It was October 27, 1951, when my dear wife
was relieved of this life's cares and sorrows, and in her casket, dressed in her beautiful
robes, I was glad to see how happy she appeared to be. Could it be that her spirit still
lingered there? I thought so.
To me, those were sacred moments and as I bent over and kissed her, I exclaimed, "I love you." "To me you are the most wonderful woman in all the world," I wanted her to hear again those sentiments from my lips.
I was not aware that I was being heard by others, but a short time later, a good brother who had never had the experience of having a wife and family, though no fault of his, said to me, "Brother Winterton, those words I heard from your lips were the most wonderful words I have ever heard."
THE FUNERAL SERVICES
The funeral services were held in the South
Summitt Stake House at Kamas, which was profusely decorated with beautiful flowers. The
building was filled to capacity with relatives, neighbors and friends.
Services were under the direction of Herman Cooley, First Counselor to Bishop LaMont Walker of the Woodland Ward. Sister Jennie Johnson took charge of the recordings of the services. These I keep and prize very dearly.
The opening prayer was by Paul Van Wagoner, a nephew.
The songs rendered were the following, "God's Other Room," by Clyde Pyper, a nephew; "That Wonderful Mother of Mine," by Tom and Elizabeth Lefler. Another favorite song, "My Best to You" by the Midway Quartetts, which I here name as Royal Huffaker, Carl Probst, Reed Kohler and Clyde Pyper; the song "Going Home" was beautifully rendered by Afton Thacker, a nephew.
There were the following speakers: George W. Johnson of Midway, Clyde Ritchie of Heber; and Bishop Grant Thomson of Woodland.
I thought, how wonderful did each of them remember and tell of many traits of her character, which were outstanding, in her life, and which had endeared her to the hearts of those who knew her best.
Brother Johnson said, "The beautiful parable written by Temple Bailey, I wish to read here. It is a wonderful tribute to such a mother as yours."
Then after reading the poem he said, "You will always remember her as a living testimony of righteousness. You will never live long enough, you who knew her fine soul, that the glory of her example will ever be dimmed, and we who called her loved one, sister, friend, will always remember her beautiful example to us."
Closing prayer was by Wayne Whiting, of the Charleston Ward. The prelude and postlude was by Donette Hair, a niece.
The dedication of the grave was by Heber Winterton, a nephew.
Luncheon was served for family and friends at the Charleston Ward House by the Woodland Relief Society.
The Parable as rendered by George Johnson, so typical of Sarah's life I here enclose.
A PARABLE FOR MOTHERS
The young mother set her foot on the path of
life. "Is the way long?" she asked.
And her guide said: "Yes, and the way is hard and you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning." But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than those years. So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them, and life was good, and the young mother cried, "Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."
Then night came, and storm, and the path was dark; and the children shook with fear and cold, and the Mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, "Oh, Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come." And the Mother said, "This is better than the brightness of day, for I have taught my children courage."
And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead; and the children climbed and grew weary, and the Mother was weary, but at all times she said to the children, "A little patience and we are there." So the children climbed, and when they reached the top they said, "We could not have done it, Mother, without you." And the Mother, when she lay down that night, looked up at the stars, and said: "This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today I have given them strength.
And the next day came strong clouds which darkened the earth--clouds of war, and hate, and evil; and the children groped and stumbled, and the Mother said, "This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God."
And the days went on, and the weeks and the months, and the years; and the mother grew old; and she was little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage.
And when the way was hard, they helped their Mother; and when the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide.
And the mother said, "I have reached the end of mv journey, and now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk along, and their children after them."
And the children said, "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates. "
And they stood and watched her as she went in alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: "We cannot see her, but, she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence."
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