone’s problems if he could
2-He can’t sing really well but he doodle-doodle-dos really well
1-I love him just because he loves grandma
October 26, 2007 Carl became very ill and was taken to the hospital in Gallup, New Mexico. The doctor diagnosed him with pneumonia. Carl said of this experience “All of my grandchildren returned to Ramah to see me. Carl, my grandson, stayed with me at our home to help me. I then had to return to the hospital. When I returned home this time, I was better. I experienced many blessings throughout this time of illness. I know I was given more time.” Close quote
In conclusion I would like to read Carl’s testimony is his words that he gave this past fall. This testimony he gave was specifically meant for his family to hear. He testifies” I want to bare my testimony to my family and posterity. I was impressed immediately with the truth of the Gospel. I was anxious to take part when the Elders explained the importance of the work to me. I understood and was convinced that this was the Church of Jesus Christ. I know his Church is here, true and real, not a figment of someone’s imagination. I know Christ is an actual being, the son of God and my savior, who came to earth to establish his true church. I am so thankful to have this testimony. I am so thankful that it is true. I am so thankful that I found the Church, the true Church, and I am so thankful for the guidance it has given me in my life. I love my savior, Jesus Christ, and my Heavenly Father.

This is the Life story / talk given by Mike Hyatt Grand Son In Law to Carl Rytkonen at the funeral in Ramah New Mexico on February 26, 2009.
Below is the outline of Carl's talk that he gave at his grandpa's funeral:
Brothers and Sisters, I want to start out today by saying thank you for coming to celebrate the life of my grandpa I know he is smiling down on us at this occasion.
I have entitled my remarks today: Happiness in remembering who you are.
In the premortal existence, Heavenly Father prepared a plan to enable us to become like Him and receive a fullness of joy.
The scriptures refer to this plan in several ways in:
Alma 24 we read "the plan of salvation" (Alma 24:14)
In Alma 42 we read" the great plan of happiness" (Alma 42:8), and the "the plan of mercy" (Alma 42:15).
In Jacob 6 we read "the plan of redemption" (Jacob 6:8)
The plan of salvation is the fullness of the gospel. It includes:
the Creation, the Fall, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and all the laws, ordinances, and doctrines of the gospel. It includes moral agency, which is the ability to choose and act for ourselves, which is also essential in Heavenly Father's plan. Because of this plan, we can be perfected through the Atonement, receive a fullness of joy, and live forever in the presence of God. Our family relationships can last throughout the eternities. We are participants in Heavenly Father's plan, and our eternal experience can be divided into three main parts: premortal life, mortal life, and life after death.
Premortal Life:
Before we were born on the earth, we lived in the presence of our Heavenly Father as one of His spirit children. In this premortal existence, we attended a council with Heavenly Father's other spirit children. At that council, Heavenly Father presented His great plan of happiness (Read Abraham 3:22–26). In harmony with the plan of happiness, the premortal Jesus Christ, the Firstborn Son of the Father in the spirit, covenanted to be the Savior (read Moses 4:2).
Those who followed Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were permitted to come to the earth to experience mortality and progress toward eternal life. Lucifer, another spirit son of God, rebelled against the plan and "sought to destroy the agency of man" He became Satan, and he and his followers were cast out of heaven and denied the privileges of receiving a physical body and experiencing mortality. Throughout our premortal lives, we developed our identity and increased our spiritual capabilities. Blessed with the gift of agency, we made important decisions, such as the decision to follow Heavenly Father's plan. These decisions affected our life then and now. We grew in intelligence and learned to love the truth, and we prepared to come to the earth, where we could continue to progress.
Mortal Life:
This is what we are now experiencing mortal life. Our spirits are united with our bodies, giving us opportunities to grow and develop in ways that were not possible in premortal life.
Life after Death:
When we die, our spirits will enter the spirit world and await the resurrection. At the time of the resurrection, our spirit and body will reunite, and we will be judged and received into a kingdom of glory. The glory we inherit will depend on the depth of our conversion and our obedience to the Lord's commandments.
Mortal life is the portion of the plan of salvation that I have chosen to focus on today.When you are born you inherit something very special from your parents, your name. Something to help you remember who you are (Heleman:5:6) When I think of my name “Evans” I’m proud of it and what it represents. However in my case it goes even deeper not only do I have the family name of Evans to uphold but my first name of Carl, named after the man we all here today to celebrate. While he was known to most as Carl I knew him best as Grandpa. He set an example in many aspects of life one particulare experience was: Faith, in Maine, winter, new business owner, recent convert, money was very tight, very thin coat, paid tithing, aunt sent him coat and said, "Just thought you would like this". I would hate to do anything that would bring shame or hurt to this name.
Being members of the church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints brings an even greater responsibility as explained to us by King Benjamin (read Mosiah 5:7-9). When you are baptized you take upon the most holy of names that of Jesus Christ becoming his sons and daughters.
ask yourself what am I doing to honor him? And what can I do more? As we honor that name we can be sure to be found “on the right hand of God”This part of our existence here in mortality is a time of learning in which we can prove ourselves, choose to come unto Christ, take upon ourselves his name, and prepare to be worthy of eternal life.
Blessings through Knowledge of the Plan
A testimony of the plan of salvation can give us hope and purpose as we wrestle with the challenges of life. We can find reassurance in the knowledge that we are children of God and that we lived in His presence before being born on the earth. We can find meaning in our present life, knowing that our actions during mortality influence our eternal destiny.
A poem by Henry Van Dyke explains well grandpa’s departure from his time in mortality:
I am standing upon the seashore, A ship at my side spreads his white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean
He is an object of masculinity and strength, And I stand and watch him until, at length, he hangs like a speck of white cloud where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other on the horizon.
Then someone at my side says,"There he goes, he's gone."
Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. He is just as large in mast and hulland span as he was when he left my side, and just as able to bear his load of living weight to the place of his destination. His diminshed size is in me, not in him.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, "There, he's gone," there are other eyes on a distant shore watching him coming and other voices that give the glad shout, "There he is, he's coming!"
I know that grandpa is looking down today smiling at his posterity and the “treasures” he can see from heaven. He was a wonderful man, husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. in Mathew 6 we are taught “that we should not lay up treasures on earth but should lay up treasures in heaven.
Dallan H. Oaks said “I believe that the ultimate treasures on earth and in heaven are our children and our posterity.”
Shane And Bowdy With Grandpa
The Kids with There Great Grandpa

Pallbearers, Mike Hyatt, David Gibbons, Shane Evans, Joe Evans, Carl Evans & Tom Evans

21 Gun Salute

Trumpet Player

Grandma Shoveling Dirt
Shane Shoveling Dirt

Selina Shoveling Dirt

Chelcey Shoveling Dirt
Tatum Shoveling Dirt Cassidy Shoveling Dirt Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Father in Law, Grandfather & Great-Grandfather