Bee­hive Homes Com­mu­nity Spot­light

Serve Daily - - EMPOWERING LIBERTY - By Bee­hive Homes

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.

Vi­ola Thatcher

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