Our lovely mother, Edith Norwood Stovall Broadbent, died at home with loved ones beside her on Sunday, September 12th, 2021. She was born on March 20th, 1926, the first day of Spring, and grew up in the rural North Carolina town that shared her name, Stovall. At Duke University, in Durham North Carolina, she met and in June 1950, married our father, Thomas Ray Broadbent. They were later sealed in the LDS temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was a young man from Heber City, Utah with a big future, and his career as one of the pioneers of plastic and reconstructive surgery opened the doors of the world to them. Together they traveled the globe, making and visiting friends, many of whom they also hosted in our home. It was a time of their lives beyond imagination. Trip prizes tucked throughout their luggage for the kids, Kenneth Ray, Stephanie, Catherine, and Lisa Anne, added a sense of wonder to our excitement upon their returns. Home was the place they loved most of all. Edith was a homemaker in the highest and purest sense of the word. She was always here when we came in from school, the house was always clean, and there was always a delicious hot dinner when dad got home from work. She loved to cook and bake, she loved to shop, and the pantry was always full, no doubt a backward reflection of more bare cupboards of her childhood. Edith was always dressed to perfection, in a classy outfit with matching shoes, her hair done, lipstick on, and fingernails painted, even when home alone expecting no one. She was a true Southern Belle, elegant, but not opulent, her natural beauty radiant inside and out. She was fun, with a wonderful smile and a twinkle in her eyes. She had a candy apple red Ford Mustang and later a metallic purple Cadillac with the license plate EEEEE. Even at 5ft 2 inches, she stood out in a crowd as something special, and she was.
Edith was always welcoming and accepting, and both her friends and ours enjoyed being in our home. She liked dining out and fancy desserts. She was warm, kind, and generous, always slipping a little extra on the table for good service after dad had precisely calculated a 10% tip, and a little in our pockets for something special as we headed out on adventures of our own. She was the one who got called when a certain child ran out of gas again and was always available and easy to talk to when we needed a little help over the bumps in the road of growing up. She let us be ourselves and cherished each of us for the unique people we were and are. She had a deep private side and kept much mysteriously to herself, but there had been forged a powerful inner strength, a deep courageous faith, and a clear command of right and wrong. She knew her priorities. She was fiercely devoted to her family and when necessary, could quickly make it clear that she was not a person you wanted to mess with.
She loved North Carolina, never quite getting used to Utah not being green. She loved her siblings, Gordon, Hunter, Ester, Margaret, Dan, and Barbara. We always knew when she had been on the phone with them, because her cute Southern accent would resurface for a few days. We all have great memories of trips to Emerald Isle, reconnecting with our Southern side. She also loved Balboa Island, where we summer vacationed over the years and still do. She loved Maui, where she and Ray spent much wintertime together. She lived for over 60 years in the Salt Lake City Monument Park 13th Ward neighborhood and had many dear friends there. Here in Utah, the Broadbent side of our family has always been close. We enjoyed massive Thanksgivings together in a rented Heber church, mom making special batches of stuffing and mashed potatoes and slipping the serving bowls onto the table beside us. We love our many cousins very much and know that they want to be with us today in celebration of Edith’s life. Please share your memories and stories with us!
Edith’s later years were not what she and Ray dreamed of, and who knows what magic those dreams contained. Yet they found their happiness along the way and adjusted. Home provided clarity and comfort, and mom was never alone. She loved the views and birds out the kitchen window, sitting on the patio in the sun, music played on the piano, games, stories, simple art projects, visits from friends and family, children, babies, flowers, and dogs. She was blessed being able to live her life out at home thanks to the wonderful 24/7 caretakers who did so much more than attend to her needs, enriching her life with their love. While we cannot mention all here, special thanks must be given to Kelsey, Dallin, Kate and Caroline, Elevation Hospice, and to Cathie, who tirelessly has been a caretaker, coordinator, and over-seer of all. She made sure that only those truly devoted to and loving of our mom stayed with her. Edith’s passing leaves a palpable emptiness, but she wanted to go Home, and it was time.
Edith is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Thomas Ray Broadbent, by all of her siblings, his siblings, all of their spouses, and all of her closest friends. She was literally the last surviving of her generation. She loved children and all babies and loved and was loved by 12 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren, with several more on the way who will just miss her in passage to and from this world. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Red Butte Garden, the Utah Food Bank, or do something special together with your own family and loved ones.
The Broadbents were wonderful neighbors. Ray and Edith were a perfect combination with personalities that complimented one another. Edith was always kind, generous and loving. I will never forget the compassion she showed when my parents passed away,
She was a perfect neighbor and friend.
I know her memory will live for many years in the hearts of al the many people whose life she touched. My deepest condolences to her family and thank you for sharing her with me and my family
We have known and loved Edith for more than 50 years, along with Ray and her children. Mourning her passing is like celebrating a great life. In the last several years (before pandemic) we loved seeing her at Church meetings, brought gently by Lisa or Cathie, for her warm friendly spirit survived even when mind was going down. The whole family is an inspiration. Love to all.