Velma Lillian Myrup
b.23 Feb 1901 Centerfield, Sanpete, Utah, United States
d.17 Oct 1979
m. 19 Jul 1899
Facts and Events
Velma Myrup Bartholomew
Funeral Service, 10/20/79
This is a very sacred and special privilege to speak briefly on this occasion. It is a solemn, but a joyous time as we pause and reflect on the life of this unusually special woman. We all have prayed in recent weeks that she could be given relief from her extreme suffering. We have prayed that she might be blessed with an opportunity to receive those rich rewards that she has earned.
The Saviour said: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth...let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
This scripture has special relevance for Velma Bartholomew. She was totally at peace with herself and with the world. We get that inner peace through the gospel, but we also get it from the Christ-like acts extended to others.
I was her home teacher. When Gifford Nielsen was in high school, he was my companion. Now for several years, Eldon Crowther and I have had the blessing of visiting these two, inspiring sisters. Since Gifford moved out of the ward, I have never seen him but what he has asked about the widows that were in our home teaching district. He would ask specifically, “How are the sisters?” of course, he meant Alice and Velma.
Although Gifford, Eldon, and I have tried to be good home teachers, I want to assure you that I shall always remember her as one of the best teachers I have ever had. As we formally tried to teach her, she informally taught me some of the greatest lessons of my life.
Velma’s life was like a beautiful symphony. To al lifetime symphony lover that is probably the ultimate compliment. Her life had harmony that was pleasing to the eye and the ear. It had beauty that lifted and inspired me. Even in the midst of suffering, she never lost that beauty.
Her life was a socially quiet one. She and Alice typically sat in the back and said little. At home she quicly demonstrated that her head was full of ideas to discuss. Her natural modesty kept her from any attempt to be the center of attention in a group of people.
Velma’s life was filled with Hard work. She had the diligence to accomplish whatever life gave to her. She fulfilled very well the commandment given to Adam: “In the sweat of they face shalt thou eat bread...”
Her life had more than its share of disappointment and heartache, but she was not bitter, never revengeful. Her life is a reminder to all of us that life was not meant to be a picnic. Even Christ on the cross cried: “Why has thou forsaken me?”
Her life was full of gratitude. In every situation she found something for which she could be grateful. She sought and found a silver lining on every cloud. Velma had her values well placed. The Saviour said:
“...Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where you r treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matt 6: 20-21)
We all know where her heart was. It was in helping and serving others. She was always reaching out. She had the remarkable gift to be able to rejoice in the happiness and success of others. For many of us this is our most difficult challenge. In this and many other ways she demonstrated what the apostle Paul wrote to the Galations:
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Gal 5:14)
Her life was filled with intellectual curiosity. An adult educator can’t help being inspired by people like Alice and Velma. They take seriously the concept that learning has eternal implications. Many adults quit learning at about age 18 or 22 when they finish their formal schooling. Not so with Velma and Alice. They have kept their minds active constantly learning stimulating new things.
Her life was filled with beautiful examples of courage. Although she suffered probably the most painful disease known to man, she never complained. As I visited her, I would ask: “Do you have a smile for me tonight?” She never failed me, and I always came away inspired and uplifted by this giant teacher. She, like a modern job, showed me how to take suffering. She clearly earned the privilege promised in the scriptures:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock...to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne...” (Rev 3: 20-21)
of Jesus we read:
“Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;” (Heb 5:8)
We all know how much President Kimball has suffered in recent years.
At a conference a few years ago, he quoted Orson F. Whitney as follows:
“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our character, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called children of God...”
An unknown author had this same concept of pain when he wrote:
“Pain stayed so long I said to him today, ‘I will not have you with me anymore,’ I stamped my foot and said, ‘Be on your way,’
and paused there, startled at the look he wore.
‘I, who have been your friend,’ he said to me; ‘I, who have been your teacher–all you know of understanding, love and sympathy, and patience, I have taught you, shall I go?’ He spoke the truth, this strange, unwelcome guest. I watched him leave, and knew he was wise.
He left a heart grown tender in my breast.
He left a far, clear vision in my eyes. I dried my tears and lifted up a song– even for one who’d tortured me so long.”
Now, I’m sure there is no one here today who is concerned about Velma Bartholomew. She has completed her assignment with valiance. She has graduated cum laude. She has been given much-needed relief from the suffering of recent months. She is with loved ones from whom she has been long separated. We rejoice for her.
Of course, we’ll miss her greatly, but we’ll always have those happy, cherished, enriching memories that she brought into our lives. We’ll always have before us that model of quiet Christian living to inspire us to be just a little bit better than we might otherwise be. No one could ask for a more valuable final gift from a friend or relative.
May God bless and sweeten for all of us the memory of Velma Lillian Myrup Bartholomew.