Our angel mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and cherished friend, Marna Lou Meade Wilcox, 75, passed away on October 22, 2023, at 4:28 a.m. She transitioned from this life peacefully, surrounded by her daughters and close family friends (the Ransom Family).
After ten long years of waiting for another child, Everette H. Meade and Margaret Solomon Meade celebrated Marna’s birth on April 28, 1948, in Ogden, Utah (“4-28” thus being Marna’s birthday and moment of passing). She was lovingly welcomed by her parents and older brother, John B.
Marna was raised in Layton, Utah. There, she grew up in Verland Park until age six and then moved to Gentile Street. Marna made many friends and frequently played with other children in the neighborhood. Marna was a feisty, spunky child who was never afraid to speak her mind.
She loved getting dressed up with her mother to go to downtown Salt Lake City to shop and catch a movie. She went on many vacations with her family, where Yellowstone, Southern Utah, Catalina Island, Southern California, and Charlston, West Virginia, were key destinations.
She also enjoyed long summers when her Grandma Meade would visit from West Virginia.
Some of her favorite memories were of spending time with her other grandparents, Frank and Mary Ermina Solomon. Sleepovers at their house in Bountiful were a highlight! Whenever she was there, she felt enveloped in their warmth, love, and acceptance.
High School, College and Career
Marna attended Davis High School, graduating in 1966 with a full ride scholarship to BYU to study home economics. Prompted by the Holy Ghost, however, Marna pursued a different path that would bless her future family. She instead pursued a degree in Office Administration at Weber State University. At her graduation in 1970, Marna received the Outstanding Graduating Student award and the National Business Education award. With these achievements, Marna was prepared to ultimately become the sole provider for her children.
Marna began working as a secretary at Utah Power & Light shortly after graduation. She climbed quickly through the company ranks and held positions in various roles in the public affairs, public relations, and communications departments. Her last role was as the Director of Advertising, and she would often travel to Portland and other locations throughout the West as an executive leader. Marna worked at UP&L 30 years before retiring. Marna’s hard work and tenacity made her stand out in the corporate world. Her coworkers and supervisors respected her assertiveness, determination and integrity. She loved her colleagues and valued their friendship and support throughout her life.
At UP&L, Marna met Pattie Fischer Ransom, who has been her best friend for nearly 50 years. Pattie and her husband, Nolan, practically became second parents to Tina and Angie. Marna and Pattie raised their families together and would often gather for holidays and special occasions making many lasting memories. This amazing family helped Marna through her challenges, and they were always there to lend a helping hand.
After retirement, Marna obtained a real estate license and began buying and flipping homes. Through this experience, she taught her teenage daughters how to work hard and see a job through to completion.
Marna married Kelly Eugene Wilcox on June 24, 1970, though they later divorced. Marna struggled with infertility for years and underwent many surgeries and treatments. She found strength during this period by spending time in the loving presence of her older brother, his wife, and their six children. She also "adopted" a darling, cheerful neighborhood girl named Tiffany Mower who brought so much joy to Marna throughout her life. On the other side of this struggle, Marna was rewarded with the happiest days of her life when her daughters, Tina and Angela (Angie), were born in 1983 and 1986, respectively. Marna was so grateful to be their mother. Though she faced many challenges, including constantly balancing diverse and demanding roles, Marna made their childhood magical and delightful! She sacrificed so much for her girls and blessed their lives with her deep love.
Marna was a fierce protector of her daughters and, though their father struggled with alcoholism, ensured they never saw him intoxicated. Marna even endeavored to create opportunities for her girls to make positive memories with their father. She arranged for him to celebrate birthdays and special occasions with them and even planned and paid for unforgettable family vacations. Tina and Angie are so grateful for her courage and the lengths to which she went to raise them in a safe and loving environment.
Marna deeply loved and cared for many animals in her home. She was delighted to get her first pet, a dog named Penny, at age ten. Penny would be a loyal companion to Marna for the next 16 years of her life. Marna’s other pet dogs were Barney, Abby and Lola. Later in life she enjoyed her pet cats Kitty, Milo, Tigger and Jack.
Marna taught her girls by example, demonstrating how to honor their elders by personally caring for her parents in their later years. When her mother, Margaret, developed Alzheimer's, Marna welcomed her into her home and lovingly tended to her needs for several years. When Margaret then required advanced care in a nursing home, Marna rarely missed a day visiting her, usually with her daughters and dog in tow. She taught exemplified Christlike love in her service and sacrifices. And she was a loyal advocate throughout, ensuring her mother received excellent care and accommodations.
Marna loved “adopting” additional grandparents for her daughters. She befriended elderly couples in her neighborhood and made a priority of visiting them and giving them gifts. Her greatest gifts, however, were her attention and focus. She made her friends feel valued by discussing their lives and posterity while time seemed to stand still. Marna and her daughters formed loving relationships with Dorothy and Walt Willey, “Grandma” Post, Ida and AJ Mitchell, Mutti and Charlie Best, and Pat and Gerald Newman. Marna also found an angel, Jeannie Huff, to watch over her darling girls when she had work commitments. Jeannie and her family provided love and a joyful environment in which Tina and Angie could flourish.
After years of patient waiting, Marna finally became a grandma at age 69 and, within just a few years, was blessed with five delightful grandchildren. She loved them with all her heart and enjoyed many precious memories with them. Some of her favorite grandchildren experiences were visiting museums, having ‘water days’ in her front yard, attending Monster Jam, going to Lagoon, riding the North Pole Express in Heber City, eating breakfast with Santa, and even going to Disneyland. She also loved the simple joys of just being with her grandkids, sharing ‘Grandma Treats’, and snuggling and laughing in bed with them while watching shows. She will be dearly missed by each grandchild.
Love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Marna watched her father get baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age four. The following year, she was sealed to her parents and brother in the Salt Lake Temple. She distinctly remembers the spirit she felt in the temple and the love of her Savior. Since that time, the temple has always been one of her favorite places. When her daughters became young adults, Marna would frequently attend the temple with them.
Marna believed that even the smallest, simplest moments could be great teaching opportunities. This was an attribute she learned from her Grandma Solomon. She always wanted everyone to know of her love of her Savior, particularly those in her immediate and extended family. She bore testimony often to her family and expressed her deep love for them. Marna stood firm in the faith and drew confidence from her identity as a beloved daughter of God. She always wanted her family to know of the joy and grace that come from having Jesus Christ as a solid foundation. Marna has a deep testimony of the Savior’s Atonement and how He and Heavenly Father can help through challenges and trails in this life. She often mentioned that she never felt alone because she was able to connect to Them and feel Their love and concern for her through prayer, scripture study, and temple attendance.
Marna loved little children. She enjoyed serving in her church callings especially those in the nursery. These were especially meaningful during her years of infertility. Later, Marna was able to be with her girls when they were in primary, even serving as their teacher from time to time. Her callings seemed to ‘grow up’ alongside her girls and she served as a Young Women’s advisor when they were teenagers. She loved every opportunity to teach and attend the temple with them. Some of her favorite family trips were visiting church history sites in New York, Ohio, and Illinois. These trips strengthened their testimonies and solidified their faith in Jesus Christ and His gospel.
Marna will be deeply missed by her family. She often talked of being excited to go to heaven to see all of her loved ones again. We know she is celebrating with them and rejoicing in the next phase of the marvelous plan of happiness.
Mom, you are precious and priceless. We love you forever. Your love has touched our hearts and we are grateful for your life and legacy. You will live on in each of us.
Marna is preceded in death by her parents, Everette and Margaret Meade, grandparents, Frank & Mary Ermina Solomon and John & Dealia Meade, and her angel niece, Rebecca Meade Bird. She will be greatly missed by her children, Tina (Todd) Williams and Angela (Thomas) Higgs, her grandchildren, Tucker (5) and Trace (2) Williams and Brent (6), Colin (4), and Norah (2) Higgs, her brother John B. (Joan) Meade, her nieces and nephews David (Kandy) Meade, Steven (Diana) Meade, Brian Bird, Debrah McLeod, Melinda Gardiner, Brian (Valerie) Meade, many great-nieces and great-nephews, and cherished friends Pattie and Nolan Ransom, their children, Shanda McNeal, Rachel (Greg) Johns, and Debra Ransom, and their grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 27, 2023, at the Bountiful Russon Mortuary, 295 North Main, Bountiful, Utah. Viewings will be held at the same location on Thursday, October 26, 2023, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. and on Friday afternoon (in advance of the services) from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Interment will be at the Bountiful City Cemetery.
Services will be streamed live on Russon Mortuary & Crematory Facebook page and on this obituary page. The live stream will begin 10-15 minutes before the services and will be posted below.