My grandfather, Alma Alexander Gren, was very artistic. He was a sign painter, as in- he painted billboards all over the state of Utah, he did this by hand with paint and brush. He also was a glass blower making neon signs and small blown glass decorations. I remember seeing a neon candy cane and a snowman in the closet at my grandmother’s house when I was young. They used to put these on their Christmas tree. He never brought the Christmas tree home until the night before Christmas. One year this got him into trouble because he could not find a tree anywhere. Finally, he found a scrawny one missing branches. He gathered discarded branches from around the Christmas tree lot and took them and the scrawny tree home. He drilled holes in the trunk of the tree and inserted the branches he had collected. My grandmother told us this story each year and said that it was the best tree they had ever had.


He married my grandmother, Helen Madeline Brown in 1927 and they had 3 children between 1931 and about 1940. I am not sure how long he stayed around after that. He was a wanderer. He was not living with my grandmother by the time I came around in 1954 and I think he was gone long before that. I only remember seeing him at my grandmother’s house once. Another time on a family trip near St George my dad stopped the car abruptly and turned around and went back to a man painting a billboard. My grandfather climbed down and talked to us through the car window for a few minutes.

I remember when the divorce papers were brought to my grandmother, she signed them and cried. She was sad a lot after that and often sang songs that I know made her think of him like, I Love You Truly, The Red River Valley and the Old Rugged Cross but, mostly I Love You Truly.

He soon married Cleo Belle Larsen. I remember seeing him once or twice after that. We went to Las Vegas to see him when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease and later at the hospital in Salt Lake when he was there. We went to Roosevelt, Utah for his funeral and that is where he is buried.