The Day They Met
She arrived at the basketball game early for a sound check passing the high school’s trophy case of her dad’s glory days. Evie Clair was getting used to people recognizing her by now but this concert was different. Most of the people arriving knew her father personally. Many were still grieving.
Sporadically approaching her as she climbed the bleachers, kids and adults asked for her picture or autograph, asked about Simon Cowell, or just wanted to give her a hug. A very tall, handsome ball player with brown curly hair and a bruise over his eye approached her with a basketball to sign. He asked if she would sign it as “Evelyn Abplanalp,” revealing that he wasn’t enamored as a fan but wanted to connect with her personally. He introduced himself as Clancy and told her his dad, Boe Thomas, wrestled there on the same team as her dad. Clancy reminded her a little of her dad and she was more than happy to sign his basketball.
As the game started she realized he was captain of the team and really good. It was the first time she ever watched a basketball game with such laser focus.
Evelyn learned there would be a dance for youth in the area that night. She went hoping he would come. When she saw him arrive with his team then leave them with his head bobbing over the top of the crowd towards her, she knew he came for one reason. He stayed even after his team left to make sure he made an impression on her. He did.
Realizing an age gap and that they lived in separate states, the two became penpals and found opportunities to see each other for family disc golf games when she was in town visiting grandma. She was scheduled to sing for an event in Hawaii the following Spring. Evie’s mom, knowing she didn’t have many friends because of her show schedule, invited him to come along. Her brother Porter was protective. His dad was gone and he saw it as his duty to keep the two apart knowing that Evelyn already had her heart set on marrying Clancy someday. The standard in her church and in her family are not to date until 16 so they were careful to stay friends and until then. After she turned 16 they still lived apart. He had just finished a mission in South America and finally had a chance to take her out on a date when she was visiting Idaho.
Giving Her Away
That day finally came and Porter gave his blessing as Clancy and Evelyn were married and sealed for eternity in the Tucson, Arizona temple. During the reception in San Tan Valley she had a special dance with her step dad to her daddy’s favorite song. The tears flowed. The looks on their faces told everyone’s hearts that Amos was there too dancing with his baby girl on her wedding day.
Evie and Clancy were married in a temple. They are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and getting to the temple is the goal they set for themselves from the time they became members of the church at age 8. They kept themselves pure and clean and made special promises with God in order to enter the temple.
A few friends were traveling from out of town to the wedding. They were not members of the couple’s church but they came to the temple and graciously waited in the waiting room with the children and others who were not able to witness the wedding and sealing ceremony. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell people they can’t attend the wedding of someone they love so much. There are spiritual things involved with temple weddings that only those who have gone through for their own endowment would understand. Entering the temple for a wedding also requires a temple recommend from church leaders and the qualifications to enter are not easy. In this case, the friends understood and were happy just to be there on the majestic temple grounds. Evelyn and Clancy believe in marriage and families that last longer than death. This is why marriage in the temple was so important to them.
After the wedding in Tucson, they traveled back to Evie’s church building to have a reception with close friends and family. The church building is special to Evie. Her dad was a bishop there and his funeral was filled from the chapel to the very back on that same overflow dance floor. It also happens to double as a basketball court which reminded us of where they met. The night was filled with good food and good music. Jill caught the bouquet then got married 2 weeks later to Evelyn’s brother. Evelyn’s cousins Buddy (The Way You Look Tonight), McKenna (Wonderful World) and Skylar (Forever Young), mom (Goodnight My Angel), sister Kirra (Grow as We Go) and uncle Ken (Perfect) sang some of her favorite songs. Her cousin Nick, brother Porter and Clancy’s brother who is also named Porter had some inspiring and hilarious words and memories to share. She ended the program singing a song by Jax called Like My Father…
Thank you to all of you who sent gifts and well wishes to the couple and those who attended and performed – thank you so much. Special Thanks from Evelyn’s mom to: Patty Tonioli, Karyann Hoopes and her husband, Sarah Sheperd, Lyn Fulton, Christy Mann, Lori Marquez, Pam Michaelson, Phoebe and Ken Morris, The Thomas Family, Michael Fulton, President Anderson, Kathy Atwood, Michelle Rigby, Natalie Brokaw, Lissa and Jeromy Petersen, Josh and Natali Pearce, Ed and Deb Winters, Sarah & Dallin Welch, Kyle Morris, Elise Gloschat, Brother Westenscow, Anne Taylor, Panda Express that sent a thousand dollar gift card when they found out Evie Clair was serving Panda at her wedding, and everyone who stayed after to help clean up so fast. The blessings of such kind and selfless people mean so much and made Evelyn and Clancy’s day so special.
I Love Clancy Because…
“i love clancy because of his willingness and instinct to minister. he loves God and will always put Him first. he knows how to make me happy and he does it everyday!” -Evelyn Clair Thomas