Clarkston native soaks up memories
of 90 years on the same patch of ground
By Courtney Schoen
December 5, 2008 | In all of her 90 years, Sybil Goodey
has moved maybe 150 yards.
As the middle of five children, Sybil T. Goodey was
born and raised in the farming community of Clarkston,
"I grew up, married my neighbor, and we've moved half
a block in our life," Sybil said.
And while she may not be the most well known woman
in the valley, Sybil knows Cache County well and is
a huge USU fan.
Sybil and her late husband, Dallas, used to regularly
attend the Aggie sporting events. Basketball was their
favorite sport to watch together.
When the games were held in the Nelson Field House
and the Aggies scored more than 100 points, Sybil recalled,
she and her husband would get the free french fries
Labeau's gave out. And when the Aggies started playing
in the Spectrum, there was no keeping the Goodeys out
of the games.
"We had season passes and sat right on the floor,"
Sybil said, "but now I watch at home because I can't
make it up those stairs anymore."
Sybil sits alone in her rocking chair, usually with
needle and thread in hand, cross-stitching designs on
dish towels for her children and grandchildren.
She used to go on regular walks to the local cemetery,
but now she has a hard time even getting out of her
recliner in her living room.
However, when the gracefully aged, white-haired woman
does need to get out of her chair, she gives herself
the motivational count off, "1-2-3 up," and
slowly begins the standing process.
Sybil fought through tears when she recalled dancing
the night away with her childhood sweetheart decades
ago at Utah State's 50th anniversary party.
In 1938, Dallas Goodey, Utah State Agriculture College
forestry major, invited Sybil to go with him to the
He may not have loved dancing, but he was in love
with Clarkston's "Miss Utah" -- the title
Sybil held during the Pioneer Day parade the previous
When Sybil was 21, Dallas made Sybil his permanent
The two Clarkston locals were married in 1939 and
stayed happily married for the next 68 and a half years,
never relocating from their hometown.
Sybil was a September bride, along with three of her
best friends since first grade.
All of those brides out-lived their husbands, and
currently three are still "alive and kicking," as Ulalia
Simper, one of elderly widows, said.
Ulalia and Sybil are both living alone now, and since
neither has the strength or ability to leave their home,
they chat on the phone to keep in touch.
She was always willing to help and she was a good
wife to Dallas, Ulalia said -- "Sybil was a good
Sybil misses her husband, and even displays a fridge
magnet and throw pillow that read, "I love Dallas."
But Sybil is still going on as strong as she can,
swallowing 16 pills and at least one Coke daily as she
works through Parkinson's disease, cancer, and a broken
foot among other ailments. "I still haven't had to work
a day in my life," she said. "I stayed home with the
family, but that wasn't work."
Karen Kent, Sybil's oldest daughter, said her mother
meant to say she never needed work for pay a day in
her life. Karen said her mother has had plenty of work
"She would wake up at the crack of dawn every day,"
Karen added, "She never quit."
Sybil was a hard charger, never giving up on her family
or anyone else.
In addition to being a homemaker for her family, Sybil
worked with many other organizations, like Daughters
of the Utah Pioneers since 1942 and the 4-H Club since
Sybil was one of the original presidency members in
1970 for the North Cache Valley chapter of DUP.
Louise Butters, dear friend of Sybil's and current
historian of the DUP chapter, said Sybil was one of
the most organized ladies she has known and was always
dependable in any office she held for DUP.
Both Sybil and Dallas valued service and improving
the lives of people around them.
In fact, Sybil supported her husband in his work as
a sextant for the Clarkston cemetery by keeping all
the records for the cemetery while Dallas hand dug the
majority of graves for 33 years.
Mervin Thompson, the former mayor of Clarkston, said
Dallas and Sybil were exemplars for their community
and "did a lot for our town."
Thompson nominated the Goodeys to receive the Mayor's
Award in the Humanities from the Utah Humanities Council
After being nominated on the local level, former Sen.
Lyle Hillard honored the Goodeys for "dedicating their
lives to the betterment of others" at a city council
It may have been several years since receiving the
award, but Sybil can still proudly display the certificate
and remember that day clearly, just like many of her
other reflections from younger years.
Sybil's favorite memories in life have included riding
with her husband when he was a bus driver for the school
district and going for sleigh rides in Trenton with
Dwelling on positive memories, such as raising her
seven children in her 101-year-old home, bring a thin
smile and more creases to Sybil's beautifully wrinkled
The home and two acres she currently lives on was
bought for $700 in 1939 when the two Clarkston lovebirds
But living alone in her home where most of her memories
come from is difficult, she said.
Sybil can hardly stand to eat dinner at the kitchen
table anymore because she does not want to sit down
Memories are the reason for living, Sybil said. They
let her dwell on fun filled events and learned lessons
from the past.
Her good memories motivate her to stay strong, but
Sybil is getting tired.
"I'm feeling old," she said, "very old."
But nobody knows, perhaps Sybil needs to reach over
100 before she can get the french fries at the end of