Well Done, Faithful Servant…

This past week I attended a graveside memorial for a close family friend, LaVon Anthony. My folks met her in the 80s when I was but just a minion of a person. She lived in the trailer court a hop, skip, and a jump from my childhood home on the west side of Logan. As a young girl I remember her wit and straight talk. She never had kids and was married for only a few short months years before, so my sister and I kind of adopted her as a “fill-in” grandma. I have many fond memories of having dinners with her. We loved when she’d come over and we’d both shovel in the food in hopes that she’d stay around to play a game of “Hand and Foot” with us. She’d never let us win… that wasn’t LaVon… she was competitive no matter how many digits were in your age… but that’s why we loved her.

In the 90s after she’d returned from serving her 2nd church mission, she even lived with us for a while until she was able to secure an apartment behind the tabernacle in Logan… and then when they demolished those apartments years later to build a parking lot, she moved into Williamsburg Retirement Home where she lived out the rest of her days.

I could relate to her more as I aged. A single woman without kids trying to make it in a lonely world full of families. She’d often lament that no one would bother to attend her funeral so was adament she wouldn’t have one. She worried about money running out before she passed and was often wondering where that would leave her with no kids to take care of her.

My mom got the call 2 weeks ago Sunday that she was found in her apartment in Williamsburg slumped over the bathtub, dressed for the day, her bag packed waiting for a brother-in-law to pick her up to watch general conference. She’d had a stroke and was transferred from Logan Hospital to an Ogden Hospital and once stabilized transferred back to a skilled nursing facility in Logan to live out the remainder of her days. Mom and I went to visit her the evening she arrived at the facility, flowers in hand, not knowing what to expect. She was asleep when we arrived, so we gently woke her. Her eyes remained closed for our visit and I’m not sure if she knew who we were… her left side was paralyzed and the one word answers she was able to give seemed slurred and sometimes incoherent. It was not the LaVon I always joked around with, the LaVon who would come back with the wittiest reply even at 93 years old.

Mom turned to look at me and mouthed “she’s gone,” the person we knew and loved had moved on… her body was just here until it could pass into the next stage.

Through big fat tears rolling down my cheeks, I felt prompted to wish her safe travels and the happiest of reunions with her dear parents and siblings who had passed before her. I let her know I loved her and she was able to reply with a “love you.” We said our goodbyes… LaVon passed away the next night. I went to her graveside memorial on Wednesday, a 2-1/2-hour drive each way for a 30-minute service, I went because I told her I would be there, and I hope when it’s my time, childless and spouseless, someone does the same… because they care.

Safe travels, thou good and faithful servant. I hope they play a mean game of Hand and Foot in heaven too…

LaVon with Corbin and Madre at her 92nd birthday dinner…

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FYI Lindsay… BoBo said he wants to go live with this guy who has a goose coming out of his book!


Filed under Family, Uncategorized

9 responses to “Well Done, Faithful Servant…

  1. Audrey Hutchison

    What a wonderful tribute to your dear friend. Whitney, you are so special.

  2. Louisa

    Sorry for your loss. She sounds like she was a neat lady. I’ve never heard of the game Hand & Foot. Your family was clearly special to her.

    We had an elderly lady befriend us some years ago. She was looking for a handy-man and none of the men in town wanted to take her on. She was just a lonely widow lady. My husband’s name and number was given to her by one of them and she called to see if he would come fix a few things in her house for her. He, of course, did and a few times he took the kids along. She loved my kids and fussed and clucked over them and they saw her as another Gramma. They even called her Gramma Dorothy. She loved that because all her grandkids and great grandkids didn’t come to see her anymore. Within a year (going weekly or monthly as she needed) he had everything fixed. Then she wanted him to till her garden, mow her grass, clean the gutters, and take care of her leaves. By then the kids were helping with the landscaping business & yard business. She loved having them there each week and looked forward to it. When she fell and broke her arm at 93, she had to go into the nursing home. We would all make a point to go and see her each week and send cards etc. She looked forward to our visits. She did not like the nursing home at all but she had to stay there because she had some dementia and couldn’t live on her own any longer. She decided to be a blessing to others instead of hating where she was. If she would play the piano, my kids would sing for her. The others would gather to take part or to listen. She would pray with anyone that wanted to. She was a prayer warrior for all. She would befriend the new people coming in to the nursing home and have them sit at her table until they made some friends. She passed peacefully at 97. She was a blessing to us and we loved her a lot.

    • What a sweet lady and a sweet thing your family did in befriending her and helping her out, Louisa. I bet both sides benefited from that arrangement. I admire those who can have a positive attitude amidst trials and tribulations!

  3. dessawade@gmail.com

    So glad you had a photo with LaVon at her birthday party. Thanks for this post. She’d be happy that you thought about her. We loved Lavon!

  4. Marilyn Curtis

    Oh gosh that hit my heart! I have a favorite neighbor that I loved dearly when I was a little tot! Sister Furhiman!!! German accent! Oh how I loved to visit her! I learned to love steamed cabbage. Indeed she was deemed my best friend and adopted grandmother! When I graduate from life… she is the first person I want to see! Thanks for your words and emotions! Touching!!

    • I love those memories, Marilyn!! Sister Fuhriman with the German accent sounds like a gem… I bet you both came out learning something from the times you spent with each other. Love you, Marilyn! Hope all is well!

  5. Alena

    So sorry for your loss dear friend! Beautiful pictures! 💙💚💜

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