Beehive Homes Community Spotlight
Every community has people in it that make it great. I’m talking about salt-of- the-earth kinda people. Join us as each month as we highlight one of our long- time members of the community.
Viola Lavona Thatcher was born to John and Pearl Peterson of Dalton, Nebraska, in 1928. The town of Dalton was just 28 years old when Vi was born and had about 100 people living there. The Peterson family was a farming family growing all sorts of grain and raising some cattle, mostly for personal use. Vi grew up working the farm with her dad. She quickly became the main driver of the tractor - either to keep her out of the way or to give her a safe job. Nebraska was a rough country in those days. With the Western Railroad extension ending in Dalton, most folks either came to the end of the line to travel east or because no other town would have them.
Vi married when she was 18 years old and stayed in Dalton long enough to have two children, Rhonda and David. She pointing and laughing at a chicken walking moved to Denver, Colorado, and loved through the parking lot. It was our the beautiful scenery and weather. Vi chicken! It had been roasting in the trailer spent the next 20 years in Denver raising and decided it was time to go. We ran her children. She later would follow her out to catch it and it took off. We lost it. daughter Rhonda to Utah. She lived with Later, some friends said it was wandering Rhonda and her husband in Elk Ridge around the property where C-A-L Ranch for nine years before she met the love of is located now. But we never did find that her life: Glen Thatcher. Glen was a well- chicken. We laughed about it for years after.” known beef rancher and horse whisperer in the Spanish Fork area. Together they In 2015, Vi’s daughter Rhonda began cared for Glen’s horses and property. Vi a battle against cancer. She and Vi were loved Glen’s five children like her own. best friends. They did everything together. And Glen adored Vi just as she adored Rhonda was an accomplished school him. After 33 years of marriage, Glen teacher, winning best teacher of the year passed away in 2011, and Vi stayed on the and receiving a large grant to help children ranch caring for the property. in the local schools. Rhonda lost her
“One time Glen and I went for a drive, battle to cancer in February of this year, he loved to surprise me with a drive. leaving her husband and five children. I loved it - he would come home and Vi’s son Dave lives in Omaha, Nebraska, grab me and say, ‘Vi, let’s go,’ and off and visits every now and again. “Losing we would go. Sometimes I would have my husband was very difficult. Losing my no idea where we would be driving .... I daughter was the worst thing that has ever loved those drives. One time we were taking happened to me. No mother should outlive the horse trailer to get air in the tires. her daughter,” Vi said. We stopped at Kentucky Fried Chicken Vi lives in Beehive Homes of Salem. on Main Street in Spanish Fork. Pretty She is enjoying the quiet life - reminiscing soon there was a commotion going on and about the old days, laughing about good everyone was looking out the window, times and crying about hard times. “I really do like this place. I never wanted to leave my home, but I realized I needed to, and living alone was not a good option. Living here is the next best thing. The workers are so kind and helpful,” she said. Vi has 23 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Thank you, Viola Thatcher, for being kind, loving and generous and making our community great. We recognize you for the great family you have raised and for serving our community in every way you can to make life enjoyable for those around you.
To contact Viola Thatcher, you may visit or write to Beehive Homes, Care of Viola Thatcher, 1015 S. 550 West, Salem, UT 85653.