Thursday, September 6, 2012

Delora Gray Garrett (funeral remarks)

Our loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Delora Gray Garrett (89) passed away on August 22, 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was born on December 27, 1922 in Kemmerer, Wyoming to Andrew L Gray and Klea Grant Muir. She married her sweetheart, Joseph Ray Garrett, on May 12, 1941 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They had 71 wonderful years together, and were blessed with seven children. Mom had an insatiable desire for learning, and a passionate testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His gospel. Her influence was felt by all with whom she associated. Delora was faithful in her service in the church, including missions with her husband to Vancouver, Canada and Utah Central City. She served in the Salt Lake Temple for 23 years and transcribed hundreds of patriarchal blessings for her husband. She was blessed with a beautiful singing voice and a deep appreciation for beautiful music and the arts. She soloed for McDougal Funeral Homes for several years, and especially loved performing at various functions with her violin group. For the past 25 years, she has chronicled her family history in creative and unique scrapbooks. She was gifted with beautiful penmanship and even her “doodling” had an artistic flair. Her home was always clean and organized with everything in its place; it was always welcoming and a peaceful place to visit. She was affectionately known by her family as “the great consolidator.” Delora is survived by her husband Ray; children: Shauna Linde (Doug), Rand Garrett (Karen), Barbara Guzman, Jan Greenhalgh (Blaine), Vern Garrett (Nanette), Judy Gilmore (Chuck); 35 grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Mark Scott Garrett. A viewing will be held on Friday, August 24th, 2012 from 6:00-8:00PM at the Centerville 5th Ward building, 270 North 300 East, Centerville, Utah. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 25th, 2012 at 11:00AM at the same location with a viewing from 9:30-10:45AM. Interment will be at the Bountiful City Cemetery.

I spoke at my Grandma's Funeral.  I think I'll want to remember it, so here is what I said:

I spent a good amount of time convincing Grandma that I was her favorite Grandchild, and even more time trying to get her to say it out loud.  I even named my firstborn 'Garrett', just to try and seal the deal.  But that’s not the reason I’m up here today.  Several years ago, Grandma fell in love with Polish pottery on her visits to see my family in Germany.  We even took her to Poland so she could buy her own set of the dishes.  But when they moved from Sugarhouse to Centerville six years ago, she had a lot more kitchen and dining room space, and wished she had a lot more pottery to display.  So I let Grandma go through all of my dishes and take everything she wanted to keep for the rest of her life.  And the deal was that in turn, I would get to speak at her funeral.  I’m not sure how she tricked me into thinking that was a fair trade. But as I thought about what I might say, I’m overwhelmed at the honor this is to share just a couple of things about my sweet Grandma. 

One of the biggest things I’ll take with me from Grandma for the rest of my life is her testimony of prayer.  A couple of months ago I was here in Utah visiting, and Grandma had me over.  She invited me to look at this picture, (I displayed the picture in the chapel) her favorite picture of Christ that hangs above her dresser.  I won't share all we talked about that day, but after that conversation I knew, I’ve always known, but I really knew that Grandma has complete faith in our Heavenly Father.  She had an unshakable testimony of the power of prayer and she prayed often, and she has a real relationship with her Savior, Jesus Christ.  She was not afraid to bear her testimony to anyone at anytime, no matter their differences.

Several years ago, I lived above them in their Sugarhouse home, and I’d go downstairs and visit often.  One day I walked in to say hi, and I found Grandma sitting in the TV room.  She acted startled to see me and she said, “Oh, could you hear me?!”  I said, “Uhh, no… I just came by to say hi…”  She said, “Oh, well, I’ve just been sitting here praying for Andrew,  John David and Spencer, and I got so frustrated, so I just turned to the east and started YELLING at them, hoping they’d hear my prayers all the way in Virginia.”

Myself and a couple of my cousins used to joke that we thought Grandma had a ‘Top 5’ prayer list that consisted of her grandkids that needed her to pray for them the most.  We’d joke about who was getting bumped from the list by someone else, and who was working their way to the top.  But the truth is, I don’t think there was a ‘Top 5’.  I think Grandma’s family prayer list looked more like what you see on the back of the program.  (A list of Grandpa and Grandma's posterity of 114 people.)  She loved us all so much, and prayed often, for all of us.  I know she did.

Grandma bantered back and forth with me just as much as I did with her about favorites.  And one day I got a card in the mail from her and she’d cut a piece from a magazine and glued it on the inside.  It said, “Jesus Loves You, But I’m His Favorite.”  I’ve never thought of Jesus as being one to play favorites, but I would imagine that if He was the type, my Grandma would be right there at the top of the list.

Grandma, I can speak for all of your grandchildren and say that we know you loved us, not just because you told us often, but because we felt loved by you. 

Thank you for your hunger for truth and knowledge.  Thank you for your perfect example.  Thank you for your prayers.  And thank you for never giving up on any one of us.  And, Grandma? Because I know you always wondered, all those hours you spend ‘not’ preaching to me?  I was listening.   

My heart hurts just thinking about how much I already miss you.   I love you, so much.


Adrian said...

Thanks for the tears again. You gave a wonderful talk and tribute to our sweet grandma.

megantonesforever said...

Loved your talk Andrea. Thought it was just perfect.