My sweet cousin Thelma Hansen Twitchell Goodwin has officially earned her wings. At 96 she returned to her loving heavenly father on May 3rd, 2018. Thelma was born on November 11th, 1921 in Manti, Utah to Martin LeRoy Hansen and Wilda Blackett Hansen.
She attended schools in Springville, Mammoth, Bingham Canyon, Beaver and Southern Utah State College. As a young girl, she spent her summers on her Grandfather Blackett's ranch in Spanish Fork Canyon. During the school year she was involved in musical school plays, learning to sew and learning to play the piano.
At the age of 17, her family moved to Greenville, Utah when her mother gave birth to her brother Sherman Hansen. She soon after met Preston Boyd Twitchell. They were married on August 23, 1939 in the Salt Lake Temple and made their home in North Creek, Utah. After 25 years of marriage, Boyd passed away. She later married Claude W. Goodwin on August 29, 1964 and made their home in Beaver, Utah.
Thelma was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where she served many callings. Her favorite involved genealogy teacher, extractor and being a leader in starting the Genealogy Library in Beaver. She enjoyed many hobbies including raising toy poodles, quilting, crocheting, reading, playing the piano and organ and world travel. Thelma worked as the Beaver High School Secretary and later as a bank teller at First Interstate Bank for 25 years. She also participated and served in the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and Better Homes Club.
She is proceeded in death by her parents; her husband, Boyd; her husband, Claude; her grandson Kyle Goodwin; sister-in-law, Maurine Hansen; and niece, Tamara Hansen. She is survived by her son William (Linnie) Twitchell; her daughter Betty (Russell) Jensen; her step sons, Raymon (Joyce) Goodwin; Calvin (Carol Ann) Goodwin; her brother Sherman (Ruth) Hansen; nephew, Kelvon Hansen; 18 grandchildren; 39 great grandchildren with 2 more on the way; and one great-great granddaughter. Funeral service is on May 19th at Beaver 1st/2nd Ward Chapel 15 N. 100 W Beaver, Utah.
I grew up visiting Thelma every Memorial Day as we traveled from Orem to Beaver where my Grandfather was buried. I always called her "Aunt" Thelma and it wasn't until I was grown that I figured out our true relation and realized we were truly cousins, her mother Wilda was my grandfather's sister. Her son Bill was there with my mother the day I was born. Needless to say, we were always close over the years. After the passing of my Grandma and Mother, trips to Beaver/Greenville were fewer. I had lost touch with Thelma. In 2008 I began coming to Greenville on a regular basis after connecting to my cousin West Barton. It was then that I rekindled my friendship with Thelma. She was the last living connection to my grandparents and my mother and the stories that only someone of her generation would remember from being there. She was a treasure of memories and she was sharp as a tack. If you asked her any question of any relative she would say "I have a story about that..." We spent time exchanging phone calls, talking about the weather, our aches and pains and each making sure the other one was doing well. We spent time on genealogy. I helped her do searches for information she had been unable to find. I will never forget the time I found a picture of her mother that she had never seen before. I was so happy to be able to share that with her. With my being the only child of an only child and she not knowing any of her father's relatives we had a mutual understanding of the importance of this work.
We cherished every story, every photo, every connection. I would take Thelma for a drive. At first she joined us at our camper trailer in Greenville and visited with other family members. Then we would take her out to dinner, never having more than a small cup of soup, she enjoyed her time but never wanted to be a bother. If we were ever coming thru on a Sunday we would see her put out her table so the ward could bring her the sacrament. She would place the slice of bread neatly and reverently in a baggie and water in a cup and wait patiently for the young men to come and provide her with the opportunity to renew her covenants with her Heavenly Father. Thelma and I went for a drive in 2009 and I video taped her. As she told stories while we drove thru Greenville and Beaver it felt like driving back in time. Other times I would tape some of her stories as she was in her favorite chair at her home surrounded with the other true love that we both shared...BOOKS. I may never own as many as Thelma but I have a good start.
As she was no longer able to get out we would bring Thelma treats, usually an Ice Cream from the Dairy, Strawberry was the one she always asked for. She always greeted us with a warm smile and hug and more stories that we had never heard before. Over the past couple of years I knew that someday I would get that call that I dreaded and May 3rd I did. I was over the moon happy for her that she was able to cross over into the loving arms of her family members who had waited so very long for her return. I knew that she would be greeting my sweet Grandma Violet and I was a bit jealous of her for that. As happy as I am for her, there is a twinge of sadness as I feel the loss of that last living tangible, "I was there", connection to my ancestors. I feel blessed to have saved her stories and her genealogy but selfishly I will miss my sweet friend. I can see my Grandma Violet with her safety pin doing the same as when Thelma was a little girl, pinning your white gown, making sure that you are there to stay and she would never lose you ever again. She is all yours now Grandma.