Edith Collins (Thomas)

5 Sep 1921 - 14 Feb 1992


Edith Collins (Thomas)

5 Sep 1921 - 14 Feb 1992
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Grave site information of Edith Collins (Thomas) (5 Sep 1921 - 14 Feb 1992) at Orem Cemetery in Orem, Utah, Utah, United States from BillionGraves
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Life Information

Edith Collins (Thomas)


Orem Cemetery

770 Murdock Canal Trail
Orem, Utah, Utah
United States


May 31, 2011


May 30, 2011

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Norma Thomas Atkin: Her life

Contributor: Dieselbeetle Created: 11 months ago Updated: 11 months ago

Norma Thomas was born June 11, 1925 in Varteg, a little village in the county borough of Torfaein, four miles North of Pontypool, South Wales. She came into the family of Richard Charles and Naomi Forward Thomas, with 5 older siblings: Gladys born in 1911, Harold George, 1913, Wilfred Alvin, 1916, Ivin Ramond,1919 and Edith born in 1921. As a child, Norma liked to dress up and was often teased by her older brothers. They would say she was "being a princess where a princess wasn't needed" (brothers being brothers!). She started Kindergarten at 3, but it lasted for 2 years, so by the age of 5, she was reading. She was always a good student, mastering multiplication and division by 3rd grade. She played hopscotch, skip rope, gymnastics but liked the 'big swings' the best. There was a wall dividing the girls from the boys at school. Norma liked to sneak around the wall and peek at the boys. Norma's mother, Naomi, could always tell when Norma was coming home...she could hear her singing. Her coat would be over her shoulder and she would be singing coming down the road. She did have a natural talent for music along with her beautiful voice, playing the piano by ear when she was younger. Her parents started her in piano lessons, but those did not go well and she lost interest in playing. Later, as a mom, Norma used her singing talent with the 'Singing Mothers' at church. She never wanted to be a soloist, but did enjoy singing with the choir. Norma grew up in a mining town so there was black 'sootie dust' over everything: shoes, clothing, house inside and out. They would need to scrub everything... even the sidewalk! And their water source was not close - they had to go up and down two hills to 'fetch' it. They lived in a "white-washed old fashioned cottage, on top of a hill. It is a ways from anywhere and has no modern conveniences what-so-ever, but it is comfortable and clean, and we have spent many happy days here. We also have to carry our drinking water". (Taken from letters written in 1945). She was baptized in 1933 at the age of 8. When President Heber J. Grant visited Wales, Norma had the "privilege of shaking hands with him, and to hear him speak, although I was not very old at the time, I will always remember him. I thought how nice he looked with his white hair and beard. He looked very distinguished." (Letter from May 1945). She was an excellent knitter. Knitting sweaters, hats and gloves in a few days. On Sundays they would usually have a jello-like truffle and cucumber sandwiches. At 14 she finished public school and became a 'checker' at a laundry, that was the same year (1939) that Hitler invaded Poland and World War 2 started in Europe. Christmas, 1944, she met a tall, thin, young American serviceman named Tom Atkin that was recuperating from a wound. This was the start of her own real love story... The details of how they met, 2 years of writing back and forth, a marriage proposal by mail, and then coming to America....is in Tom's story. She would often ride the train to and from Wales to Birmingham, England, and one time the train was so crowded that they had to "stand all the way home, for 4 hours. The train was simply packed. We were glad to get in get houseboy the fire, we were that cold." (Letter from Norma to Tom). List of some movies mentioned in her letters while living in Wales and England: "Cover Girl" with Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly, "Lady Let's Dance", "The Climax" with Boris Karloff, "Rosemary", "The Love Story" with Steward Granger, "Wilson" (about President Woodrow Wilson) and she especially liked "Since You Went Away". Norma's family moved to Birmingham in June of 1945 to be closer to grandparents in the '5 houses'. Their house, 23 Booth Street, Handsworth, Birmingham 21, was the mission headquarters for the LDS church. Her father, Richard, took care of the LDS Ward House and was the District Leader, riding his bicycle all around the area, keeping in touch with the members. Norma liked the dances in the band hall, and went to many. "I had to walk to the station, on Saturday, because the snow as that bad. It had stopped all means of transport. And funny enough when I got off the train at Snow-Hill, I lost the heel off my shoe, again. Boy was I mad! I came back on Sunday morning, and I had another 8 mile hike from the station up home with only one heel on my shoes. When I got in the house I felt like having a good cry. It has started to snow again tonight. By morning we won't be able to open the door." (January 29, 1945). She called photos, "snaps", children were "nibs" and Americans were called "Yanks". Her family were required to dim the lights in their home at night during the "horrid" war until April of 1945. May 7, 1945, "It's an exciting day...we are expecting Mr. Churchill to announce the end of the war any minute. I will be very glad. I suppose you will be too. It won't be very long now before you will be able to go home." May 10th, "I went to the victory dance after all and now I am feeling the effects. I'm so glad the war with Germany is over, I will be very glad indeed when it is all over, so as we can settle down and live a normal life once again...you should have been here the first part of the week, there's been great big fires, bands out playing, people singing until early hours the morning. I bet there wasn't many who did not have drink. It was disgusting to see some people, but they seemed happy, and you can't help laughing at them sometimes. How did you enjoy Victory Day? (Written to Tom while he was stationed in Germany). Norma and Edgar Thomas (Tom) Atkin were married on December 11, 1946 in the Salt Lake Temple. They brought 8 sons into the world: Richard Thomas, born in Tooele, Utah on September 27, 1947, Maurice Grant, born in Logan, Utah March 30, 1949, Willard Bruce born in Salt lake City, Utah on 5 January, 1951, David Brent, born in Provo, Utah on January 30, 1953 Steven Mark born in Provo, Utah, May 29, 1954, Norman Kenneth born in Provo, Utah on September 6, 1957, Byron Lee, Provo, Utah on January 28, 1961, John Nathan, Provo, Utah on March 4, 1968. Norma was proud to be an American citizen and took her voting rights seriously, but nothing was more important to her than her family and church. She was very happy to be a 'stay at home Mom' and take care of her children and husband, always there for them, encouraging, loving and always smiling. "Do you know dear, I often think, are we worthy of all the blessings the Lord bestows upon us? Sometimes perhaps we don't realize how much the Lord does for us." (April 1945 letter). Norma passed away on July 17, 1997 in Provo, Utah of natural causes. She is buried in the Springville, Utah Cemetery.

Life timeline of Edith Collins (Thomas)

Edith Collins (Thomas) was born on 5 Sep 1921
Edith Collins (Thomas) was 18 years old when World War II: Nazi Germany and Slovakia invade Poland, beginning the European phase of World War II. World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although conflicts reflecting the ideological clash between what would become the Allied and Axis blocs began earlier. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most global war in history; it directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
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Edith Collins (Thomas) was 20 years old when World War II: Nazi Germany invades the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, from German Drittes Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire. The Nazi regime ended after the Allied Powers defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
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Edith Collins (Thomas) was 36 years old when Space Race: Launch of Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth. The Space Race refers to the 20th-century competition between two Cold War rivals, the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States (US), for dominance in spaceflight capability. It had its origins in the missile-based nuclear arms race between the two nations that occurred following World War II, aided by captured German missile technology and personnel from the Aggregat program. The technological superiority required for such dominance was seen as necessary for national security, and symbolic of ideological superiority. The Space Race spawned pioneering efforts to launch artificial satellites, uncrewed space probes of the Moon, Venus, and Mars, and human spaceflight in low Earth orbit and to the Moon.
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Edith Collins (Thomas) was 42 years old when John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas; hours later, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in aboard Air Force One as the 36th President of the United States. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. As a member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented the state of Massachusetts in the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate prior to becoming president.
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Edith Collins (Thomas) was 57 years old when Jim Jones led more than 900 members of the Peoples Temple to mass murder/suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, hours after some of its members assassinated U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan (pictured). James Warren Jones was an American religious cult leader who initiated and was responsible for a mass suicide and mass murder in Jonestown, Guyana. He considered Jesus Christ as being in compliance with an overarching belief in socialism as the correct social order. Jones was ordained as a Disciples of Christ pastor, and he achieved notoriety as the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple cult.
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Edith Collins (Thomas) was 61 years old when Michael Jackson's Thriller, the best-selling album of all time, was released. Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he was one of the most popular entertainers in the world, and was the best-selling music artist during the year of his death. Jackson's contributions to music, dance, and fashion along with his publicized personal life made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
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Edith Collins (Thomas) died on 14 Feb 1992 at the age of 70
Grave record for Edith Collins (Thomas) (5 Sep 1921 - 14 Feb 1992), BillionGraves Record 5795 Orem, Utah, Utah, United States