In January Rose Roy received the most devastating news any parent can hear — her daughter was dead.
Even worse, Roy was more than 1,000 miles away and she had no way to get to the funeral in Utah.
Roy had only moved to Kansas from Arizona a few weeks prior after losing her job and knew only one person in town, Sandra Stanley.
Roy said not knowing what to do she contacted Stanley, and crying, told her the story.
Stanley got on the phone and started making calls.
Four hours later Roy had the money to fly to Utah with her two young children and attend her daughter’s funeral.
“She called me that afternoon,” Stanley said. “I told her what I could do and I called her at 9 p.m. and said ‘you’re on your way.’”
Stanley said the Columbus community donated about $750 to get Roy to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Stanley said the Methodist Church and Center Christian Church all donated to the effort as well as the “county lot boys,” and three individuals who all gave $100 but asked not to be identified as well as local prayer group Women of Prayer and others.
According to Stanley, Roy nearly missed the flight. Stanley said some of the checks were made out to Roy personally and she had to stop to get them cashed and arrived at the terminal late and was nearly prevented from getting on the plane.
“God had his hand in it,” Stanley said.
Roy said she was just thankful to the town for coming together for someone they didn’t even know.
“I would like the town of Columbus to know how thankful we are,” Roy said. “Nobody has ever done something like this for me before. I would rather have died than not be there.”
“My daughter died two days before her 19th birthday,” Roy said. “She was phenomenally smart.” Hodson had received the prestigious Wallis Annenberg Scholarship which had allowed her to attend the University of Southern California for a summer seminar.
According to her obituary in the Deseret News, Hodson was enrolled in Utah Valley University at the time of her death.
She is survived by her mother, father William Hodson, sisters Ashia Collins, Coralie Hodson and Kayla Roy, as well as brothers Jakob Hodson and Dillan Roy.