Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) called Virginia (Virginia Fern Johnson) and told her we were going to New Plymouth for Thanksgiving and we wanted her to go with us. A few days later Virginia called back and said that she had decided to wait and go with the children (Bekki Jo, Tamara and Cory McKnight) when they went up for Christmas. This is what they did. Through peculiar circumstances we hadn’t seen Virginia for a while and we were really shocked when we did after they got back from their Christmas vacation to Idaho. She had been so unlike herself while she was with Harold (Harold Norman Johnson) and Myrna Jean (Myrna Jean Rowan) that they hated to let her come home alone on the bus and they called Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) to make sure that she would meet Virginia. Grace was really concerned and she called us. By the time we got up there word had come from the doctor that he wanted to see us. We took Virginia in the next morning.
The doctor told us and Virginia that she could not live, that they had done everything they could do for her. Now all we could do was make her as comfortable as possible for the time she had left. A brain specialist had found a large mass that was inoperable. He couldn’t tell us how long it would be. That night Virginia told the girls.
I had to get back to take care of the chapel but Estella stayed with Virginia until she died in the hospital about six days after she went in. Estella said that when she prayed for her daughter all she could say was to ask for mercy and we felt that the Lord really answered those prayers. Virginia died on 13 January 1971. A viewing was held for her in Bountiful and then we took her to Nampa for the funeral and she was buried beside her father (Earl Robert Johnson).
Calvin (Calvin King Knighton) and Grace took the girls and Estella and I up to Idaho. They were so good to Virginia and they were the arm of strength to Estella while she was with Virginia. So was Virginia’s bishop.
I want to tell my wife and all the children that I truly loved Virginia and I did try to do all I could for her. I got her four good tires one time because hers were not safe to use. We moved her furniture four times, including the time after she died when it was stored for a time (we moved our own things four times in that two year period of time and we sure got sick of moving!) When one loved one you wonder if you did enough or if you could have done more. Estella has expressed this searching thought too. It was very apparent to me that Virginia and Estella had been much loved in their home town of Nampa, Idaho.
To Be Continued…