Two pillars of the community, Thales and Marilyn Haskell, have been named the honorary marshals of this year’s Mustang Days parade. The two will ride on a special float in the parade created for them by family members.
The Haskells have lived in the community since 1954, spending most of their 61-year marriage living in the town of Lovell. During those years, they helped grow two already established family businesses, Haskell Funeral Home and the Haskell Furniture store. They also spearheaded numerous community projects and were active participants in the community they loved. Thales was a town councilman, volunteer fireman and Mustang Days committee member for many years. Both were active in the Jaycees, where they rolled up their sleeves to create many of the town parks still enjoyed by families today. Marilyn, an artist and visionary, was involved in a movement to adorn downtown parks with murals, to decorate the streets with planted flower boxes and helped plan the Chamber of Commerce building.
The two grew up in a neighborhood in Provo within a few blocks of one another. She was from a small town in Canada. Though he was born in Salt Lake City, his family was originally from Lovell and moved back to town when he was around 11 years old. Though born only five days apart, baptized in the same building and attending the same schools for part of their childhood, they didn’t meet until college.
After their marriage in 1954, the couple spent about nine months in Southern California where Thales earned his mortuary license. Thales said he could hardly wait to bring his bride back to Lovell, where the two made their home, raised their children and still live today.
Marilyn described her first impressions of Lovell.
“It was definitely smaller than Provo, but I had grown up in small towns before,” she said. “The town I grew up in Canada (McGrath, Alberta) was very small.”
Though new to the community, Marilyn embraced it.
“Lovell is the nicest place to live that you can live,” she said. “The people are so nice, the town is so nice. Everything you could ever want is right here and you can make any kind of life you want here really.”
Both agreed that the fact that they were active in the community enhanced their lives and increased their love for the place.
“People don’t realize sometimes that when you go to a town, you need to participate,” explained Marilyn. “I think more people would be happier if they participated more. That’s what we did and we’ve been very happy here.”
“At that point in time when we moved here there was quite a group of progressive young people living here and they were all around our age,” said Thales. “We wanted to make the town better. So many participated back then.
“The people and the energy were just marvelous back then. People wanted to make the place better and people just got right in and did the work. There was kind of an aggressiveness back then. People would see something that needed to get done and they’d get right in there and do it. It would be great to see that kind of community spirit again.”
By Patti Carpenter