Farnsworth Sisters

Grampy Joe

This is Joseph Alroy Farnsworth, our grandpa. He died 41 years ago this month, 7 years before I was born.  I never knew him here on this earth, but all of my sisters did.  I have read a lot about his life growing up in the Mexican Colonies and losing his own father when he was 8 years old.  I have heard about his quick smile and love of people.  I have heard how much he loved my mom.  I know that he had a ranch where he loved to go and spend time with my brothers and sisters and his other grandchildren and they would fish and ride horses.  I even know the name of some of the horses.  I know he liked to watch Bonanza.  I love hearing these memories about Grampy Joe, but recently I read a letter from a cousin about Grampy Joe that taught me more about who he was and is.   The letter is from his niece, Erma Farnsworth Andersen.  Her father, Wilford Farnsworth, was Grandpy’s older brother, and in some ways filled the father role for Grampy as his father died at a young age.

When Wilford was old, ill, and near death, Erma took care of him.  She wrote a letter to Grampy Joe about his visits to her Dad, Wilford during this time.  Here are some excerpts:

“As long as I live I shall never forget your faithfulness in visiting my own dear Dad every day when he was sick for four  long months before he passed away.  That was the bright spot of the day and you never let him down.  I knew you were working hard each day and long hours and most men, after a long day would think that once a week was plenty often to visit a loved one.  Not you!  You went the extra mile.”

“I remember especially one rainy, wet night at about 7:00 in the evening he began watching for you.  I tried to let him know that probably because it was such a stormy night, you wouldn’t be coming; but with a twinkle in his eye he said, ‘he’ll be here, my girlee.’  And sure enough, it wasn’t long until I heard your cheery voice at the front door.  I think I gave you an extra hug that night.”

“You made things so much easier by your visits.  Whe he was in special pain, you laid your hands on his head and through the power of the Priesthood you held so nobly, you blessed him and comforted him and gave him peace of mind.  Your prayers were beautiful and your faith was deep and strong.  When you prayed you talked to the Lord in such a special way.”

“Just a couple of weeks before he died, from my bedroom I could hear you two talking.  Occasionally there was a hushed sob.  You loved each other so very much and had complete confidence in each other.  You talked of your families and your great love for them; and then my Father told you that he      knew it wouldn’t be long until he would be called home.  And he said, ‘Joe you look after my family for me, will you?’ And Uncle Joe, chokingly you assured him that you would.”

“He did die about two weeks after that and true to your word you were always interested in how we were all getting along.  You checked with me often and I shall always treasure our visits.”

I love Joseph Alroy Farnsworth, my grandfather.  I am blessed to be one of his grandchildren.  I thank him for leaving me a legacy of faith and kindness and love.  I hope I can honor him by living a life full of faith, kindness, and love.


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  1. amy

     /  April 29, 2011

    I have so many tender memories of Grandpa, and am so grateful to be reminded of how he was. I love him dearly.