Bertha Stone Reeder

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Bertha Julia Stone Aadnesen Reeder Richards was the fifth general president of the Young Women organization (then known as the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She was born on October 28, 1892, in Ogden, in the Utah Territory. She attended Weber Academy then married Christopher Aadnesen in 1912. They were the parents of two children. He was killed in a hunting accident in 1930 and she remarried four years later. Her husband, William Henry Reeder, Jr., was a widower with one son. He was called to preside over the New England States Mission in 1941, and they lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for almost seven years. Within the year of returning to Ogden, Church president George Albert Smith called her to serve as president of the YWMIA.

During her presidency, the classes were renamed and age groups were realigned: Beehives, ages 12–13; Mia Maids, ages 14–15; Junior Gleaners, ages 16–17; Gleaners, ages 18–24. Nine years later, the Junior Gleaners were renamed Laurels. Speech and quartet festivals were held in local wards and branches and at June conference in Salt Lake City, an annual individual award certificate program was instituted, the “Era of Youth” section became a regular feature in the Improvement Era, and the “Be Honest with Yourself” poster series was issued for eleven years.

Reeder’s husband died in March 1961 and in September she was released from her calling. She married Lee Richards in 1964. After he died in 1981, she moved to Pocatello, Idaho, to be near her daughter. She died there on December 26, 1982.