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Vaudis Ann Carter Dance, 88

May 10, 2013

Mrs. Dance has completed her last assignment and turned in her homework.  A long time master teacher in the Blackfoot, Idaho School District, Vaudis died on May 5, 2013. 
 
Vaudis was born to William Homer and Violet Marie England Carter on November 24, 1924 in the Moreland, Idaho home of her grandparents.  The Carter family made their home in Thomas, Idaho where Vaudis attended Wilson Elementary, Rockford Elementary and Thomas High Schools.  She graduated from Ricks College with an Associate Degree in Music Education, received an Elementary Teaching Certificate and returned to teach eighth grade at Rockford Elementary.  In this first year of teaching, she had the privilege of teaching two of her younger sisters.  Being taught by Miss Carter was not a new experience for the Carter siblings, as Vaudis would frequently line up the kitchen chairs and play school, with her sisters as students.
 
After teaching in the Snake River School District for two years, she married Lowell Anderson Dance on June 6, 1946 in the Salt Lake (Utah) LDS Temple, just three weeks after Lowell returned home from serving in World War II.  They moved to a farm in Springfield, Idaho where Lowell farmed and Vaudis taught music in the Springfield Elementary School.  In 1953 they sold the Springfield farm and purchased a farm near Caldwell, Idaho. There, Vaudis taught private piano lessons for six years and taught first grade at Middleton, Idaho.  Returning to Blackfoot, Idaho she taught in the Blackfoot School District for the remainder of her teaching career.  She earned a B.S. Degree at Utah State University and did post graduate work at Idaho State University. She finished her career in education, teaching eighth grade, the same grade in which she started her career.  At the end of her career, she had moved from teaching Music to Math.
 
When asked how she survived so many years as a teacher, this is what she had to say, “Survive? That’s a good word because (teaching) is hard work!  Meeting the physical and emotional needs of a classroom full of students...all day long...month after month is overwhelming.  Then on top of that, we must teach them.  We must teach them all that is in the book, all that we know, all that they need to know...and still remain happy, patient, energetic and sympathetic.  Oh yes, I forgot the attendance, the lunch count, the daily grades, (the lesson plans), the notes home, the report cards, the team planning, the staff meetings, the workshops and when do I prepare for tomorrow?  I’ll take it home tonight...How did I survive?  You must love kids: any age, any size, any color, clean or dirty, loveable or the one that is an indescribable challenge.”
 
And Vaudis was more than a teacher.  She loved music: teaching music, performing with choirs and singing groups, playing the piano and organ for school, church and her own enjoyment.  She enjoyed attending concerts and jazz festivals.  She most recently played the old upright piano at the care facility.  She loved art, learning both water color and oil painting.  She filled her home with artwork she had collected through her life.  She loved her homes and gardens, making them showplaces where ever she lived.  Her love of beauty led to her second career as an interior designer and decorator.  Her Blackfoot home was her masterpiece. 
 
She is survived by three sons, Daren (Ellen) of Brigham City, Utah, Blair (Laurie) of Ashton, Idaho and Claye (RaKay) of Queen Creek, Arizona; 24 grandchildren; and 38 great grandchildren.  She is also survived by two brothers and two sisters, Don (Gloria) Carter, Spence (Marsha) Carter, Mona Vee Carter and Sonia (Parry) Merrill. 
 
She was preceded in death by one brother, Val H. Carter; and two sisters, Carlee Rasmussen and Ione Bates.
 
A funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the Blackfoot 2nd Ward LDS Church, 660 Teton Road in Blackfoot.  Family will meet with friends and relatives from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2013 at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 South Shilling Avenue in Blackfoot and for one hour prior to serves at the church.  Interment will follow at the Riverside-Thomas Cemetery.  Condolences may be sent to the family at condolences@hawkerfuneralhome.com.

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