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Funeral Services for Lucy Alice Neves Asay Cox July 14, 2010

Filed under: Funeral Services,Grandma,LUcy — hbingham @ 5:39 am
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Funeral services for Grandma were held July 8th.  The viewing, the funeral and the burial were beautiful.  My mom gave the eulogy, several of the grand kids and one great shared favorite memories and then my Dad spoke.  My parents sent me copies of their talks, which I’ll post here.  The services were recorded and I’ll make that available as soon as we get it on a CD.  We’ll put the audio, the DVD that was shown in the foyer, and the hard copy put on one CD and distribute that as soon as we can.  We plan on providing one copy to each sibling and grandchild.  If you are not one of these individuals and would like a copy, please send me an email or leave a comment and we’ll get it too you.
Talk by LuAnn Brandt
Lucy Alice Neves Asay Cox, a great lady, our mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, friend and teacher was born in Burlington, Wyoming  on Feb 7, 1909, a hundred and one and a half years ago!  On June 29th, in the evening, she was joyfully reunited with two husbands, Reed Asay and Burl Cox, two daughters, Carol and Della and her baby Reed Jr, along with her parents Mattie and Richard Carl Neves, brothers Eldon and Owen, and sisters, LaRena and Elnora, and all those people she did temple and genealogy work for and most of all with her Savior.  We cannot mourn her passing, but only rejoice in our association with her and continually reflect and learn from her example.
Early in my life, my greatest goal was to eventually have the faith my mother had.  I don’t think I considered that her faith was developed by persevering through a number of heart wrenching and faith testing trials.
The first of these came at the impressionable age of 14 when her father died at the hands of an assailant.  She had been the last of the family to talk to him before the event.  When she heard, she immediately found a place to fall to her knees and , in her words, told her Heavenly father in no uncertain terms that he had to make her father well.  When she found that he had indeed died, her young faith was shaken and her mother and others were too involved with their own grief to console or support her.  Joe Reid was sitting up with her father that night and she joined him.  He talked to her and helped her to not feel so bitter.  I don’t know who he was, but I am grateful that he helped my mama hold on to her faith that night for she would need it desperately in the coming years.
Mama had to testify at the trial in which the assailant was actually acquitted, then her beloved Aunt Lucy died.  With her mama and sisters she moved to Byron, where life was financially difficult and mama attended the Big Horn Academy in Cowley. They returned to Burlington where she had to attend school with the children of her father’s assailant.  In her words, that served to teach her to stand up for herself in memory of her father’s decency and goodness.
After her sophomore year, she found room and board with the Kitchen family in Lovell so that she could finish school in Lovell which she did with honors.  She was class president and yearbook editor.  By then she had been noticed by Reed Asay, red-headed football player, who outsmarted other guys on at least two occasions in order to take mother out.  I always loved the story of their first kiss.  After the big M-Men dinner dance, Reed accompanied her to the door and gave her a qauick, but thorough kiss on the mouth and thanked her for the evening.  She reacted in true Jane Eyre style and said, “oh, Mr. Asay!”  He felt reprimanded and didn’t try again for a long time!
On June 27 1927 they were married, but it wasn’t until July 16, 1937 that they were sealed in the Logan Temple.  This came two years after their darling little Carol died at the age of 20 months, a tragedy mama never really got over I think.  Her first child, Richard, was born healthy because of Mama’s deception.  She was ill with uremic poisoning and had heard the doctors say they were taking her to the operating room with little chance of saving her, even less likely saving the baby.  So she faked labor pains so they wouldn’t operate and finally succeeded in giving birth to Richard.  She became very ill at that point and was saved through faith and prayers.  The doctor told her not to have any more children if she wanted to live and raise the one.  She said she almost took him seriously and only had eight more!
Their married life was marked by the great depression, although mama says she didn’t really notice because she had suffered from economyitis all along.  During those early years she had her father-in-law living with her along with her sisters, cousins, and aunts intermitantly, sometimes when her husband was gone looking for work in difficult times.  She says, “It seems unfortunate in looking back that I didn’t give myself a little more time for emotional settling.  As it was I plunged into more problems than I had ever faced.”
1951 was a landmark year.  She lost her husband and sweetheart, Reed,   to  heart disease, her  new born baby and her sweet 20 year old daughter to complications of rheumatic fever.  How her heart kept beating, I do not know.  But I do know that miracles followed the great faith that Mama demonstrated.  In the few years after, carla was run over by a milk truck and survived with hardly a mark.  LuAnn was instantly healed from deadly insephililtis through  a priesthood blessing and Ted recovered after what should have been a mortal wound inflicted by a hunter.  Her faith was strong, but her mortal self suffered as shown in the poem she wrote at this time called Memories Bittersweet:  Page 127
Mama must have drowned her grief in service and motherhood.  Even marrying Burl Cox, in June of 1953, an old bachelor who was steeped in independence and mountain living.  But Reed had come to her and asked her to look out for him, his cousin and friend.  So she did.  I wonder, wasn’t it Mama who needed looking out for?  What a lesson there is here!  Daddy would say he was going hunting, but would fail to mention that it might be for weeks at a time.  How did she put up with it?  First of all because she knew she was on a mission for the Lord and that the Lord loved Burl Cox.  And Lucy Cox was stubborn in doing her duty.  Some of you younger people may think this sounds awful.  But an amazing family came from this duty doing.  And we all loved Burl Cox in the end and so did Mama.  Most of all, he loved us and he loved Mama and that old codger learned to love the Lord.  As Psalms 30:5 ssays, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Mama taught me that joy comes after the heartache and suffering, not before.  And that it takes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to know that and make your way through to the end where joy is found.
Now during all that time, Mama was a teacher, something she continued being the rest of her life.  She recorded in her journal a moment from her first year in Otto,  “ I remember taking the class out at recess one day when the wind was blowing and we recited the poetry like, “Who has seen the Wind, and I have a little Shadow, and How do you like to go up in a swing.  Then there were those evening sessions painting apple boxes chartreuse for book cupboards.  “  They put on a box supper to raise money for a phonograph, but much of the money came from a large family who spent a lot of money there in the form of checks that bounced!  So mama ended up paying for most of the phonograph herself.  She was always spending money she didn’t have on teaching.  Teacher becomes a pretty sacred word when applied to our mother.  She took every student as a personal stewardship.  We cannot count the number of people who come up to us and say, “She was my fourth grade teacher, with love and meaning in their countenance.  They often remember that they had the most important part in the fourth grade program.  The thing was they did.  She made every part special for a certain child’s needs.  She even picked the books she read to her class according to the need of a student.  One former students told us that she had social problems that year and suffered a great deal of teasing from other children.  Mama sent her on an errand to the office and explained to the class about                              and helped them to understand and respect her for her differences.  The crazy things she said now became special rather than cause for mockery.
Mama was always going to school trying to get that degree; there was the summer in Ohio on an aviation scholarship and another summer at Northwestern in Chicago on a Women’s Christian Temperance Union Scholarship, sessions in Billings and Powell until she finally graduated from The U of Wyo in 196 _______I don’t know how she concentrated on school when her family was so much on her mind.  An exerpt from  a letter: “ page 139, page 140
In later years Mama and Burl served a temple mission in Idaho Falls often not seeing daylight for days since they arrived in the temple before dawn  and came home after dark.    Lucy also drove through so many snow storms to get to the temple even in the winter, but she seemed obvlivious to it all.  One time a big blizzard came up.  We were so worried and went out looking for her.  It seems that she had got a speeding ticket out of Cowley!    She would get in her rabbit and go anywhere:  California, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho.
Then came the skin cancer, broken hip and strokes.  She was dead set against going to the care center, but  the time came.  We wanted to have her in our homes, but that wouldn’t do either.
I will never forget the morning we came when they moved her into the hospice room.  The aide brought in these books and said, I don’t know if you know what these are, but she always read from these.  She especially loved this one.”  If she only knew how she loved this book.  She always had it up to her breast and would read when she couldn’t see.  I think she thought the words and felt the spirit.
Talk by Robert Brandt

I am standing before you today in proxy for Floyd Allred.  You see Lucy always said that she wanted Floyd Allred to preach the sermon at her funeral.  Thinking of that now I do not know that she thought very carefully about that request.  Either she was wishing a very long life for Floyd or a shorter one for herself, neither of which happened. IAGREED TO DO THIS NOT THINKING CLEARLY, I FORGOT THAT ALL OF YOU WOULD BE HERE, A WHEN I ARRIVED YESTERDAY IN LOVELL IT HIT ME – WHAT ON EARTH HAD I AGREED TO DO.  SUCH IS THE LOT IN LIFE WHEN ONE DRAWS THE SHORT STRAW.  RICH, BY RIGHTS THE ONE WHO HAS THE TALENTS AND ABILITIES AND THE FAMILY RIGHT TO DO THIS IS PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO, TED SAID HE WOULD BLUBBER TOO MUCH, WHAT DO YOU CALL WHAT I AM DOING TED? DWAIN HAS A PHYSICAL CONDITION THAT DOES NOT ALLOW HIM TO BE AROUND CERTAINS SMELLS AND CHEMICALS, ED QUICKLY PIPED UP I UNDERSTAND, “I DID BURLS, ITS SOMEONE ELSES TURN AND JOHN HAD TO RETURN TO GERMANY.              So, I am no Floyd Allred but I will do my best.

I do not know what Floyd would have said, but I believe probably the gospel truths which Lucy believes in with all her heart.

Hearts are tender this day, it encompasses more that the death of Grandma, there is another goodbye in the hearts of many grandchildren.  I think Heidi said it best  “Grandma was my safe place. My anchor.  No matter what I always knew that my Grandma would be there.  She was home to me.  Not only is this a “see you later, Grandma” but a good bye to my childhood,  to my home, the Big Horn Mountains that are so much a part of me”.  This is the place our children has always considered to be their home, their safe place, Burl and Lucy’s, they never balked at the suggestion of a visit “home” to Lovell.   I am grateful for such influence on the lives of me and our children.

I am saddened that more of Lucy’s grandchildren could not have been here today.

I know that each and every one of them wanted to be here. They want to show their respect and honor one who is so deeply loved.    This is a sacred time when feelings are tender and the spirit is close.   I  hope that they understand that their Grandmother was a woman of faith.  She had more faith than any I know of, and the important thing was that to my knowledge she never doubted.  No matter what happened in her life, she simply gave it to the Lord, trusted  in Him  and then learned how to handle what He blessed her with.

Life wasn’t easy, in fact much of her life was downright hard and difficult, but to my knowledge she never, ever questioned her Heavenly Father.   We are familiar with her life and her trials and struggles. Can any of us say that our trials and tribulations are anywhere near to or equal to hers?  Can any say that their life is harder than hers?  I think not.  We can look to her as a great example to all of us.  All of life’s situations and circumstances only made her stronger and more determined.  When things were tough she didn’t turn away from the Lord, she turned to Him.  She exercised her faith and moved forward.  She turned to the scriptures for guidance and direction and she found answers.

She loved the scriptures and studied them thoroughly.   She especially loved the Book of Mormon which she kept by her side.   She taught us that there is no substitute for the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is NO drug or worldly pleasures, no form of recreation that can or will give us even a portion of the internal peace and happiness that she possessed, and received through righteous living. There was no substitute for her, there isn’t or shouldn’t be any for us.  I have to ask the question, if the gospel was so important to Grandma, then why not to us? Why not follow her great example of faith?

There was also a definite streak of stubbornness and firmness about her.  Try as we might in these last years of her life none of us were ever able to convince her to come to our homes and be with us. Many times when I would visit I would say, why don’t you jump in the back seat of that car and I will take you to Heber with us, she would turn her head sideways, look up with a little grin on her face and then say,  “What can I fix you to eat?”   It was never given consideration, never part of the question and certainly not worthy of discussion.    That little streak of stubbornness and independence certainly has stuck well with at least one of her children!   I think of her homemade bread, fear factor pancakes, gingerbread and a few unidentifiable configurations as well as many delicious things prepared for us.  The kids all loved being at Grandmas.

Last night one of the grandchildren had on a sweater made for her Mother by Grandma Cox.  Those sweaters made with all of the colors of Josephs of olds coat, and are just as special.  I would dare say that her hands have made 100’s of beautiful things for family and friends alike. In a recent blog her Grandson Mathew spoke of a red sweater with a zipper front his Grandma made him in first grade.  Wasn’t his favorite at the time, I can imagine that it was more than just red, it was I am sure it was RED RED, today Mathew remembers the sweater and what it truly represented, the love of a caring Grandmother. I have watched in amazement at the speed of her hands and fingers as she rapidly stitched line after and line and then watched and cringed as she would pull out stitch after stitch because back there someone, where only she could see was a small mistake.  She could not give something to someone or have ownership in something that was not perfectly made.  Like her life she tried to get it right.  Our lives too are like those stitches, mistakes have been made, some small perhaps for some of us large ones, that have to be removed.  That’s what the Saviors atonement did for us.  He made it possible to go back and remove them, them to begin anew that our lives may be as perfect as Grandma’s work!

I think of her endless desire to learn and gain knowledge. Her thirst for knowledge was unquenchable, always learning.  And when she learned something she found the most remarkable ways to share it with others, to teach and help. Many remember her as the Teacher.  It was amazing, on her 100th birthday the letters and cards she received from students years prior who still loved her and remembered her as their teacher, and how neat it was that they, each one of them were her favorite students.  Always teaching and helping others to learn and grow.  In her book Phyllis wrote of a short poem, I don’t know if Phyllis wrote the poem I should have asked, I think she did, but it very much applies:

“This mother loves sunflowers, Walking in the Big Horn Mountains and TEACHABLE Children”

In her eyes everyone was teachable, children as well as  adults  and she was eager to share her love of learning.    She taught 4th grade for 39 years in addition to endless lessons in church and auxiliaries.  Yes she loved to teach the impact of her teaching is wide spread.  Her students have traveled the world and the impact of this little lady has been passed down; the knowledge gained by one passed on to another over and over again.

Even God’s creatures, well some of them I don’t think cats were much favored by her, were better off having known Lucy.  No one or nothing could have been more loved or better cared for than Birdie a little bird that had fallen from the nest and broken its wing.  It became part of her life.  She nurtured it and healed it.   Many such wounded children, some more severely than others, were rescued by their teacher and learned and grew as she guided them and convinced them that they were special!

The most important of all however, that none can deny is her love for the Savior and for her Father in Heaven.  That testimony is the glue that encompassed her and held her together.    It is impossible to think of Grandma and not recognize and give credence to her testimony.  She didn’t love any of us any less when we messed up or when we chose to take detours from the Gospel path, she just prayed a little harder for us.  She lived the gospel every day, inside and outside, backward and forward, she lived the gospel.   She loved and prayed for each and every one of her posterity to grasp on the Iron Road and walk the path with her. Some she pushed and prodded and through nothing but determination watched them change and grow and grasp on to the rod.      I mentioned to LuAnn that her Mom just quietly taught and set the example for others to follow, I said She never scorned or shook her finger, and she corrected me, Oh Yes She did that a time or two!  It isn’t those scolding’s though, no matter how well deserved that is remembered, it is her constant effort to teach.

When she was first put in the hospital prior to going into the nursing home, I visited with her.  While there the Doctor came in and wanted her to get up and go for a walk.  She held up her scriptures and said DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS?  I walk through these every day!    Certainly her answer that getting up at that moment and taking a walk was certainly not going to happen!  And then the interrogation continued – Have YOU read them?  I suggest that you go home and that you do read them.  End of conversation.

And so we Honor and I hope and pray that we honor her going forward by beginning today, taking a step at a time, no matter where we are on the path, and build and grow our testimony.  Get to know the Savior, as she did, become friends with Him who died for each of us that we might live and be together, forever.

Death is an essential part of our mortal experience, sometimes I think Lucy believed she was going to get out of this life without that experience.  Each of us however, will eventually graduate this life, I think that Lucy graduated with high honors.  Just as our birth took us from our premortal existence to this earth,  death is the roadway that takes us to the eternities. President Monson reminded us and I quote  “ that we “laugh, we cry, we work, we play, we love, we live. And then we die.

Death is our universal heritage.  All must pass its portals.  Death claims the aged, the weary and worn.  It visits the youth in the bloom of hope and the glory of expectation. Nor are little children kept beyond its grasp.  In the  words of the Apostle Paul, It is appointed unto men once to die.” unquote

And dead we would remain but for One, even Jesus of Nazareth.  Born in a stable, cradled in a manger,  His birth fulfilled prophesy.  He provided  life, the light and the way.  Multitudes followed him.  Many adored Him, others rejected Him. Our elder brother, taught in parables        he lived and taught by example     and  he lived perfectly.  The King of Kings was also ridiculed, reviled, mocked and nailed to a cross amidst the shouts of “Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.  And,   Others   chanted   he saved but himself he cannot!

His response?  “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!”

His body was placed in a borrowed sepulcher and when visited on the first day of the week by Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother   of James, to their astonishment the body of their Lord was gone!  Heavenly messengers proclaimed to them    He is not here, but is risen.  The empty tomb brought comforting assurance, an affirmative answer to Job’s questions, “If a man die, shall he live again”!

If your heart is troubled today, if perhaps within you is even the slightest concern that death is the end, open your heart and let the whisperings of the Holy Spirit teach you this day and allow those tender feelings to be touched and to know that the answer of Job’s question is YES,  FOR   When a man dies, he SHALL live again.

The Master spoke         I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE< HE THAT BELIEVETH IN ME< THOUGH HE WERE DEAD YET SHALL HE LIVE.

Through tears and trials, fears and sorrows, heartache and loneliness there is assurance that life is everlasting.  Our Lord and Savior is the living witness that such is so.  Oh sweet the joy this sentence gives, I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES.   To that Lucy testified

Cheri’s poem.

Family Tapestry

By Cheri Cox Frary

The tapestry of my family

Is the fabric of my soul.

Each thread, a life that intertwines,

To make the pattern whole.

Threads that walked the weary plains,

Threads that crossed the sea,

Threads that weave their lives to a prophet’s words

Are in this tapestry.

My mother and my father

Are a living legacy

Of the faithfulness and virtue

Seen throughout their tapestries.

I remember Mama kneeling by the road,

The wreck of our car gleamed in the sun.

I heard her voice, firm and steady, praying in gratitude

For our lives and the help, sure to come.

I find it my commission

To continue their design,

For my children too are weavers

And their pattern’s sure and fine.

Some day they may walk a weary plain,

They may cross the sea.

For they’ll weave their lives to a prophet’s words

Like my parents showed to me

In our family tapestry.

And so here we are, at the end of a beautiful life,

And so now we don’t say goodbye,  its  See you later Grandma!

I testify that her life was her sermon, and pray that we will all follow closely her footsteps.

Amen
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2 Responses to “Funeral Services for Lucy Alice Neves Asay Cox”

  1. Marie Thomas Says:

    I would love a CD of the funeral. The services very good. Everyone had such a great tribute.

  2. Linda Loveland Hess Says:

    what beautiful talks, I have a few tears rolling after reading them. What a wonderful family you have. Thanks so much for these precious talks and for your spirit which comes through so beautifully. I will share these with my children God bless you.


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