The Copelands are a prominent family in the church community in these parts, as are the Atkinses. The Jenkins family are also well-known, as are the Newtons. Anyone who has been a member for any length of time in any of the Jacksonville stakes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the past 50 years has heard of these families. These families know each other. They grew up together; their kids went to the same school and church activities. They intersect with other families and strengthen their lines. Posterity continue to branch out over the region and across state or country boundaries. They’re legends. They’re saints. Our respect for them runs deep.
Today, we acknowledge one gone. A Newton. She left us on Thursday, suddenly.
I walked into a nearly packed chapel this morning. The building itself seemed to heave a sigh. We all were trying to understand how before Thursday she was with us, and now, she is without us for a season.
It was jarring to hear the obituary and wonder what it is like to be survived by your parents; to wonder if the parents at all question the fairness of this circumstance.
The front of the printed program indicates she’s only 10 days older than my mother.
My brother and I grew up with her kids. My mom taught her son in Primary. I’ve always admired her family, her temperament, her countenance and outlook on life. She has definitely helped keep the Newton legend alive.
We strive to rejoice constantly in God’s plan for us. We’ll see our loved ones again; we can be with our families forever. It truly is comforting to have that knowledge.
But, it certainly is okay to mourn her absence.
We miss you, Vicki.