Our family and friends are here to mourn and celebrate the life of DeRevo Harper Maddox. She is the last of her family and she passed away on December 1, 2020 at the Brigham City Hospital.
For the past few years she has often said how blessed she is to have lived so long and stayed so healthy, which she was until really the last few months.
She often said she was very blessed to have had such great sisters who supported and loved each other. A loving mother and father, and a family of her own with four wonderful children.
I thought I’d throw that one in.
Dad, however, said that only 2 of the kids were very smart and they work for the gov.
By the way, Dain and Michele regret very much that due to flight risk they are unable to be here. Luckily they have visited mom recently and often.
We had a smashing good party for on her 90th.
She was 91 when she passed away and could get around pretty good and communicate great, but when she could not stand or walk anymore she just wanted to be gone.
I must mention that her aid, friend and confidant Lisa was an absolute God send for mom and we all thank her greatly.
Before this NO visit virus hit, we would pick up mom and go to breakfast, then drive to Honeyville to visit Dad. While driving to the cemetery, she often told me to stomp on the gas because she likes going fast. I don’t remember her saying that before the last few years. I told her I was gonna have to explain to the cop that I was just pleasing my mothers wishes and hopefully he chuckled and went away, but we never had to explain.
Mother was the daughter of Ezra Bernard Harper and Maybelle Fayette Loveland. Her father died when he was only 59, and mom was in her early 20’s. I think 24. Her mother lived until she was 91 and by then I was 33.
So all of us grandchildren spent many many days with grandma many Thanksgivings many Christmases and had many laughs together.
Mother has four sisters, all deceased, and she had three brothers. I thought it was only two, but looking at a headstone for the children there were eight births, but the boys died very young, one the same day as he was born, and the other two within two years of being born.
So mom grew up with four sisters, the oldest being Glaya who was born in 1915, Delta was born in 1917, Tess was born in 1922, ReNee was born in 1927, and mom was born in 1929.
So with the passing of Mom this is the end of the Harper era forever. It seems very strange because all of us grandkids still feel like kids and it’s a little lonely thinking that we’re in charge of the world now; God help mankind.
Looking back at history from the birth of Grandma in 1896 to the passing of mother in 2020, it is remarkable to think of the era these six women, five daughters and their mother, lived through. So to do something slightly unorthodox at a funeral, I want to just mention a few things that happened between 1896 and 2020.
And remember when Grandma died, I was 33 so I knew this woman very well, and all the sisters. Here are just a few events I dug up.
In 1896 Utah became a state
In 1909, when grandma was 13, Geronimo died; the great Indian warrior.
Also in 1909, a Civil War vet would have been around 62 years old and grandma would have been about 13, so I knew her and she knew Civil War veterans.
In 1903, when grandma was seven, the Wright brothers flew the first plane.
Now when mom was born in 1929, it was the first year of the stock market crash which I think last around 10 years.
In 1927, when my dad was born, two years before mom, the first talking movie came out.
Also in 1927, Charles Lindbergh make the first flight across the Atlantic.
In 1928, the first commercial TV broadcast.
In 1929, Wyatt Earp of the OK Corral and the wild wild West sheriff, died the same year mom was born.
In 1938, when mom was nine, minimum wage was $.25.
World War I ended in 1918, Glaya was 3.
World War II ended in 1945, mom was, 16 and the rest of it is history.
Now on a personal note, mom says that her youth was basically non eventful.
She loved spending time with her father. She loved being outdoors with her dad. And he told her to put more clothes on while she was plowing the fields because mom was always after the perfect tan. It’s hard to envision that because mother was always so modest.
There is a short story about how mom came to be named DeRevo. Her mother read the name in the newspaper. It was the name of an Indian girl. Grandad didn’t like it and wanted her to be named Miriam. Grandma liked the name DeRevo and said to him, then come to church when have the christening and I announce her name. If you do not then the name will be DeRevo.
Some of the funnier things she mentioned about growing up are that she was a pin setter at the bowling alley before they were automatic so the kids would jump down and reset the bowling pins between every roll of the ball. Sometimes the guys probably would roll the ball trying to hit the pin setters. She took the job in hopes of meeting a boy she liked, but she said that didn’t work out so well.
Some of her friends worked on the telephone switchboard company where all the calls went through operator who connected the caller and receive via wire. So these girls could hear every word that was said and there was a lot of gossip going through the town.
Another funny story told by Tess was that during the depression, they had to start eating their farm animals and of course, being a mostly girl family, they had named all the animals and that was fine until it got down to Molly the sheep. So dad cooked her up, put it on the table, and the 5 girls just looked at it. So finally Tess stood up and said somebody please pass me Molly. Well, that did it. Mom and Tess said all the girls burst out crying and left the table without eating.
Of course, by now, mom and Tess laughed about it.
Another story which cracks me up is on the farm they had a small garden and it was too small to put the plow with a horse. So granddad harnessed up grandma, and women only wore dresses in those days, and girl shoes. Grandma pulled the plow while granddad worked the plow. Mom would laugh and say I can see that just as clear as a bell still in her high heels pulling the plow.
The more recent events concerning our immediate family is the fact that I seem to get caught doing everything. My brothers and sister did not . Well mostly not.
One time I was camping up Box Elder Canyon with my buddies and we had lots of beverage. We were carrying our beverage to the camp spot and one buddy who knew my mom well yelled to me… what’s your mom doing up here, she’s just around the corner and I had a six pack in each hand. Sure enough, there she was coming the other way and it’s a little trail. So mom and I passed each other and I probably look like a wet puppy dog and she gave me the death stare, but she didn’t say a word and even the next day she didn’t say a lot about it which I was quite surprised at. We were older then and she just said I hope you learn something sooner or later.
She also reminded me with great laughter that I had been thrown in jail twice. She came and got me once. I didn’t do anything vicious. We were swimming in the municipal pool at two in the morning which the police didn’t find too funny.
Mother was at every ball game took part with the scouts the scout jamboree
Father and sons outings, picnics, horseback riding in Mantua with the cousins…
A supporting mother in every sense of the word.
Dain and Michele reminded me of the toboggan slay riding incident in Mantua.
Grandad had a couple snow mobiles and about 10 of us wanted to go.
So as I remember it, 2 of us would be on the snow mobile and then take turns riding in the toboggan being towed by a rope. In this event, mom was in the sled facing backwards because it was cold and snowy. Well we came to the top of a big hill and stopped but the toboggan coasted past the snow mobile and the rope came off of the front of the sled. So mom went flying down this good sized hill backwards and all we could hear was a fading scream and she said all she could hear was us laughing.
Now mom wasn’t one for much joking around, but regardless, I did play one joke on her. She told me that she had been sick for a few weeks and had not met the new bishop at the 13th Ward. Well I could see a joke brewing there, so I called her back a couple days later in my best bishop voice, and I said that I was the new bishop and we missed her. She explained she had been sick and really wanted to get back to going to church, and I said well you know we are still meeting on Sundays and the gates of heaven won’t be open forever. She paused a couple seconds and then laid into me about the fact that she was older and had been going to church longer than he had been alive, and that she he was certainly not going to scold her. I could see the smoke coming thru the phone… so about that time I started saying mom and she kept going and I said mom, and she hesitated and said Chad is that you. I’m gonna break your arm or I’m gonna crown you I think is what she said. Yeah, she didn’t think it was funny for a bit, but then we had a good laugh later.
More recently, maybe six months ago or so, mom told me that she was being taken care of very well and had no complaints. In fact, a little oriental lady had given her a wonderful bath and emphasized that this little lady did not miss one square inch which was not quite like mother to be that explicit, so I laughed and I said, well geez, maybe I could get her phone number that sounds like fun. So we laughed and talked for another 10 minutes and then Mom said, oh I have to tell you this little lady gave me a bath and didn’t miss one square inch and I thought she was joking with me, but actually she had forgotten that she just told me that, so we laughed again.
On a sadder note Kathy and I lost our grandson a year ago in a car wreck.
Mom loved that little boy. She told me many many times how I had almost missed that opportunity and she was right every time she told me. When it came up to tell her that he had died in a car wreck a couple days later I could hardly do it, but she had some stitches on her lip and I was supposed to put Vaseline on them and I tried and then I smeared the Vaseline around her nose and down her lip and I hung my head down and started to cry. She put her hand on my head like I was 10 years old and said, oh my, what’s the matter. She turned white as a ghost when I told her.
She was a great mother and she will be missed, and all her sisters will be missed.
It’s gonna take a long time to realize I can’t call her anymore , My brothers and sister and mom’s grandchildren will miss her greatly and miss talking to her.
I bless all of Mom’s sisters and grandma and my grandson and especially mom who are all together now for their kindness, love and support.
My family thanks you all for coming and caring and your support
Rest in Peace with the Lord mom.
There are so many other things to mention
Dain taking the spanking stick away from mom and saying we don’t need that anymore mom Matias gathering all the flags and fans from the headstones . Mom didn’t like that and told me to put them back so Matias and I put them in the trunk.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at Myers Mortuary.