“Vera Hilton: Perennial Bloomer,” Ensign, Apr. 1989, 68
You might be tempted to call some people late bloomers. Not so with Vera Snow Hilton; she’s been blooming all along. Like the perennial flowers that bring forth color year after year, Vera just keeps on going.
When she accepted a mission call eleven years ago at the age of eighty-four, some of Vera’s friends were astounded. “Are you really going?” they asked. “That’s a lot of walking at your age. Do you think you can do it?”
“Well,” she replied, “President [Spencer W.] Kimball is about my age, and he said to lengthen your stride. If he can, I guess I can.” When Vera left for the Arizona Tempe Mission, she had learned all of the missionary discussions. Whenever younger missionaries grumbled about the rigors of mission life, Vera’s mission president talked about her example, saying, “Sister Hilton doesn’t complain.” That would end the complaints.
For the last five years, Vera has worked in the family history name extraction program, putting in about twice the number of hours she was called to give. And she has comforted two generations of Hiltons with her quilts—dozens and dozens of them.
“I’m not wonderful,” she responds, characteristically, to those who try to commend her for doing so much. “I grew up believing that the Lord sent his children to earth to serve one another as my own father taught and exemplified. That’s all I’m doing.”
She remembers attending high school as a young girl in St. George, Utah. Even the wagon trip to school from Pine Valley involved service, as the young people would sometimes deliver tithing goods to St. George on their way.
People in Delta, Utah, know Vera by her pale green 1949 Chrysler, which her children have attempted to replace along with her 55-year-old kitchen stove. But she just tells them, “They both serve their purpose, so why should they be replaced?” That’s sound philosophy from one who just goes on serving, blooming all the way.