On Monday, May 18, 2020, we lost our angel mother. She experienced no pain nor suffering, for which we are very thankful. Her children held her hands before and after her last breath, comforted by the thought that even as she slipped away from them, she was greeted by loved ones on the other side. For more than a decade, Eunice had endured the progressive effects of Alzheimer’s disease. These past months, the very few memories that remained were of her parents and childhood. Her passing is a sweet release. Our hearts are drawn out in gratitude for our beloved Redeemer who opened the way for each of us to live again. Truly, "the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ."
Eunice Taylor Greaves was born at home on Saturday, January 7, 1933 in Harpurhey, Manchester, England. Her devoted parents were David Taylor and Annie Edgerton Taylor. Although Eunice grew up as an only child, she was David and Annie’s second born. Jean, their first born, contracted measles and died of meningitis as a baby. Eunice was born two months premature and weighed about three pounds. She was wrapped in cotton wool, incubated in the oven and fed through a small tube, which she described as being similar to an old fountain pen.
Because of Eunice’s frailty, and likely because her parents had already lost one child, they often hovered over her. She admits that through her youth, she often felt overprotected. Eunice enjoyed a wonderful childhood and loved her parents dearly. She had wonderful memories of family time at home, in her community and on holiday in Blackpool. Her mother taught her to knit when she was five years old and that was a craft she continued until the dementia finally robbed her of the ability to follow her patterns. Anyone who knew her was likely a recipient of a piece of her beautiful handiwork. So many blessing blankets and baby sweaters. She loved to give! Her parents also enrolled her in swimming and piano lessons.
Eunice had firsthand experience with air raids during the war. She was about eight years old when Germany began dropping bombs on England. One day, Eunice was in the schoolyard alone. The rest of the children had gone home for lunch, but Eunice had brought a sack lunch that day. After eating, her teacher sent her outside with her hula hoop. Hearing a loud noise, Eunice looked up to see many airplanes in the sky, one of which swooped down and began firing on the school. She fell to the ground as shattered glass from the windows and shrapnel landed all around her. She recalls the teacher running out and grabbing her, bringing her into the school and getting under a desk. Evidently her classroom had a pet kitty because she recalls landing in its bowl of milk. One of the bombs they dropped that day landed in the little village of Rhodes where she lived. Fortunately, it had not gone off. The area was roped off and the bomb was diffused. Eunice did not like having to carry her gas mask everywhere she went, but gas mask drills were conducted regularly at school and students were reprimanded if they did not have one with them. Eunice’s other war time memories included blackouts, rationing, coupon books, doodle-bug bombs and queuing up for Coke. She never said how her family celebrated the end of the war, but she was likely overjoyed to be forever rid of her gas mask.
When Eunice turned eleven, she passed the exams which allowed her to enter grammar school. She hoped to go to the school in Middleton near her home, but her parents did not want her to attend a co-ed school. She was enrolled in Stand Grammar School for Girls in Whitefield. This meant four years of riding a bus and a train, followed by quite a walk to get to school. Thankfully, during the warmer months, Eunice was allowed to ride her bicycle to school, despite the distance. Cutting through one of the parks shortened the ride and she enjoyed the exercise. Evenings at home were spent listening to programs on the radio before bed. On the weekends, they also enjoyed sing-a-longs and boardgames. Because Eunice did not have friends that lived nearby, she and her mom did almost everything together. Her dad was fourteen years older than her mom. He suffered from angina and had been somewhat crippled by polio. Still, he always went with them on Blackpool holidays and made it a point to attend all of Eunice’s performances. Eunice and her mother were very involved in the Methodist Church. In addition to regular services, they sang in the choir. Eunice was often asked to be the soloist. She had a beautiful voice and always joined the choir wherever she lived. Eunice also starred in many community plays. In Spring 1949, Eunice graduated from the grammar school (England’s equivalent of high school) and entered the workforce, first in the office of the local cotton mill and then at a mail order company.
In 1952, at age 19, Eunice attended Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Pwllheli, North Wales. This was her first time on holiday without her parents. While there, her friends dared her to enter the Miss Pwllheli Pageant and to her surprise, she won the title. It was at this camp that she met a handsome, charming young man named Jack. At the end of the week, the two exchanged addresses and promised to share pictures with one another. Evidently, Eunice’s boyfriend from church was not too happy when he learned from his sister that Eunice had spent a lot of time with Jack at the camp. He still came over after church the following Sunday, as he usually did, for Sunday dinner. Shortly after dinner, there was a knock on the door. There stood Jack. Eunice knew he had come a long way and felt she had to invite him in. The boyfriend did not stick around long. Eunice and Jack began dating soon after. It was during their courtship that Jack began affectionately referring to Eunice as his “Nuny Tater.”
Eunice married Jack in August 1954 in a beautiful little church in Rhodes, Middleton. They had a fancy reception at the Heaton Park Hotel and have many beautiful pictures commemorating their special day. Their first home was at 19 Fox Street in Hollinwood, Oldham. Eunice was working as a wage clerk at the local cigarette factory and helped Jack get hired on. Their daughter, Susan was born in 1955 and son, Malcolm in 1959, just after Eunice’s 26th birthday. When missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints knocked on their door in February 1960, Eunice welcomed them in. From her childhood, she had attended Sunday School and enjoyed the scriptures. She wanted the same experience for her own children and had been thinking about that recently. Jack was not at home, so an appointment was made for them to return the following evening. Despite a terrible storm, the missionaries, described in her journal as drenched rats, kept the appointment. It was during that first lesson that Eunice felt confident that the Church was true.
Eunice and Jack were baptized on May 21, 1960. They were sealed to each other and to their children, in the London Temple in 1961. No longer feeling comfortable working in a cigarette factory, they pondered their next step and seriously considered a move to America. In February 1962, Elder Horrocks’ parents agreed to sponsor the family's move to America. Verle and Leola Horrocks lived in Blackfoot, Idaho. Eunice, Jack and the children departed via passenger ship from England on March 9, 1962, landing in New York on March 18. From there they traveled by train to Pocatello, Idaho arriving on March 20. They lived in Blackfoot for a short while and then made another move. This time to Hemet, California. They rented a small home on Buena Vista Avenue and would live in several more rentals before being able to purchase a home. Their first year or two in the States proved more difficult than joyful. There were more roadblocks than open doors. Fortunately, they stayed afloat because of their love and their faith.
Eunice was very confident in the things that she did well like singing, knitting and bookkeeping. On the other hand, she was very nervous when she had to tackle tasks or situations outside her comfort zone. Regardless of her fears, she never hesitated to try. Her first job in Hemet was as the bookkeeper for a laundry service. Notwithstanding her excellent job skills, managing currency that was still quite foreign to her threw her into a bit of a tailspin and ultimately resulted in a nervous breakdown. In her journal she recounts that the doctor prescribed rest and a peanut butter and banana sandwich once daily. Eunice may not have been a “go getter” but she was certainly no “quitter.” She relentlessly pushed herself to succeed. Eunice was excellent at encouraging her husband and her children to succeed as well. She was a one-woman cheer squad. Eunice’s capacity to encourage, support and love extended outside the walls of her home. She was genuinely interested in everyone around her. She loved others and they loved her.
In May 1968 Eunice’s “green card” became obsolete when she was sworn in as citizen of the United States of America. Her son, David Austin Greaves, was born in 1969. About this same time, Eunice went to work for the dental group, Duffin, Duffin and Lee. She kept their books for eighteen years. Before computers came to be, ledgers were the order of the day. Eunice was a meticulous record keeper, always balancing every account to the penny. Years later, once computers became a household item, it was Eunice (and not Jack) that braved the world of technology. She researched places and events for family history, read and answered emails and ventured into online banking and shopping. Eunice loved the role of wife and mother and if she minded leaving home and hearth to work every day, no one would ever have known. Eunice was not one to complain. She lived on the bright side.
Not long after David finished treatments for childhood leukemia, Eunice and Jack received a great blessing in their lives, another son, Timothy Paul Martin. Paul was David’s age and a friend from school. He had really taken a liking to David and had worried when he was not in school for a long time. Paul's grandmother brought him to visit David and that was the beginning of a relationship that literally lasted a lifetime. Paul, desperately in need of a stable family environment, moved into the Greaves home shortly after that. Eunice loved him as her own and Paul loved her equally.
In the early 1980's, Eunice had the great privilege of having her mother, Annie, come to live with her and her family following the death of Eunice’s father. By that date, mother and daughter had been separated by the great Atlantic for almost two decades. Two wonderful friends reunited. Such a blessing for them both. Annie lived for another eight years.
In 1989, Eunice and her husband relocated to St. George, Utah. She was in her mid-fifties by then and though she tried to find work in an office, nothing panned out. She went to work at Walmart for a short while, but her assignment in the housewares department was quite physically demanding and her husband did not want her to have to work that hard. Eunice had a history of blood clots
Eunice was gracious, gentle, selfless, tolerant, loyal, pure hearted and fun loving that slowed her down several times in her life and she suffered from allergies on occasion, but for the most part, she was healthy and always up for the next adventure. Eunice had a pure heart. She was always kind, forgiving and ready to lend a hand. Hers was a life of service. She served her husband, her children, her grandchildren, her neighbors and her work and church associates. To her children’s recollection, she never raised her voice in anger. She was not judgmental. She was not prideful. She was happy, optimistic and believing.
Due to a series of unfortunate events in St George, Eunice and her husband joined Susan and Don in Iowa for a brief period. Loved and missed by some dear friends in St George, one of them found a way to bring them back. Eunice and Jack became the caregivers for sweet Eudora, and her family in turn provided them with room and board and a small stipend. By the time Eudora passed, Eunice and Jack were old enough to receive their Social Security and Jack sold Medicare supplements to make up the difference. Eunice thrived in her St. George community. She volunteered at the senior center, faithfully swam laps in the pool at Vista Ridge, played the piano, taught primary, gave and organized compassionate service, baked delicious goods, entertained guests and supported Jack in his every endeavor. During the summers, many of their grandchildren visited for a week or two at a time. Eunice let them plan the menu and calendar the week’s activities, which they loved. Their two oldest grandsons each enrolled at Dixie College for a year before their missions and lived in their home. They teased Eunice relentlessly, tickled her feet which drove her to tears of laughter and always praised her for her beauty queen title and graduate status. Eunice was always a fun-loving and gracious hostess.
Eunice and Jack continued to travel north, south, and across the country to visit their children and grandchildren whenever they could. Jack would drive and Eunice would sit in the back seat with her knitting and her beloved Pomeranian, Benji. During those St George years they also traveled to visit friends in other parts of the country and went on amazing adventures to England, the Bahamas, Cancun and on a cruise from Long Beach to Vancouver, Canada with Malcolm, Melanie and family.
At first, Eunice’s “forgetfulness” was brushed off as commonplace. After all, even non-seniors are known to have “senior moments.” As her children, we saw it more when we looked back than we did in the moment. Slowly, Jack took on one responsibility after another and exercised as much patience as was possible when Eunice, unknowingly, repeated herself endlessly. By 2016 Jack’s health had deteriorated dramatically and a move to Northern Utah to be with family became a necessity. Grands and greats loved to visit and share their endless supply of hugs and kisses. Eunice always greeted them with kind words and a warm smile. Eunice had a beautiful smile and a fantastic laugh. Their new ward family in Clinton welcomed them with open arms. Eunice could no longer remember anyone she met or anything she did, but loving, new friends still came to visit, sent heartfelt messages and delivered beautiful flowers and sweet treats regularly.
On August 7, 2019 Eunice and Jack celebrated their 65th and last anniversary on this earth with a simple lunch. By that date, Jack could not speak to her or even hold her hand. Eunice gave him a kiss and told him she loved him. Minutes after leaving, she did not remember anything about the occasion. Eunice buried her beloved Jack last November. A few days later she told us that Jack had spent the morning with her. On that occasion he told her that the next time he came, he would be taking her somewhere special. On May 18, 2020, he kept that promise. Now, with memories fully restored, her greater adventures await.
Eunice was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Stott Greaves (1933-2019), her father, David Taylor (1892-1979), her mother, Annie Edgerton Taylor (1906-1988), her sister, Jean Taylor (1931-1932), a granddaughter, Lily Martin (2008-2008), a grandson by marriage, James Shurtz (1989-2016) and a great-grandson, Canova Kyle Hamblin (2019-2019). She is survived by her four children and their spouses: Don and Susan Canova of Clinton, Utah; Malcolm and Melanie Greaves of Aubrey, Texas; David and Joydel Greaves of Layton, Utah and Paul and Eva Martin of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Also surviving are the following grandchildren and their spouses, Nathan and Joni Canova, Travis and Hayley Canova, Lindsay and Kyle Hamblin, McKenna and Gage Crabtree, Sierra and Mike Coombs, Janae and Dax LeBaron, Cassidy and Coleman Judd, Chelsea and Kyle Wall, Hayley and Taylor Jensen, Kalle and David Hawks, Kelcee Greaves, Jasmine Greaves, London Greaves, Raechel and Rusty Palmer, Hannah and Osman Martinez, Ezra Martin, Jacob Martin, Brigham Martin, Heber Martin, Elizabeth Martin and thirty-six great-grandchildren.
We are grateful for the loving nurses, therapists, activities department and CNAs at Rocky Mountain Care Center of Clearfield who cared for Eunice during the months that she and Jack lived there together. We also thank the great CNAs, activities leader and Relief Society Presidency at Country Pines in Clinton for their thoughtful care during her stay this past summer. We extend our deepest gratitude to Sallie Huntington and the many amazing caregivers at Chancellor Gardens Memory Care of Clearfield and also to Emily and Dani of Symbii Home Health and Hospice. They were absolutely incredible. The Alzheimer’s disease had changed our gentle and agreeable mother into a feisty and difficult lady. Eunice's caregivers showed her great kindness and tireless patience. We thank you.
Please join us for a Graveside Service on Friday, May 29, 2020 at 11AM. The service and interment will be held at the Clinton City Cemetery located at approximately 750 West 800 North in Clinton, Utah.
Please go to premierfuneral.com to share your memories of Eunice.