RUPERT • After the darkness of night comes the dawn of a new day. Adela Escobedo Graf, at age 59, on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, and after 18 years of struggling with chronic illness and its effects, went back into the arms of her Heavenly Father. She was our beloved mother and grandmother, faithful wife, dear sister and friend. She will be missed deeply by all.
Adela was born Sept. 27, 1952, in San Luis Potosi, SLP, Mexico. She was the ninth of 10 children in the home of Francisco and Concepcion Escobedo. Though raised in the poorest of neighborhoods and under difficult circumstances, she often would tell touching and humorous stories of her childhood, which were cherished memories. At age 7, her family immigrated to the United States of America, which brought many opportunities to the family for education, economic betterment and service to God.
Only a year after moving to the United States, the family became acquainted with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After careful investigation of its teachings and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the family joined the church. This was a life-changing experience for them all because, over the years, their faith in God and service in the Lord’s kingdom has been a driving force in all of their lives. Adela began teaching Primary children when she was only 13 years old. Teaching children, youth and adults and bearing witness of her Savior became her life’s work. Over the years, she served in nearly every capacity that a Latter-day Saint woman can serve in local wards and stakes.
Adela graduated from high school in McAllen, Texas, which was a great accomplishment and something not easy for her to do. She next made application for citizenship for the United States and followed the necessary procedures for that to happen. She was always proud to be a U.S. citizen and loved her new country just as much as she loved the country of her birth. Two of her sons, Jesse and Seth, served their country as soldiers in Iraq. Their mother prayed every day for them and all the soldiers fighting to preserve our liberties and freedom.
Two years after graduating from high school, Adela bravely left her beloved home and family to travel far away to college in Rexburg, Idaho, to study at Rick’s College. There, a whole new world opened to her and she enveloped herself in study, activity, dancing, singing, culture and faith. It was there that she met the love of her life, Steven K. Graf, who was a recently returned missionary for the church. They were married and sealed together for time and eternity on April 24, 1975, in the Idaho Falls Temple.
As always faithful to her Lord’s teachings, Adela and her Steve began to multiply and replenish the earth. Despite the opposing forces of raising large families which were so prevalent in those times, Adela dedicated herself to bearing and raising children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Six children, Steven Eric, Jesse Ellsworth, Sylvia Lark, Marie Adela, Seth Escobedo and Jonathan Henry, were blessed to call her mother. Always proud to be known as a “stay at home mom,” Adela gave her whole heart and life to her husband and children. In so doing, she gained the most complete and well-rounded education that any woman can achieve. As her children grew up and moved on, she continued to be a mother, counselor and support; someone that was always there and could be depended upon.
Adela believed that service to mankind was true wealth and made many friends through her service, which helped her feel that she was contributing something good to the world. She lived by the Golden Rule of doing unto others as she would have them do to her. But her greatest joy was the role as mother and later grandmother. She found joy in staying close to the land through gardening and working with her hands. Steve and Adela’s gardens were an expression of their love of life and the beauties of nature. The abundance that came from those gardens was shared freely with others.
In nothing was her faith in God so tried as through a devastating illness which began in the prime of her life at age 43. Diagnosed with a chronic, degenerating illness, she experienced deep, lasting pain, loss of strength and vigor, depression, disfiguration, humiliation and hopelessness. Doctors and hospitals became familiar to her. At times, her pains were very great and her soul cried to God for relief. She would pray for a guardian angel to be with her. Then she would see her beloved Steven attending to her needs, or a son or daughter caring for her and knew that her prayer was answered. Over the years, the illness gradually went into remission but left in its wake many other health problems. A person not so strong-willed would have become bedridden. But Adela struggled to stay active and continued to serve her family, her church and God, her neighbors and friends all the way to the end. Her heart was always strong and kept beating until after her last breath.
Adela is survived by her loving husband, Steven K. Graf, whom she called “Vida,” her life. She was “Corazon,” his heart. Surviving brothers and sisters are Maria Louisa Canedo of Mexico City, David Escobedo of Orem, Utah, Juan Manuel Escobedo of Panaca, Nev., Gloria Dixon of Orem, Utah, Concepcion Kurocik of Mesa, Ariz., and Mario Escobedo of Seattle, Wash.; all six children; and 12 grandchildren, Dunken Hoy, Marisa Hoy, Megan Graf, Wyatt Mecham, Ronan Hoy, Katie Mecham, Kloe Graf, Ashlynn Graf, Pieran Hoy, Francisco Hoy, Mitchell Graf and Cian Hoy. Adela was preceded in death by brothers, Javier Escobedo and Francisco “Kiko” Escobedo; her sister, Guadalupe Silva; and her father, Francisco Escobedo. Her mother that she could never leave, Concepcion Escobedo, passed away Saturday, March 24, 2012, and will walk hand-in-hand with Adela into the presence of their Lord to enjoy all the glory they have sent on.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday, April 2, at the Rupert LDS 5th Ward Chapel, 324 E 18th St., with Bishop Rick Larsen officiating. Burial will follow at the Paul Cemetery. A viewing for family and friends will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 1, at Hansen Mortuary, 710 Sixth St. in Rupert.
We thank God for giving us such a special woman in our lives for these 59 years. We thank all the support from family, friends and the wonderful, outstanding care of physicians, nurses and staff at Cassia Regional Medical Center in her final days.