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Thella Wilson Brock – A Loving Tribute from her Favorite Granddaughter
My Grandma Thella Wilson Brock passed away recently.
My Grandma was amazing – I know I’m biased, but trust me she rocked!
She was the Grandma that would show up at our house at 7:00 AM with a batch of homemade oreo cookies.
She was the grandma that asked me to drive to Los Angeles with her one week after I got my license. She handed me the keys got in the car and promptly fell asleep.
Who does that type of stuff – she might have been slightly crazy at that point.
She was the Grandma who went back to school and graduated with her teaching certificate at 49.
She was the grandma that served two LDS missions after she retired and was the Relief Society President in her ward (this means she was responsible for all the women in her congregation) when she was 75 years old.
This is also the grandma that was an FBI informant for 20 years.
She and my Grandpa joined the communist party in Los Angeles at the request of the FBI and lived a double life to serve their country.
When my Grandma believed in something, she wasn’t afraid to show her support.
Once I was an adult, she always had a petition for me to sign or a letter to write. She loved this country and firmly believed in free speech and her right to express herself.
She was always very respectful of others beliefs.
My Grandma was the rare political junkie who managed to balance her beliefs with respect for others.
She retired to St. George while I was in High School and moved three blocks up the street. I remember walking to her house frequently for awesome food and company. She would just sit and listen to us kids and then let us watch The Simpsons.
I remember teaching her to use her computer. I’m not going to say she was hopeless, but technology wasn’t her thing. She never gave up. She was always trying to learn something.
She was a voracious reading and was constantly recommending good books to me. I still have many of the books she gave me over the years.
One of the projects I helped her with during high school was a book she wrote and self-published about her time as an FBI informant.
The book was entitled “Operation Housewife: FBI Informant”. The book was never in wide publication but won the 1998 Quill Award from the League of Utah writers. I haven’t read the book in years but will be rereading it over the next couple of days. Here is a link to an article written by BYU Magazine about her book.
It is funny how you take people for granted in your life.
She was always there and was such an example to me as a teenager. She didn’t sugar coat the truth.
I remember once as a teenager Grandma telling me about a co-worker who got propositioned in a parking lot.
The co-worker was telling my Grandma the story and asked why the wrong type of men were always attracted to her. My grandma in her kind gentle way explained it probably had something to do with the clothing she wore. She kindly explained to her that people judge us based on our appearance and that her dress wasn’t always appropriate.
At the time I didn’t understand that she told that story for my benefit. She was using personal examples to show me my worth as a woman, wasn’t based on my clothing or looks. My Grandma was a very wise woman who knew and understood the struggles I would be having as a teenager.
Her entire life was such an example to me and I’m so incredibly thankful to have her in my life.
She left a legacy of 7 children, 44 grandchildren and 52 great-grandchildren and a life of service. I’m very proud to call Thella Wilson Brock my Grandma. Her obituary is found here if you are interested.
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