The last week has been to say the least an emotional roller coaster. Death has and will never be an easy thing for me. It scares me and it's something I don't like to talk about. Even when it comes to animals. Viewings and funerals are hard for me. To stand in front of a casket knowing you will never see the person again is hard for me, and always has been. For both these people I couldn't get close to the casket, I didn't want to NOT see them again.
My mom called me Sunday night and told me that my uncle, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and diagnosed with cancer, a year ago had passed away. Although we had expected the loss due to his illness getting worse week by week, it was still a hit. My uncle Tad and I were never close. I'm not too close to any of my mom's family. all I remember of Tad was a hard worker. Every time we went to their house when I was little he was either just getting home from a long day at work or going to bed to start another long day at work. I never knew Tad well enough to know anything other than that. Times like these makes me wish I had spent more time going with my mom whenever she went to Aunt Polly's or to see any of their children. Life just got too busy. I regret that. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose the love of your life after all those years Polly and Tad have been together. To have the memories they have with their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Polly spent the last year of Tad's life being his caretaker. To me that is the best way she could have shown her love for him. Tad was loved by all his family and friends and will be greatly missed. However, we all know he is no longer in pain, he is no longer feeling sick and hurting. He is in a better place.
Tad J. Pope T.J. Loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, returned to his Heavenly Father and the loving arms of his mom and dad on March 20, 2011, after a courageous battle with a glioblastoma brain tumor. He fought bravely to the very end.T.J. was born on October 6, 1946 in Salt Lake to Tad G. and June Pope (divorced). On February 10, 1948, June married Harold O. Turner. Harold became his dad and best friend. He attended Mt. Jordan and graduated from Jordan High School. On July 16, 1965, he married his high school sweetheart Pauline Tunbridge. They had four children, Shannon, Stuart, Brandi and Brett. T.J. worked for the Western Pacific Railroad as a brakeman until the merge with the Union Pacific Railroad. He stayed on as a conductor until he retired. He had 44 years of dedicated service. He took pride in his job and he did his job well. He worked hard to provide his family with a great life. He was an avid hunter and trapper. He loved hunting deer with his family in Wide Canyon, White Bush and the areas near Holden. T.J. was a great fisherman. He loved fly fishing on the Provo River. He was a fly fishing guide at the L.C. Ranch in Altamont for many years, with his friend Buddy Knight. He tied his own flies and would demonstrate his skills at local outdoor expos. He enjoyed watching Pauline make floral arrangements and often would offer advice. She worked at Chantillis where he would come and wire pheasants on wreaths so she didn't have to. T.J. loved his family. His children brought him great pride and joy. He loved the things they loved and supported them in everything they did. Dad fought hard to stay with us. He is gone far too soon. He will forever be missed, but always be with us. Survived by his wife, Pauline; children, Shannon Healy; Stuart Pope; Brandi (Avery) Fitzgerald; Brett Pope; grandchildren, Dustin Metz; Katie, Casey, Karley and Cole Fitzgerald; great-granddaughter, Mylie Jade Metz; brother, Dan (Ann) Pope; many uncles, aunts and cousins. Preceded in death by his father, Tad G. Pope (Shirley); parents, Harold and June Turner and numerous uncles, aunts and cousins. Thank you to Harmony Hospice for their service and to Shannon and Jamie for their loving care. We are so grateful for our dear friends Mike and Koralynn Drake, Sandy and Mark Johnson, Rick Huff, Gerry Thompson and all Dads' great railroad friends. We couldn't have made it through the good times or bad times without your love and support. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 25, 2011 at Goff Mortuary, 8090 S. State Street. Friends may call from 6-8 p.m. on Thurs., March 24, 2011 and one hour prior to the services
Tuesday night we went to dinner to celebrate an early birthday dinner for my mom. I got into my car to head home and had a text from my old manager at the dental office saying I needed to call her asap. The next text was from my old dentist, saying one of my dear friends, and a patient at the office, AJ had died. I broke down. I called Tanya demanding she tell me what happened. I always thought it was weird that Tanya looked at the obituaries everyday. She said at her age you wouldn't believe how many people die that she knew somehow. I am so thankful she does that now or I would have never found out. She continued to tell me Aj had died from heart failure. I yelled out he is 27!!! She didn't know anymore and of course the article doesn't go into detail. I still don't know what exactly went wrong that day. I didn't dare ask his family at the viewing. He was out with his wife and just dropped.
Aj and I met a few years ago. He was the type of person that was always happy. always optimistic, always looking for something fun and outgoing. Aj and I were friends instantly he always was excited to see me or hear from me, as I was for him. We always talked about our relationships together the good and the bad. After I got married we drifted slightly, just like some friendships do. But no matter what we tried to keep in touch. He took everyone by surprise when we found out he got married a few months after knowing Jenna. Although I only met Jenna once, I knew how much AJ loved her. I know now why it happened so quickly. AJ always wanted to get married and have a happy life with a wife and family. He had just under a year being married Jenna. He was able to enjoy that. I know he did.
It's amazing the things you remember about someone when they are no longer here. I was at Aj's house when we got the text's, emails and the news was talking about our dear President Gordon B. Hinckley passing away. When something like that happens what else do you talk about then... Heaven. I think Aj is the only person I have gone in depth with about heaven. We talked about what we thought it was like, how everything works and what the different kingdoms meant and our goal to get to the top. I wonder AJ, is it like what we thought?? Or is it even better?? I hope and pray you got to the kingdom you wanted. I know you did.
I'm sorry Jas and I never got together for ice cream like AJ and I kept wanting to do. I wish I would have just done it, just told him okay, not given him excuses of when we get a house, when we aren't so busy with other things. I wish I would have just gone to ice cream. I'm sorry for Jenna to have to go through something like this. I CAN'T IMAGINE. Jenna Aj loved you with all his life. I don't know what I would do if I lost J. I don't even want to think about it. Aj had an amazing family and he made me really know how to love mine and appreciate them. He always had a smile when he was talking about his little sister and brother.
Anthony Jordon (AJ) Rooks 1983 ~ 2011 Anthony Jordon (AJ) Rooks, born July 2, 1983, left us suddenly on March 19, 2011, due to complications relating to his heart. AJ was born in Vernal, Utah, the first of three children, to Don and Eileen Rooks. He spent the first 15 years of his life in Rangely, Colorado which is where he first developed a deep rooted love for family, a passion for outdoor activities, and a vigor for life. AJ graduated from Uintah High School in Vernal, Utah, and later served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Fresno, CA mission. He was married April 24, 2010 to his sweetheart Jenna Anderson. From an early age, he loved to roam the nearby mountains with his family, riding horses, hunting for trophy bucks, and snowmobiling. He was also a gifted athlete, who excelled in any athletic competition he participated in. He especially loved playing football every Saturday with his father and brothers. He had a strong work ethic and high level of self discipline. He had a lot of compassion for people, and always made everyone feel comfortable. AJ was active in the LDS church, and was serving along side his wife as ward mission leaders. At his time of death, he was developing tools for "the movement" in dub nutrition. He is survived by his best friend and loving wife of eleven months, Jenna Anderson, his sister Lynlee (Nate) Price, brother Taylor, and his parents. A viewing will be held at Liberty 4th Ward, 142 W 200 N Salt Lake City on Wednesday March 23, from 12:00 to 1:45 p.m., with a funeral following at 2:00 p.m.
This last week has been full of me looking back at my life with my uncle and my dear friend. They will be missed. They will be thought of daily. They will never be forgotten.