Martha Louise Crane Reed died Dec. 30 at her home in Bennington, Idaho, following a struggle with brain cancer.

Born April 14, 1942, in Montpelier, Idaho, the second of 10 children, Louise lived a selfless life — more concerned about the welfare of others, with little thought for her own needs. She grew up the daughter of a sheepherder and began her life in a home with no inside plumbing. Chewing gum was often shared among siblings and nothing of use was ever thrown away. She attended elementary school in Bennington and junior high and high school in Montpelier. She fondly remembered her childhood despite limited resources.

Kindness and caring were paramount with little time for petty grievances or bickering. It was often said that Louise never uttered an unkind word about anyone.

Louise attended Idaho State in Pocatello, where she met Ronald Reed. The two were married Aug. 20, 1962, in the Idaho Falls Temple and celebrated 50 years together in August, with their six children and 25 of their 26 living grandchildren. She was an astute businesswoman and helped run the family motel business in Burns, where they lived for 20 years. For two of those years, Ron’s summer employment required Louise and their five young children to camp on site in the forest for weeks at a time. Typical of Louise, she didn’t complain, but made the best of it and made the tent comfortable. Louise and Ron placed emphasis on education, both at home and at school. Family vacations, often spent driving and camping around much of the U.S., in addition to running the family business, provided real-world learning experiences to their children. All of her children received degrees from Brigham Young University as a result of their parents’ tutelage and sacrifice.

A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Louise constantly served others and spent her entire life diligently engaged in church service, where she blessed the lives of many people. In the latter part of her life, she served two 18-month missions with her husband, being assigned to Sialkot, Pakistan; Johor Bahru, Malaysia; Chisinau, Moldova; and Bucharest, Romania.

Louise is survived by her husband, Ronald; children, Ronald E. (Michelle), Garth (CayLynne), Mark (Tifiny), Dawn (Paul Jenson), Karen (Chris Thompson) and Jon (Becky); 26 grandchildren; and siblings, Wilma Crane, Eve (Mark Dayton), Ginger (Wayne Swensen, Melvin Crane (Dorothy), Norene (Dan Price), McKay Crane (Susie) and Laurence Crane (Linda).

She was preceded in death by her parents, William Butterfield Crane and Lula Robison Crane; sister, Karen (Russ Miller); brother, Timothy Crane (Marilyn); and grandsons, William Robin Reed and Edward Joseph Jenson.

Funeral services were held Jan. 5 at the Bennington LDS Chapel. Interment was at Bennington Cemetery.


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