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Mother, daughter remembered for their friendship

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KAYSVILLE — Mary Alice Wahlstrom and Carolyn Beug, mother and daughter, were tied by a special friendship in life, and it was that friendship that bound them in death, mourners at their memorial service heard Saturday.

Mary Alice Wahlstrom, 75, a longtime Logan resident who had spent the past eight years living in Kaysville, and her daughter, Carolyn A. Beug, 48, Los Angeles, were remembered Saturday at the filled-to-capacity Kaysville East Stake Center by family, friends and strangers who had come to offer support.

Both Wahlstrom and Beug were passengers on American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to strike the World Trade Center in New York Tuesday.

President James E. Faust of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints paid tribute to the two women. President Mary Ellen Smoot, president of the church's Relief Society, also attended.

President Faust read a letter written to Norman Wahlstrom Sr. and family from the LDS Church's First Presidency.

"She leaves a legacy rich in righteousness for her children and grandchildren to follow," he read.

He said friendship tied mother and daughter together in life, and friendship found them together in death. He expressed appreciation for Jesus Christ's sacrifice that "broke the bonds of death."

After reading the letter, President Faust went on to express his sorrow and sympathy to the family.

"Now, I don't have an answer as to why this tragedy had to happen to this family," he said. But, he said, quoting the late LDS apostle Steven L. Richards, "There are no untimely deaths in the Lord."

He told the family that each of them had been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of the Holy Ghost is to comfort and sustain and to give peace.

President Faust then turned and addressed the husband and father, Norman Sr., specifically.

"This is especially a great loss for you," he said. President Faust referred to Mary Alice Wahlstrom as Norman's eternal companion and told him there was hope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

He then invoked an apostolic blessing on the family, saying "you will find the peace which the Savior promised — the ultimate promise — peace in this life" and peace in the life to come. He testified that Jesus is the Christ and that life is endless and eternal, sweet and joyful.

Daughters-in-law Kay and Margaret Wahlstrom gave life sketches of Beug and Wahlstrom. Sons Scott, Michael and Norman Jr. gave remembrances of their mother and sister.

"I don't have any explanation of what happened," Scott Wahlstrom said. But he said he had hope. "I hope I'll see my mom again. I hope my dad will be OK. I hope, I hope, I hope."

He said his mother was very proud of her Irish ancestry, she was active in her church and community and she had Christ-like attributes.

"I hope I can be like my mom," he said.

After the memorial, Margaret Wahlstrom's son, Nathan, made a statement for the family, saying they extend their appreciation for the friendship and sympathy given to them this past week.

"Their mourning and sympathy also extends out to the thousands of innocent victims and their families caught up in this and other senseless acts of terrorism. The Wahlstroms pray that the spirit of the Lord can help mend the broken hearts in our country and allow similar families to heal their wounds without a retaliatory objective that may injure other innocent people."

At the service, Norman Jr. fought back tears as he remembered his mother and sister.

"We love these two girls," Norman Jr. said. "They were the spark of the family."

He said of course he knew death would eventually come, but that because it came so suddenly and so publicly, his mother's and sister's deaths have been especially painful and emotional.

He talked about the special bond he had with his sister, Carolyn, how since childhood they had had a special friendship.

He spoke of his mother's sharp wit, her loving nature and her love of reading.

Monday night, he said, the family had simply been waiting for Mary Alice Wahlstrom to come home.

"Instead of waiting for her, she's waiting for us," he said.


E-mail: rrogers@desnews.com