Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Beehive Homes Community Spotlight

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By Beehive Homes

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Every community has people in it that make it great. I’m talking about salt-of-the-earth kinda people. Join us as each month as we highlight one of our long-time members of the community.

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Viola Lavona Thatcher was born to John and Pearl Peterson of Dalton, Nebraska, in 1928. The town of Dalton was just 28 years old when Vi was born and had about 100 people living there. The Peterson family was a farming family growing all sorts of grain and raising some cattle, mostly for personal use. Vi grew up working the farm with her dad. She quickly became the main driver of the tractor – either to keep her out of the way or to give her a safe job. Nebraska was a rough country in those days. With the Western Railroad extension ending in Dalton, most folks either came to the end of the line to travel east or because no other town would have them.

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Vi married when she was 18 years old and stayed in Dalton long enough to have two children, Rhonda and David. She moved to Denver, Colorado, and loved the beautiful scenery and weather. Vi spent the next 20 years in Denver raising her children. She later would follow her daughter Rhonda to Utah. She lived with Rhonda and her husband in Elk Ridge for nine years before she met the love of her life: Glen Thatcher. Glen was a well-known beef rancher and horse whisperer in the Spanish Fork area. Together they cared for Glen’s horses and property. Vi loved Glen’s five children like her own. And Glen adored Vi just as she adored him. After 33 years of marriage, Glen passed away in 2011, and Vi stayed on the ranch caring for the property.

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“One time Glen and I went for a drive, he loved to surprise me with a drive. I loved it – he would come home and grab me and say, ‘Vi, let’s go,’ and off we would go. Sometimes I would have no idea where we would be driving …. I loved those drives. One time we were taking the horse trailer to get air in the tires. We stopped at Kentucky Fried Chicken on Main Street in Spanish Fork. Pretty soon there was a commotion going on and everyone was looking out the window, pointing and laughing at a chicken walking through the parking lot. It was our chicken! It had been roasting in the trailer and decided it was time to go. We ran out to catch it and it took off. We lost it. Later, some friends said it was wandering around the property where C-A-L Ranch is located now. But we never did find that chicken. We laughed about it for years after.”

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In 2015, Vi’s daughter Rhonda began a battle against cancer. She and Vi were best friends. They did everything together. Rhonda was an accomplished school teacher, winning best teacher of the year and receiving a large grant to help children in the local schools. Rhonda lost her battle to cancer in February of this year, leaving her husband and five children. Vi’s son Dave lives in Omaha, Nebraska, and visits every now and again. “Losing my husband was very difficult. Losing my daughter was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. No mother should outlive her daughter,” Vi said.

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Vi lives in Beehive Homes of Salem. She is enjoying the quiet life – reminiscing about the old days, laughing about good times and crying about hard times. “I really do like this place. I never wanted to leave my home, but I realized I needed to, and living alone was not a good option. Living here is the next best thing. The workers are so kind and helpful,” she said. Vi has 23 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Thank you, Viola Thatcher, for being kind, loving and generous and making our community great. We recognize you for the great family you have raised and for serving our community in every way you can to make life enjoyable for those around you.

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To contact Viola Thatcher, you may visit or write to Beehive Homes, Care of Viola Thatcher, 1015 S. 550 West, Salem, UT 85653.

Chris Baird
Chris Bairdhttp://www.servedaily.com
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.
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