Obituaries » Marsha L. Lynn
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May 30, 1940 - February 3, 2021
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Bountiful
Life sketch of Marsha Lynne Luke Lynn
Written by her daughter, Kelly Lynn Mower
February 6, 2021
Marsha Lynne Luke was born May 30, 1940 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Signe Elvira Nilsson and Elwood Benjamin Luke. She was the first child and grandchild born to this Swedish Immigrant family. When she was 3 years old, her father went to Belgium to serve in WWII. Shortly after he returned, her parents divorced. Mom seldom saw her Daddy and this was a source of heartache her entire life.
Mom grew up just a block from Temple Square in a little house divided into apartments. Her mom worked a lot so she was watched over by her Grandma Nilsson and Uncle Wally’s family. She attended Roland Hall and West High School.
When Mom was 11 years old, she had a primary teacher that took her under her wing and helped mom get to weekday primary. This led to a lifetime of faithful gospel living. Mom often talked about the power of one person to change the life of one young girl.
Because Mom spent a lot of time alone, she often went to the movies. One Saturday, when Mom was only 10 or 11, she went to the movies at the old Utah Theater. Equipped with a dime for snacks, she watched “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” over and over all day long without leaving the theater. After the last showing, she walked home to find a very worried mother looking for her. Her love of going to the “Flicks” (movies) was a lifelong love. Dad took her faithfully every Friday.
Mom was a life-long avid reader. It’s debatable whether she loved the Jane Austen/Bronte Sister’s classics or J.R.R. Tolkien more. Later in life, she focused her energy on reading church books. Long after her memory was gone, she still read voraciously knowing that someday Heavenly Father would bring it all back to her.
While a young woman, Mom earned her “Golden Gleaner” award and she was always very proud of it.
Although Mom had earned a scholarship to the University of Utah, she chose to attend Brigham Young University. Mom always said that her life began at BYU. In an apartment of fun loving girls, she gained her best friend for life, Mary Lu Wearne who always had such a positive influence in teaching my mom to really experience joy and “don’t sweat the small stuff,” one of Mom’s favorite sayings.
Mom spent her college summers working at Jackson Lake Lodge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and it instilled a love of the Tetons that never left her.
While placing signs for BYU Homecoming, a handsome young man stopped to help mom. The fact that these two met while each were doing service should be no surprise to anyone that knows my parents. I think it was Mom that swept Dad off his feet and by the following year they were married.
Mom and Dad married on December 15, 1961 in the Salt Lake Temple. How this only child raised by a divorced mother went on to have six kids still amazes us. By the following December, their firstborn Mace Louise was born. Dad often talked about the fact that mother had never even changed a diaper in her whole life when they brought Mace home. Next Bradley joined their family. After Dad finished his schooling at BYU, they headed to Wyoming where Dad could work at a bank and they could live near the farm where he was raised. Well, it didn’t take long for them to realize that this city girl wasn’t going to survive small town farm life so they headed back to Utah.
Soon after moving to Bountiful, Utah, Mom and Dad built a house and made a home in the neighborhood that they resided in for 54 years. Soon the rest of the kids joined the family, Kelly, Megan, Paige & Andy. Living in that home, ward & neighborhood has been a tremendous blessing in their lives as Mom found wonderful mentors to teach her how to raise their 6 “pills” (Mom’s name for her kids-another of her favorite sayings). They served much and have been beautifully served in return.
Mom held many church callings in her life, including Ward Young Women’s President, Relief Society President, Stake Young Women’s President and Stake Missionary. Without doubt, Mom’s favorite calling was that of “Sister Scripture.” This was a calling unique to her ward and is memorable to any of the children that learned from her with her very animated lessons on the scriptures. While a Primary Teacher, if the kids didn’t come to primary, she would go to their home and teach them the lesson. Before long, those kids would never miss class.
Mom studied the scriptures like no one I know. We all have memories of coming upstairs before Early Morning Seminary to find Mom already awake sitting at the table with all her study guides and scriptures spread out in front of her. She saw to it that we studied the scriptures every day as a family too. She was and is a master scriptorian.
Mom had great faith in the power of prayer. Dad sometimes teased her that her prayers were exceedingly long. When you wandered into mom’s room in the middle of the day and she was on her knees praying, you knew she was praying for strength and you were toast!
I think for most people when they think of my mom they will think of the numberless hours of service that mom and Dad gave. Mom did the 12 of Days of Christmas for easily over 100 people. If you’ve ever wondered who did the 12 days of Christmas for you, it was likely Mom. Mom and Dad taught us to pay attention to those around us, then when you see a need…ACT! Don’t ask, just do. This is a legacy that all six of their children have carried on.
Another of Mom’s great loves was BYU Education Week. Mom looked forward to it year round and the world stopped for that week. We kids dreaded Education Week because we knew that when mom returned home she would be ready to change the world. In other words, us!
In 1992, Mom had a cancerous tumor removed from her sinuses. The ensuing life-threatening infection changed mom forever. Her memory slipped more and more each year. For the last 15-20 years, Mom couldn’t tell you what day it was or what she had for breakfast but she never lost the ability to know your name. That tells you how important people were in her life. Her testimony never faded or her cheerful countenance. What a gift it has been for most of her grandchildren to grow up knowing this fun, bubbly, excited grandma that couldn’t recall what was in the gift she just wrapped for you.
We can’t forget to mention some of mom’s other loves. She loved singing, a good laugh, Broadway musicals, bright colors, images that tell a story and then there was ice cream. Oh how she loved her ice cream. Mom would scoop a bowl of ice cream and eat it. Then 30 minutes later, forgetting she had already had ice cream, scoop another bowl. It was not uncommon to find 4-5 empty bowls in the sink at the end of the night.
In January of 2020, it was time for Mom to move to a memory care/assisted living home. Dad was never happy about it and missed Mom immensely. As I said, Mom swept Dad off his feet. We grew up with these two sweethearts teasing one another and Dad walking in the door from work and saying, “where is the love of my life?” Then one of the kids would take him by the hand and lead him into the kitchen and say “here she is!”
Mom mourned the loss of her opportunity to serve a mission with Dad. It was a life-long deep desire that wasn’t realized in this life. She would often say to whoever would listen, “When I cross over into Heaven, there had better be someone there with mission papers waiting for me.” I am certain there were mission papers and I am certain that Mom is already busy teaching advanced gospel classes specializing on Isaiah.
Mom was in the care center for just over one year and because of Covid restrictions, we hadn’t been allowed to visit mom or most importantly even touch mom for nearly 11 months. Gratefully, during her last week, we were allowed into her care center for our final goodbyes, hugs and kisses before Mom finally succumbed to her broken body on February 3, 2021.
Get busy Mom, we will miss you but know your joy is full.
*Please see “Gallery” tab for additional photos.