Monday, May 11, 2009

Eva Merinda Stephenson Thompson

Eva Merinda Stephenson Thompson

My paternal grandmother, Edith LoRene Thompson Harward's mother was Eva Merinda Stephenson Thompson. My Great Grandmother, Eva has made this post easy for me, since she wrote her own life history. I will write just a small excerpt from her history.

[Grandma Thompson was my only great grandparent who lived during my lifetime. I got to know her the most when she would stay with her daughter and my grandmother Edith Harward. She slept in the same bedroom with my Aunt Marie and me. Even when I was only 11, it seemed she was a shorter than I was.

She said, "The first day of November 1886 was my birth date. I arrived in the morning before the other family members were awake. Much concern was felt for the safety of my Mother, Lise Thomson Poulson, at this time. Her age was forty-five years. Prayers were said and my little mother administered to with holy oil by my father [Thomas Christian Stephensen] assisted by an elder in the Church."

Eva's mother married Thomas Christian Stephensen after being widowed. Each were of Scandinavian descent. Her mother Lise was his fifth wife, Eva claimed, "My mother, realizing the need for advice and assistance in rearing her children to be useful, respectable citizens, obeyed the Celestial Law of plural marriage."

She learned to play the organ at an early age from her niece, Mina Stevens Nixon. Eva made all of her own clothing and many for her family and friends.

Eva went away to Brigham Young Academy in 1907-1908. She claimed, "In this same year it became a University."

She married William Leslie Thompson on September 2, 1908 in the Manti Temple. They are the parents of eight children.

Eva wrote, "We were all very active in school, church, and community affairs. All of the children completed high school. Some went on to college and two taught school, some went into business. All are industrious, hard working, active members of the Church."

She always loved to create things with her hands. Eva designed coats and dresses for her daughters remade from clothing given to them. She claimed, "I especially enjoyed the ceramic classes I attended. After I was seventy, I made some of my nicest pieces. These are being enjoyed by my family and friends." Well into her later years she made aprons, pillow cases, baby quilts, dolls and other gifts for her children and grandchildren and the Relief Society bazaars. She thought, "I am never happier than when I am busy doing something for someone."

Eva also said, "I have worked for six years on the genealogical committee and did a great deal of research work. I have accomplished nearly 1,000 names from Denmark on my mother's line and have had the temple work done for many of them. It has made me happy to share many pictures and histories with family members."

After her husband passed away, Eva served as a pink lady at the Utah Valley Hospital. She read to the children and comforted the little ones in the pediatrics ward.

Eva claimed there were certain truths to live by. They included:
  • Waste not--want not.
  • One must make or create for himself a bright spot every day.
  • To have a friend, one must be one.
  • There is no such reward for a well-spent life as to see one's children well-started in life.
  • Buy what thou has no need and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessaries.
  • Good hard work will cure almost any trouble.
  • Faith without works is dead.
Concluding Eva noted, "My greatest hope for the future is to live worthy to meet my Maker, my parents, and my sweetheart with my children for Eternity."

Picture taken at Kendrick and Edith Harward's home July 1968
Top left: Millie Harward
Second row left: LoRene Harward, Connie Harward, Patricia Young, Grandma Thompson, Jeanette Harward

Third row left: A.G. Young, Ricky Pearson, Noelle Pearson
Fourth row left: Kendrick Harward, Paul Harward, Meliss
a Pearson, Michelle Pearson, Cindy Harward

Picture taken at Thompson Family Reunion Aurora, Utah 1968
Eva Thompson, Edith Thompson Harward
Kendrick Harward [below]

Eva passed away July 30, 1969 in Provo, Utah.

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