Our dearly loved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, Marilyn Damron White, passed away on November 4, 2023, surrounded by loved ones. Her family has abundant gratitude for the love, courage, and legacy she has imprinted on them.
It is fitting that Marilyn, a true Valentine with a heart and life filled with love, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 14, 1953, to Marvin and Betty Damron. She moved seven times before her senior year of high school due to her father’s business and made wonderful friends in every city. A lifelong lover of music, she bought a piano before she entered her twenties and played a wide variety of music. She loved to cross-stitch and crochet and made beautiful afghan blankets. She also made killer spaghetti sauce, french bread, and homemade mac ‘n’ cheese. Her caramel corn was legendary.
In January of 1973, she met Lee White and withstood his obsession with her for almost one year. Finally, his persistent pursuit wore down that fierce self-sufficiency and they were married in the Ogden Temple on the winter solstice, December 21, 1973. It was a satisfying union and compromise of their evolving Mormon beliefs and emerging quasi-hippie/cosmic frame of mind. Together they had four children and fostered a home full of love.
Marilyn was intentional and creative about the time she spent with her kids. Lionel Richie and Whitney Houston played on the ghettoblaster as she taught them to bake that legendary caramel corn, rainbow cookies, almond braids, homemade rolls, cinnamon rolls, and much more. Sugar House Park was a favorite spot for riding bikes when the kids were young. She spent countless hours volunteering in their elementary school classrooms finding creative ways to celebrate their birthdays and putting together musical programs. They spent many joyful times singing and dancing around the piano while she played. They frequented Sprague Library and always had a large stack of books that opened up their young worlds as she exposed them to new adventures through a love of reading.
Marilyn worked at Kimball Travel from 1982–1989. During her time there she was able to take advantage of a solo trip to London, Switzerland, and Southern France. She also was able to enjoy a few travel adventures with Lee on a cruise to Cozumel, Grand Cayman Island, and Jamaica as well as a trip to Lee’s beloved Japan.
Marilyn combined her love for music and her passion for teaching children. She was an extraordinary LDS Primary chorister for over 15 years and continued teaching singing time for several more years to toddlers and preschool-age children. No preteen ever thought that singing Primary songs with Marilyn was unenjoyable! She loved Roadshows and got a kick out of rewriting song lyrics that applied to specific Roadshow themes.
Marilyn was a voracious reader. As a teenager, she loved mystery novels. Later, she became a talented editor and typist and contributed to the Dialogue and Mormon Enigma publications. She was a “charter member” of the Pilgrimage women’s group and cherished the tight-knit associations she made.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1988, Marilyn faced a challenging life of losing one function and activity after another over 30 years. Marilyn’s most prized core value was her precious self-reliance. Her life was a fierce testament to adaptability and flexibility, and she became a master of resiliency.
Marilyn is survived by her husband, Lee; children, Lisa Nelson (Andy), Shannon Kathleen Jones (Tyler), Aimee Heffernan (Scott), and David White; her sister, Annie Janke (Mark) and brother, Mark Damron (Denise). She had a beautiful sense of humor evident in the way that she could readily laugh at herself. She was a peacemaker who could meld hearts in challenging situations. Her legacy lives on in her twelve grandchildren, who affectionately called her ‘Grandma Wheels.’ As infants, Marilyn wheeled the grandkids around their homes to comfort and occupy them. As teenagers, they learned to look beyond the obvious and seek a deeper understanding of every individual with whom they engaged.
Marilyn loved dessert, and even if everyone was full, would enthusiastically suggest, “Let’s try the desserts.” In honor of Marilyn, the next time you are at a restaurant, order your favorite dessert, even if you are full.
Marilyn’s Celebration of Life will be on Sunday, December 3, 2023, at Eaglewood Event Center/Golf Course, 1110 E Eaglewood Dr. North Salt Lake, UT
Open House Reception 4:00-5:00 pm (MT)
Celebration of Life Program 5:00 pm (MT)
We encourage you to attend and come ready to sing!
If you can't be with us in person, we invite you to join over a zoom meeting:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 862 6950 5489