Wally Franziska Lucas

FUNERAL SERVICES FOR WALLY FRANZISKA LUCAS WENDRICH

March 29, 1986

 

Conducting:  Ray Wendrich

 

 

Good morning Brothers and Sisters and friends.  It is certainly heart-warming to see so many friends and neighbors here at this time.  We appreciate your attendance.  We assemble here today to honor our mother who has played various roles in life—mother, grandmother, aunt, great-grandma, great great-grandma.

 

Sister Wally F. Lucas Wendrich, 93, died in Mesa, Arizona, 26 March in 1986 at the home of her daughter, Charlotte W. Stringham.

 

Mother was born May 17, 1893 to Franz Edward Lucas and Anna Pauline Dassler in Steinpleis, by Werdau, Germany.  She married  Frederick Hermann Wendrich on the 25th of November 1914 in the Salt Lake LDS temple.  He passed away February 3rd in 1959.  She was formerly an active member of the Center Ward.  She loved her family life and traveling.  Besides her husband she was preceded in death by two daughters—Marie (April 2nd 1918) and Yvonne W. Wiser (16 March 1968).  Survivors:  Sons and daughters:  Sybil W. Hansen (Keith A., South Jordan); Raymond L. Wendrich (Thelma, West Valley); Charlotte W. Wendrich (Jed, Mesa Arizona); Ileann W. Peterson (Ted, Bountiful);  Lucy W. Lewis (Marvin E., Bountiful); Darlene W. Wilson (Dean, Orange, California).   Mother had 35 grandchildren, 114 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great -grandchildren.  It’s sure heart-warming to see the efforts made by the family to be here.

 

We’ll commence our services.  The family prayer was given by a son-in-law, Marvin E. Lewis, and the prelude and postlude music will be given by Rella Rieger from the mortuary staff and we are thankful to her for her service.  We will now have the invocation given by another son-in-law, Jed H. Stringham.  We will follow that by an organ selection by  Charlotte W. Stringham, who has been mother’s constant companion for the last ten years, tending to her needs along with her husband, Jed.  Then a tribute by Sybil, the oldest daughter of the family, and then followed by a musical selection by the grandchildren and great- grandchildren.  Then we will be addressed by Brother Ted M. Peterson, another son-in-law.  Then another speaker, Keith A. Hansen, another son-in-law.  That will be followed by another musical selection by grandchildren and great- grandchildren.  We will follow to this point.

 

Opening Prayer:  Jed H. Stringham:

 

 Our Father in Heaven,  As we have gathered here this day (the loved ones, the children and grandchildren of this wonderful lady) to pay our respects to her leaving us.  Father in Heaven, we pray that thy spirit will be with us.  Guide us and direct us, and guide each one of us through our lives.  These are the desires that she would have in her heart—that each one of us would be in the service of the Lord, doing thy service and doing thy will.  We pray that thou wilt bless those who take part on this program that they may be able to do so in a calmness and endeavor to show the respects of which we desire to at this time.  Be with us in this meeting we pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Organ Medley:  Charlotte Stringham

 

Talk by Sybil Hansen:

 

 This should be a happy occasion.  What a beautiful day and at Easter Time to be called Home, especially with the promise of the resurrection.  No wonder we can be happy.  And aren’t we grateful for our beliefs.  You know, it isn’t only a happy time here.  We are meeting our loved ones and friends who we haven’t seen for a long time, but our Dad and Yvonne and Marie, mother’s parents, all her brothers and sisters and an aunt who raised mother have waited a long time for her to come.  And what a happy reunion they are having at this time.  With the help of our Heavenly Father, I would like to express some thoughts that are in my heart and I’m grateful for the prayers that have been offered thus far.  We have been blessed with a  wonderful family, and our parents are proud of each one.  We are grateful for our heritage and pray that we may be worthy of belonging to this family.  Mother and Dad are deeply humble and proud of the activity of all of their family--in fact,  all of their posterity in the church.  We know this has come about because they listened to the missionaries many years ago.  And you know what, we are the ones who are reaping the blessings.  As a family we want Charlotte and Jed and their children to know that there are not words in the dictionary to express our appreciation  and gratitude for their loving care and kindness to mother.  This arrangement was thought to be a temporary thing at one time, but that temporary thing lasted ten years.  Charlotte took classes on how to care for the elderly.  She understood mother’s needs like no one else.  She has been a great example to all of us and to you children.  And we pray that someday she and Jed will be cared for as well.  You know, we don’t know anyone who would take an 85 year old mother in a wheelchair to Europe.  But nothing is impossible with Charlotte.  It was less than two weeks ago she asked mother if she would like to go for a ride, not expecting her to want to go.  She had the strength to say, “I want to see the world.”  And bless his heart, Jed picked her up and put her in the back seat.  She couldn’t even sit up on her own.  Charlotte sat in the back with her to prop her up so she could go on that last ride.  She loved to go to the rest homes with Charlotte when Charlotte conducted singalongs.  I thought this was a beautiful thing.  She conducted singalongs for the elderly in the rest homes and took mother along.  Mother would sing along, and then as they would leave the rest home she would squeeze Charlotte’s arm and say, “I’m so grateful I don’t have to be here.”

 

Mother often expressed her appreciation for any little thing, and this has been a great example to all of us.  We have never seen anyone look as beautiful as Charlotte has kept mother.  Her hair, her dress.  She would take her shopping for clothes because mother loved to do this.  She had mother looking like a queen all the time.  In fact, when the doctors came recently they didn’t realize how bad mother was because she looked so beautiful with her makeup on and her hair combed so beautifully.  These things we are deeply grateful for.  And Jed has stood at Charlotte’s side to lift and to carry mother when needed.  The many acts of love and kindness by their children have not gone by unnoticed by us.  Wendy gave up her room when she was 12 years old, knowing that it wouldn’t be for long.  Yet it was ten years.  She was always so sweet to mother, always letting her know how much she loved her.  I’ve learned that no matter how old you get, we love to hear “I love you.”  And if you didn’t say that to mother right away she’d say, “Do you love me.  Oh, thank you.”  The example was set by the Savior because our Heavenly Father wants us to say, “I love you.”

 

Now even though  Charlotte and Jed have had mother for a long time—the longest, she  enjoyed visiting with all the family.  And we are mindful of Lucy and Marv and the months that they had mother and the care that they gave her and the understanding.  Mother loved to go there, and mother loved the girls and they loved her.  Mother loved to go to Orange, California to visit with Darlene and Dean.  And their children took the same loving care and interest.  She loved to go to Ann and Ted’s—especially when they didn’t live here, and learned to love their children.  And Ray and Thelma—I have heard her say, “They are so good to me, and with each one she would say, “They are so good to me.”  What an example.

 

We’ll always cherish our memories of Camp Kiesel and our reunions that were made possible through Jed.  You know, we all have weaknesses, and I just feel impressed to tell you that if any of us were put out with our spouses and would just hint something to mother, Guess What!  She took the side of the spouse and didn’t even stick up for us.  They adored her and she adored them.  The last time at Camp Kiesel, Charlotte was conducting a singalong and she asked Mother what she’d like us to sing.  She didn’thave a favorite hymn.  And Charlotte realized Mother was a little forgetful and thought she was taking a little too long deciding what to sing, and so Charlotte said, “How about ‘God be with you till we meet again, Mother?” “Well, I’m not going anywhere,” she quipped.  You know, we appreciated that.  We took a little more time before she said anything.  We could see the wheels going around and then she said, “I would like us to sing, ‘Shall the Youth of Zion Falter.’”  That struck me hard and I don’t know how many of you were affected by that, but I sensed the important message that she was trying to relate to us as we sang, “Shall the youth of Zion falter in defending truth and right.  While the enemy assaileth shall we shrink or shun the fight?  No!  While we know the powers of darkness seek to thrwart the work of God.  Shall the children of the promise cease to grasp the iron rod?  No!  We will work out our salvation.  We will cleave unto the truth.  We will watch and pray and labor for the fervent zeal of youth.  Yes!  We will strive to be found worthy of the kingdom of our Lord.  With the faithful ones redeemed who have loved and kept his word.  Yes!  True to the faith that our parents have cherished.  True to the truth for which martyrs have perished.  To God’s command—soul heart and hand, faithful and true we will ever stand.”  I pray that we will ever be true and faithful.  Or I should say,  pray that we may all be true to the faith that our parents have cherished.  I’m grateful for the lesson in faith I had with mother that I would like to share with you.  Darlene was 18 months old and went into convulsions.  It was a frightening experience.  Seeing her eyes go into the back of her head and to carry her little stiff body into the house.  Mother asked me to run to Brother Davis’ house quickly so that he could come and administer to Darlene.  I’ll tell you, I’ve never run so fast in all my life.  In those days we didn’t have a phone and neither did they.  And when I returned mother had Darlene on the bed and asked me to kneel with her as she pled that our Heavenly Father would spare her life.  It was a precious and sacred experience for me and one of great faith.  I have told the following before, but I feel  that grandchildren and great- grandchildren should hear this.  I had taken  Mother to the cemetery and as we left the grave she asked me, “Sybil, have you ever heard a heavenly choir?”  And I said, “No, Mother.  I don’t think so.”  And she said, “It is one of the most wonderful experiences anyone could have.”  She had just been in the country about two years and could not speak the language very well.  She lived in a little branch and was asked to be in the Relief Society Presidency.  It frightened her, of course, because she wondered how she

\could communicate with her broken language.  And so she prayed to our Heavenly Father, what should she do.  How could these people understand her.  That night she said she had a dream and she was in an auditorium, much like our Salt Lake Tabernacle.  And she heard this choir, dressed in white, singing the third verse of “How Firm a Foundation.”—not once, not twice, but three times.”  Fear not, I am with thee.  Oh be not dismayed.  For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.  I’ll help thee, I’ll strengthen thee, I’ll cause thee to stand upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand.”  She said the choir leader had a long white flowing beard and as they sang the third verse he turned around, nodded to mother and smiled as they sang, “Fear not, I am with thee.  I’ll help thee, I’ll strengthen thee, and cause thee to stand.”  I need to tell you that mother accepted the position, but this has been a great strength to me because I can read, I can see, I can understand the language, but when a call comes to serve I feel very inadequate and I think of mother—what she did at that time, and it’s been a great strength to me.  We’ll all miss mother and her wonderful sense of humor.  Charlotte and Jed, of course, are going to miss her more because they have been so close to her the last few years.  I’m grateful to our Heavenly Father for my wonderful family.  I love my brother.  I love my sisters, and I love their companions each one.  They have all adored mother.  I love their devotion to the Church, and I’m grateful for my membership in the church, and I’m grateful that my parents listened to the missionaries many years ago, or perhaps I wouldn’t be here today.  I pray that  we may follow the example of our parents—that we’ll all keep the commandments and be united as a family, loving one another always and that one day we’ll be a forever family I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen

 

Grandchildren’s musical number:  “I am a Child of God.”

 

Talk:  Theodore M. Peterson:

 

Brothers and Sisters.  I think most of us here have prayed for this day, and that we would experience doing it a peace that surpasseth our understanding.  And I felt that thus far and pray that that Spirit will continue.  The ability to feel that peace has been taught us by two people in our family that I can give great credit to—our beloved Wally Franziska Lucas Wendrich and her husband, Frederick Hermann Wendrich.  I think of their lives together as The Great Love Affair.  And I’m sure that they did not plan for Dad’s untimely early death, nor did mother Wendrich look forward to nearly 27 years of widowhood.  But here during this Easter season, what a poignant day this is.  To have a funeral on an occasion like this when we are thinking about new beginnings and her new beginning with her loved ones at this time of beautiful flowers, of buds bursting and of new life.  Some great records have been preserved, the chief  of which was fostered by Dad Wendrich.  Had he had the  background and the education he would have been a great historian and teacher.  And I hope there is someone in this group here today who will continue his record keeping, continue the history of this family and will use the modern resources available of computers, videos, and other media which will be developed in the future to continue this family history and record it.  I thank those of the past who have assisted.  I have before me two little volumes that are in the hands of each of the family of Fred and Wally.  I’m going to refer to those today.  Dad Wendrich had a great ability to get to the point and to put his mind on things which were immediately important.  In this one little volume which is called “A journal of thought” by Frederick H. Wendrich I’d like to call to your attention ten verses.  I’m just going to read three.

 

‘To my wife:  Artists have painted and poets have told of lovers and sweethearts both young and old.  But seldom we find as we journey through life where enough thought and praise is given to wife.”  Then down in the middle of the poem:  “If misfortune o’ertakes him, casts gloom ov’r his life, who stands by and comforts?  His true loving wife.  Be it health that is shattered or fortune or fame, she helps him to bear up and eases the pain.”  The next to last verse states, “For a true loving helpmate, pure essence of love, a man should give thanks to his maker above.  For she who doth aid in this journey of life, for his one greatest treasure, just praise to his wife.”  I think Dad Wendrich left for us a legacy of tribute to this wonderful lady who we pay tribute today.

 

I’m grateful for Sybil’s remarks.  I’ve wondered until a few moments ago what she would say and how I could say some things which would add to it.  But mother had special interests in life, the chiefest of which were her children and their families.  I know of her love for Sybil and Keith and her special love for her only son, Ray, and Thelma and their children.  To their only Wendrich grandson, what a special place you’ve had in their lives.  And for Charlotte and Jed in their special care in the last few years of Mother’s life, of helping all of the families to realize that they have done what we all would have wanted done for mother.  To the last, it is that service to her and to us was more opportunity.  Ann and I are grateful to our family for their heritage from these two great people and the appreciation they had for Mom and Dad Wendrich.  What a special place Lucy and Marv had in her heart, and Dean and Darlene.  She kept a special place in her heart for Yvonne, just as she had for her baby, Marie, and especially for Yvonne’s children.  And Barbara, if she had the opportunity she would thank you.  And so, for her, I do that.

 

I think the thing that I loved most about Mother Wendrich was the twinkle in her eye.  It’s already been mentioned that if she had one foot in the grave, which she had for the last few years, Mother Wendrich would only need to hear the mention of  going some place and doing something and she was ready to go.  Now be that good or bad, her daughters (and her son too) have inherited that characteristic.

 

I thought that it would be interesting if I just played very briefly (the time is about gone) something.  Just listen to this.  (This part of the tape was very garbled.  I believe it was Grandma bearing her testimony).

 

It isn’t often that we are able to  speak at our own funeral, but her words, I think, are so important to us.  Her testimony was not just a testimony of these, but a verbal testimony.  And I think it is important that we remember that.  And Dad Wendrich also was not reluctant to voice his own verbal testimony.  And so, my brothers and sisters, here in a  country  which was not their native land, and in a land which is not their mother tongue, they have taught us and helped us to understand the beauty and the majesty and yes, the dignity of this our native land.  And they have given us their testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the eternal importance of adhering to God’s true principles while here in mortality.

 

Now I pray that our Father in Heaven will bless us that as we go forward in our time that is left that we will think often of their example, of their sacrifice,  of their diligence  and of their willingness to bring to us the blessings of family and love and the peace which Jesus  saw that we could achieve through living together in a family.  May God bless us to do so I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

Talk:  Keith A. Hansen:

 

 My Brothers and Sisters, you don’t realize how difficult it is to follow two of these choice people.  I’ve never felt that I wanted in any meetings to follow my sweetheart.  She’s very difficult to match.  Ted, both of them are a great challenge.  Now I appreciate this great opportunity the family has given to me to express my love for the family and I’ll try not to go into those same areas that they have covered.  I think the tributes about which has gone before, I wish to say Amen.  And I ask for the spirit of the Lord to be with us so that we can reason together this day and have his sweet influence.  I want you to know that since I’ve been part of this family I’ve been made to feel that I was one of them.  Mother and Dad Wendrich have considered me as one of theirs, and for this I am very grateful.  At the same time, it’s been an awesome and sometimes frustrating situation.  Since being the oldest and the first to raise a family I’ve  been looked up to many times and sometimes I felt very inadequate to meet the challenge that has been mine.  I have faced these challenges with fear and trembling, believe me.  But I  was always trying to be an obedient son-in-law and do whatever Mom and Dad Wendrich requested of me to do.  This is a time of mixed feelings.  Today we were saddened to say farewell to a choice mother of Zion.  We gratefully accept the fact that the time of rejoicing for those who preceded mother is here.  It was thus when we left our heavenly home to come here into mortality.  Those we left were saddened at our leaving, yet rejoiced for our opportunity for growth and experience in perfection.  So today there are welcomes and rejoicing  among her husband, daughters and family.  We regret not that she has completed her mission here and with full knowledge that her life will be rewarded by a loving Heavenly Father and that she will continue in the sweet family relationship that was begun here.  We have full confidence that if we are as prepared as she, that we will be with her again.  It is especially appropriate at this Easter season we consider the great opportunity that our Savior affords us.  At this time, remember his life and love and sacrifice. He restored to us his gospel, his commandments, his covenants whereby we may prepare ourselves to be partakers with him  in continuation of our family relationships.  It is reassuring to know that we can if we prepare to continue as we are in this life with the knowledge that a better existence awaits the faithful.

 

To mother Wendrich, her family meant everything.  She found great joy in her posterity—both in her own and those of us who have been adopted into her life.  We are proud of her life.  She was tested.  Make no mistake about that.  But she accepted these occasions with patience and long- suffering, and when others took oppressive measures against her and dad they bore it as the Savior has counseled us.  She accepted the  gospel in her homeland and by her coming here proved to her Heavenly Father  of her great faith and love for him.  Her prayer was that we, as her younger loved ones,  would stand firm in the faith.  This is the  challenge  that today we must accept—that we will toughen up and stand fair, resist evil and accept righteousness, accept of the love Jesus offered us, accept his teachings and his designs for living.  We are in mortality.  This is the time to prepare for exaltation, a time to strive for perfection, a time to beget our own family and posterity, a time to learn  obedience through faith and example, a time to choose between good and evil, a time to prove ourselves, a time to come to know God and come to love him, a time to learn of Jesus, our Savior, and learn of his tremendous love, sacrifice, example and gospel, a time to learn how to love one another as Jesus loved us, a time to learn patience and long-suffering for the right, a time to strive for protection by living the life plan given by our Savior.  I testify of our Father in Heaven.  I know that he lives.  I know that his son, Jesus Christ, was among us and was crucified for our sins.  I know that he was resurrected and lives again.  He has established the priesthood, the gospel and his kingdom again upon this earth.  I express my love for our Father in Heaven and all of the blessings that he blesses us with each day, and I leave my testimony to these things and my love for all of you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

Musical number:  Grandchildren and great grandchildren:  “Love One Another.”   “Lord, I would follow thee.”  “God, be with you till we meet again.”

 

Ray Wendrich:

 

I’m sure by now you know that we are really family oriented.  As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t on the program, but I have a couple of thoughts I just like to leave at closing, especially to these grandchildren.  You know, there was great effort made.  They came from Chicago, Oregon, New York, California.  A great deal of effort was made to get you here to show your love for your grandmother.  I was really deeply impressed and I know it would be a great joy to Mother.  I’d like to leave a thought here just briefly—a poem.  I think it is fitting for this occasion.  My mother speaking to me, your mother speaking to you.  Son (or daughter as the case may be)” Did you know that your soul is of my soul such a part that you seem to be fiber and core of my heart.  None other can please me as you, dear, can do.  None other can please me or grieve me as you.  Remember the world will be quick with its blame if sorrow or shame ever covers your name.  Like mother like son is a saying so true, and the world will judge largely of mother by you.  So yours is the task if the task must be to force the proud world to do homage to me.  Be sure they will say when the verdict you’ve won, she reaped as she sowed though this is her son (or daughter as the case may be).”  I’ve often thought what a beautiful piece of advice from mother and the pleading to each of her children with the goal in mind in life.  You grandchildren, I want you to know, and I’m sure you do know that you were uppermost in Grandma Wendrich’s heart.  She loved you and it was so evident when we had family gatherings how the little ones would cluster around her  when she was seated in her chair.  Last night again I made this observation.  It really pleased me when I saw these little ones, real small.  They couldn’t see over the casket so pulled themselves up to look at her and reach tiptoe to touch her.  They loved their grandmother it was evident.  We  received a call.  A note was passed to me that members of Dad and mother’s families that are left over in the old country called from Hanover, Germany last night to express their condolence and wish the family well.  I’m glad this was sent up, Robbie.  I appreciate that.  You might wonder why all the dignitaries are here on the stand, but they weren’t aware that this was going to transpire.  These are my brothers in law who I am proud of—men who have great stature in life.  I’ve looked to them for leadership, each and every one, and though it was not by common consent that I should conduct these services (sort of a rail-roading), but I was honored to do so, volunteering all of  them to sit up here and participating in the consequences also.  I have a great love and admiration for each one of them.  I’ve never told them publicly, but I want them to know.

 

The pallbearers, it was quite a chore.  There’s one representative from each of the families to participate today.  Those of you who are not pallbearers, Grandma loves you just as well.  We thought it would be fitting for one member of each family to participate in this call.  We really didn’t know who would be able to be here today.  Honorary pallbearers--We missed your devotion.  We’re grateful for your attendance here today.

 

In conclusion, I want to thank the mortuary for the things they’ve done to make this an easier occasion for us and their concerns and help in arranging things.  They inform me that there will be no escort to the cemetery so those who would like to go up there on your own, the address is at 4th Avenue and N Street.  We will obey all traffic lights and regulations.  The hearse will travel slowly so if you desire to follow they will lead you to the spot.

 

We are grateful for your attendance and for the words spoken here and for those who have given of their time and talents.  To you young grandchildren, that was a tough act to follow, but appreciated very much.  Our closing prayer will be given at this time by Dean Wilson, a son-in-law and then the dedication of the grave will be by Wendall Wiser, also a son-in-law.

 

Closing Prayer:  Dean Wilson:

 

Our righteous Eternal Father in Heaven.  We come before thee at the close of this memorial service for Mother Wendrich and especially thank thee for the blessings and for the health and strength she has given to us.  We thank thee for the example and for the teachings she gave to her son and daughters and for her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and for her great great grandchildren, for her friends and relatives.  We especially thank thee for the teachings and example she showed to the sons-in-law and daughter-in-law.  Help us this day that we will be able to carry these great teachings in memorial of her great works throughout our lives that we might be able to take them with us as we leave at this time.  Help us at this time, Father, that we may be able to travel home in safety that we may be protected in our travels and that we will be able to do the things put before us to do.  We thank thee again for the blessings and the health and strength thou hast given us.  We ask for these things and thank thee in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

Funeral Service