Grandma Bodine's Eulogy- by A. William Bodine
Contributor: Maxmo11 Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
AMBER LOUISE OHLIN BODINE
May 16, 1908 – February 9, 2007
Bishop, family and friends, I am most grateful for your presence, love and support today as we join together to honor my dear mother, Amber Louise Ohlin Bodine, who peacefully passed in her sleep this past Friday evening, February 9th 2007. I thank each of you for your kind thoughts, remarks and remembrances as we honor this good woman today for her extraordinary accomplishments in a life that she endured nearly 99 years. In particular I am very grateful to Jan, and Carol Allred in particular, as they cared for my mother in her closing years and especially her needs at this time. I can never really know the sacrifice and service they have given to my dear mother. For all that each of you have done for and meant to my mother for so many years, I thank you. I also pray for the Lord’s spirit and his strength as I seek to share my feelings with you this day.
In my remarks this afternoon, I only want to add the perspective of a son who has enjoyed the blessings of her teachings, the example of the excellence that she exhibited in all aspects of her life, and the great legacy she has left so far to three generations of her posterity, her children, her grand children and her great grandchildren. Most of all, in the thirty years that have passed since my father died and in the subsequent years of suffering the premature loss of my sister, Jeannette, and my younger brother, Richard, she became my best friend in this life. I treasured my regular phone calls and periodic visits with her, especially this past December when her doctor was absolutely convinced we would lose her. As my family all assembled in Yuba City to enjoy a last visit with her, I remember with joy the occasion just six weeks ago when I asked her if she would like a blessing. She smiled and said “yes”. As I pronounced the prayer, I felt prompted to tell her she was released from this life. I also shared with her other beautiful messages that came as I prayed for her in her hour of need for comfort. When I finished the prayer, she opened her eyes, graciously thanked me for the blessing and smiled and said “I will let you know when its time!” We had a good laugh at an otherwise very tender moment and I marveled at her great spirit. In coming weeks, she rallied miraculously and astonished her doctors. She was soon smiling and dialing and working the corridors of The Fountains as she visited her many friends. This was mom: positive, moving ahead, always a friend and very fun.
As I reflected in December on what to say on this occasion about such a great woman and mother, I began to write down a list of words that I believe best describe my mother as I knew her. Because her life was so long and because there is only limited time to speak about her today, perhaps, my sharing this list with you would be helpful to remember her: obedient, faithful, enduring, energetic, determined, optimist, brilliant, courageous, kind, patient, fair-minded, pioneer, cook, cub scout leader, handy-crafter, genealogist, teacher, trainer, builder, historian, musician, writer, long-suffering, peacemaker, homemaker, merciful, gardner, seamstress, survivor, charitable, example, friend, listener, motivator, thrifty, dependable, beautifier, leader, servant, defender, helpmate, businesswoman, survivor, trustworthy, mother, daughter of Eve, daughter of Zion and daughter of God. My childhood and life-long friend, Dick Landerman, said recently of my mother: “It is said it takes a village to raise a child. Your mother was a village.” I am so grateful and honored that Amber Louise Ohlin Bodine was my mother.
Born May 16, 1908 when Calvin Coolidge was President of the United States and Joseph F. Smith was President of the Church, mom was the oldest of five children born to Carl Gustav Ohlin, an immigrant and fine carpenter from Sweden, and Jeanette (“Nette”) Goodall of Salt Lake City, Utah. She was blessed and given her name by her Grandfather, Peter Adolph Ohlin, and at age eight was baptized in the Tabernacle at Temple Square in Salt Lake. Mom was very bright, even a genius, and a real achiever. In every school she ever attended, grammar school, high school and LDS Business College, she was the Valedictorian and number one student in her class. She was also a leader and held Study Body Offices in high school. As the oldest child in her family, and especially during the Depression Years, she worked hard and helped provide for her family. Under such conditions, she also learned homemaking skills, quilt-making, knitting, crocheting, sewing and gardening. She was industrious, frugal, and eager to help others, talents and skills she would share generously with others for nearly 100 years.
Her neighbors growing up in Murray, Utah at 45th South & 7th East included the Bodine Family, in particular, my grandparents and their rambunctious kids totally seven: five boys (my dad as the oldest) and two girls. Mom’s brother, Spencer and my dad were the best of friends and the two families were very close, both in proximity and in friendship. Mom, her sisters, dad, his brothers and sisters and their close friends all hung out together. When dad left for his mission at age 19 in 1929, mom and one or two other girls wrote dad regularly and while it is clear from reading dad’s missionary diary many years after his death, mom loved dad. However, when dad returned from his mission he instead married someone else. While mom never discussed this matter with me, I am sure it broke her heart. In a short time as dad’s first marriage ran into problems, he divorced, moved to California and never looked back for nearly ten years until he returned in the Fall of 1940 to visit his parents. It was then that my grandmother, Mary Hubbard Bodine, suggested he take Amber to the Gold & Green Ball on Saturday night. That event began a serious courtship (I have read his love letters to my mom, sometimes two or three a week during this period) that culminated in their marriage in the Salt Lake Temple on April 14, 1941. Mom then joined dad in Chico, California where he had been working and in his off-hours enjoying the hunting and fishing of Northern California. Because mom was in her mid-thirties, they quickly had three children in succession, Jeannette, me and my brother, Dick.
As World War II came along, dad became a civilian employee of the US Navy because of a heart murmur but was in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. Meanwhile, mom had her hands full with two children when I was born August 19, 1943 while dad was still away in Hawaii. Dad returned shortly thereafter and after some wonderful years in Chico and especially enjoying Bidwell Park, we moved to Yuba City in the summer of 1951. Within a few years, mom and dad purchased the Franklin Market and soon thereafter in December 1955 experienced the great flood which destroyed our home and their business and devastated the lives of those of you who lived through this terrible experience. With hard work, help from family and sure determination, mom and dad got their business going again and within a few years established the Hillcrest Market and also bought a new home on Neil Drive where our family lived until dad died in 1977 and until mom needed to go the an assisted living facility some 15 years ago.
My memories of growing up with mom reflect her desire to have only the best for her children and the most opportunities she could provide and that our own hard work and talents would allow. She sacrificed, saved and worked hard to do all that she possibly could, even working an extra job full-time, to insure that we all were educated, taught the Gospel and exposed to culture and travels, especially throughout the Western United States. She had many hobbies, especially Genealogy where from age 10 until her late 80’s when she was no longer able to do research. Mom did tremendous work for the dead that helped save thousands of souls. Her voluminous records were ultimately contributed to the Church archives in Salt Lake which honored her with a letter from the Prophet thanking her for her extraordinary efforts through more than eighty years.
As my brother and sister moved on with their lives, Jeannette getting married and Dick moving to New York where he worked for ten years, mom continued to work not only in the family business until it was sold in 1975 but she also worked as an accountant for Meek’s Lumber until she retired at age 65. When dad died, Dick returned to Yuba City to look after mom and this all seemed to work well until Dick became ill with a still unknown brain virus that hospitalized him for ten years before his early death. Soon after, mom was unable to care for herself and after Jeannette had died, she moved into an assisted living facility where she spent the last years of her life.
As I thought about the great accomplishments of my mother, in Church, professionally and in her community, I also reflected upon the great challenges she faced during her life: (1) a Depression; (2) the tragedy of seeing her great love, my father, initially marry someone else; (3) World War II; (4) the death of her own mother and then her father; (5) a Cancer scare following her own mother’s death from brain cancer; (6) the Yuba City flood of 1955; (7) the early death of her husband, (8) the early death of a son; (9) the early death of her only daughter; and (10) the challenge of facing her own death when she really wanted to make to 100. I had a long conversation with her in December and asked her how had she had been able to handle all of those difficulties. She told me what we all know through experience or instinctively know when we are faced with such trials: Trust in the Lord.
Since then, I have had an opportunity to teach a lesson in Church on Facing the Challenges of Life as taught from the Teachings of the Prophets, this year by President Kimball. In thinking further about the talk I had with my mother in December and in studying that principle more deeply, I have learned what we should understand that our path back to our Father in Heaven goes through the Garden of Gethsemane. In fact, our Father in Heaven has promised us all that He has if we are faithful and if we take advantage of the miracle of repentance and the great blessings of the Atonement. And, if we are to be like Him, even Gods & Goddesses, King & Queens, Priests & Priestesses, we must be given great trials in life that help us develop such Godly character as: Obedience, Love of God, Humility, Patience, Spirituality, Courage, Endurance, Forgiveness, Charity, Faithfulness, and Trust in God. And, when we are tested, we can look to the examples of the Savior, Job, Joseph Smith and others who have stood tall as the storms of life shattered their lives. However, for most of us, we can easily get angry, loose faith, become inactive, depressed, turn away from counsel, quit praying, and lose our way. For the faithful, even my mother, they pray, they become closer to God, they remain hopeful, they become humble, they seek inspired counsel, and cling to the iron rod and the word of God. In the great trials of life, they trust in the Lord and yet the test is severe because of blessings are so greatest.
As President Kimball has said to us in our Church teachings this year: “When (as he says) the “apparent tragedies” of life descend upon us, we must trust in the Lord.” Note several critical points from his statement: Tragedies will come to all of us. Horrible experiences appear as tragedies but are great blessings in disguise. In fact, tragedies are tailored to each of us individually but we must trust in God to get thorough them successfully. The Lord makes a most important point on this issue in Moroni 2:10 when he tells us God cannot bring us miracles if we do not trust in the Lord. Is there ever a time when the worst of challenges come to us that we did not need such blessings, even His miracles? It is then, when we usually discover He is all we have and He is all that matters.
I look to those of you I have known so well for so many years and while I do not know all of your tragedies, I do know some. I see a brother-in-law who suffered the loss of his wonderful mother at a tender age and then experienced the premature loss of his beloved wife. I see a favorite cousin who saw the drowning of her own father when she was a young woman. I see the suffering of one of my closest life long-friends who recently lost his wife, a devastating loss that still haunts his soul. I see others who have suffered devastating illnesses. I witnessed first hand the suffering of my sister and then my brother in the closing days of their lives.
What I have learned from my own experience and from each of you is that the very Godly characteristics that we must learn can come in no other way. In fact, these crucial lessons and character traits are really only learned as we embrace and do the very things that God seeks for us to develop as His character traits. And, in our greatest hour of need and in our own Garden of Gethsemane, we can know that we will get through such challenges when we pray, read His words, get closer to Him, cling to hope, seek inspired counsel, and most of all, trust in the Lord. There is no other way. To give us even greater assurance, the Lord even tells us: “I have chosen thee from the refiner’s fire of adversity.” And, when we learn these Godly lessons, we then must be alert to the great needs of others and seek to serve them even as the Lord said “for as you serve the least of these, you have served me.”
As I read my mother’s patriarchal blessing given to her when she was but 18 years old, I am struck by the clear and specific messages that the Lord gave her about how she would spend her life in serving others, doing genealogy work, teaching the Gospel, being an example and remaining calm in times of crisis. In particular, and I quote the Lord from her blessing: “When the tests and trials come, as they will, meet them with patience, with rectitude and courage, never give way to gloom, sadness or discouragement but make the best of every condition, inspire all whom you meet, cultivate divine faith, patience and be full of tenderness and mercy, quick to forgive, and slow to anger…” My mother followed this counsel during her entire life.
My mother’s own words about her life add a strong benediction to my own remarks today: “I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for the health and strength that I have enjoyed. I am grateful for all of the blessings I have enjoyed over the years. I am grateful for my good husband, and three fine children, my grandchildren and great grandchildren.” She then continued on to bear her own testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, that Christ is our Savior, that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, that the Book of Mormon is true, that President Gordon B. Hinckley is God’s Prophet at this time. All of this she knew and lived her life consistent with such knowledge.
In closing, let me share my own witness and testimony of these same truths. Most of all, I know that the Lord will keep his promise to my mother and to each of us if we are faithful and seek the blessings of forgiveness, healing of the Atonement and truly trust in the Lord. Then, we can be among those of the first resurrection, surrounded by all of our loved ones who have known and have done what we can choose to do now, crowned with glory, exalted because of their faithfulness, and prepared to experience everlasting joy and to receive all that He has. I cannot even begin to understand the joy that my mother is experiencing in the great reunion that has just occurred within our family with my father, mother, brother, sister, her own parents, her sisters and brother and all her other family members, friends and loved ones.
May we rejoice in the blessings that Amber Louise Ohlin Bodine truly earned in body, mind and spirit on this earth and may each of us continue to have the strength and trust in God to meet the challenges of this life with complete and total trust in our Father in Heaven who wants each of us to return home, I pray in the holy name of His son, even Jesus Christ, Amen.
February 16, 2007
Yuba City, California
Written and read by A. William Bodine
Angus (“Gus”) Olsen Bodine Birth Place & Life: 1910 to 1977- Written by A.William Bodine in 2015
Contributor: Maxmo11 Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
• Extremely Intelligent – Teachers said: “He’s brilliant!” though he dropped out of high school just before graduating over a dispute with a teacher who accused him of lying. He reacted by knocking the teacher out in the classroom and then walking away.
• Independent Minded – No one pushed “Gus” around, according to last surviving brother, Wayne H. Bodine.
• Tough & hard working – Drove over 2 million miles as a long-haul truck driver before he saved enough to buy his own business; also sparring partner with World Heavy Weight Champion, Max Baer and Military Police at Pearl Harbor.
• Honest & Forthright – Boy Scout Leader who lived the Boy Scout Oath and demanded total honesty from everyone.
• Entrepreneur – Owned & Operated Franklin Market and established Hillcrest Market in Yuba City, CA.
• Loyal Patriot – Volunteer employee of the U.S. Navy due to heart condition. At Pearl Harbor when Japanese attacked.
History of Kelsey, Texas
The origins of Kelsey, Texas go back to 1898. John Edgar, who had tried to settle in Mesa, Arizona, but had not succeeded, settled near Hopewell in Upshur County. In 1898, Edgar purchased land in what would become Kelsey. By 1901, there were nine Latter-day Saint families in Kelsey. On August 4, 1901 a Sunday School of the Church was organized in Kelsey. This same year, James G. Duffin, President of the Southwest States Mission of the Church, received approval from the First Presidency for the building up of this settlement. In 1902, Abraham O. Woodruff and Duffin laid out the town site for Kelsey. A U.S. Post Office was established that same year and by 1906, Kelsey had about 400 inhabitants.
In 1907, the Kelsey School District was formed. By 1910, the population had grown to 527 and in 1911, a two-story brick schoolhouse was built. The first gymnasium in East Texas named Bennion Hall was completed at Kelsey in 1929 and named after Mission President, Samuel O. Bennion. In 1923, the population has risen to 750. Families gathered to Kelsey from throughout the southern United States and occasionally from other parts of the country.
Geographically, Kelsey was a stop on the Marshall & East Texas Railroad. The railroad built a branch line to Kelsey to facilitate the loading of such local products as strawberries, cantaloupes and corn that were grown in the community. During the 1930’s, Kelsey farmers provided food to the oil workers in Kelsey and Gladewater, Texas. In 1943, the school in Kelsey was closed and after that students were bused to Gilmer, Texas. In 1951, a new Church was built in Kelsey.
Personal History – Texas, Utah & California
Born August 2, 1910 in Kelsey, Texas where parents, John Jay Bodine and Mary Olivia Hubbard had moved following their marriage in 1909. Raised in Salt Lake City, Utah where family had moved in 1911. Neighbors there included the Ohlin Family (Carl Gustav and Jeanette Goodall and their children including Amber Louise Ohlin). Educated at LDS High School. Self-supporting as a truck driver delivering newspapers to Wyoming each day after school.
At 19 left for Texas for two years as a Mormon Missionary. Returned home in 1931 and married Arlean Snarr who bore a child, Darlean, in 1932, an event which was followed by a divorce. Moved to Sacramento, California in 1933 where he continued to work as a long haul truck driver but spent off hours as a sparring partner to then World Heavy Weight Boxing Champion, Max Baer, also a resident of Sacramento. In 1937, married Blanche Shurtliffe who had two difficult teenage boys from a previous marriage which led to another divorce in 1940. Thereafter, moved to Chico where continued to drive long haul trucks, save money and enjoy hunting and fishing then so abundant in Northern California.
In 1941, married childhood friend and neighbor, Amber Louise Ohlin, resulting in three children: Mary Jeannette – 1942, Arthur William – 1943 and Richard Everett – 1944. Suffered from a heart murmur throughout life from childhood disease, volunteered to work for the U.S. Navy during World War II and was at Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Moved to Yuba City, California in 1951 to accept a new job, build a new home and save money to buy his own business, The Franklin Market. Following a devastating flood in December 1955, opened Hillcrest Market which he operated until his retirement at age 65 in 1975. He was a Volunteer Fireman, an active Scout Leader and a member of the Lion’s Club in Yuba City. The last two years of his life were spent traveling and dealing with adverse effects of being over-weight for many years, including heart disease which led to an untimely death at age 66 in 1977.