Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Irene Carol Thomsen Gardiner Funeral

Eulogy for Carol Thomsen Gardiner
by James T Gardiner
13 April 2019, Cottonwood Heights, Utah

Stan Laurel of Laurel & Hardy fame, and a favorite of Carol's, once said "If anyone shows up at my funeral with a sad face, I'll never speak to him again." With that in mind, I hope to keep my remarks leaning towards the happy, humorous and lighthearted.

Many times memorial services can be somber and sad events. However, in the case of Mom, I believe she would want those of us attending to be happy for her. Her sure testimony of the reality and truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation and life beyond death were as much a part of her life as were living, breathing and eating. She would want us to be happy for a life of service and love, well lived, and loved by her family and friends. She would especially be happy for her reunion with Dad, her father and mother, her dear sisters Gayle and Jeanne, grandparents and cousins who have preceded her in death. I am also sure there was a joyous meeting full of appreciation between my father's first wife, Elaine, and Carol. Elaine is the mother of my 4 sisters (Sandy, Janice, Gayle and Julie) and 3 brothers (Kent, Mark and Jeff). After Mom married Dad she took on the job of raising the 7 kids in her place and in time adding me to the mix. I am definitely grateful to Mom and Dad for that last little bit.

Irene Carol Thomsen was born December 18, 1925 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Clyde Roland Thomsen and Irene Clarkson Thomsen. To not be confused with her mother, she went by her middle name of Carol throughout her life. She was the oldest of 4 children. Her younger siblings are her brother Blaine, who is with us today, and sisters Gayle and Jeanne. She lived in Salt Lake City until she was 11,when the family moved to the Pacific Northwest for work (first to Tacoma, WA & then to Eugene, OR). In 1941 the family moved to Los Angeles shortly before Pearl Harbor. Carol attended Manual Arts High School in south-central Los Angeles and graduated in June 1944. She was a very good student and graduated as a seal bearer of the California Scholarship Federation indicating multiple semesters of high grades.

Mom was always very outgoing and reached out to other girls to be friends, especially those who may not have been accepted by others. The following story illustrates just what kind of friend Carol could be; and I did not put together all of the details of this story until just a few years ago. Kris & I were married in 1986 some 42 years after Mom graduated from high school. At our reception Mom was very excited to introduce us to one of her best friends from high school, June Shimamoto and her husband George. Mom & June had kept in touch since high school and not only that. Mom kept in touch with June while June and her family, who were Japanese, were forced into internment at Manzanar during World War II. Chatting about this in 2017, mom was still irked about the internment of her friend June, who was a fourth generation citizen of the United States. Mom's friendly attributes and her ability to remember things about people endeared her to many throughout her life.

From the time of her high school graduation until 1950 she worked locally at various jobs in Los Angeles and also during this time attended BYU from September 1945 through December 1946. One of the more interesting jobs I found that she worked during this period was for 2 months at the Los Angeles

Federal Reserve redeeming war bonds. The other jobs she worked at in Los Angeles included Bank of America at Wilshire and Western; Lumbermens Mutual Insurance on Wilshire Blvd, and the Barker Brothers furniture store at 7th and Flower in downtown.

In 1950, at the age of 24, Carol was called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Southwest Mission, speaking Spanish. She loved her mission and served in El Paso, and Houston, TX & Santa Fe NM during the 2 years she served until her release in 1952. She loved working with the people in her mission and loved, loved, loved speaking Spanish, although she always felt her Spanish was very lacking. For many years in Glendale Second Ward, Rosa Luyo, who was from Lima, Perú, was her visiting teacher and would make Mom practice her Spanish with her. After my mission to Argentina, I found that Sister Luyo's Spanish was some of the most beautiful and perfect Spanish I had ever heard. So Mom could not have had a better partner to practice with. And now I have to figure out how to slip a little Spanish into her eulogy.
After her mission in the 1950's, Mom worked for several years in the Los Angeles area, including a period of time for Rose Marie Reid who was a latter-day saint and her company manufactured modest women's swimwear. Also in the 50's she was pleased to see her siblings marry and begin their families. She loved being an aunt to her increasing number of nieces and nephews. While I was picking through some notes and letters she had kept, I found a heartbreaking note to herself written in 1959, when she was 33,(& in a mix of English & Spanish I might add) resigning herself to the likelihood of never marrying but enjoying the opportunities to love her nieces and nephews and to serve others when and where possible.

In 1958, she returned to college at San Jose State University and earned a bachelors degree in Occupational Therapy in June 1960. With her degree she was employed by Mingay School in Burbank, CA working with severely handicapped children; a job she really enjoyed.

But something odd happened along the path of a career in occupational therapy and resigning herself to not ever marrying. After Elaine passed away in August 1960, dad and my 7 siblings were living in the old Glendale West Ward and so was Carol's brother, Blaine, and his family. Sometime after the passing of Elaine, Blaine invited Dad to meet Carol. I do not know the time line of how things developed, but I do know that by late summer of 1961 Dad had proposed to Carol.

Dad and Mom married in the Los Angeles Temple on October 7, 1961.Carol was 35. Her long wait to be married was over. Mom told me several times that they went on their honeymoon, came home to the 7 kids and never stopped working and serving. Needless to say, a new mom taking over a family of 7 children ranging in age from 2 to 15 was an experience fraught with challenges and the need for love, understanding, compassion and forgiveness. With marriage, Mom moved into the family home at 1366 Cleveland Road in Glendale, California and lived there for the next 53 years. During that time she was an active member of the Glendale West Ward and after the ward split in 1970, the Glendale 2nd Ward.
Dad passed away in June 2007. Mom continued to live in Glendale until June 2014. At that time she moved to Sunrise Assisted Living in Sandy, Utah until she passed away this past Monday, April 8, 2019, at the age of 93.

I was born on January 28, 1964 fulfilling mom's dream of bearing children. Mom told me many times that I was born during a heat wave. Given the fact that I was born in January, I didn't quite believe her. When I was in college, I did a little non-Google assisted research (which means I had to look it up in a book) and found that the high temperature for Burbank (just west of Glendale) on the day I was born was 68 degrees F. Some heat wave! While I was still in college I confronted her with that tidbit of info, her response was "Well, it was hot to me!" Yeah, it's a good thing we hire college graduates while they still know everything.

I had a little fun with Mom a while back and asked her a series of questions about her that I thought I knew the answers to. For the most part her answers aligned with mine, but she surprised me on a few.
A few of her favorite things in life were:

1. Service to her family in general and specifically cooking for a large group of kids. Mom was a great cook. I remember there were definitely some favorite meals on a regular basis: Pot roast or chicken after church, spaghetti, tacos, and always in large quantities. Sunday dinner always included dessert. Mom's favorite food was dessert. Her favorite dessert was chocolate ice cream. And as I have been reminded many times over the years, her favorite candy was marzipan dipped in dark chocolate. I know my father loved Mom's cooking. Dad along with many others, loved Mom's homemade whole wheat bread. Dad always said Mom could cook for an army and I guess we were. Just a funny side note on this one. As more and more of my siblings moved out, Mom never quite incorporated the idea of reducing the amount of food to be prepared based on the number still at home. It may be that I just ate too much anyway as a teenager. But I remember coming home from my job at the meat market when I was in high school and mom had prepared a huge stock pot of spaghetti...for just Dad, Mom and me. As I recall, the leftovers lasted for days.
2. Service in the church. Of all her callings she loved being a secretary to various presidencies because as she would say, it gave her a chance to meet and get to know everyone. To say mom was a people person is an absurd understatement.
3. Mom always enjoyed good movies and good humor. Her favorite movies and stage plays tended to be well written and well acted dramas and musicals. A few of her favorite actors were Ronald Coleman and Jeannette McDonald. She had a good sense of humor and loved telling me funny stories her father had shared with her.
4. One thing she did not like was rock n roll. Too bad, because from my earliest memories (circa 1966 at age 2) there was always great rock n roll being played in the house, especially by my brothers and me. Between the four of us and over a space of more than 20 years we listened to the whole alphabet of rock from the Association, the Alan Parsons Project and AC/DC to Zappa, Zevon and ZZ Top...and she didn't like any of it...and she shared that opinion with me often. I remember her a few times finishing her complaint with "And I just can't stand Jethro Tull! And every one of you boys loved that music."(I think we still do. By the way she was not amused by my response that I thought my nickname of JT was short for Jethro Tull.) No, Mom liked classical music. She enjoyed Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin, especially Chopin's solo piano works. She also enjoyed smoother, easy listening music, and showtunes from musicals and of course the hymns of the church. I once asked her what her favorite hymn was and she said (hopefully I get the cadence of her answer right) "How Firm a Foundation. No, I Know that my Redeemer Lives. No. All of them." I was not surprised by the answer. Mom loved to sing the hymns of the church. She enjoyed singing in the ward choir for not just years but decades. As an alto, she always enjoyed an interesting alto part. A few choice memories of her time in choirs was to be a part of the 1000 voice choir at the southern California area conference with President Kimball at the Rose Bowl in May 1980. She also looked back with fondness of singing in a combined Glendale 2nd &4th Ward Choir under the direction of Mack Wilberg, who now directs the Tabernacle Choir. Brother Wilberg was pursuing his masters degree and PhD at USC while living in Glendale 4th Ward and was able to use the 2nd and 4th ward choirs for many of his projects. And yes, the choir was really good under his direction.
  1. I once asked her if she had any chores she didn't like. Her answer was classic Mom: No but my favorite chore was hanging laundry on the clothes lines in the backyard and taking down the dry laundry because it gave her a chance to be outside for a few minutes.
  2. Mom also loved to sew. At times she made clothes for the family. From my perspective, she liked it a little too much, because I still have just terrible memories of being in fabric stores when I was really little and thinking I was going to die from being tortured by having to be in a boring cloth store. This torture was repeated many times.
  3. I knew she was never that keen about southern California itself, but I asked her if there was anything she loved about where she spent her married years and raised her family. She said that came to appreciate the fact that the church was very strong in southern California and the Glendale Stake and that Glendale was green year round.
  4. I know she always enjoyed visiting with family. When I was growing up, her mother and sisters all lived nearby in the Los Angeles area and they would visit together often. As a kid, I remember how happy mom would be after visits with her mother, siblings, and especially her nieces and nephews. For years, Mom and Jeanne and Gayle would send birthday cards teasing each other about how old they were all getting to be.
  5. One last thing I know mom enjoyed was getting a treat when we were out doing errands or shopping with her. A trip to Sears in downtown Glendale usually meant at least popcorn from the candy counter in the basement of the store or even better was a hot corned beef on rye from Billy's delicatessen across the street. Billy's isn't there anymore and I have never found a better corned beef on rye, and believe me I have tried. I'm not sure Dad ever knew about the trips to Billy's. Many Saturday afternoons were spent shopping with Mom at the Sav-on Drug store in the Golden Mall in Burbank. Mom was always good for an ice cream cone and/or candy from Sav-on.
  6. But as I mentioned at the beginning of this list her two favorite things in life were her family and the church. I know she loved working side by side with dad to raise and love us 8 kids, seeing the kids grow up, the boys serve missions, all of us marry and have families of our own. Mom loved all of her 35 grandchildren and the ever-increasing number of great- grandchildren. She also loved the Savior and His Church through her study, attendance, activity and worship.
Some years ago I was asked in our ward in Covina to speak on Father’s Day. I was given this assignment by the bishop 2 minutes before the meeting started because one of the assigned speakers was not able to be there. (The bishop could get away with this with me since I had been his counselor for three years and had been released about 6 months prior.)

When I brainstormed about what to say that Father’s Day, the first thing that popped into my head was a scripture that described my dad, D&C 107:99 which reads: "Wherefore, now let every man learn
his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence." Given time to think about this, I think this scripture also applies equally to my mother. Both of my parents were very hard working; dedicated to the church and family; and always sought to do their duty no matter what it was or how inconvenient it was. 
I have often thought about how my mother and father dealt with the challenges early in their marriage. My mother told me throughout my life to always trust in the Lord that things will work out, no matter how challenging things are. By her faith and actions she exemplified this principle. She constantly did her best to deal with things but always relied on the Lord that his wisdom and guidance would be there for her. She never waivered from this very deeply held faith. She strove to do her part by living the commandments, fulfilling her callings, and setting an example for others; and she had faith that the Lord will hold true to His promises. The old saying of “Pray as though everything depended on the Lord and work as though everything depended on you” was certainly a principle my mother and father both lived by.

Many times in my life she has felt the need to remind me to put things in the Lord’s hands. Have her teaching moments always been perfect for me? No. There are times when a teenage boy does not want to have scriptures quoted to him at will. But overall, she was very effective in teaching right and wrong, faith, forgiveness, mercy, kindness and compassion. She taught me to pray and she instilled in me to have faith in the Lord and his wisdom for me, if I would just listen.

Both my mother and father loved to read, study and learn new things. Both of my parents instilled in us a love of the same. My mother not only encouraged but expected our best efforts in school, and if a grade slipped, we heard about it. Mom was very clear about her expectations for all of us. Certain things were most important. She expected all of the 4 boys to serve missions; we all did. She expected us to marry good people; we all did. She expected us to be honest, true, chaste, benevolent and every other part of the 13th article of faith. She made the effort every day to set an example, teach and encourage us to live the gospel and to live life in the way she thought best.

I remember when I was 6 years old, in 1970, and found out that my dad had not served a mission. I asked my mom if I had to serve a mission. Her answer was a very direct yes. She explained that my father did not serve due to being drafted into the Navy during WWII. However, my mom served in the Spanish American Mission from 1950 to 1952. At the time I asked the question, my brother Kent had finished his mission to England, and Mark was then serving in Canada. She told me I should plan on doing the same and she was sure Jeff would serve a mission as well. Jeff was called to serve a mission to Florida when he turned 19. She was thrilled when I received my call in 1983 to Córdoba Argentina, especially since I would be speaking Spanish as she did on her mission and also serving in the same country where her brother Blaine served. My mother was always very friendly and outgoing. She always loved meeting people, making new friends and talking with them. She was very good at not only remembering people's names but also remembering a few things about them. I have seen a few occasions where she met up with someone she had only met once before, sometimes a year or two prior and in talking to them she would remember things the other person did not remember sharing with her but were nonetheless accurate memories of their prior conversations. Over the years, many people have told me how much they love my mom and the fact she remembered so much about them.

My mother, by necessity, made an art form of remembering birthdays. Sometime in the early 1980's she created and maintained a poster sized calendar in our breakfast nook of all the birthdays in our family including my grandparents (even the ones who had already passed on) dad’s siblings and spouses, mom’s siblings and spouses, all of the kids in our family, all of my parent’s grand kids, the great grandkids when they came along, and all of my cousins. There were a lot of names. Then she started adding close friends. As I recall, by the time she took down the calendar, the biggest blank gap with no birthdays listed was only 3 days.
My mother always loved people, especially family, and there were a lot of people to love. At a Thomsen family get-together at Aunt Jeanne’s in 1999, one of my cousins came up to my folks and said “Aunt Carol, I love to see you, because you never change. You have always been the same friendly, warm Aunt Carol that I remember from when I was a little girl."

Mom's care and concern for all of her children was always in the forefront. My mother's concern for me was driven home in an unexpected way. In the summer of 1985 I had been home from my mission for about 6 months and was home from BYU to work for the summer. My then future wife, Kris, and I had gone on several dates when we decided to go to Disneyland one Saturday. I let my folks know that we would probably stay at Disneyland until around midnight so I would be getting home very late. After driving her home in the west San Fernando Valley, I got back to Glendale somewhere between 1:30 and 2 am. Our house in Glendale sat on a corner; so as you drove up the street from the south due to the slope of the street you could see our back porch. In the darkness lit only by street lights, as I was driving towards the house, there was something on the back porch and just as I am about to pull in the driveway, I can see that it’s Mom. I thought “Oh, no she can’t sleep. I told her I would be late.” “Mom,” I said as I got out of the car, “What are you doing up? I told you I would be late. You don’t need to worry so much.” Then with the tasteless bravado of a 21 year old I added “Somehow I managed to keep myself alive when I was 6000 miles away from home in Argentina.” Her reply “You don’t know how many sleepless nights I had then either.” Followed by “JT, a mother never stops worrying about her kids.” Well that kind of put a damper on things, but I never forgot her response and have found what she said to be a very true statement.

She always looked at things from the vantage point of love and concern for her children and their welfare. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with a mother and father who loved all 8
of us kids. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with a mother and fatherwho were dedicated in every way to living righteous lives and teaching their children what they held most dear. From many conversations with her through her life, I know her testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ was the knowledge that she held more dear than anything else. I know without a doubt that she had a testimony of the reality of our loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. She also had a firm testimony of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ upon the earth today, led by a prophet who holds all the keys of the priesthood. That testimony has burned within her all her life; and that testimony was never far from any conversation I have ever had with her. She knew it to be true. She loved it and lived it.

So, Mom, as we celebrate your life and a joyous reunion with Dad, we are sad to see you go and will miss you, and your love, and your concern for all of us. And as the Argentine missionaries would bid us North American missionaries goodbye as they left for home knowing we would likely never see each other again in this life, "¡Hasta el reino celestial! " Until the celestial kingdom! (Phew! Got the Spanish in there.) I share these thoughts and her testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Irene Carol Thomsen Gardiner
Funeral Talk by Sandra Gardiner Blunck
April 13, 2019

Thank you for being here today to remember Irene Carol Thomsen Gardiner. My name is Sandra Gardiner Blunck. I first became acquainted with Carol when I was 13 years old.

JT gave you a history of how that came about. I will add a few things. When Carol was 23 years old she left to serve a Spanish-American Mission, with headquarters in E1 Paso, Texas. Carol said her mission was “a great pleasure in all respects.”

After her mission, Carol worked at different jobs, but finally decided she would like to become an Occupational Therapist. She attended San Jose State College and after receiving her credentials she worked for the Mingay School for handicapped children in North Hollywood.
However, Carol’s goal in life was not to be a therapist. She once said told me that when she was young her only goal was to be married. She said, “I wanted a man with lots of kids because otherwise I didn’t think we would have anything to talk about . . . .” In the spring of 1961 Blaine, Carol’s brother, decided to introduce JH, my dad, to Carol. On their very first meeting at Carol’s home in Inglewood, she walked into the room where my Dad sat and she said, “I knew immediately he was the one I would marry.”

With marriage to my dad in October of 1961, came seven children. Kent was 15; I was 13 so she had two teenagers in junior high school. Mark, Janice, Gayle and Jeff were in elementary school and Julie was 2 and a preschooler. Carol felt that as a successful and very popular aunt, it wouldn’t be a problem to care for her new family. Later she realized, she “hadn’t thought this thing through.”

When Dad and Carol came back from their honeymoon to 1366 Cleveland Rd, Carol moved in with us. Dad was working at NBC, the National Broadcasting Company, in Burbank on the first shift from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.  That meant he wasn’t home at dinnertime or in the evenings to help with homework or put kids to bed. I remember the first time sitting down for dinner with the seven of us kids around the dining room table and Carol on one end and no dad. It was very quiet because we didn’t know what to say. She was a stranger to us and we were strangers to her. This situation went on for a while before Dad was back working a day shift and home for dinner and evenings.

At 13, as I sat at that dinner table, I wondered what kind of person Carol was and why would she marry someone with 7 children.  This is what have I learned over time.

First, I learned that both Dad and Carol felt that the children’s lives should be disrupted as little as possible with her arrival so we continued in school, church, scouting, Primary, Mutual, family activities and vacations that we were accustomed to.

This meant Carol’s life was totally disrupted. She soon quit working at Mingay School and her days were full of childcare, household chores, and cooking. Julie was home all day and Jeff was five and in kindergarten, so he came home at lunchtime. There were clothes to be washed and wash to hang out on the clotheslines. We had a clothes dryer, but Carol liked to hang the clothes outside.  She said, “The dryer is a great invention but so is fresh air. I like the smell of fresh sheets dried on the line—the eternal laundry. Lots of things have changed with all the conveniences now available. I like the old fashioned days.”

Then there was the cooking and dishes. We had a dishwasher, but it was not an under the sink model like we have today, but one that rolled around in the kitchen and you hooked it to the kitchen faucet and put the drain into the sink. Carol didn’t think much of it and so we washed dishes by hand. I remember doing many dishes with Kent at the kitchen sink. When we had big dinners with family or friends, all the women and older girls gathered in the kitchen to wash and dry the dishes. It was a time to visit, talk, and work together. I soon learned that Carol could talk to anyone.

Kent started early morning seminary the year Carol arrived and I did two years later. Mother Carol would get up and fix us a hot breakfast and it would be on the table waiting for us to eat before we left, along with the lunch she had prepared.

In 1964 we were blessed with the arrival of JT.  With eight children now at home and ten mouths to feed, we discovered that Carol was a great cook. I remember the delicious meatloaves, Swiss steaks, chili beans, potato salads and lots of desserts. The meals were not simple and always included at least one or two vegetables and a salad of some type. Carol introduced foods we had never tried like custards, rice pudding and scrambled eggs with salsa. When I brought my husband, Ron, to visit my family, Carol served rice pudding for breakfast and he loved it. It is still his favorite food.

Carol loved to bake bread and did so for almost 50 years! She made a wonderful, mostly whole grain bread, always grinding her own wheat. It was delicious for breakfast with whipped honey.

When I got home from school, one of the things I enjoyed was finding mother Carol in her kitchen and I would pull up a stool or a chair and sit down and talk with her. After sharing the highlights of my day, I would be off to play or do homework.

One time in the early years, Carol got upset at something and stormed out thinking someone would come after her. She walked all the way to Brand Park (about ¾ mile) when she realized no one was coming after her, so calmed down and she went back.  When times were tough, I learned she didn’t quit.

I was married 8 years after Carol came and continued to learn about what Carol valued in life. As each of the children married, our spouses became part of the family.  She would ask me, “How is Ron doing?  Are you taking good care of him?” I learned that she loved my spouse too.

When the grandchildren came, she loved them, fed them, and cared for them. John Reese says she was an amazing grandmother to his children, babysitting them and fixing them meals.  She watched Kent’s children for a couple of vacations they took.  Ron and I took our children a half dozen times a year to visit and she took care of them as we attended the LA temple.

She once said, “The kids grew up and the house was empty and then the grandkids started coming. So that was fun, I loved that. The grandkids grew up and I didn’t see them as often. I liked having the kids in the home and the grandkids and great grandkids. Every time the kids got married I thought what is taking you so long (to have children). I liked to see them all. Sometimes I think it was better when we lived in family groups because you knew the grandkids better.”  Carol loved children.

Carol also loved my Dad. She fed him well—perhaps to well—and cared for him. They worked together caring and rearing their family and serving in the church. When all the kids were gone, she and Dad served at the family history center, doing temple work and serving others.

One of the things, that both mother Carol and I loved, were plants—especially roses. She had a rose garden in the front courtyard of our home with big, beautiful and wonderful smelling tea roses.
In December of 1999 I gave her a Double Delight rose bush for her birthday that I ordered bare root from Jackson and Perkins. Whenever I went to visit her after that, she showed me the beautiful blossoms on her Double Delight bush.  Every letter and e-mail she sent she reported on it.  It was one of the best gifts I ever gave her because it brought so much joy to the receiver and the giver—it was a double delight. 

The years went by and Carol’s ability to get around decreased and she entered assisted care in Sunrise.  She thanked everyone for everything they did for her. She was cheerful, positive and the staff loved caring for her. On the night of August 23, 2018, she fell onto her walker and seriously injured herself. In the hospital a doctor stitched up her head and arms. When she woke up in the morning they offered her pain medication and she refused saying she was in no pain.  Later that day she was transferred back to her room at Sunrise. As they prepared to transfer her from the cot to her bed, using a sheet, they warned her that it might be very uncomfortable. She responded, “Oh I’m looking forward to it.  I get to take a ride.” When in her bed she said,  “Thanks, that really was fun.”  Since that time she has been confined to her bed. Her positive attitude and cheerful wit continued.
So after all I these years, I asked myself what I have learned about mother Carol and why would she marry someone with seven children. The first thing I know is that she had a firm testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and she understood the eternal nature of families—no matter how you became a family. I believe it was because of her love for God, that she felt being a wife and mother and creating a loving family were the greatest things a woman can do in life. I believe she was right. Her amazing example of faith, sacrifice and service has influenced everyone that knew her. Thank you, Mother. You are loved and cherished by your family!