Jeanine Johnson Ehat

Profile Updated: June 25, 2009
Residing In: Lindon, UT USA
Spouse/Partner: Stephen Ehat
Occupation: Secretary
Children: Joseph (married, two children)
Peter (married, four children, one on the way)
Christopher (married, More…two children)

After high school graduation I enrolled at BYU, where I received a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in Spanish. A semester abroad in Madrid, Spain, was one of the highlights of my college years. I switched to Portuguese when I was called as an LDS missionary to Porto Alegre, Brazil, following my graduation. My husband had recently returned from Rio de Janeiro and was teaching Portuguese to missionaries. He wrote to me while I was in Brazil and we were married not long after my return. It was back to BYU for six more years while Steve finished his bachelor's and law degrees. By the time he graduated we were the parents of three sons. Steve was hired for a one-year clerkship in the federal court in Fresno, California, but we ended up staying twenty years. We added two more sons to the family. The exploits of my five boys are still legendary among friends in Fresno. We enjoyed our time there camping in Yosemite, driving the Blossom Trail in the spring, and trying not to wither in the summer heat. We even learned how to lay out trays of grapes to make raisins. A job change for Steve brought us back to Utah eight years ago. Our rough-and-tumble sons have grown up into fine young men. For us, five sons in a row meant we have had a missionary serving some place in the world for ten of the last twelve years: Mexico, Italy, the Philippines, Brazil, and Scotland. Our youngest returned home last July, so that phase of our lives is over. Our two oldest sons both graduated from BYU and have begun their careers. They live near us in Utah Valley, so we love that. Our third son is in his third year of dental school at Marquette. Our fourth and fifth sons are both BYU students. When Steve started his own business seven years ago, I went to work full-time after being at home for 25 years. I am the department secretary in Ancient Scripture at BYU and am deeply grateful for the tuition benefit I get for my children. I am also grateful that my job is so close to both a bookstore and a library.
I can hardly believe that 40 years have gone by since we were screaming ourselves hoarse for the basketball team and worrying about math tests. I still feel young. Like one of my friends commented, "When I read a book, I identify with the heroine, not her mother." Amen to that. Hillcrest High School was a wonderful foundation for lots of good things in my life, and I am looking forward to seeing many of you again.

School Story:

I've always been pretty good at English (which is why I majored in it), but somehow found myself in a less-than-challenging English class senior year. The worst part was that the teacher assigned tons of busy work (like making us write the whole sentence when fill-in-the-blank would have sufficed). I complained plenty, but it apparently fell on deaf ears. I found out that in a war with the teacher, the teacher wins. I did get my revenge before the year was out, however. We were reading "Canterbury Tales" by Chaucer. The teacher gave us the assignment to write a long poem modeled on Chaucer's, complete with pilgrims traveling to some location. I chose "Purgatory Tales" as my theme, and my pilgrims were people I didn't like very much. My teacher was one of them. I don't remember all I wrote in her section of the poem, but I remember the last two lines: "Why was she doing penance?/ She made her students write the whole sentence." It was really scary to wait for the grade on that paper. I was lucky the teacher was such a good sport. I got an A on the paper, but her comment in the margin was, "And why are YOU going?"

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Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Celebrating my granddaughter's kindergarten graduation.