Thursday, May 29, 2014

Elizabeth Marie Jensen Lefler

January 1, 1922 ~ May 26, 2014

Elizabeth Marie Jensen Lefler, the daughter of Hyrum Andrew Jensen and Ann Eliza Andrus died on May 26, 2014 at her home in Woodland, Utah. Elizabeth was born on January 1, 1922 in Holladay, Utah. She was the youngest of nine children and a twin to Milo A. Jensen.
She is survived by two brothers, William Jensen of West Valley City, Utah, and Willard Jensen of Payette, Idaho. Elizabeth married Thomas Linton Lefler in the Salt Lake Temple on September 15th, 1944. 

She is preceded in death by her husband Thomas Linton and two children, Beth Lefler Edwards and David John Lefler, and Buddy her faithful dog. She is survived by Ann (Douglas) Hafen of St. George, UT, Aleen (Paul) Ure of Orem, UT, currently serving an LDS Mission in Thailand, Thomas J. (Laura) Lefler of Alpine, UT, Milo J. (Susanne) Lefler of Midvale, UT, Lowell J. (Jean) Lefler of Moorcroft, WY, Jann Lefler of Woodland, UT, Jean (Mark) Brady of Woodland, UT, and Dean Hyrum (Suzanne) Lefler of Houston, TX. She was blessed with 50 grandchildren, 121 great-grandchildren, and many others whom she loved.

Elizabeth was the 1940 Kamas Valley Fiesta Queen. She loved to play fast pitch softball and once pitched a no-hitter. She taught over 300 children to play the piano. She loved gardening and flowers ... and dancing. She served in many callings in her community and church, including an LDS Mission to Manchester, England in 1987. Family and the Gospel, for Elizabeth, were more important than anything else.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the Francis Ward Chapel, 387 West Last Frontier Lane in Francis, Utah on Saturday, May 31st. A viewing will precede services from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. There will be an additional viewing on Friday evening, May 30th at the Woodland Ward Chapel, in Woodland, Utah from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Interment will be at the Woodland Cemetery following Saturday service.

She would always stand on her front porch and wave goodbye whenever we left.

Early Monday morning at 1:11am Heaven got one of it's most choice angels back.  Elizabeth is so extremely loved by so many.  She is a pure example of love, service, and of a faithful latter day mother.

The first time I met Elizabeth was right before Mason and I got engaged in 2007.  I walked into her living room and the first thing she said to me was, "Come here you darling angel girl.  I've waited so long to meet you."  Then she proceeded to give me the biggest hug.  I felt close to her from that moment on.  I felt accepted, wanted, and loved.  I always felt like I was her favorite granddaughter in law.  Mind you she has something close to 45 granddaughter in laws.  But the things she would say, the letters she would write to me, and the random phone calls that I would receive every now and then are what made me feel that way.  She would sit and hold my hand while we were up in Woodland and just 'be' with me adoring my children while watching them play.  She was always 'on my side' when we'd talk about Mason.  She always told Mason that he was her favorite Grandchild and she repeatedly told us all that Mason was her most handsome grandson - but then she'd turn around and call him her little fatty grandson.  Ha ha!  She had a sassy sense of humor and wasn't afraid to speak her mind - not even one little bit.

Since her death the cousins have been talking and we've been reminiscing with family members and every single person has said, "She made me feel like I was her favorite."  It takes a lot to make even one person feel like they are your favorite because you have to completely serve, love, and involve yourself in their lives... and that's what she did.  She knew each of her 121 grandchildren by names and NEVER missed a birthday.  I imagine she was writing birthday cards every single day to someone somewhere!!

Her funeral is this coming weekend and I can't even imagine how large that service will be and how long the processional line will be.  She was a valued and again, very loved citizen of Kamas/Woodland.  She planned out the funeral before she passed so it is going to be quite the event indeed as she never did anything just so-so.

She will be missed.  We went up to Woodland on Monday and it just wasn't the same.  I am so thankful I got to know her the 7 years that I did.  I'm thankful that two of my children got to meet her and the rest, I know, she will hold in heaven before they are given to me.

At the Lefler family reunion in 2011 - Julianne Hafen Openshaw (Mason's cousin) is on the right
These pictures below were taken the day that Elizabeth passed away.  Mason really felt that he needed to help support his parents and Jann so we drove out to Woodland that morning.  There is something sacred about looking at these pictures of my kids playing as if everything were normal.  But that's how Elizabeth would have wanted it.  She wouldn't have wanted everyone mourning her or worrying about a funeral.  She would have wanted to see her precious great grandbabies playing.

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