[pullquote]If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something DONE, ask a woman.-British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher[/pullquote]
At the end of 2014, while preparing to move from her Capitol office as the retiring Speaker of Utah’s House of Representatives, Becky Lockhart, at age 46, thought she had a troublesome ear infection. A few weeks later, a definitive diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease would send her health into a precipitous decline ending last Saturday when she passed at home, surrounded by her family.
During the memorial service held for her yesterday at the Utah Capitol Rotunda, Utah’s religious and political leaders gathered to express their appreciation for the sixteen years of legislative leadership from the states first female Speaker of the House, and as a woman who provided inspiration for women and men alike.
Her remains were awaiting a viewing service in the evening at her LDS Ward in Provo and a funeral service there on Friday. Details are below.
Opening with the strains of “Amazing Grace” performed by Salt Lake City’s Calgary Baptist Choir, the invocation for the service was offered by Reverend John Wester of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, before a reverent public numbering several hundred. The tenor of the service exuded the faith that the family shares with the state, but also with the diversity evidenced in Utah too.
Through remarks that were poignant and heartfelt, a collective and unshakable voice expressed thanks for her unique and inclusive political style. Lockhart is often referred to as “Utah’s Iron Lady,” a reference offered at her Capitol memorial celebrating her life as Utah’s first woman Speaker whose term in that office ended at the same time her life came to a close.
Remarks were given by Lockhart’s daughter, Emily Britton, Associate General Council for the State Legislature, Catherine Dupont, Former Representative David Litvack, who served as the House Minority Leader during Lockhart’s years as Speaker, and Senator Curt Bramble and noted as “family friend,” preceded remarks by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the LDS Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and a eulogy by Governor Gary Herbert.
Christofferson noted that Lockhart, a nurse by training, had recently volunteered to assist her LDS Bishop’s wife in the event that a pending labor and delivery needed pre-hospital care. Governor Herbert recalled a time when he was a county commissioner, Becky Lockhart and her husband Stan had made certain to offer their opinions on a pending matter before the Utah County Commission, repeatedly. Utah Senator Mike Lee took floor time at the United States Senate Chamber in Washington, D.C. to honor Lockhart as another Utahan who knew the value of public service and personal sacrifice.
A viewing service will be held on Thursday night at her LDS Ward in Provo, where Speaker Lockhart represented House District 74 and a funeral service will be conducted Friday, Jan. 23 at 11 a.m. at the LDS Church stake center located at 300 North 900 East in Provo.