History: David William Rowley

Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) and her family had returned to the United States in December 1959 and we were hoping they would be with us for the holidays, especially Christmas but they couldn’t make it. Lillian (Lillian Alcorn) worked very hard preparing for Christmas and cooking the dinner. The Christmas gathering was at our place that year and it was lovely. Lillian’s brother Harold (Archie Harold Alcorn) and his wife Mary (Mary Gregory Askins) were with us, too.

On 2 January 1960 Lillian had baked cookies and was sewing on an apron when we decided to go into Salt Lake to see Doug (Douglas Alcorn Rowley) and Vonna’s (Vonna Ensign) new baby, Pamela (Pamela Rowley) who was a month old. Clayton (Clayton Alcorn Rowley) had gone out for the afternoon and Grant (Grant Alcorn Rowley) came with us. It was a very cold day and when we got there Doug was working on a flat tire. I stayed with him and Lillian climbed the stairs to their apartment. Pretty soon Douglas said, “Let’s go up, too.” When we got up there we found Lillian lying on the floor. We called Dr. Taylor and the fire department. They couldn’t help. The doctor said she was dead before she hit the floor. Apparently what had happened was that when she got to the top of the stairs and into the apartment she was quite pale, but didn’t seem to be in any trouble. She stepped into the bathroom and it hit her. Vonna heard a thump against the door and she called out, but after no answer she opened the door and Lillian just laid out on the floor. She had fallen against the door in a sitting position with her back against the door. As it opened, she just laid back onto the floor at Vonna’s feet.

She had seen herself lying there, thirty years before in a dream. Lillian had seen herself climbing a long flight of stairs, then she had seen herself looking down at her body and could see loved ones and others trying to revive her.

Lillian had told us that when she died she wanted to be laid beside her mother (Harriet Ann Weaver) so after her funeral on 5 January 1960 she was buried next to her mother in the little cemetery near Penrose and Thatcher, Utah, where she had lived as a child. Her resting place daces the hills she used to climb and ride horses on as a youngster.

Her death came so suddenly and with such a shock. She hadn’t seemed to be ill for a long time. Of course, she had a bad heart attack when we lived in Eureka, California, but she had rested and taken really good care of herself. She had been told that her heart was completely healed. She did get upset over things easily and I suppose this was hard on her. Lillian was a very good person, but she took things too seriously sometimes and got uptight about many things. This might have had something to do with her fatal attack.

Lillian’s funeral was in the Bountiful 3rd Ward chapel and was conducted by our Bishop Norman E. Bowen. The main speaker was Lowell Thomson from Provo who was a very dear friend of ours from Eureka, California. He gave a very fine talk and told about the family and gave some very good tributes to Lillian and the family. Bishop Bowen also gave some lovely tributes to the family and our beloved wife and mother. Bishop Arthur Sperry of the Salt Lake 4th Ward, Temple View Stake also spoke. He had some nice things to say about Lillian and the rest of our family. My niece, Opal Cutler sang, “Beyond the Sunset” and It affected me very much. I remember that song also affected Douglas very much. It was so hard on the children to lose their mother. It was especially hard on the ones who weren’t married because they didn’t have anyone to share their grief.

To be continued…


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