14 November 2010

Obituary--Lucy Utley (Mrs William)

This obituary has a much more formal tone than that of the previous Mrs. Utley.  While the previous one could almost have been written my old favorite Mrs Robertson, this is much more to the point.  Lots of details and official information is to be found here.  
But I still wonder how they were related--not siblings, perhaps cousins who married siblings or cousins.  There is that cryptic little note about Mrs L. H. Utley of Newaygo, but our previous Lucy has already been dead for several months at the time of this death, and besides, that one lived closer to Hesperia. 
Ah, the mysteries of old obituaries.  (Sandy just told me that every generation there were a couple of Lucy Utleys.  Just to make life confusing, no doubt.)

From Newaygo Republican, dated 14 Jan 1915:

Mrs. W. S. Utley Is Gone, After a Short Illness
The Death of Mrs. William S. Utley at five o'clodk the afternoon of January 6 came as a shock to her long time county friends. A week before the old lady had a stroke of paralysis, but rallied sufficiently to ally the immediate fears of her relatives.  Mrs. Utley would have been eighty years old had she but lived till April 27.
Perhaps no woman in the county enjoyed a more general acquaintance than did this pioneer.  Strangers who hear of her passing may be among those who stopped at the Utley homestead in big  Prairie, were entertained and then went on, without charge, often without question, for no house was ever more hospitable than this one.  Under the same roof Mrs. Utley lived fifty-five years, and only a year or so ago did she make her abiding -place wherever she chose among her ten living children--she lost two children several years ago.
Although Mrs. Utley, whose maiden was Lucy Gooch, was born in Northville, she was brought up in Grand Rapids by Webber Gooch, an elder brother, and there she went to school.  Her membership in the Universalist church was never transferred.  she was married to W. S. Utley in Dewitt, Clinton county, May 14, 1854, and her wedded life endured even past the silver anniversary, each succeding celebration bringing loads of friends from different parts of the country.
Amember of the W.C.T.U., it is recalled that Mrs. Utley invariable wore the white ribbon.  As a matter of habit she never used either tea or coffee.
Funeral services were held early Saturday afternoon from the Big Prairie church, the Rev. Daniel Truman officiating.  The interment was in Big Prairie cemetery, where the late husband of the departed and his first wife, own sister to Mrs. Utley are buried.
Ten children survive their mother, and these are: Mrs. Bert Douglass, at whose home the old lady died, and Mesdames Ralph Evans and John Dayton of Newaygo and V. F. Payne of Ramona; also Messrs. C. W., Irving S., Will and Glen W. Utley of White Cloud neighborhood, John Utley of Grand Rapids and Postmaster Chas. Utley of Stanton.  One brother, Luther Gooch is living.  Twenty grandchildren and one great-grandchild must be included.  Mesdames W. H. Eastman and C.W. Galer of Grand Rapids are nieces and Mrs. L. H. Utley of Newaygo is a cousin by marriage and connected also on her mother's side.
Genuine regret is felt generally for the loss of the kind and capable pioneer mother and neighbor, companionable and clear in mind and memory almost to the last.

I only have one comment.  What kind of paper today would get away calling the deceased, not once, but twice an old lady in the obituary?

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