Funeral Services for
Violet V. Dillistone Staples Judd
Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 11 a.m.
Coalville LDS Stake Center
PRESIDING: Kenneth Stephens
OFFICIATING: Bishop Alan Simister
FAMILY PRAYER: Bill Staples
PRELUDE/POSTLUDE MUSIC: Karen McNett
Brothers and sisters, I am Bishop Simister and I will be conducting these services. President Kenneth Stephens, our Stake President is seated on the stand and he will be presiding over these services.
Oh behalf of those present I wish to offer our sincere condolences to the Staples and Judd families on the loss of Sister Violet and I wish to express my gratitude to those of you who have traveled great distances to be with us here today. And also in behalf of the family we give special thanks for the many beautiful flowers that are here with us today.
We give a special thank you to Sister Karen McNett who has given us this beautiful prelude music and to Sister Renae Judd who will be our chorister this morning.
Before this service we were given a family prayer by Brother Bill Staples, her son. I would like to recognize the pall bearers who are with us today. Brother Mark Cowley, Marty Staples, Brian Staples Paul Cowley, David Holt, Kory Staples, Spencer Staples, and Ryan Cowley.
The Honorary Pallbearers are Yancey Staples, Kendell Staples, Michael Staples, Kim Staples and Dion France, a grandson who is deceased.
We will proceed with this service as outlined in the program beginning with invocation offered by Rodney Staples, her son. After which I will read the obituary and offer my remarks. Following my remarks we will be favored by a medley of Sister Violet’s favorite songs with Sister Karen McNett at the piano and Sister RaNae Judd on the flute. The songs they will be performing are “Where Love Is,” “That Wonderful Mother of Mine,” “Somewhere My Love,” and “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.” Following the musical medley we will be favored with a life sketch by her daughter, Sister Carol France. We will then have another musical favorite of Sister Violet, “In The Garden” as arranged by C. Austin Miles and sung by her daughter, Glenda Holt, and accompanied by a granddaughter, Aimee Holt. Our concluding speaker will be Bishop Chris Boyer who was also Sister Violet’s faithful home teacher for many years.
INVOCATION: Rodney Staples
Our most kind and gracious Heavenly Father, we are thankful for this day when we are able to honor one of thy great daughters of thy kingdom, Violet, who has been a mother, a grandmother, and friend to many and taught us the gospel. We are thankful for the gospel that thou hast given us and for the sacrifice of thy son who have us the atonement. We acknowledge the truthfulness of that. We ask thee to bless those who are participating in the program this day, that they might be able to have thy guidance and will feel good about what they have done and will do their best. Bless those who are struggling to feel thy comfort, that thy comforter will attend them and will be able to give them strength to carry on and know that our mom was the great person and taught us well. We ask these things and acknowledge thy hand in all things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Thank you for that beautiful prayer, Rodney. I will first read the obituary for Sister Violet.
Beloved mother and grandmother, Violet Staples Judd, age 85, passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, October 9, 2009. Our beloved Violet was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and dear friend to many.
Mom was born on December 6, 1923 in Ashland, Kentucky, the oldest daughter of Herbert Robert William and Lillian Avonell Kimbler Dillistone, both of whom preceded her in death. Mom was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had a strong testimony of the gospel of Latter-day Saints and she served in many positions.
Our mom met her sweetheart Paul Staples when she came from Kentucky to live in Coalville at the age of 16. They were married in Ironton, Ohio and were later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. Seven wonderful children were born of this union. After Paul’s tragic death some years ago, Mom married Ralph LaVar Judd. As loving companions, they enjoyed many years serving the Lord as temple workers. Mom maintained her lady-like southern hospitality throughout her life and made anyone who entered her lovely home feel welcome. Cooking, crocheting, oil painting, reading the gospel, bird watching and gardening were among her favorite past times. Her greatest passion was being a mother. She cherishes every child and grandchild.
Preceded in death by her parents, a brother Bill, a baby daughter Anita Louise, a grandson Dion, a son-in-law Val Cowley and both of her husbands, Paul and Ralph. Survived by children William and DiAnn Staples of Coalville Carol and Byron France of Coalville, Norman and Kathryn Staples of Castlerock, Colorado, Rodney and Carla Staples of West Weber, Utah, Marie Cowley of Logan and Glenda and DeLynn Holt of Salt Lake City. Also survived by Kathleen and Roy Bolinder of Coalville, Edwin Bud and Meresa Judd of Coalville, 17 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, two sisters, Ethel Potter of Flatwoods, Kentucky and June and Paul Palmer of Provo and her nieces and nephews.
The family expresses a special thank you to all those special friends who were so kind to Mom throughout the years. A special thank you to the Crestwood Care Center nurses.
Funeral services will be held today, October 13, at 11 a.m. in the Coalville Stake Center where friends may call on Monday from 6 to 8 and again at 10:00 this morning until time of services. Arrangements are under the direction of the Crandall Funeral Home of Kamas. Rather than sending flowers, Grandma would wish that we could donate to the temple building or missionary fund.
Brothers and sisters, I am both humbled and honored to share a few thoughts with you today as we mourn the loss and pay tribute to Sister Violet Staples Judd. It is with a heavy heart that I extend my sincere condolences and sympathies to the Staples and Judd families and to Sister Violet’s sisters and to her extended family.
When a loved one passes on, we hurt. Our emotions are raw and our hearts are heavy. As our loved one draws closer to heaven I believe heaven draws near to them and those around them. As families and friends our hearts are turned heavenward for understanding, for comfort and for peace. It is a time for reflection. It is a time for prayer and it’s a time when we turn to our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ. As we humble ourselves and seek their help we are comforted. Our burdens are eased and our understanding grows. The knowledge that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ and that we have the opportunity to be resurrected and live again with Heavenly Father and His son makes it possible to endure otherwise tragic and sorrowful events. This brings a bright hope to us in a world that at times may seem dark and dreary.
Sometimes death comes to us as an intruder. It can often be viewed as an enemy that suddenly appears in the midst of life’s face, putting out the lights and the gaiety. Death can sometimes lay a heavy hand upon those dear to us and at times leave us baffled and wondering why. In some instances as in great suffering and illness, death comes as an angel of mercy.
Other times we think of death as an enemy of human happiness but the darkness of death can ever be dispelled by light of rebuilt truth. “I am the resurrection and the life:,” spoke the Master. “he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever believeth in me shall never die.” John 11:25
This reassurance, even holy confirmation of life beyond the grave can well provide the peace provided by the Savior when He assured his own disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”John 14:27
Sister Violet left us but she lives on. She is relieved of the pain and suffering that she endured so well over the past few weeks and months. She loved the Lord. She trusts the Lord and is received into his loving arms as we speak today. Sister Violet chose to follow Jesus. She gained a testimony of His gospel plan and death is part of that plan. She has completed her earthly journey and her body is before us here today but her spirit lives on.
She leaves a legacy of righteous living, doing what is right and love for all. As we celebrate her life, let us remember the good times, the memories of fun and laughter and of the goodness that was and is Sister Violet.
Mom had a heart of gold, as we all know. I am sure each person here today has a memory of her kindness, of her steadfast testimony of the gospel and of her love for her family and for her friends.
I had the privilege of associating with Sister Violet and her family for many years. Some time ago Sister Violet worked as the Treasurer for Coalville City. At that time I was asked to help the city with their financial needs on an as-needed basis. It was this time that I came to appreciate and admire Sister Violet’s sincere desire to do what was right and to the best of her ability. This was a life-long endeavor for Sister Violet. Her love of the gospel and her faithful obedience are testimony of this personal trait.
Not too long ago I had the opportunity to visit Sister Violet at the care center in Ogden. As I entered the facility I noticed Sister Violet in her wheelchair along with some of the other residents in an adjoining room. They were enjoying some entertainment that was for ladies only. Their chairs and wheelchairs were situated in a half-circle and one of the care supervisors was entertaining the ladies as she scooted around on a wheeled stool to each one of them. I couldn’t help but notice the special attention that she gave to each of the ladies on an individual basis. I walked around the back of the half-circle until I was behind Sister Violet, pulled up a chair and sat down. She recognized my presence and the entertainment continued. The care center worker was asking each of the ladies about early school days. She would pose a question and allow each of the ladies time to respond. On one of the particular questions, she asked, “Did any of you ever have to sit in the corner or face the wall for doing something wrong or being bad?” Each of the ladies pondered for a moment and then one by one they gave their answer. Most seemed proud to tell of some mischievous thing they had done and couldn’t wait to give the answer. I noticed Sister Violet was a little uneasy and as she turned over her shoulder to look at me, she said, “I don’t think I ever did.” I assured her it was okay to give that answer and so she did.
Such was the life of Sister Violet, striving to do the right thing always. As the entertainment ended I helped her to her room with her wheelchair. She shared with me her love for her family. Each one of them. How much they meant to her and how much she loved them and the special love and trust she had for the Lord. She knew her health was serious and she knew that her options were running short. She assured me of her strong testimony of the gospel. And that day my testimony was strengthened. I had the privilege of witnessing the peace and comfort that comes from living a righteous and full life.
Shortly after her passing I met with her family at her home. As we waited for the arrival of funeral directors a flood of memories were shared. One of children told of a childhood memory in the early Staples home. She said, “We didn’t know we were poor. We had everything we needed and we were happy. We didn’t have a lot of fancy clothes or a pair of shoes for every occasion but Mom always took very good care of us.”
The Savior of the world has spoken of treasure. In His Sermon on the Mount, he declared, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break nor steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Matthew 6:19-21
The promised reward is not gold or silver. The Master spoke or riches within grasp of us all. Even joy here and eternal happiness in the hereafter. The plan is salvation is often called the plan of happiness and true happiness does not come from the accumulation of things or money. True happiness comes from a testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ and His true and everlasting gospel. Following His example and loving and serving our brothers and sisters.
As I reflect on Sister Violet, I can’t help but think of the influence of a righteous wife and mother in the home. It is immeasurable. Taking the time to teach each of her children gospel principles and truths which are eternal the fruits of Sister Violet’s life are here before us today. A family who continues to follow her example of love for the Lord. How sweet the blessings, how eternal the reward for her.
Our Heavenly Father has granted each of us time here on the earth. How we use that time is ours to choose. Situated on the wall in the kitchen of Sister Violet’s home on a beautiful hand-made plaque are the words from Joshua 24:15, “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Sister Violet has served the Lord well. Without a doubt Violet has a testimony of Jesus Christ as our Savior and our Redeemer. She carries that testimony with her today beyond the veil.
I would like to share a short poem from Helen Steiner Rice entitled “For One Who Gives So Much to Other.”
It’s not the things that can be bought that are life’s richest treasure
It’s just the little heart gifts that money cannot measure
A cheerful smile, a friendly word, a sympathetic nod
These are priceless little treasures from the storehouse of God
There are things that cannot be bought with silver or with gold
For thoughtfulness and kindness and love are never sold
They are the priceless things in life for which no one can pay
And the giver finds such rich reward in giving them away
And who on earth gives more away and does more good for others
Than our understanding kind and wise and selfless loving mothers
Who seeks no more than just the joy of helping those they love
To find in life the happiness that they are dreaming of
May we cherish the memories and love of our dear sister, our mother, grandmother and friend. May we try to do the best that we can, by doing what is right by following her example. May we lay up treasures in heaven as she has taught us. I pray that each of us here today will strive to follow the legacy of righteousness and the love for the Lord that was Sister Violet. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
MEDLEY OF FAVORITE SONGS: Karen McNett, Piano and RaNae Judd, Flute
“Where Love Is”
“That Wonderful Mother of Mine”
“Somewhere My Love”
LIFE SKETCH: Carol France, Daughter
Music—it’s so hard to follow such beautiful music. I appreciate Sister RaNae and Sister Karen McNett for that wonderful, wonderful medley. It just touched my heart so much. Mom loved flute arrangements and requested “Somewhere My Love” because it was Mom and Daddy’s love song. So that was especially precious to us. She planned her funeral well in advance and I knew I was on the program but I never thought this day, I guess, would ever come. So I didn’t start preparing until after the fact, so bear with me.
You know, I look out over her friends and her family and I appreciate each of you being here so much. You honor our family by being here and paying tribute to our mother. We appreciate your kindnesses. We are so humbled by your love for our mother and our family.
We have been especially touched by the love shown by her visiting teachers and her home teacher, her bishops, her life-long friend Sister Ella Adkins, her loving friend and visiting teaching partner, Dorothy Blonquist. You know there are truly angels among us. These people took good care of my mom.
What an honor it is to be here to tell you today about our sweet Violet. As we meet this day we are here to celebrate her life. Our beautiful mom was born December 6, 1923 in Ashland, Kentucky. She was the second daughter of five children born to Herbert and Avonell Dillistone. Her older sister Nell passed away at 15 months of age, a year prior to Mother’s birth. Her mother loved her babies just as our mother loved being a mother. She spoke often to our mom of the child she’d lost. Violet’s sister Ethel was born two years after Mom and her brother Bill and another sister June, who is with us here today, completed the Dillistone family.
She was given the name of Vivienne Violet but was affectionately called Violet all her life. She was named after a little purple flower she would say, and she always loved lavenders and purples. How many of you knew she had a nickname? Everyone when she was little called her “Whitey.” She guessed it was because of her blond, near-white hair when she was a little girl. But she left that name in Kentucky when she came west and she said she wasn’t at all unhappy about that.
As a child growing up she loved reading good books, playing paper dolls, hopscotch and tag like any other little kid. She loved collecting marbles and crackerjack prizes. The values she learned as a child were with her forever. She was taught to dress modestly and be a lady at all times. And she was a genuine lady.
I asked my family if they’d ever heard her cuss and not a one of them could ever think of anything like that coming out of Mother’s mouth. She was a great example that way. She confided that she’d always wanted to tell her mother but didn’t dare how she hated her flower sack underwear that her mother had made for her. And she always wondered why her mother only ate the back and neck of fried chicken.
Mom was a great storyteller. All of you knew that, if you were around her and you might have wondered where she learned to do that. Well, it was from her mother who took time to tell stories, recite poetry, take walks, to sit under the Kentucky pines. Mom loved Kentucky. She loved it when the air was fragrant with wisteria, lilac, roses and the spicy marigolds.
All four of the Dillistone children learned to embroider beautiful scarves and pillowcases at a very young age. Mom was taught to crochet by her Grandmother Kimbler who was English and she called her doilies ditties. And we all know what came of that—Mom’s beautiful talent with crochet and thread was clearly evident.
Many of you have come up to me this week and said how they loved the pieces of crochet work that Mother did for you. And you know, as long as those crochet pieces are displayed and used in your homes, Violet will be remembered. Mom also learned to work hard, to garden and enjoy the work at a very young age as her parents harvested crops of beans and cucumbers which they packed in hampers and took many miles away for sale. And on Sunday you could see the Dillistone family making their way to a small LDS church up a long dirt road which ruined many a pair of Sunday shoes.
Now one Sunday she decided she wanted to bear hear testimony. So she stood up and was shaking like a leaf. She sang a school song she had learned about a little fly. She said it went like this:
Little fly upon the wall
Though you are so very small
You can be the circus clown
Walk the ceiling upside down
Her love of birds was for a lifetime. As a young child she found birds nesting and waited for the eggs to hatch. In her later years she had Bill put up several bird feeders just outside her kitchen window so she could see her birds. I often referred to our mother as our little bluebird as she grew older because she sang or hummed when she was happy. Even to the end of her life, when she was content and happy, you’d hear her humming whether she was in the grocery store or riding in the car with you.
Mom was a beautiful young woman and when she was 15 the boys starting taking notice. One by the name of Frank Douglas in particular had her mother very worried. This friendship was getting a little too serious so in an effort to squelch the romance, Violet was sent to Utah to live with her Aunt Vivian Willoughby. As she was boarding the bus, her mother gave her these instructions. “Now Violet, you write me every week, act like a lady, keep your dress down at all times, and you won’t get in trouble.” You can imagine, 15 year of age, getting on a bus by yourself and coming to a place called Utah.
Mom met her sweetheart Paul Staples not long after she arrived here. He worked on the farm just down the road from her aunt’s home but they officially met at Paul’s sister Mable’s wedding in Cluff Ward. Mom and Dad’s love grew quickly as they saw each other at church, went to shows on Friday night with a nut sundae afterwards, took the camera for picture-taking or went for a horseback ride.
After a year in Utah her mother asked her to come home to Kentucky as her mother had developed some serious heart problems and needed her. It was now June 1940. It was time to say good bye to her sweetheart and they had been to their last show. They were in Daddy’s red truck in front of Aunt Vivian’s and Daddy proposed. No date was set, no ring was given but they knew they loved each other and would be married. Reluctantly, she left her new-found sweetheart. They wrote love letters back and forth until Daddy could get to Kentucky and ask for her hand in marriage. Then he married sweet Violet on January 24, 1941 in Ireton, Ohio. They returned to Utah in March for sheep lambing. This marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple in December of 1941.
Mom’s dream of becoming a mother came true when Billy was born a year and a half later. But Bill was born too early. He was so small, he fit in a shoebox. They put two light bulbs over the little box to keep him warm. Mom and Dad loved this new little son and they prayed for him to survive. Mother nurtured her baby next to her heart, sang lullabies and nursed him every minute of the day until he grew stronger. That was our mother.
Mom and Dad had seven children in all. After Billy came me, then Norman, Rodney, Marie, Glenda and Anita. Mom loved every sweet baby that made up the family that she dreamed of. The stillbirth of Anita, the baby Mom gave birth to at age 42, devastated the entire family. But Mom’s faith carried her through as she looked forward to raising this child in eternity.
Most days, and I say most days as I think we were fortunate that Mother taught us to be ambitious. Sometimes I think we overdo that, kids. She taught us the value of hard work. It was just part of who she was. When fall came, those of us who were part of this remember that we would take the pickup truck to Ogden and we’d get it right full of pears and peaches and tomatoes. It was a team effort for days to wash the bottles, peel the fruit, put it in bottles and store it in the fruit cellar for winter. Our mom bottled everything. Dilly beans, catsup, apple juice, corn. Anything that could go in a jar, Mom put it in a jar. She love fresh produce and if you lost her in a big grocery store, you could count on finding her in the veggie department picking out the plumpest, sweetest and best looking produce. We children also loved coming home to the smell of chili sauce and mustard pickles cooking.
We shared our life with Mom and Dad in a little white house across from where Billy and Diane presently live. It was only four rooms and there were how many kids? Six children. So Daddy made a boy’s room in the attic and you had to go outside to get up to the room, but we thought we were just really expanding. We had remodeled real well.
We were not financially well off, as Bishop Simister said, in fact, you could say we were poor. But we really didn’t know it. We had milk and eggs and meat and garden veggies and lots of love. Mom could take a sow’s ear and make it into a feast. She was that good of a cook. Not an inch of beef was wasted. We ate everything.
One day she’d made soup out of a cow’s tail and we had two missionaries show up for lunch. She said, “Now kids, you don’t need to tell anybody what’s in that soup.” Well, we no more than got set down to eat and one of us kids says, “Hey, we’re having cow tail soup.” I remember how embarrassed she was. Now I hear it’s a delicacy but –
Mom was famous for her divinity, her shrimp salad, her hot rolls and her extra fizzy bottled root beer. She was a master chef in the kitchen.
Our sweet mother’s life changed dramatically in July of 1973. She had Marie’s wedding over and Rodney’s was approaching in September. We loved to put quilts on in the back room of the old Staples home. And Daddy had stopped by to see what we were doing. He looked around the room, we had these old portraits in that old house, and he told a story about each one. Then we started talking about Rod’s wedding. Dad turned to me and he asked if I’d be able to take Mother to Logan for the wedding because he didn’t think he would make it. I laughed and said, ‘You haven’t missed one yet and you won’t miss this one.’ He didn’t agree because somehow Mother and I believe he knew he wouldn’t be here. On July 30 a thunderstorm rolled into the area and our Daddy was struck and killed with lightening in a field where he was working.
Our mother had lost the love of her life. This is when we saw the depth of our mother’s spiritual convictions. She was so strong and she told us that it was the will of the Lord and how blessed Daddy was to be taken to heaven so quickly. She wasn’t bitter. She picked herself up and with faith in the Lord’s will, she moved on. Her comment to me was that the touch of Daddy’s hand in hers would last a lifetime and everything would be okay.
We know of their love for each other and can only imagine the sweet reunion they’ve had this week after 36 years.
Mom threw herself into her work and busied herself with her family and her church work. Grandchildren were being born and she still had Glenda at home. She built a big new home, the one Billy and Diane live in, and was so excited to finally have a place where all of her children and all of her grandchildren could gather and visit with her. She looked forward to each new grandchild’s arrival and never missed a chance to show her love and support. She attended every birthday celebration, baptism, wedding, Eagle Scout Court of Honor and missionary farewell. She gave every Eagle Scout grandson a hand-painted ceramic eagle and many of you probably still have those.
Life was about to change again for Mom. She was working at Coalville City one afternoon and one of the nice male members of our ward invited her to attend a temple session with a group of ward members. She loved going to the temple with the group and the single gentleman who stopped by the office continued to make sure that she was invited to ride with him. She came home after a session and she visited with me and she told me she’d been overcome with the impression while sitting in the celestial room that she was going to marry this man who kept inviting her to the temple. It was Ralph Judd. They were married on February 4, 1977 in the Salt Lake Temple for time. How happy was my mother to finally have a companion again. Mom loved Ralph’s children. Mom loved Bud and Meresa and Roy and Kathleen. They made her feel so welcome in their family and Ralph loved Mom’s family. No better second father could any person have. He was a great man.
It was great to see Mom so happy and fulfilled. She was doing what she loved to do, sharing her cooking skills, crocheting everything imaginable, oil painting with me, making and keeping in touch with friends which she said she considered to be her mission for the Lord.
It was during this time that she was asked by Sister Helen Theriot of the General Relief Society Board to accept a very special calling, to make an alter cloth for the Salt Lake Temple. It was to be crocheted and Helen brought her a letter with the details and the measurements. She felt she was crocheting for the Lord but had feelings and inadequacy and doubt that she could complete this project. As she picked up the thread at the store and was walking home, she recalled feeling a warmth around her. She found herself in tears as she knew she’d been touched by the spirit and knew all was going to be well.
You know, Mom was a spiritual giant. She was planted solidly in the gospel of Jesus of Christ and was steadfast in her faith. One day while she was working on this alter cloth, she noticed that her stitches weren’t just right down three or four inches into the piece and you know what? She took all apart and started all over again because it had to be perfect. Again she had doubts about her ability to complete this alter cloth. She asked her bishop for a priesthood blessing and through her faith and prayers she found peace of mind and serene calmness concerning Ralph’s terminal cancer.
The alter cloth was completed, so on February 14, which was Ralph’s birthday, they planned to attend the Salt Lake Temple and deliver the alter cloth. After the session, a sweet temple worker directed Mom and Ralph to a sealing room where the alter cloth was tried on an alter. It fit perfectly. Mom was pleased but recalled feeling very empty after spending 300 hours crocheting that piece.
Ralph, her other love, passed away in December of 1999 and Mom once again was a widow. Within a few months of his passing, however, I was elated because my mom was going to be my new neighbor. She enjoyed working in her new yard and hanging her clothes out to dry. She would say, ”You know I think I can see all of heaven when I look at the sky.” If you’re ever up there where she lived, oh, it’s just wide open and she’d look up and oh, she enjoyed that and enjoyed the sunsets there.
Her southern hospitality followed her all of her life. You could never visit Violet’s home without coming away with something. Her love was unconditional and her generosity was from her heart. You know I’d stand there and I’d just be in awe because people would come into her home and they would admire a piece of her handiwork and she’d just give it off to them. She said, “Here, would you like that? You can have it.” That was Mom.
Well, you know, you’ve heard a lot about our mother and there’s a lot more to tell. I had to cut this down several times. Her talents and her love of the gospel were clearly evident. She had a rich full life but the thing that brought her the most joy and made her face light up was you, the family. Her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren, her great-great-grandchildren she cherished and loved beyond measure, each and every one of you.
The greatest tribute that we could pay today to our beloved Violet is to follow her example of the way she lived her life, a life filled with love, charity, and faith in our Heavenly Father’s plan. This past week we have experienced first hand our Father in Heaven’s tender mercies on behalf of our mom and our family. We know the Savior’s loving arms are around her. May we always be a united family and remember to keep her close to our hearts and know how much she loved us.
We love you, mom.
REMARKS: Glenda Holt (Daughter)
My mom always loved music and during one of my visits with her when I was able to spend several days with her, I had a hymn book and we went through that hymn book and sang as many songs as we could sing until we’d pretty much lost our voices. I was very fortunate to visit with my mom the Thursday before her passing and it’s really hard to know what to say, but I asked her if she wanted me to sing her a song and she said yes. So I sang her this song, it was a gift of love from me as her daughter. We had played many days at my Grandpa’s in the back room on the old player piano, “In The Garden,” and loved each other. And so this is my gift to her.
And I also believe that nothing happens on accident. She was a very prayerful woman and when my son was having difficulty finding a bride she prayed every night that he would find someone. And so as I got the call for this, to sing to my mom one last time, I looked around and I didn’t have to go far for an accompanist because my daughter-in-law plays beautiful music and my mom was the one that prayed that he would find the perfect person.
MUSICAL FAVORITE, “In the Garden,” Sung by Glenda Holt and accompanied by Aimee Holt. Arrangement by C. Austin Miles.
REMARKS: Bishop Chris Boyer
Please bear with me. I’m already on my second handkerchief. To begin with, like the others, I’d like to extend my condolences to Sister Violet’s family. What a privilege it is to have been asked to speak at her services today.
Sister Violet has been a great, dear friend. More than that, she’s been a tremendous example. Over the years as I’ve visited her in her home and as her bishop, we’ve had some tremendous conversations. I might warn her family that I know more about them than they probably realize.
Sister Violet reminds me a great deal of my Grandmother Nichols. They were both of the same build, both of them walked very similarly, both came from simple, humble backgrounds and neither of them had much of material things in their lives. They invested all of their time and talents into the families. They were both very warm and inviting and very comforting individuals. Neither of them had a mean bone in their body.
So the day my dear wife passed away, I needed a grandmother’s hug so I’ve been fortunate enough to be blessed to be home teacher to three wonderful women, all widows. So I made my rounds that day and got a hug from Sister Violet, and Sister Wilma and Sister Florence. I can’t begin to tell you how comforting it was to be in these women’s homes and to feel of their strength and wisdom. To be blessed by their character and their example.
Following those visits I felt uplifted and strengthened. I’d been gone quite awhile and as I arrived home, my family couldn’t wait to tell me about this big beautiful rainbow out back of our home. They said it seemed to last forever. There was not a cloud in the sky. So as I was being comforted and blessed by these wonderful women, my family was being sent that sign from above that all is well.
The early scriptures say that women beget children. Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it. In the scriptures it says “but women, they became of child or they gave birth.” Nothing about being a mother was easy but Violet never thought of it that way. Giving birth and being a mom and a widow twice was just part of her mortal cross that she was to bear. She cherished every bit of mortality just like the poem that is listed on the back of the program. She knew it was God’s will for her and accepted that.
During our conversations sometimes I got a little bit confused about who belonged to who here. But it really didn’t matter if I knew. It was only important that she knew who each and every one of you are. And you all were very important to her. To you, all of you belonged to her. If you married into her family, you were hers as well.
Violet’s home was absent of any contention, any animosity toward anyone. It was just like Grandma’s house, very, very comforting. More than once I had to tell Violet I had to leave, ‘It’s either that or I’m going to have to lie on your floor and take a nap.’ From what I understand I may have waited a little too long a couple of times and I appeared to doze off. It’s hard to leave somewhere you feel totally welcome.
In opposite to that, brothers and sisters, it’s impossible to feel comfortable when you’re in the presence of contention or negative conversations. I will miss those visits and the positive and comfortable feelings I had in her home. And for that matter, even in the hospital. Those Christ-like qualities followed her wherever she went. Bishop Simister (I have a hard time with that—he’s Alan to me, my partner). What a wonderful bishop he will be. The nurses and even the doctors loved her. We will all miss her and her family will really miss her.
However, once, brothers and sisters, that we have gained a testimony and understanding of the Lord’s plan of salvation, can we really deny how welcome Sister Violet feels right now in the presence of He that created her and the long-awaited reunion with those that loved her in mortality and preceded her in death? She will hold them in her arms with great joy. She longed for that time when she could see and be with them again.
Following an unwavering gospel principle-led life, would any one of us deny her the comfort and rest from all the aches and pains her mortal body has endured? I don’t think so. Would we deny her relief from her mortal heartbreaks and the injustices that she had experienced in this life? I don’t think we can do that either. We know too much about her existence now, brothers and sisters. As she now looks back on her mortality, she is probably thinking, “Wow, that didn’t take long. And Boy is it so ever worth it now. What a small price we pay in mortality when the reward is all of this,” she would say to all of us. To inherit all that Father has. The best investment we will ever make in this life, brothers and sisters, is to prepare and invest in the next life. To prepare to die as Sister Violet has.
Like in the Parable of the Ten Virgins, Sister Violet was prepared. Her lamp is full of oil. The oil she filled through a lifetime of preparation. Today she is so glad she has no hatred towards anyone. She is so grateful she has forgiven all men and asked for their forgiveness as well. She is so happy she had chosen to be sealed to her family and lived up to those covenants she made in the temple. The hard part now is for us, and for her family, living as she has lived. Can we be as forgiving as she has been? Hopefully were we as positive through our trials as she has been through hers? Will we make others feel as comfortable in our presence whether at home or away? Will we teach our children to live and love the gospel so they can also find the comfort and blessings she is now experiencing?
Violet was blessed with and blessed the lives of two good men. They both adored her and she adored them. Both were farmers or ranchers. I knew her second husband Ralph quite well but I never knew her first husband Paul. But I learned a lot about him from Sister Violet. She told me that he was a hard-working man and very proud of his family. His life was farming the land and growing things so Violet’s life was farming and growing things as well. Her responsibilities were her family. She raised them and raised them as a crop of children in the family. She tended to their every need. Together they all raised a family crop, some were first crop, some of you were second crop and some of you are even third crop. Some of you were brought in through marriage or adoption.
Together they also mended fences in relationships. Farming takes hard work. Living the gospel and raising a family is also hard work. The harvest can be very gratifying. The price of beef and the price of hay may vary but the price of a soul is never changing. It is priceless in the sight of the Lord.
Paul and Ralph liked to get up early and have a day’s worth of work in before most people got out of bed. Likewise, preparing to die requires us to get an early start in mortality. So, as with Paul, when lightning strikes, we are prepared and our families will be sealed to us for an eternity.
Violet and Ralph enjoyed working in the temple. They also provided a ride for others that couldn’t do so on their own. It is hard to work in dark, brothers and sisters. Spirit prison is a dark and a lonely place. Mortality is the large daybreak, however, I pray that we take advantage of that light that He has provided us before the sunset of our life runs out. I pray we take advantage of the price that Christ has paid for our sins. I pray that we take the opportunity to get rewarded with a place of rest and comfort in paradise and then hopefully, eventually, receive eternal life with our loved ones. We only need to be obedient and subject ourselves to God’s will as Sister Violet has done.
Violet experienced many years alone. I have only been left alone for just a few months now but I can tell you, until you experience it, you have no idea how important your spouse and family really are. Temple blessings and sealings become a great source of strength. No one wants to spend a lifetime alone. I’ve learned that.
Yet life through eternity alone can become our fate if we are not prepared, brothers and sisters. As difficult as mortality may seem, it can bring great blessings and great disappointments. It is up to us, however, whether we are blessed because we have our agency. Hopefully we will choose the right like Violet has.
May God bless and comfort you all. I share my testimony that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ and that temple marriage and those covenants we make there will bind us together forever if we live up to those covenants, blessings and promises. I leave that testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I wish to thank all those who have participated in this service and all those who have attended this day. It has been such a beautiful tribute to Sister Judd.
The dedication of the grave will take place at the Coalville City Cemetery. The dedicatory prayer will be offered by Brother Norman Staples, her son, and bagpipes will be offered at the graveside by Bishop Grady McNett.
After the services, brothers and sisters, there will be a luncheon at the stake center for family and friends. This luncheon is under the direction of the Coalville Second Ward Relief Society compassionate service. We thank them for their faithful service.
We will how have our closing hymn after which the benediction will be offered by Violet’s grandson, Kim Staples.
CLOSING HYMN: “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” by the congregation.
BENEDICTION: Brother Kim Staples (Grandson)
Our dearest Father who art in Heaven, we are thankful for this day and for the many blessings which thou bestows upon us. We are thankful for being able to come and celebrate the life of Violet Judd and the blessings that she has brought into each of our lives. We are thankful for the gospel and for the guidance it brings to comfort and help us to know of thee and thy love for us. We are thankful for our families and all those who help us in any way. We are thankful for this great country and the freedoms and blessings we have to enjoy, for those in this area and the ones we are able to associate with and have in our lives. We are thankful for those who have participated in this program and for the guidance and counsel they have given us. We pray that we might use it in our daily lives. We pray that we might follow the examples that have been set before us and that we might be able to have our Father in Heaven’s spirit be with us and guide us throughout our lives and do the things which thou would have us do. We pray for thy continued guidance throughout this day. Bless and comfort us, those who are in need. Bless those that travel, that they may travel in safety and will have thy continued guidance throughout the coming weeks to comfort them and help them. We pray for thy spirit always to guide us always in the way thou would have us go. These blessings we pray and do so in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Dedicatory Prayer at the Coalville Cemetery by Norman Staples.
Bagpipes at graveside by Bishop Grady McNett.
Life Story Info
Cause of Death
Religion and Beliefs
- Coalville City