Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Legacy to Uphold

Yesterday at 4am, my sweet mom passed away. It was expected, but it wasn't. There isn't one word to describe the emotions I feel. I keep cycling through all emotions. But the emotion I feel most of all is gratitude. I don't know what I did to be blessed by such an amazing mom. No one is better or ever will be. She emulated the Savior all her life and I have been greatly blessed by her. I miss her so much already. I find comfort in knowing that she is only temporarily gone from me and that one day we will be reunited. She is my hero and my best friend. I will miss our shopping excursions, our more than daily conversations, frequent lunch dates and dinners, her wise words and comfort, her hugs, her laugh, her smile, her sparkling eyes, her surprises, her friendship. I will miss her. Below is the obituary my family and I wrote for her. It's hard to put into words all the magnificent things she accomplished in life. Books could be written about her goodness. A light has defninitely gone out in this world with her passing. I am privileged to be her daughter and friend. I am grateful for all the time I have had with her and I look forward to the future when I will be reunited with her. I love you with my whole heart, Mom! And I know you know that.

Colleen Millet Hanks
Colleen Millet Hanks passed away February 7, 2012 after a courageous battle with Glioblastoma. She was born to Floyd and Vera Millet July 29, 1949, and has 3 older brothers, Jack, Michael, and Robert. During her childhood, she lived in Salt Lake City and loved it. As a teenager, her family moved to Provo where she graduated from Provo High School and was a Head Cheerleader. Later she attended Brigham Young University and performed as a Cougarette and Song Leader. She graduated from BYU in 1974 with B.A. in English, taught special education, skiing, swimming and loved to read and write. While attending BYU, she fell in love with Gordon Hanks. They married June 8, 1973 in the Salt Lake Temple. They have six beautiful children, five daughters and a son. She loved and lived life to the fullest. She was a master organizer, hostess, and established many fun family traditions. Colleen was benevolent and loved spoiling her family. She was passionate about life and excelled in all she did. She completed multiple marathons, including St. George and Boston. She loved water skiing, snow skiing, Lake Powell, sunshine, Harley trips, homemaking, but most of all she loved being a mom. Nothing meant more to her than her family. She was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had a vibrant testimony, serving in many callings including Stake Relief Society President and Stake Young Women President. She radiated love to everyone. All who encountered her experienced her incredible selflessness, kindness, friendship, and strength. She loved Heavenly Father and knew that He loved her.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Floyd and Vera Millet, and daughter, Holly.
She is survived by her husband, Gordon, and children: Alicia (Jason) Smith, Stephanie (Mike) Talbot, Natalie (Jeremy) Snow , Scott (Katie) Hanks, and Heather (Josh) Ragsdale, and 10 grandchildren: Nikki, Jake, Derek, Kaitlin, Saige, Flint, Connor, Boston, Maddox, & Landon.

Funeral Services will be held February 11, 2012 at 1:00pm at the South Mountain Stake Center, 1911 Gray Fox Drive, Draper, Utah. A viewing will be held February 10, 2012 at 6pm-8pm at Larkin Mortuary, 1950 East 10600 South, Sandy, Utah; and also at the Chapel from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m. prior to the funeral services. Internment will be at Larkin Cemetery.


Laura Bain said...

I want someone to tell us, "no, this isn't reality!" Those are such sweet and wonderful things you wrote about your Mom. I can attest that each and every one is true. I love you, Colleen Hanks! And I love you Heather!!!

Jeff and Mallory said...

Heather, I can't imagine what you and your family are going through. She truly is an amazing woman and she will be missed. Love you so much!

carla thorup said...

That is a beautiful obituary for a beautiful lady. Thinking about you often + sending love. EZ is honored to share her birthday :)

melissa said...

Maybe because I'm far away, maybe because it's so difficult to accept, but it hardly seems real that your mother has passed on. The words that keep running through my mind are that the arc of her mortal life may have completed, but the arc of her influence will go on forever! She is truly something special, and you have so much of her in you, Heather. Your post was beautiful - I'm sure it was not easy to write. But thank you for sharing a little bit of what you've been feeling. I love you and wish I could be there to just sit with you. xoxo

Dasha said...

Wow your mom sounds like an incredible woman. She accomplished so much and I can only imagine that she's so proud of you for following in her footsteps in so many ways. Much love to you and your family.