By Lorna Bown as told to Coleen Ogden
Because Lorna and Cecil Bown’s son, Bob, with his wife, Janice, stopped on Christmas Eve in 2011 to
help a Hispanic family whose car had broken down, the Bown family made a lifetime friend. Lorna (left)
is with that friend, Veronica, the mother of the family that had car trouble that night.
It was Christmas Eve day 2011. My son, Bob Bown, and his wife, Janice, were on their way from
Fayette to Mona to have a Christmas Eve dinner that night with their daughter and her family.
They were close to Levan when they passed a car that was stopped on the side of the road
having car trouble. Bob was prompted to stop and help It was a Hispanic couple with their 17-year-old
daughter. The mother’s name was Veronica, and they were on their way home after visiting their son,
who was at the Central Utah Correctional Facility.
Bob got out his cell phone and called a mechanic, and one of the Hispanic workers in the area,
to come out and look at the car. It turned out the car needed a new fuel pump. But where could they
find the right one on Christmas Eve?
After more phone calls, they located a fuel pump in Payson. Bob took his wife, Veronica and her
family to his daughter’s house in Mona. They visited while he went to Payson to pick up the part. In the
meantime, the mechanic and Hispanic man Bob had called towed the car back to their farm in Fayette
where it could be fixed.
Bob and Janice then drove this family back to Fayette to get their car. While waiting for it to get
fixed, Veronica’s family was invited to join in a Christmas party being put on by other Hispanic families
who work for Bown farms.
Lorna and Cecil Bown were married in 1953 and raised five sons on a farm in Fayette.
By the time the car was fixed, it was getting very late, so Veronica decided they would stay in
Gunnison that night. Bob and Janice invited them to stay at their house because they had extra beds. In
the meantime, Janice went to Gunnison and bought the teenage girl a Christmas stocking and filled it
with goodies for Christmas morning.
The next morning was not only Christmas Day, but also a Sunday, so the Bown family invited
Veronica’s family to go to church with them. Janice located some skirts and shoes from friends and
neighbors for Veronica and her daughter to wear. This is where I met this sweet family.
Veronica and I have become fast friends. We visit often, and she has stayed with me in my
home and been a special friend and helper to me as well. After church and a Christmas meal, Veronica
and her family went back to Gunnison to visit their son again. He was surprised, because he thought
they had gone back home. It was a blessing that they got another special, unplanned visit with their son
Veronica had prayed that she would be able to see her son for Christmas. When Veronica and
her family got back home, her daughter wrote a sweet note to the Bown family thanking them for their
generous hospitality. The note said, “This was the best Christmas I’ve ever had, not because of the gifts
but because of the feelings.”
Bob told me the same thing, that it was one of the best Christmas experiences he had had.
Veronica will always be part of our family.