Thursday, October 23, 2014


EULOGY by Barbara Workman
            We wish we had a way to express our gratitude for your being here, and for the love and support we have felt.  I hope you'll  forgive me for reading this; it’s the only possible way of getting through it.
            Laura Workman Savage was born on August 26, 1954 in Logan , Utah , while my husband Dan and I were college students.
            She married Mylan Savage on April 26, 1974 in the Logan LDS temple. 
            Her daughters, who composed her obituary, wrote:  “She thrived on and excelled at being a mother and grandmother.  Her creative mind and compassionate soul made her a truly remarkable person.  We will miss her beautiful smile and her desire to make everyone around her comfortable and happy.  She was always first to the rescue.
            “She received her bachelor’s degree from Utah State in Early Childhood Education and Family Life.  She was pursuing a master’s degree in Gerontology. 
            “She was a founding member of the Young Mothers Association of Cache Valley, and organized many large craft boutiques. 
            “She is survived by her parents, Dan and Barbara, husband Mylan Savage, daughters Jennifer (Mark) McBride, Melinda (Michael) Loman, Barbara (Justin) Lether, Heather (Paul) Wykstra, Holly (Mark) Egan, Laura Lee (Bryce) Wheeler, and Monica Savage, serving an LDS mission in the Canada Toronto East Mission, 15 grandchildren, 8 brothers and sisters, and many other family members.
            “She will be greeted by her beloved grandson Maxwell and her grandparents.”
            Laura is our oldest child.  Her father and I chose her name sitting on the banks of Logan River one spring afternoon, when we knew we were going to marry each other and we were talking about the fabulous family that we wanted to have.
            Her sensitivity to others’ feelings showed itself early.  When she was 5, she missed a couple of days of kindergarten.  Went back to find that they had planned a picnic for the day and had gone without her.  She was brokenhearted, but the next day when her sad teacher apologized, she tried to soothe her by saying,  “Oh, that’s all right, Mrs. Berrigan, I've been on a picnic before.”  For the rest of her life she was still trying to make someone else feel better.
            Her bright and sensitive mind expressed itself early.  The first poem that I remember was from the second grade:

“Glittering, glittering comes the snow.
See it fall, so soft and slow.”

            As she was growing up, Laura had a wonderful combination of creativity, initiative, and confidence to attempt and achieve hard things, coupled with the wisdom and spirituality to want those things always to be in harmony with eternal values.
            She was bright-eyed, brilliant, and beautiful; and devoted to everything that really matters.  And she still is all of those things.
            She served on the student council at Orem High School , being elected less than a year after we moved to Orem .  The principal said to me, “I never had a better student friend than your daughter. “
            She earned her own way through college with scholarships and employment.
            She has been a writer all of her life.  Her last written message that we will receive in mortality came on October 11.  It closed with these words:  “I can do hard things.”
            The two weeks following her injury were incredibly hard for her, and for all of us.  But I will never forget, and I will always be grateful for watching those who loved her with their faces right up next to hers, expressing their love, and commending her for how well she was doing, and begging her to keep fighting.  Her eyes watched them intently, even though she could only respond with her eyes.
            We didn't have nearly as much time as we wanted with Laura, and we know she wanted more time to be with us.  To be at Holly’s wedding, to welcome Monica home from her mission, to love and be loved by her grandchildren.  She wanted to watch them grow and to teach them and to encourage them, as she had been doing.  She wanted to continue to build her celestial marriage. 

But as I have reflected on her life, mourning its brevity, I have come to understand that she did have enough time to do all she was sent to do.  Enough time to hold on to those marriage vows for 34 years. 
She had enough time to give birth to and instill in 7 remarkable daughters a love of life and of each other, and to develop the skills and to gain the wisdom to be wonderful wives and homemakers. 
She saw each of them grow to maturity and six of them choose choice companions. 
She had enough time to inspire every one of them to want to be a mother. 
She had time to welcome 16 incredible grandchildren into her heart and her arms.  She had time to nurture their growing testimonies along with her own.
And with Mylan’s help, she had enough time to create an eternal, ever-growing legacy on the foundation of 7 spiritually strong, faithful Latter-day Saint women.
Life brings joy and sorrow.  She had enough time, as her brother Russell said last night, to experience truckloads of both.
She had enough time to write poetry, to reveal the depth of her understanding and her emotions.
She had enough time to care for me during illness, and to give love and empathy to every person she could spend even 5 minutes with who was ill or elderly or friendless.  Nurturing was her innate spiritual gift, and she continued to cultivate it all of her life.

She had enough time just a few short weeks ago to drive down and spend two sweet days with us helping me tie three quilts for weddings.
She had enough time to be in the temple with her husband and her seven daughters and spouses of the married girls before Monica left on her mission.
She lived long enough to convey to her love to each grandchild in a thousand ways.
She had enough time to thank me over and over and for helping her want to be a mother.  It was her greatest joy, her greatest fulfillment, and it is mine.
She had enough time to keep her temple covenants, to plant her feet firmly on the path, and prove to her Heavenly Father that she intended to stay on that path. 
Thus, she had enough time to fulfill her mortal probation and earn her exaltation.  Because she has done that, she now has enough time – she has forever – to do everything she ever wanted to do, to create a world of love and beauty and peace, and to have a fullness of joy. 
And I will forever be grateful for the privilege of being her mother. 

She had the time to earn that adulation all of us would be grateful to receive:  “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of thy Lord.”  I know she lives.  I know He lives.  And I bear that testimony in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen. 

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