In 1720, John Fillmore, having at last received his mother’s permission to embark on a voyage at sea, left his home in Norwich, Connecticut and set sail on a fishing vessel, the Dolphin. John Fillmore was 17 years old.
Shortly after arriving at the fishing ground, the Dolphin was captured by the notorious pirate, Captain Phillips. Among the crew members on the pirate ship Revenge was a young man by the name of White, who was acquainted with John Fillmore. White convinced Captain Phillips that Fillmore would make a good hand and persuaded him to make him a part of his crew.
Upon learning of the pirate’s intentions toward him, John Fillmore initially refused. Phillips was incensed and swore that he would take John, dead or alive, and threatened to kill the rest of the Dolphin’s crew as well. John agreed to sacrifice his liberty for the lives of his crew mates and joined the crew of the Revenge, but he adamantly refused to sign their piratical articles.
During the next few months, John Fillmore remained on the Revenge where he repeatedly witnessed the cruelty and lawlessness of Captain Phillips. After about seven months, John and a couple of other captives successfully plotted against the pirates and captured the ship. Phillips was killed and thrown overboard. Several of the other pirates were also killed. Fillmore and the others sailed the ship to Boston, where the remainder of the crew (including White) were executed for piracy.
More than 250 years later, Linda, a descendant of John Fillmore, bid farewell to her husband, Steve, as he embarked on his deployment as an officer in the United States Navy. During Steve’s absence, Linda stayed with her parents in Burley, Idaho. A few months later, on December 8, 1971, Linda Wright gave birth to her third child, a daughter, and named her Kimberly.
In the tiny town of Burley, Idaho, Kim had surgery to repair a cleft lip when she was just two months old. Kim’s dad was able to go back to Idaho in February for Kim’s surgery and to give her a blessing. He then returned to the ship until the spring. Linda and the kids stayed in Utah with the other set of grandparents for the last couple months of Steve’s deployment. Kim’s Grandma Fillmore often told Kim that one of the few times she ever saw her husband cry was the day he had to say goodbye to his granddaughter Kim.
Throughout her life, Kim has spoken to many medical professionals who have complimented her on the results of her surgery. Kim is thankful for the doctor in Burley who did such a great job with her.
After Steve’s deployment, the Wrights moved to San Diego where Kim’s dad attended law school at the University of San Diego School of Law. Kim went to kindergarten in San Diego. The Wrights then moved to Oak Harbor in Washington State.
A few years ago, Kim went back to the Seattle area on vacation with her family. She visited her old elementary school and remembered the day her dad came to the school to take her out to lunch. Kim also took her family to Deception Pass, one of her family’s favorite camping spots. They skipped rocks, like Kim used to do. Kim remembers that there was a tree house behind the Wrights’ home in Oak Harbor. She says the tree house was carpeted and always damp and it smelled awful. But, she and her siblings loved to play in it. Kim also remembers watching, fascinated, as her mom poured salt on the slugs that were so prevalent in that area.
Before Kim started the fourth grade, her parents loaded six kids and a dog into their brown and cream colored van and moved to Burke, Virginia. Kim remembers making that cross-country trip several times when the Wrights would go to visit family. Kim says that, for the most part, rather than staying in hotels during the trip, her family would camp in different spots along the way.
While the Wrights were in Virginia, they enjoyed visiting historic sites in the area. They also had fun camping and picnicking. Kim attended grades 4-9 in Burke. Starting in the seventh grade, she attended a massive secondary school (grades 7-12) which had nearly 5,000 students.
Before Kim started her sophomore year, the Wrights moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Kim attended tenth and eleventh grades in Colorado. After that, Kim’s dad retired from the Navy after 20 years and the family moved to Bountiful, Utah. Kim graduated from Bountiful High School.
The Wright kids didn’t spend a lot of time watching television. In fact, they weren’t allowed to watch too much of it. They were not, for example, allowed to watch The Love Boat. Kim does remember watching Knight Rider, Grizzly Adams and The Greatest American Hero.
Kim enjoyed close relationships with all of her grandparents, all of whom traced their heritage back to Scandinavia. Many of Kim’s ancestors were pioneers. Her third great grandfather, Jonathan Calkins Wright was a Methodist minister in Illinois when a Mormon missionary asked permission to preach in his church. Jonathan gave permission, but was determined to sit in the back of the church and not listen to anything the missionary said. After the missionary had spoken for a few minutes, however, Jonathan became interested and listened to every word. After the meeting, Jonathan asked the missionary where he might meet Joseph Smith and learn more about the Book of Mormon. He was told that Joseph Smith lived in Nauvoo.
When Jonathan arrived in Nauvoo a few days later, he saw a man driving some cows and asked him where Joseph Smith lived. The man told him that Joseph was away from Nauvoo at that time and asked him what he wanted. Jonathan told him he wanted to talk about the Book of Mormon and the revelations Joseph had received. The man told Jonathan that he was Joseph’s brother, Hyrum, and invited him to spend the night in his house. Jonathan and Hyrum talked all night. In the morning, Hyrum baptized Jonathan in the Mississippi River.
After high school, Kim attended Ricks College. After she graduated from Ricks, she transferred to BYU. She decided to live in the Liberty Square apartments in Provo, because a boy she thought was cute was already living there. (That boy got engaged to someone else shortly thereafter.) In her Liberty Square ward, Kim attended a Sunday School class taught by a guy named Matt.
In those days, the most direct route to campus from Liberty Square was via a steep hill. One day, Kim was walking up the hill on her way to campus. She passed Matt, who was walking down. At this point, Matt and Kim hadn’t really spoken to each other except to exchange an occasional hello. When she saw him that day, she felt an inexplicable, electric-type charge in the air. Kim calls it a tingle. Many years later, when discussing this incident with Matt, Kim learned that he had felt a tingle that day, too.
The first time Matt called Kim to ask her out, she already had other plans. After getting confirmation from Kim’s roommate that he was not “barking up the wrong tree,” Matt tried again. Their first date was a double date with Matt’s friend Dennis. They went to Tony Roma’s for dinner, then went to the comedy club Johnny B’s. One thing quickly led to another. Matt and Kim were married on April 23, 1993.
As a wife and mother, Kim strives to keep her family close. One way she tries to do this is by focusing on and maintaining strong family traditions. Some traditions are centered on common family activities. The Eastmans eat dinner together as regularly as possible. They also take a fun vacation together every year. Other traditions have been handed down through generations. Kim’s mom is the one who passed on the tradition of three Christmas gifts every year.
Some traditions happen spontaneously. During conference weekend, the Eastmans shut the blinds, bundle up in blankets and watch every session of conference. It’s something they just decided to do and they all love to do it. Another example is the blessing chair. When it came time for Chelsea to start kindergarten, Matt wanted to give her a blessing and helped her into a chair he called “the blessing chair.” After her blessing, Chelsea wrote her name on the underside of the chair. Since that time, every blessing is given using that chair and the recipient always writes the date of the blessing on the underside. The chair isn’t part of a set anymore and it doesn’t match the decor, but they hang onto it as a special reminder of all of those moments together.
Some traditions require careful planning. One of Kim’s favorite traditions is 12 Days of Christmas. She started doing this in 2008 and begins her planning for it in September each year. Each 12 Days is centered on a different theme, but there are common elements every year. There is always a new book, a new ornament for the Christmas tree and a trip to volunteer at a local food bank.
Planning family vacations and 12 Days of Christmas are among Kim’s favorite things to do. She also enjoys cooking and collects cook books. Before there were digital photos, Kim kept scrapbooks. Now, with digital photos, she enjoys keeping all her pictures organized. Kim also enjoys yoga and running.