By her daughter Thelma Thomas Jackson, as told to Amy Thomas King, one of Lucy's great-grandchildren
- She was very active in the church.
- She was kind, patient, a good listener, a wonderful mother, a wonderful lady—none of us turned out as good as she did!
- She sewed at Woolen Knitting Mills. She met her husband there.
- She had 10 children, 6 of which were girls. The girls were always good friends.
- She always told us, “Always keep yourself looking nice. Wherever you go, look the best you can.”
- She would take Lloyd and me to pick flowers for Ray’s grave and she would tell stories about him. She kept ducks.
- She had heart trouble. She took medication for her heart. She had a stroke in Montana and then had another one 6 months later. That is what she died of. She was 67 when she died. (Thelma was 32.)
For Mrs. Lucy Thomas
June 24, 1950
BISHOP WILLIAM A. HANSEN conducting: “These services will carried out to the wishes of the immediate family.”
DUET by NORMA FLOYD and MERLE SEWELL, accompanied by SARA HUFF
INVOCATION by WILLIAM KNIGHT: “Our Heavenly Father, We have met the capacity of a funeral service. We ask Thee to let Thy spirit be here in rich abundance. We ask Thee to help those who are to speak to us and to sing to us, that they might give words of comfort.
We thank Thee for the privilege of having Sister Thomas here in our midst for a number of years. We thank Thee for the family. Help them and comfort them, that they might be able to live amongst us and help us as they have done. We ask Thee to help them that they may be comforted and be able to understand. Help Brother Thomas, let him have Thy spirit to be with him.
We ask Thee to help us all that we might live the Gospel of Jesus Christ….amen.”
QUARTET by NORMA FLOYD, MERLE SEWELL, BYRON FULLMER, and RICHARD EGBERT, acc. By SARA HUFF
“Rest Now From Care and Sorrow”
LAWRENCE HATCH: My brothers and sisters, I feel it a great honor to be called on by this family to speak at these services, and pray that what I may say here while I’m on me feet will be what they would like me to say.
I have known the Thomas family for some forty years—at first when they lived in the Valview Ward. They homesteaded there. They were there when we went out. My family got quite well acquainted with Brother Ed and Sister Lucy; we learned to love and respect them. They did not remain there too long—some four or five years. They moved away from that community and we felt their loss in that community. I can truthfully say to this family here that though many families moved into that house to occupy it they never took the place of the Thomas family.
They left the valley soon after they moved from the Valview community and were gone from the valley a short while, and they were missed from the valley while they were gone; and it was with rejoicing by their friends when they returned to make their home here.
Brother Ed came to me the other night and asked if I would take part on this service. He asked me to give a little history of the family, which I will do.
Sister Lucy was born in Providence, Utah September 20, 1882, a daughter of Poul and Marie Hansen. She lived here during her childhood. She was married to Richard Edmond Thomas on January 13, 1904 at Logan, Utah. They made their home in Logan until 1905 when they came to Teton Basin to live.
Mrs. Thomas was always active in church work, especially the Relief Society, as I remember it. She was the mother of ten children, nine survive here, having lost one in infancy. She was also a grandmother of thirty-seven grandchildren, a great-grandmother of two. I think that is a great tribute to this fine mother.
The children are Jesse Thomas, Mrs. Irvin Archibald, Paul Thomas, Mrs. DeWitt Fuller, Mrs. Bert Allen, Mrs. Clifford Spencer, Mrs. Lamar Bradley, Mrs. Darrell Jackson, and Lloyd Thomas.
We who know the Thomas family so well feel it is just a little bit beside the point to make mention here of their fine qualities, but I think it is fitting that we do that and do especially mention the fine qualities of their father and their mother. It takes a fine father and a fine mother to rear an exceptionally fine family as this couple have done.
It is hard for one to express sympathy and sorrow to a family at this time of so great a loss; yet perhaps it shouldn’t be called a loss. It is a parting. Parting is a time for sorrow, other than that it is not an occasion for mourning or sorrow.
I have been requested by the family to read a little article by Temple Bailey:
“A LITTLE PARABLE for MOTHER”
The young mother set her foot on the path of life. “Is the way for?”
And the Guide said, “Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.
But the young mother was happy and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children and gathered flowers for them along the way and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them and life was good. And the young mother cried, “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”
Then night came, and storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle and the children said, “Oh, Mother, we are not afraid for you are near, and no harm can come.” And the mother said, “This is better than the brightness of day, for I have taught my children courage.”
And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary and the mother was weary, but at all times she said to the children, “A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed and when they reached the top, they said, “We could not have done it without you, Mother.” And the mother when she lay down that night, looked up at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today I have given them strength.”
And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth—clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled and the mother said, “Look up. Lift your eyes to the Light.” And the children looked and saw above the clouds and Everlasting Glory, and it guided them and brought them beyond the darkness. And that night the mother said, “This is the best day of all for I have shown my children God.”
And the days went on and the weeks and the months and years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was hard, they helped their mother and when the way was rough, they lifted her for she was light as a feather. At last they came to a hill and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide.
And the mother said, “I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.”
And they stood and watched her as she went alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said, “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.”
When I read that, I thought how fitting to this good mother, how through the years she has taught her children all the things that an L.D.S. mother could have taught her children. This mother could have been named “The American Mother” for any year. She was a home mother. Her family came first at all times. You did not see her out very much because she was at home cooking, sewing, and mending, and keeping house for her family. No greater tribute can be paid to a mother.
I would like to say a few words for Brother Ed. He has been a good father. He is, I believe, a good worker, and in my opinion, he has done an especially fine job and much praise to him.
I pray that the Lord will rest His spirit down upon this family, Brother Ed and his children, that they will not feel the passing of this good woman too keenly. It is a temporary parting. While it may seem a lengthy thing to us at this time, it is only a short time until we will join her, until the family will be reunited. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
SPENCER B. LITTLE: My brothers and sisters, as timid as I feel on occasions of this kind, I believe I would have felt slighted today if I hadn’t had this opportunity. If I can control my feelings, having known Sister Thomas as I have, working with her in the Sunday School for so many years and seeing her come down across the flat, as we call it, to Sunday School every Sunday morning she has been able to for so many years. I was talking to a former member of our ward the other day and she said, “Does Sister Thomas still take care of the Sacrament?” She said, “She has been doing that ever since I can remember.” I usually met her at the door and shook hands with her and I would joke a little with her. She liked to tell me about her children. We were quite confidential and it seems to me more like a Mother’s Day. We’ve passed out cards to Sister Thomas for years paying tribute to the mothers.
As Brother Hatch has mentioned, she was a great mother; she thought of her children first. I’ve noticed her grandchildren when they came to Sunday School. If she wasn’t here they’d say, “Let’s go see if Grandma’s coming to Sunday School.” And in a few minutes here came Grandma with the children clinging to her hands.
It is strange that death is such a sad thing as it is when it is so common, the most common thing except life. It is one of the truly great things in life yet is so common. We all know and are just as sure it is coming to us and our families, but still it is sad. We have faith, we have hope, we know that we did not just come here by chance anymore that these flowers found color by chance. The reproduce, color follows color. The same way with our life and death. We all have faith and know that we lived before we came to this life and we don’t know exactly the conditions of how we shall live but that we will live again.
William Jennings Bryant said, “I didn’t mourn, I don’t mourn anymore than thinking it too bad, for I am sure that I will see Thee again.”
I am sure that I shall live again, as sure as I am that I stand here today, but still we can’t help but feel badly when we know that our loved ones are taken from us, even for a short time.
I think we have several speakers today and I don’t feel like I should take more time, but I would like to read a poem from a book by Edgar A. Guest.
Probably it isn’t just proper for this occasion, but I am going to mention it anyhow. When our family were young our children and the Thomas children chummed together until they were married. Jesse used to live with us and work for me, when he was just a boy. He was telling me about going out chickareeing. They didn’t mean any harm. They didn’t get back until about 2:00. He said, “I never felt so ashamed in my life. There was Mother up keeping a hot fire for me. I have never gone chickareeing since.” That was the kind of a mother she was, what kind of a disposition she had.
THE MOTHER WATCH
By Edgar A. Guest
She never closed her eyes in sleep till we were all in bed;
On party nights till we came home she often sat and read.
We little thought about it then, when we were young and gay,
How much the mother worried when we children were away.
We only knew she never slept when we were out at night,
And that she waited just to know that we’d come home all right.
Why, sometimes when we’d stayed away till one or two or three,
It seemed to us that Mother heard the turning of the key;
For always when we stepped inside she’d call and we’d reply,
But we were all too young back then to understand just why.
Until the last one had returned she always keep a light,
For Mother couldn’t sleep until she’d kissed us all good night.
She had to know that we were safe before she went to rest;
She seemed to fear the world might harm the ones she loved the best.
And once she said, “When you are grown to women and to men,
Perhaps I’ll sleep the whole night through; I may be different then.”
And so it seemed that night and day we knew a mother’s care—
That always when we got back home we’d find her waiting there.
Then came the night that we were called to gather round her bed.
“The children all are with you now,” the kindly doctor said.
And in her eyes there gleamed again the old-time tender light
That told she had been waiting just to know we were all right.
She smiled the old-familiar smile, and prayed to God to keep
Us safe from harm throughout the years, and then she went to sleep.
I think her family were all with her at the time she passed away and she could go rest in peace. I thought this poem fitted her life about as well as anything could. I am going to read another one and then I ask the blessing of the Lord on this family, especially on Brother Ed. Occasions of this kind change our whole lives. We have to make readjustments, and I pray that the Lord will bless Ed.
My wife’s father is nearing ninety years old and he intended to come with us today but was ill and unable to come. He taught Sister Thomas when she was just a girl in the grades. He has known here probably longer than anyone living except Brother Hansen and his brother Bill. He asked me to express his love and sorrow to this family.
By Edgar A. Guest
Never a sigh for the cares that she bore for me,
Never a thought of the joys that flew by;
Her one thought that she couldn’t do more for me
Thoughtless and selfish, her master was I.
Oh, the long nights that she came at my call to me!
Oh, the soft touch of her hands on my brow!
Oh, the long years that she gave up her all to me!
Oh, how I yearn for her gentleness now!
Slave to her baby! Yes, that was the way of her,
Counting her greatest of services small;
Words cannot tell what this old heart would say of her,
Mother—the sweetest and fairest of all.
May the Lord bless us all I ask in the name of Jesus, amen.
DUET by ERMA PEACOCK and NAOMI SHEETS, accompanied by SARA HUFF
“That Beautiful Land”
PRESIDENT WILLIAM A. STRONG: If one were to enter this community as a total stranger he couldn’t help but view the sorrow for a loved one who has parted this world and gone home. Everyone seems to be touched. I think it is a grand thing to have such fine memories as we all have of Sister Thomas. She had such a lovely character, one that we would all like to go back to. So, I think it is lovely that these fine grandchildren can have that fine memory of their dear grandmother as I am sure they have of Sister Thomas.
Brother Hatch said that he remembered about forty years of association with these fine people. A little over thirty years ago I became acquainted with Brother and Sister Thomas. I was glad Brother Hatch mentioned Brother Thomas. I think the first recollection I have of him was at the time I lived at Hyrum S. Egbert’s home and Brother Thomas was employed by Bishop Egbert at lambing time. Brother Egbert always relied fully upon the labors of Brother Thomas and he had full confidence in his ability and reliability. He knew that when Brother Thomas was on the job he had no worries concerning the lambs. I’ve enjoyed my friendship with him and with Sister Thomas and their family.
The Lord said multiply and replenish the earth—I think Sister Thomas has lived that commandment well. They have had a large family and she was a mother in deed. She was kind, patient, loving and our Father, I believe, is waiting in Heaven, happy to receive her back into His presence.
I know they lived a good life; she kept the faith—and set an example to us that we shouldn’t give up. I think it is a grand thing that she could pass as she did—quickly and peacefully with her loved ones around her.
There is one thing, or perhaps only the main thing, we come to these services for is for strength to us not for those whose lives are finished. There is nothing more we can do to add or detract from their lives, but it is for us who remain—for them, the family, to take courage and go on.
The song the Saints used to sing as they came across the plains expresses this well, I think. I think it is wonderful how the Latter-day Saints had the courage to go on in spite of their trials and hardships as they did so faithfully. And with them one who was inspired to write this beautiful song “Come, Come Ye Saints”.
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard-‘tis not so, all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward if we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins, fresh courage take, Our Lord will never us forsake
And soon we’ll have this truth to tell-all is well, all is well.
(Indiscernible)…today, and that is where Brother Ed and his family are. They (indiscernible) it. They will go on to the reward which our Father in Heaven has promised each of us if we live worthily.
These things seem hard to bear. What parent is there today who is a true parent, who does not have to go through something that is hard to bear. They are experiences that must be gone through so that we might be able to gain a body of flesh and blood. We must live and fight a good fight, overcoming temptations and evil. There is plenty of evil in the earth and it is up to each of us to make ourselves strong enough to overcome it. So I think it is a great blessing to be here today so that we can resolve within our hearts that we want to do better. We are in the presence of death, the spirit that has just departed this life has just gone home to our eternal Father. I hope that she has a lot of good things to say about her family and all of us it that is here privilege. “So shall it be at the end of the world; the angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Let us all be found among the just.
I don’t think a father gives to his child everything that he wants because it isn’t for his good. We must go through a lot of things in this life, and how grand it will be if we have done our part so that we can go back into the presence of our Father and tell Him and stand before Him knowing that we have done our best; and He will know the same thing. I don’t think there could be a much greater sacrifice than when He gave His only begotten son that He might die so that we could live. The Apostle Paul said that Jesus was a lab without blemish and without spot. The Savior was selected before He came here. The Father knew the Son. He knew that He could trust Him to do the thing He was supposed to do as planned in the Heavens. We know that the Savior died that we might all live, and that it would take away the sting of death, that all mankind might be saved from the grave.
Sister Thomas will rise from the grave when her time comes unless she had some shortcomings and I can’t think she had any. It was her desire to always do better. If we have a desire to turn from our evil, when we know what we should do, and if we can do that then our Father in heaven will forgive us if we will put ourselves where we belong.
“Come unto Me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I believe that with all my heart.
Some of the things we go through do not seem quite right, but when the time comes the Savior will give us the life that we so much desire and so much need. I like to think of Sister Thomas with the words of the Savior before He departed this life, while He was in the flesh speaking those who were a choice people, those who loved Him, those who served Him. When the children of God, his brothers and sisters, are separated He will say to those on the right hand of His Father in Heaven, “ Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungered and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger and ye took me in; Naked and ye clothed me; I was sick and ye visited me; I was in prison and ye came unto me.” And then I think Sister Thomas will ask Him, “When did I do these things for You?” and the Savior will say to her, “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
I like that thought. It is a sure thing that we can’t do anything for the Savior—His life is gone. But we can do things which He might accept of by helping each other.
I have a poem to read by James Whitcomb Riley—I certainly feel the truthfulness of his thoughts. By the way, I am impressed that the Lord inspires the poets as well as the prophets to tell us things.
SHE IS JUST AWAY
By James Whitcomb Riley
I cannot say and I will not say
That she is dead, -- she is just away!
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand
She has wandered into an unknown land,
And left us dreaming how very far
It must needs be, since when lingers there,
And you, O you, who the wildest yearn
For the old-time step and the glad return,
Think of her faring on, as dear
In the love of there as the love of here;
Think of her still as the same, I say:
She is not dead – she is just away.
And when Brother Little read from the verses of Edgar A. Guest I thought this mother stayed at the post to see that everyone was there before she could go to rest, as has been referred to here of Sister Thomas. She never could rest until she knew they were all in and safe. My faith tells me that Sister Thomas is still there to do that same thing today, and I can’t think that Sister Lucy will be able to rest until she feels that her loved ones are all here and all ready to come back into her presence. It is a virtue to love one’s children and friends and want them to do better, and I can’t think that she will be at peace or rest until she knows that her husband and family will return to her and receive her and be with her. I am comforted by my association with her family; they have faith. I sincerely pray that our Father in Heaven will bless them with continued faith and that they will always feel their mother’s love for them, that they may find peace in the days to come, that they may have confidence in the Lord, knowing that He will receive them and love them as His own children; and I pray for God’s choicest blessings on the family and all who are ill, and on us that we might have a desire to follow the Master and His teachings in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
SOLO by RICHARD EGBERT, accompanied by LaRAE EGBERT
PRESIDENT J. CLEVE HANSEN: “It is good to be here today, my brothers and sisters, with this family. We always regret that we have to come together on occasions of this kind.
“When I look into your faces I am sure that this is home to me, and I realize that my dear Aunt Lucy lies here before us, then I almost lose control of my feelings. We are one by one going to our eternal home. Uncle [B}ill tells me that thirteen out of the sixteen older members of our family have passed on.
“We understand, of course, that these things are necessary in this world of mortality, which implies that this a world in which death is necessary and is a part of our existence; and I am sure that our Father in Heaven would have it that way. And, although these things are hard for us to bear, our Father in Heaven did not spare His own son. And as He went into the Garden and prayed to His Father, we all must go into the Garden of Life.
“If we have reconciled ourselves with this thing called death, we must all feel reconciled before our Lord and happy to possess the knowledge that we have concerning the Gospel.
“It seems that occasions of this kind stop us short and cause us to reflect upon the great values of life—those things that are invaluable to our eternal salvation and exaltation. Then it seems to me that in this list of ours we often neglect those things which are really a part of Jesus Christ. We should serve each other, comfort each other and enjoy each other. These things which mean so much to us are often the things which we neglect to do. The last time I was up to visit my family, as Alta and I were leaving the Valley, I said, “We should run up to see Aunt Lucy and Uncle Ed. We don’t know when one of them might not be with us. “ Little did I realize that one of them was going to leave us so soon—one who was always so sweet and dear, like a mother.
“I have been remembering considerable today, recalling some of the experiences I have had in this good ole valley. I recall the days of my childhood—one particular time when I shocked grain with my Uncle Ed—he has always been an ideal to me and I have had a soft spot in my heart for Uncle Ed. I recall that I was trying to get him to sit down and take a rest, but he kept on working and I had to follow along and stand up the bundles, and I remember how glad I was that we hadn’t stopped to rest when it was all finished. I recall a great many experiences we have had with them in our home and in their home. The boys and girls, they have all been dear to me.
“It seems to me that this parting is a part of eternal life. In the Spirit World before we came here there was a parting similar. We had to leave our friends and loved ones then too. It seems to me that the beautiful thing about it all is that through our knowledge before we came here we understand that we would follow certain ways. Through our Patriarchal blessings we know that we covenanted before we came here; we need each other here and according to our association here we develop a greater love, esteem, and affection for each other here, and I am sure according to the principles of the Gospel we shall lose that love and affection when we go into the next world, but it will be continued there. This is a beautiful bond that will remain with the eternal family throughout the world that is to come. Through that we are on the way to immortality and eternal life. All of this is paramount in our lives and it seems to me that in our grief and sorrow that we should be happy for these things, this is not the end, but we shall live again, the eternal progression shall continue. So we should be extremely happy for this. Many people have a very dreary outlook on these things.
“The Indian poet, Tagar, expresses his thoughts thus: “Into this universe and not knowing from whence I came, willy-nilly, growing and now with regret sent along the way—I know not whither willy-nilly going.” And then he goes on is his poem to state that after coming to the end of life we don’t experience the grave—“Ah, painful, sweet this parting is. I can doubt it not that somewhere in the illimitable blue of God’s pure space which men call Heaven, we two shall find each other and begin the infinite life of love. The life came to angels, and the angels mother of the ecstasy and blessedness which through our souls took haven in this world of sin. Yes, find each other—the remotest star of all the galaxy should shine in vain on souls apart.”
“And so the Gospel does give us this knowledge. It does give us these blessings and we should be happy for the blessings it has brought to us.
“Our parents came from the turmoil of Europe to this country. My grandfather and grandmother lost one of their boys coming to Zion. They could not bear to leave the son behind in Denmark. Through the power of the Holy Priesthood Grandfather asked that his spirit be allowed to return to his body, that they might bring him to Zion. The spirit of their son returned and lived until they arrived in Cache Junction. The same spirit has brought us together today as brought them out of that land.
“So we should be especially grateful that we shall have each other again when we realize how few have this to look forward to.
“I was in the Temple sometime ago when a young couple with three or four young children was going through. They had neglected to go to the Temple when they were married and now had come to be sealed to their children. Tears of joy streamed down their faces; they were so happy to know that their children would be theirs forever. This is the blessing that has come to the home of Uncle Ed and Aunt Lucy and they shall have the extreme joy of being together again.
“And so the Gospel has brought us a lot—the Holy Priesthood with its power; eternal family relationship, working with each other in a co-partnership evolving immortality of man. I pray that we might all be happy in this knowledge and that we may remain faithful in the Church. Let us give up those things which are of no value to our eternal progression and live for the Gospel which has been restored for us in these latter days. Let us remember the sacrifices which have been made to make this restoration possible.
“I recall the sacrificing of the Apostle Peter which states as Peter was fleeing Rome that he met the Savior on the Apian Way. “Where goest Thou, Lord?” and Jesus replied, “I am going back to Rome to be crucified.” Peter took it to be a rebuke. Peter offered his life in place of the Savior’s when the Savior predicted that He would be crucified, that his hands would be nailed to the cross. The Savior told him that he would deny him thrice that night,. Peter was not worthy to be crucified as His Lord.
“Aunt Lucy has been faithful. She has been true to her cause. Uncle [B]ill just told me that she had some money placed away in the cupboard for tithing. She has always been faithful in her Church duties. She has rendered a beautiful service here in the Clawson Ward. And so she has lived a beautiful life for all of us to follow. I pray that we might all follow her example.
“I am sure she would say, “Grow strong my husband, my family, and you may stand unshaken where I’ve fought, that I may know the music of my song.”
“May this be the happy lot of Uncle Ed and his good family, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
SOLO by ALTA HANSEN and RICHARD EGBERT, accompanied by JEANINE HANSEN
“Come Unto ME”
BENEDICTION by MARION W. BUTLER: “Our Father in Heaven, at the close of this service we feel grateful unto Thee for the spirit that has been here, for the things that have been said. And we pray, Father in Heaven, that Thy spirit will return home with those who are called to mourn and be with them there. We thank Thee for the words of truth and comfort that we have been given and for the sentiments from the congregation. We thank Thee for the beautiful music, the lovely floral offerings. We ask Thee, our Father in Heaven, to watch over us on the road to the cemetery. Dismiss us now with Thy blessings in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.