Another one of the pioneers in my family is my great-grandpa, Chester Laverne McBride. Grandpa Chet was born May 14, 1917 in Minnesota. Married in 1940 to Juanita Monte Lewis, they had one daughter, my grandma Nita. Grandpa Chet played the trumpet in bands at the clubs, and always had such a lively spirit.
Grandpa Chet is someone who followed his heart when he knew what was right. About 10 years ago, my grandparents moved to Utah and brought Grandpa Chet and Grandma Juanita with them. After moving to Utah, Grandpa Chet starting taking the missionary discussions and decided to join the LDS Church. He was baptized on May 14, 2004, which was his 87th birthday. He faithfully attended church every week in his bolo ties, and went through the temple a year after he was baptized. It is amazing that even though he had lived a long time, he still was willing to change and improve his life.
Grandpa Chet died in 2008, about 4 years after Grandma Juanita. He had a lively spirit and was happy, even when life got hard. I miss Grandpa, and I am glad I will see him again one day.
Yesterday was Pioneer Day, so I decided in celebration I wanted to post about some of the people I consider to be pioneers in my own family history. Pioneer Day is a celebration of LDS members about the day that Brigham Young entered the Salt Lake Valley. He entered on July 24, 1847 and so every year on this day we think about all pioneers, but especially the LDS pioneers, who crossed the plains of the United States, starting in 1847 until the completion of the railroad in 1869. Although none of these early pioneers are my relatives, I still have a deep appreciation for the sacrifices that they made the early years of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Although I am not related to the early LDS pioneers, I have had a number of individuals in my family who I believe are pioneers and have made possible so many of the wonderful blessings that I enjoy. One of these individuals in my great-grandma, Thelma Vernal McFarland Haase. She was born in 1921 in Oklahoma, just years before the start of the Great Depression. When Grandma was just a little girl, her family moved from Oklahoma to Northern California, where she met Willis Franklin Haase. They got married and had three little girls: Patsy (who died as an infant), Shirley (my grandma), and Peggy.
Last week, Grandma Thelma fell and broke her hip. We are grateful that she had surgery immediately and is feeling better. I love my grandma so much, and I am grateful that I have been able to know her. She is super funny, has weird sayings, and is a total Okie. I hope she is around for many more years and can continue to be an example to all of her posterity.