Oldest Living Riverton Resident Honored
Aug 04, 2015 10:29AM
By Bryan Scott
Oldest Living Riverton
By Briana Kelley
South Valley - Fay Store Stradley was honored at Riverton City’s June 16 council meeting as the longest living resident of Riverton. Stradley was born on March 14, 1920 and recently celebrated her 95th birthday on the very property where she was born. “I love Riverton! It has been my favorite place forever,” Stradley exclaimed.
Stradley’s recognition is part of the city’s 150-year celebration aimed at highlighting the city’s heritage and recognizing and increasing community pride. Stradley exuded both love and pride in her hometown through her words and prepared remarks.
Mayor Bill Applegarth gave an affectionate tribute about Stradley and her love of Riverton, reading excerpts from her history and praising the goodness of both her and her late husband, Dallas Stradley.
Petite and spunky, Stradley drew laughs from the crowd more than once during her recognition. She grew emotional as Applegarth recounted parts of her life and was very appreciative of her family and the acknowledgment. “This is a wonderful honor,” Stradley said.
Stradley grew up on a farm in Riverton. She later married Dallas Stradley. As newlyweds, they rented a small apartment in Riverton. When their first-born son was just four months old, her husband Dallas was drafted into the services to fight in World War II. Dallas fought in North Africa and India for almost four years in what she described as “the long and fearsome years of being a war widow.” He returned home safely and they soon looked into purchasing a home. They looked in surrounding cities but did not find anything they liked.
Stradley’s father gave them the option of building on an acre of his property. “That was the very property on which I was born, so I feel really honored and I feel blessed,” Stradley said.
They built their home and enjoyed 68 years of marriage together. They had many adventures in life and took many trips, but Stradley always looked forward to returning to their Riverton home. To her, Riverton brought a feeling of welcome and happiness and was the best place to be. She described it as “our forever home that will always hold a special place in our hearts.”
Applegarth also shared a poem by Stradley that he called “really a treasure.” In it, she praises her hometown:
“Riverton, our love for you
Keeps shining through
When skies are blue or gray.
We can’t erase
The memories we always face
When we are far away.
Your quiet streets, your flowers so sweet,
Your friendly neighborhood
Make life worthwhile
As heaven smiles
Upon all that is good.
Riverton, we honor you,
Our town so neat and true.
We honor you because we love you so.
Let your light so shine
To welcome us at any time
And to guide us wherever we may go.
Your trees so high,
Your clear blue sky,
Your handshakes, your smiles
Welcome us as we return to our dear town
From never-ending miles.
Riverton, may your banners fly
Far into the sky, when the sun is high or low.
You hold a spot deep in our hearts,
No matter where we may go.”
The crowd gave her a standing ovation as she sat beaming and surrounded by her family. “I feel this is really and truly a wonderful honor for me,” she said. Stradley is now the most tenured individual consistently living as a long-term Riverton City resident. She began as the very youngest member in her neighborhood and is now the very oldest.
She has written her history in a booklet that her family has made available to Riverton City’s historical library. Stradley was also honored in the parade on July 3. A full version of her poem is available on Riverton City’s website.