Laurine Keller Bingham passed away, Friday, September 21, 2018 at her home in St. Johns, Arizona, attended to by her loving husband of 44 years, James Linford Bingham. She was born on October 26, 1950 in Preston, Idaho to Wenzell Urias Keller and Betty Jean Hammond Keller (Henderson). Laurine was raised in the Riverdale community, just north of Preston and spent her childhood years working on the family farm, swimming in the Bear River and playing softball. She graduated from Preston High School in 1969 where she was active in athletics, debate, drama and a leader of the Young Democrats Club.
Laurine served an LDS mission in Argentina where she learned to speak Spanish like a native and retained an affection for the country and its people for her entire life. She remained active in the Church throughout her life and especially enjoyed working with the young women.
Education was a significant part of Laurine’s life. She attended Ricks College and BYU, where she met James before getting married. Once her four young boys were all in school, she began working as a substitute teacher and eventually decided to return to school to finish her degree and become a certified teacher. After several years of taking part-time courses and one year on campus as a full-time student, she earned a degree in elementary education from Southern Utah University with minors in reading and Spanish. During this time, she continued to care for her family by leaving prepared dinners in the freezer each Sunday with instructions on how to heat them up during the week. After getting her certification Laurine taught 6th graders for two years in Kanab, Utah and for ten years in Sanders, Arizona. She was regularly voted favorite teacher by the students of her schools and maintained relationships with many of her students throughout their schooling and even into their adult lives. Laurine loved the Navajo children and culture and collected numerous pieces of Navajo jewelry, rugs, dolls and other items.
Laurine lived in the family’s home in St. Johns, Arizona for the past 23 years. After her retirement from teaching she kept busy baking various breads and sweets, bottling fruits and vegetables, making jams and salsas, visiting with friends and making special gifts for her friends and family. She was an excellent cook and loved to prepare food for her family and guests.
For the last several years, Laurine struggled with chronic health issues, requiring repeated surgeries and frequent hospitalization. Despite the constant discomfort and medical complications, Laurine remained incredibly optimistic and warm-hearted. She would rarely talk about herself or her problems, preferring instead to focus on the lives and interests of those around her and serving others at every opportunity. She would often come home from the hospital knowing all about her nurses and other caretakers. Even when recovering from a hospital visit, it was a challenge for her family to convince her to accept being taken care of, rather than taking care of them.
Throughout her life, Laurine was a devoted wife and mother, beloved daughter, aunt, grandmother and special friend to many people, young and old. She was full of sincere love and generosity that was felt by everyone she embraced. The Bingham Family would like to thank the many medical professionals who helped care for Laurine through all of her medical problems over the years
Laurine was preceded in death by her infant son, Ryan Dee Bingham, her father, Wenzell Keller, her stepfather, Robert Henderson and her sisters, Wendy Seamons and Nadine Umbel. Laurine is survived by her husband, James Linford Bingham, her sons, James Morgan (Sommer), Wesley Wenzell, Matthew Glenn (Susana), and Jason Robert (Ashlee), and her mother, Betty Henderson. She is further survived by 13 grandchildren, 1 great granddaughter, her siblings, numerous beloved nieces and nephews (“favorite Aunt Laurine”), and many other family members.
Funeral Services will be held Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, St. Johns Stake Center, with visitation beginning at 4:00 p.m. A second funeral service will be held Monday, October 1, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Riverdale Chapel, 3592 North 1600 East, in Preston, Idaho, with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. Interment will follow the funeral services at the Mink Creek Cemetery, Preston, Idaho.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the LDS general missionary fund.
Memories and condolences may also be shared with the family at www.webbmortuary.com