Juanita Leone Leavitt Pulsipher Brooks was born January 15, 1898 in Bunkerville, Clark, Nevada to Dudley Henry Leavitt and Mary Hafen. As a child, Juanita did a great deal of outdoor work including caring for horses, cows, and pigs. Juanita graduated from high school in 1916 and took a one year normal training course after which she attended summer school in Berkeley, California. She then taught 3rd and 4th grade in Bunkerville from 1917-1918, and in Mesquite from 1918-1919. While in Mesquite she met her first husband, Leonard Ernest Pulsipher (Ernest), who she fondly refers to as 'Ern,' throughout her journal. They were married in October of 1919 in the Saint George Temple by President Cannon. At the time of their marriage, Ernest was experiencing severe pain and discomfort from a lump in his neck. Following their marriage, he underwent many painful and unsuccessful treatments to fight what was finally diagnosed as cancer. This was a painful and trying time for both Juanita and her husband. During this time, Juanita gave birth to their only son, Leonard Ernest Pulsipher Jr., on September 28, 1920. A few weeks later, her husband left for treatment in Salt Lake City, came back on December 22, 1920, and passed away January 8, 1921. Following her husband's death, Juanita helped his parents on their ranch, taught school, and prepared to return to school herself. In November of 1921, she returned to school in St. George with her sister Aura who helped tend her son. Juanita was married to William Brooks on May 25, 1933. Juanita is a well known author and has written a number of books. She passed away on August 26, 1989.
Juanita's brief biographical sketch and journals are included in the Pulsipher Family Papers collection. The collection includes family records dating as far back as 1708, with David Pulsipher who fought at Lexington and was killed at Bunker Hill. David Pulsipher's son, John, also fought in the Revolutionary War and was a prominent member of the Baptist Church. John Pulsipher's son, Zera, was baptized by Jared Carter, a Mormon Elder. Zera Pulsipher then served a mission where he baptized Wilford Woodruff. Juanita Leavitt Pulsipher Brooks' first husband was the great-grandson of Zera Pulsipher. Included in the collection are two letters from Juanita dated March 15, 1970 and January 12, 1974 containing information about her courtship and marriage to Leonard Ernest Pulsipher as well as his death. Juanita and Ernest were engaged in May 1919, but because of his continuing illness, he was concerned about going through with the wedding. They both prayed for guidance in this decision. During this time, Juanita played the organ at the funeral of Leila Hardy and rode to see Ernest that same day. She arrived after dark, and Ernest shared with her a manifestation he had just before she arrived. He thought he saw her sitting in the high backed rocking chair with a white haired baby boy, and felt this would come to pass in one year. This was an answer to both of their prayers and they were married. Juanita gave birth to their son exactly one year later. Also included are the handwritten and typed versions of a journal Juanita kept from 1920-1921 during the time of her husband's sickness and death. She writes of these trying events with great description. Juanita was very strong and faithful and cared diligently for her husband during this time. Juanita was often up for hours in the night with her husband who could not bear to sit still because of pain but was too weak to walk independently. Writing of their son, she said the Lord had blessed them with a healthy baby in spite of her fatigue and the stress surrounding that time. After the baby was born, Ernest became worse and couldn't walk or eat and nearly screamed with pain. Juanita wrote of the Elders who came into their home to give Ernest blessings which is the only means of relief he obtained. Juanita also recorded a manifestation Ernest had following one of these blessings. Ernest never complained and Juanita wrote, 'his patience was a source of wonder to many.' Of a certain time period during his illness, Juanita wrote, 'It is like a terrible nightmare to me yet to think of that time.' Hours before Ernest passed away, he called Juanita in, and she wrote, 'that half hour with him will always be remembered as one of the most beautiful of my life.' Juanita reaped the benefits of a musical home and was the primary organist at 12 years of age, the ward organist for 4 years, and the Sunday School organist for 5 years. Juanita also served as Mutual President, Sunday School teacher, and on the stake Sunday School board. Teacher