Saturday, June 18, 2011

Eunice Fitzgerald McRae Obituary

Mrs. Eunice Fitzgerald M'Rae

Friend of the Prophet Joseph Smith and a Woman of Many Good Deeds, Laid to Rest

Eunice Fitzgerald McRae was the daughter of Joseph Hawkins and Catherine Parkhurst Fitzgerald, and was born Feb. 7, 1818, in Henry county and died at Salt Lake City on Dec. 3, 1906. Her father was a soldier under Gen. Anthony Wayne in the War of [Independence]. On Oct. 2, 1834 in Newcastle, Henry county, Ky., she was married to Alexander McRae, late bishop of the Eleventh ward of this city.

About 1837 she first learned of the Mormons, she and her husband walking eight miles to hear the elders preach. They made the return journey that same night on foot, carrying their 9-months-old in their arms. Mrs. McRae was baptized in June, 1837, and then moved with her husband and child to Far West, Mo., where they suffered the hardships and persecutions common to all the saints of those days. During the time that Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, Alexander McRae, and others were incarcerated in the Liberty jail, Mrs. McRae was one of their most frequent visitors, [ ] received many blessings and promises from the lips of the prophet. She was allowed more privileges than the other visitors, and only on one occasion did the guards search her before admitting her to the prison. When the Saints were driven out of Missouri, she went with her family to Nauvoo, where they helped to build that city, and there they endured many hardships. They were among those who were driven out of Nauvoo in 1846. They spent the winter of 1856-7 at Winter Quarters, and then moved on to Kanesville, where they lived for five years. They came to Salt Lake valley by ox team in [ ], arriving here in October. They located on the corner of Sixth East and Second South at an early date, and for more than 30 years Bishop McRae and wife were familiar figures in that locality. He died 16 years before his wife.

Mrs. McRae was a devoted and loving wife and mother, and a faithful Latter-day Saint to the last. Among those who knew her, she was noted for her generosity. Whatever she had she was always willing to share with the needy, and she was always true to her duties through all the trying scenes, even at the risk of her life. Her life was a continuous sacrifice, but she was never heard to complain.

Her posterity numbers 152 as follows: Twelve children, 59 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren. Of these the following are living: Seven children, 43 grandchildren, 68 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren, total 138. The only living relative in Utah outside of her own family is John H. Kidd, a nephew, who has been just as devoted to "Aunt Eunice" as any of her own sons.

Funeral services were held over the remains on Sunday, Dec. 9, in the Eleventh ward chapel under the direction of the bishopric, and a large cortege followed her to the cemetery. The speakers were Bishop Robert Morris, Elders Charles Livingston and Joseph E. Taylor, and President Joseph F. Smith, who each bore testimony of the integrity and faithfulness of the departed, and urged the descendants to follow in her footsteps.

The opening prayer was offered by Bishop Robert Brighton of the Thirty-third ward, and the benediction was pronounced by Elder John M. Knight of the stake presidency. Ex-President Joseph A. McRae of the Colorado mission offered the dedicatory at the grave.

[Obituary of Eunice McRae from Deseret Evening News, Tues., December 11, 1906.]


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