I stumbled upon a photo of a Great, Great Uncle, Wilford Herbert Coley, posted on a website. I e-mailed the lady who posted the picture and she forwarded my e-mail to her brother. As it turns out, the family has a number of film reels taken from the early 1960’s. I asked him to share any that he thought I might be interested in. He indicated that one was from a funeral and it seemed to include extended family. He could only identify his grandfather, Wilford Herbert Coley, in the film.
On a hunch, I sent him this photo and informed him that it was taken 17 August 1961 at the burial of my Great, Great Grandmother, Martha Christiansen Coley, in Richmond, Utah. This is Wilford’s mother and I knew he was at the funeral. I also knew that if the family was into filming events, this could very well be one such event to catch.
He responded to me stating the film was from the same funeral and it actually covered the carrying of the casket from the hearse, some scanning of the crowd, and then the final shots of the 10 siblings standing together in which this photo was taken. He shared the converted video from the film with me yesterday.
The 10 siblings in the picture above and film are as follows from left to right.
Arthur Christiansen Coley (Art), 1921-2004
William Golden Coley (Goldie), 1924-2009
Wilford Herbert Coley, 1903-1966
Roland Charles Coley, 1915-2005
Oley Lloyd Coley (Lloyd), 1918-1998
Edna Coley Neilson, 1900-1983
Hannah Marie Coley Thomson, 1909-1982
Carrie Christiansen Coley McMurdie, 1906-1992
Lillian Coley Jonas, 1898-1987
Ivan Stephen Coley, 1912-1994
The film starts out with children carrying flowers out of the church. I am pretty sure this is the old Richmond, Utah South Ward Building (demolished after the 1962 earthquake). I do not think we will be able to identify any of these girls because of how cloudy and short the video is at this point.
The film then moves to the Richmond, Utah Cemetery viewing the place where Martha will be laid to rest. Two girls appear in the background, again probably too short a span of time and too fuzzy to identify them.
We jump to the casket being carried by 6 men, the 6 male siblings. On the far side of the casket from right to left are Roland, Wilford, and Art. On the near side from right to left are Lloyd, Golden, and Ivan.
In the background right as the pallbearers appear with the casket are two girls dressed in white. The taller of the two are Connie Gittins (Wilford’s granddaughter) and an unknown girl.
A young unidentified girl walks in front of the group bearing the casket.
Then we start the first scan of the crowd counter-clockwise from the south. These are the individuals:
Short boy in white that Bob Jonas steps in front of
Bob Jonas in white shirt
Steve Coley in white shirt
Gary Coley revealed when Steve Coley steps aside
Mary Coley (Art’s wife and Bob, Steve, and Gary’s mother)
Lillian Coley Jonas
Carrie Coley McMurdie
Edna Coley Neilson
Tall guy in background (probably Lorenzo “Ren” Bowcutt?)
Lady in white in background
Tall thin man in background
Shorter man in foreground, very short time
Then we move to the 10 siblings back and forth as mentioned above in the photo.
The video is below. Be sure to open it in full screen and to have your mouse on the pause button so you can look more carefully.
If anyone can add more information, I certainly welcome it. I hope we can identify every person in the video but I think I hope for too much. After all, this was taken 40 years ago! Nevertheless, the video is interesting to see people living and moving who are now all gone from mortality.
For those interested, here is a copy of Lillian Coley Jonas’ journal that includes this funeral. Martha died on the 14th of August 1961. I also include the other two journals we have for her.