Sarah Larsen Mitchell

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A Tribute by a Granddaughter

Sarah L. Mitchell's Funeral

October 25, 1982

Tribute given by:

Chris Mitchell Longson, granddaughter

I'm sure that grandma would have thanked Betty and Janet for their beautiful musical selection.  I'm happy today to be able to speak on behalf of the grandchildren.  As one of twelve granddaughters of grandma, there is a special place in our hearts for Grandma Sarah.  Grandma had twelve granddaughters right in a row and she loved each one of us and took care of us and showed us how much she loved us.  Most grandmothers have a special place in their hearts for granddaughters, and our grandmother was just such a person.  All of us have special memories of her that will always be very important to us. 

Grandma always had soft, warm hands and a comfortable lap to sit on.  Her snow white hair, rosy checks, and pleasant smile radiated a wonderful spirit about her.  She was a constant pillar of strength to all of us.  We always looked forward to a trip to grandma's house.  We could always find her wearing one of her cloth, flower patterned aprons, busily cooking something in the kitchen.  Her house always smelled so good and we could always count on something delicious to eat.  One of our favorite treats was fresh, baked bread.  We all have fond memories of eating treats and meals at the breakfast nook.  Another favorite place for the cousins was a toy drawer in the hallway and the laundry chute in the bathroom.  We spent many happy hours there.  We also loved to play dress up in grandma's bedroom. 

Our most favorite time of all would have to be Christmas Eve, with the family all gathered around.  The large dining room table was always filled with delicious food, the tree was brightly decorated, and tons of presents were under the tree.  One of our most favorite years of Christmas, was the year that Aunt Helen came.  We filled tons of little white paper sacks with a little sand and put tiny candles in them to show Helen and Santa the way to our happy Christmas house.  We

Always anticipated Helen's box arriving for Christmas evening and the fun gifts she would send to everyone.  We remember the year that all the granddaughters got red, flannel pajamas and someone saying, "Oh, I hear footprints on the roof."  Most the time Santa Claus even showed up.  Instead of calling him Santa Claus, Grace and grandma would always goof and call him "Paul"  We remember playing hide and seek in the chicken coop in the big back yard or jumping happily from the big, red steps in the front yard.  Grandma was always the happiest with family around.  We always looked forward to the backyard picnics.  Many Saturday afternoons we spent cleaning out the old fish pond in the back yard.  We would get it all clean with fresh water in it, and my dad and Steve would let Jack, the old black lab, off his leash and he would run right for that clean pond and play in the water. 

Once grandma moved to her house by us, much of her time was spent doing hand work like embroidery.  She still had a toy drawer in her hallway and the cookie jar was always full of cookies.  She continued to love having her grandchildren and great-grandchildren around her.  She was always happy and positive and even though she suffered greatly, she was always concerned about how everyone else was doing.  During the last couple of hours that Suzie spent by her bedside, grandma must have been troubled and in pain, but once again her concern was for everyone else and making sure that someone was checking on and taking care of Suzie's kids. 

Grandma was a very special woman.  She was deeply beloved by all of us.  The example she set for us all in unselfishness, compassion, and caring will always be a sacred memory.  She may not have left many earthly possessions behind, but she did leave us with a rich, eternal legacy.  We are so proud to be her grandchildren. 

Grandma was the next to the youngest of three brothers and three sisters.  She came from a poor family, but they were always very happy.  Even though the family was poor, grandma's mother always made a point of making holidays, especially Christmas, very special.  Grandma and Grandpa also having very little money, made Christmas for their seven children very special.  That special Christmas Spirit and wonderful tradition has been handed down from Grandma and Grandpa Mitchell to their children, and to the grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  Christmas for the Mitchell family is always a cause for great celebration.  Lots of food, presents, and lots of happy faces.  Opening presents was always the highlight, and my dad would always say, "No we can't open presents until after we eat our dinner."  And grandma would say, "Oh Butch, you're such a tease, come on kids, you can open presents."  We would always think, "Oh, thank goodness grandma is here."

Grandma has always been very proud of all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She was so thrilled that Bob was called to serve a mission.  She supported him wholeheartedly.  He wrote her frequently and told her of his many experiences, spiritual growth, and always told her how grateful he was to have had her support and constant example and let her know that she was one, very important reasons why he was on his mission.  

Grandma loved to read and her knowledge of the gospel and spiritual knowledge was more than anyone of us could even comprehend. 

Her children were always around her and making sure she was cared for.  Grandma's first son, Bob, died when he was eight years old.  Her daughter, Helen, lived in Arizona and her trips to Salt Lake were remembered by the whole family.  Helen also preceded her mom in death.  Another daughter, Grace, lived to see her mom situated and settled in her new snug, little home, right by us.  Grace died shortly thereafter.  The boy's thoughts of their mom were of many hunting and fishing trips which their mom supported and always sent them on their ways with a smile in her heart.  Last Saturday, all three boys put a new roof on her carport.  She watched them with such satisfaction.  Not only because she had a new roof, but also because all three boys were together, enjoying one another.  Grandma and Beth took a trip together which was a highlight in both of their lives.  Beth came to be with grandma twice a week to help her and to be with her.  Visits from all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were very important and nothing made grandma more happy.  I know that I cherish the moments of sitting and talking to grandma for hours and having her listen so intently.  And having her tell me stories I'll never forget.  I loved grandma very much and I'm sure that we all did.  I'm sorry for all of us who mourn, because we will miss her so much, but I'm more sorry for those who never got to know grandma, and never knew what a very special woman she truly was. 

As a family, we would like to thank all of those ward members who cared for grandma and loved her so much, and took our place when we couldn't be there.  For Selina and Emma  They took such good care of her and she loved them so much.  For all of her visiting teachers that brought her such happiness, for the Bishopric, and Relief Society presidency.  For Paul and Deloris Christensen, she loved their beautiful yard and how they took such good care of it.  She considered it part of her yard and would take people back there all the time.  We are thankful for Corrine Lavin, for helping grandma so much.  For Margret Bryson.  She would go over and was such a good friend to grandma.  We appreciate you and love you all so much.  We are sure that grandma would want you all to know how much she loved all of you and would want to thank you. 

I'm sure that if grandma were mortally here, she would smile, sit back and say.

"Thank you for the happy times, that we all hold dear in our hearts, for all the special little things, we've shared throughout the years.  I hope if I've taught you anything by my life with you here on this earth, is to never give up when the going gets rough, or stop fighting when life seems too tough, it takes courage to live and strength to endure all the trials that life has to offer.  Be unselfish and patient, loving and kind and most of all be happy.  And always remember your grandma is near and just how much she loves you.  Now wipe away your troubled tears and put a smile back on your face and remember all the happy times that you all had at grandma's place."

Again, I'd like to say, how grateful I am for this opportunity and for the wonderful memories I have of grandma.  I know we will remember grandma for how she truly was, always so happy.  I can still see her sitting in her big, red rocking chair, laughing at just the little things we would tell her.  But most of all...I'm thankful for her life and thankful I could be a part of it.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  

 

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