Alice Ruth <I>Thornley</I> Evans

Alice Ruth Thornley Evans

Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Death 16 Dec 2008 (aged 98)
Foothill, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Plot WEST-11-171-2E
Memorial ID 32297992 · View Source
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Alice Ruth Thornley Evans, of Logan Circle, Foothill, passed away on December 16, 2008 from causes incident to age.

She was born August 14, 1910, in Salt Lake City, Utah, the daughter of John Watt Thornley and Nora Nelson (Bonnemort) Thornley. Her father was a respected sheep and cattle rancher, who served as Kaysville City Mayor and also as a Utah State Legislator.

Alice grew up in Kaysville in a loving and supportive home and she credited especially her remarkable mother for nurturing in her a deep and abiding faith in God and love and respect for every human being as a child of God.

Indeed, Alice lived as she believed and taught, that every person she met, regardless of station in life, needed, and was entitled to, love, kindness and respect.

She graduated in 1928 from Davis High School, where, as student body secretary, she coined the school name, Davis "Darts." She attended the McCune School of Music where she studied violin, voice, piano and music theory.

When Alice was about 10 years old, her mother, a talented pianist, organized what became known as the Thornley Trio, with Alice playing the violin and her two older sisters playing the violin and cello.

For the next 20 years they played frequently throughout Davis, Weber and Salt Lake Counties at concerts, school, civic and church functions. She also attended the University of Utah, and in 1932 she received her B.A. degree with a High School Teaching Certificate.

She was a member of Chi Omega, Beta Delta Mu Music sorority, French Club, and Utonian Staff. While at the University, Alice, with her friend and roommate, Hazel Blood, had a weekly radio program on KSL where they sang and played musical solos and duets.

After teaching in school one year in Layton, she married Richard Louis Evans on August 9, 1933 in the Salt Lake Temple. This began her most significant life's work of helping to provide a home of love, refinement and spirituality for him and their four sons, and of supporting Richard in his numerous and complex roles as a General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announcer for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, civic and education leader and Rotarian.

In 1938, when Alice was 28 and Richard was 32, he was called as a member of the First Council of Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (October 13).

Fifteen years later, on October 8, 1953, he was ordained an Apostle and continued his life's work as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, with Alice's sustaining help. In 1966-1967, Richard served as president of Rotary International, and during that year and in the years immediately preceding and following that assignment, he and Alice traveled world wide, visiting most of the states in the U.S. and nearly 100 countries of the 134 countries in which there was a Rotary Club.

Toward the end of that enormous undertaking, as they landed in a remote country in Southeast Asia, they looked at each other and realized that they could not think of any place they should go where they had not already been at least once.

Richard later acknowledged her efforts by reporting that when news of their intended visit to a distant Rotary Club was announced, it was received and passed on with the excited expression that "Alice is coming, Alice is coming."

She loved and treated everyone she met as her best friend and made them feel that way. During these years she and Richard had a Christmas card list of well over a 1,000 couples. She personally signed and addressed every card, in her beautiful handwriting, to people she met, remembered, and loved, world wide.

As a life-long member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Alice loved the gospel as it was restored in these last days and knew it was the light that gave guidance and direction in the raising of her family.

She taught in all the auxiliaries of the Church and held leadership positions on ward and stake levels. She was frequently asked to give talks at socials, girls' conferences, and student groups, and served for several years as a hostess at the LDS Church Office Building.

She was also active in promoting and supporting the arts and civic causes and was for many years a member of the Salt Lake Music Circle, the PTA, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and several social groups. She served on the Board of Control for the University of Utah Alumni Association.

She was given Honorary Membership in the Salt Lake Rotary Club and received the prestigious Paul Harris award from the Rotary Foundation. She also received a Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Utah Emeritus Club.

Following Richard's untimely death in 1971, her life continued in dedication to extending love and kindness to everyone she met.

She was the "Cookie Lady" for two generations of children who grew up in her neighborhood, and for her family and friends she has left a treasured legacy of love, refinement, and faith.

She is survived by her four sons, Richard L., Jr. (Tamara), John T., Stephen T. (Deanne) and William T. (Jan), 24 grandchildren and 67 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard L. Evans, her siblings: Will Thornley, Mattie Shepherd, Norma Swan, Doris Sill, Donald Thornley and a great-grandson James Montgomery Larkins.

Funeral Services will be held at 12 noon on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at the Garden Park Ward Chapel, 1150 East Yale Avenue. Family and friends may call at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple Street on Monday evening from 6-8 p.m. and at the Ward Chapel on Tuesday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. prior to the services.
Interment will be in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Published in the Deseret News from 12/20/2008 - 12/22/2008.

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  • Created by: Ryan D. Curtis
  • Added: 19 Dec 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 32297992
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Alice Ruth Thornley Evans (4 Aug 1910–16 Dec 2008), Find A Grave Memorial no. 32297992, citing Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Ryan D. Curtis (contributor 46858513) .