January 12, 1927 — December 6, 2016
Our beloved Thelma Marie Woods Lee Reeder passed away peacefully on Dec. 6, 2016, in St. George, Utah, surrounded by her loved ones.
In her own words:
Life is a journey, and to paraphrase our dear Elder Neal Maxwell, “Death is only a comma, not a period, nor an exclamation point.”
I was born to the choicest of parents in beautiful Alhambra, California, on Jan. 12, 1927. My parents were Foster Frances Woods and Wanda Mae Hackett. We were a family of six girls. My mother was more fun than can be imagined, and my father was quiet, reserved, and whimsical. Not only was my childhood a wonderful time of everything a child could hope for, my teenage years were just perfect. I had the very best of friends and loved my Alhambra Ward, Pasadena Stake; it was my home away from home.
On Nov. 3, 1943, I was married to my best childhood friend, Blaine Nelson Lee, in the Salt Lake Temple. From there we traveled to Iowa City, Iowa, where he attended the Army Officers Candidate School. We enjoyed military life in Iowa, North Dakota, Virginia, Louisiana, and Washington, and we especially appreciated all the church members with whom we served along the way.
After World War II was over, we left Fort Lewis, Washington, where Blaine was a commanding officer and went to Emmett, Idaho, where we soon had the unusual experience and opportunity to “prove up” 80 acres of virgin land on the Black Canyon project in Caldwell, Idaho. We learned the art of farming under the government GI bill by tilling the soil and planting potatoes. It was a very special time of learning for us as we had no water nor electricity, and we lived in a large surplus army hospital tent which we called “home.” There was lots of love, determination, and anticipation. At that time our children consisted of three-year-old Andrea, two-year-old Blaine, and one-year-old Grant.
A fatal accident interrupted our plans to be farmers when Blaine lost his life from an accident on the highway July 18, 1948. He was buried in Emmett, Idaho, along with many other war veterans. Another child, Roland, was born eight and one-half months later, after we returned to my birthplace, Alhambra, California. From 1948 to 1951 I served a two-year stake mission in the Pasadena and East Los Angeles Stakes.
In 1952 I married an old friend, Elwyn Reeder. Later LuAnne, Marsha, and Lorin Reeder were born to our family. We now have 47 grandchildren, 144 great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren, with many more expected in the future. All our children graduated from Covina High School in California. In 1984 we moved to St. George, Utah, in 2007 to Pleasant Grove, Utah, and then back to Washington, Utah, in 2009.
Since I was nine years old I have engaged in family research and have taught classes for many years. I have had the great honor of personally doing the work vicariously for hundreds of my own ancestors in the temples of our Lord. What an honor and a privilege! Teaching in all the organizations in the wards and stakes of Zion has also brought great joy to me.
My posterity has brought glory to me in life. My husband of 64 years, Elwyn Reeder, preceded me in death six weeks ago. My children are: Andrea Conley (David deceased) of Pleasant Grove, Utah, Dr. Blaine Lee Jr. (deceased) (Shawny) of Salem, Utah, Grant Lee (Joyce) of Meridian, Idaho, Roland Lee (Nellie) of St. George, Utah, Dr. LuAnne Forrest of Washington City, Utah, Marsha Bowler (Lonnie) of Washington City, Utah, and Lorin Reeder (Kristina) of Washington City, Utah. Others I count among my children, and whose children call me “Grandma” are Kathy Albee (Earl) of Payson, Utah, Charles Clayton of Santa Clara, Utah, Tony Bodell (Sherrie) of Ivins, Utah, and Roberto Peralta (Cheryl) of Panorama City, California. My sisters are Dorothy Walker of Orem, Utah, and Shirley Scott of Emmett, Idaho. My sisters Alma Jensen, Helen Lanenga, and Beatrice Anthony preceded me in death.
I shall miss my family left behind, however the time will come during the great Millennium when the dead and the living shall be working together in the temples of our Lord, and I look forward to that time. My Heavenly Father has answered my prayers so many times, and I have been greatly blessed. It has been a wonderful life, and I thank Him.
- Graveside services will be held at the Tonaquint Cemetery Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, at 2 p.m.
Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary. Friends and family are invited to sign Thelma’s guest book at www.spilsburymortuary.com