Marilda Terry, fourth child and third girl in a family of seven, was born May 3, 1885 in St.George, Utah to William Alanson and Mary Elizabeth Baker Terry.
Her family was a polygamist one. Her parents were married in the Temple and she grew upin the Church and was taught to love the Lord.
What schooling she had was gained in St. George, and in the school of hard knocks. She worked for 35 cents a week in a large family who had a new baby, going to school part time while doing this. They had little clothing and said that many times she had to go to bed while her mother washed and ironed her only dress.
She was taught to work and did it well. She loved to paint and painted with oils on oilcloths that were used on wash stands, giving them to friends and loved ones. She could draw flowers very well.
Her father was called with other men and when she was about 14 they moved to Lund, Nevada to help settle the town.
On December 12, 1901, accompanied by her sister Mary Lauritzen, she and her husband-to-be, Orson James Lauritzen, traveled to Manti, Utah where they were wed in the Temple. They went with team and wagon and were many days traveling there. To this union were born two sons: Terry Ernest and Willis (Bill) James.
They lived some in Preston and later moved to McGill, where her husband was injured while riding a horse. This resulted in his death a day or so later.
In those days women did not work, and she did not know how to make a living for her one and four year old sons. She moved back to Preston to her little log home and took the two lady teachers to board. That gave her a little income, along with a cow and chickens and garden. In this way she could be with the boys.
Terry says there are only two things he can remember about this time: one, when she went to see her injured husband and the doctor said no way, and remember him as you saw him last. Marilda got on her knees and begged but to no avail, the doctor was firm. They, the three of them were going either from Preston to McGill or from McGill to Preston and when they came tothe forks in the road, she did not know which road to take. So she got out of the buggy or wagon and got the two little boys out and they knelt down and she prayed that they would take the right road. Then they got back in and she gave the horses their heads and they took the right road.
In September 1910 in the Salt Lake Temple she married Hyrum David Whitlock. To this union were born two boys and two girls: Vonda (Rogers), Jack Whitlock, Virginia (Kenyon) and Ray Whitlock. Ray died when he had barely turned 18, which was a blow to the family.
She was very ill at this time and Sisters Margaret Windous, Stella Allred, Nettie Hermansen and Myrtle Cheel helped her to regain her health. Sister Windous delivered five of her six children.
She was very active in civic and church affairs and worked in all of the organizations: President of Relief Society, President of Y.W.M.I.A., Primary, Sunday School. She was counselor and secretary. She served as counselor to Nettie Hermansen in Relief Society forabout nine years.
Marilda had a nice voice and she sang alone many times; and other times, she and Drucilla Sorenson with Andrew Petersen and Pharo Arnoldson sang together.
She loved children and young people and often chaperoned them on trips, outings and parties. She gave readings and skits always ready to help with anything that needed doing.
In 1939 their seven room home burned to the ground; the only thing coming from upstairs inone piece was her Temple apron. They rebuilt but just the lower four rooms.
The family moved to Lane City and Ely for several years but returned to Preston again to live.
If she and her husband ever knew of any illness they were right there to help in any way they could. They never missed a funeral of anyone they knew whether near or far. They were always ready to lend a helping hand in any way possible.
Marilda loved the Church and the Lord and was always ready to do his bidding at all times. Ever to church on time and working to help further the work of the Lord. She worked on the Stake Sunday School Board and was a Home Missionary.
They bought the Preston Store and she worked in the store and the Post Office, and even drove the mail to Duckwater and Lund many times to help her husband out.
Truly she was a person who lived by the side of the road and helped all with a helping hand and a smile.
Her health began to fail and she had surgery and it was found that she had cancer in the colon. Her last 22 months were filled with terrible pain, but she never lost faith and with her last breath, until she went into a coma, she was in the bathroom ill but praying.
On November 26, 1952 she passed away in Logan, Utah. Her husband took her there to live just two months before as he wanted her near a doctor at the last. She was buried in Logan City Cemetery.
She fully believed this: "And when I die - I'd like to leave this world a better place, and add my contribution to the race. An act, poem, song, or just a line, that after I am gone would live through time. I'd be content to suffer my poor health or be deprived of excess worldly wealth, if only of myself I could but give, and leave the world a better place to live."
Her posterity consists of: Terry Ernest Lauritzen (Independence, Missouri), 2 children; Willis James (Bill) Lauritzen (Cornelius, Oregon), 3 children; Vonda Whitlock Rogers (McGill, Nevada), 1 child; Jack Whitlock (Logan, Utah), 2 children; Virginia Whitlock Kenyon (Salt LakeCity, Utah), 3 children; and 28 great grandchildren.
Written and submitted by:
Vonda Whitlock Rogers