According to daughter Winifred Rex, “Bessie had been bothered with bleeding stomach ulcers for a number of years and in 1937 her health started to decline. In November 1938, she was operated on for appendicitis and developed peritonitis which caused her death on 12 November 1938.” Missionary son Harold returned from Brazil November 9, and visited with his mother in the hospital prior to her passing.
Family, friends and all of Rich County mourned, and gathered around P.H. Rex’s family. Winifred wrote further of her mother, “Perhaps one of the best ways to come to know this fine and lovely person is to read some of the remarks made by the speakers at her funeral.”
The following paragraphs are from a twelve page typed copy of the funeral proceedings. Please contact me if you would like to see the entire document.
Elder Willard Peart: [Willard George Peart, 1887-1966, bishop of Randolph for seventeen years.] In the last twenty-six years she has been in our midst, she has been active at all times. She served in the Ward Choir, and also Secretary of the Ward Choir. She has worked with her husband, P. H. Rex, a member of the Bishopric of the Randolph Ward for fifteen years under two different Bishops. She has been a teacher in nearly every organization in the Church. She has worked seventeen years as Board Member in the Stake Mutual. She worked as teacher in the Sunday School, in the Religion Class, as a teacher under the late Bishop John C. Gray. We do not have anyone in our Ward who would not look up to Sister Rex and admire her. She had an art of making friends, it did not matter who, and she never tired in the service of the work of the Lord, and the service in the work of her fellow men.
When the Governor of the State came to our Community, Sister Rex was chosen to entertain him. This was the Democratic Candidate, and when the Republican Candidate came seeking office she was also chosen to entertain him. We who know her love her and know that she was 100% all of the time. …
Bishop Clayton: [John (Jack) Clayton, 1882-1974, married to Gail Morgan, Bessie’s sister.]
My Brothers and Sisters this is an arduous task but inasmuch as Perce requested me to speak I will endeavor to do so... There was never a time when we came here [to Randolph, Utah] or she came to our house [Salt Lake City, Utah] that we did not discuss the problems of the universe. It was a by-word of our children of both families that when Dad and Aunt Bessie got together they might as well go to bed because we would talk all night. I know what were her ambitions and her desires. I know what she wished for her family. I know what things came first with Bessie. In the first place, she had two ambitions and these she has accomplished. The first was her self-improvement. It is a law of nature that you have to help others in order to help yourself. That she did help others you have been told by Brother Peart who spoke before me. She was always endeavoring to accept responsibility that she might help others. Her second ambition was her family. No Mother had greater desires for her family than she. She loved them and she was ambitious that they live the gospel of Jesus Christ. When Bessie and I talked together I was apt to be critical. I remember the last time I visited her in the Hospital; she was not so bad then and could talk to me. She said, “I know that the Gospel is upon the earth and I get a thrill out of it.” That was her testimony and her ambition was that her children know and live it. That was the thing she had in mind. …
Of course I am close to the family. I knew the ambitions of her mother [Helen Melvina Groesbeck Morgan] and Bessie was just like her mother. She had the same ambitions for her family that Bessie [sic] [Helen Melvina] did and she has inherited those qualities. She was endowed with an intellect from her father [John Hamilton Morgan]. A quality that could reason and understand and so I think that Bessie has accomplished a great deal in life. …
More information on Bessie’s passing can be seen here on this blog.
(To be continued.)
History, Descendants, and Ancestry of William Rex and Mary Elizabeth Brough of Randolph, Utah, compiled and edited by Ronald Dee Rex, 1999, pg. 270. Thank you to cousin Karen A. for picture of Randolph Cemetery, Bessie Morgan Rex grave marker. Documents from Helen Rex Frazier collection. FamilySearch.org. Randolpoh, A Look Back, by Steven L. Thomson. Jane D. Digerness, Mar Jean S. Thomson, 1981, pgs. 413-414.