Obituaries » Martha Mitchell McDaniel “Mareta”
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March 9, 1943 - May 7, 2021
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Farmington
Martha was born in Logan, Utah on March 9, 1943. She was the third child born to Edgar Bentley Mitchell, Jr., and Erma Ruth Maughan. At that time, the family lived in Hansel Valley, Utah, where her parents operated a farm.
As World War II drew to a close, Martha’s father was called to serve as Mission President to the Tahitian Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1945, Martha joined her mother, Ruth, and her older siblings Edgar and Eleanor (Emie) as they sailed from San Francisco to join their father in Tahiti, where the family lived for the next four years. During that time, Martha came to love the South Pacific—especially the Tahitian Islands—the Polynesian people, and the Tahitian and French languages.
While in Tahiti, the family was joined by a younger sister, Margaret. Two more siblings—a sister, Suzanne, and a brother, David—joined the family after the family returned to Logan in 1949. Upon their return to Logan, the family purchased and operated the Mitchell Motel on Highway 89, and the family moved into a home across the street. Throughout her adolescent years, Martha worked at the Motel, where she learned precise ways of folding sheets, blankets, and towels.
On December 18, 1959, the family experienced tragedy when Martha’s father was killed while piloting an airplane back to Logan. Based on that experience, Martha often taught others to be sure that you leave loved ones with words of kindness and love rather than anger.
Martha graduated from Logan High School in 1960. Shortly after graduation, Martha moved to San Francisco, where she worked for the FBI providing transcription, translation, and other services. Working for the FBI and living in San Francisco, Martha had unique experiences with various historical events, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, Escape from Alcatraz, and the Sixties.
Martha eventually returned to Logan to finish a degree in Sociology and Secondary Education at Utah State University. Martha continued her education throughout her life by reading and taking classes to maintain her teaching credentials.
While at USU, Martha met Gene H, McDaniel and happily agreed to marry him on March 18, 1966 in the Logan Temple. After getting married, Martha and Gene moved to Farmington, Utah, where Martha accepted a position as an Eighth grade English and Literature Teacher at Kaysville Jr. High School.
A few years later, Martha and Gene became parents of Stephen Matthew (Justine), Douglas Mark (Marisela) and (David’s) daughter Kathryn Ivy. She subsequently quit teaching to raise her family. Martha also welcomed her late brother Edgar’s son, Bentley (Amy), into the family while his mother recuperated from a serious illness. Each member of Martha’s family always knew that she loved and cared deeply for them.
In 1991 Martha returned to teaching at Farmington Jr. High, just down the street from her house. There, she taught English, Literature, and Gifted Talented students. She also worked with her colleagues to develop a cross curriculum program. Martha’s students and family can all tell you that her motto was: “What is perspective?” And when she retired from teaching in 2009, Martha left behind a legacy of helping hundreds of students broaden and enhance their perspective.
As she approached retirement, Martha became a “Nana,” and once again opened her home and heart as she welcomed another generation into her life and family. She was a loving, devoted grandmother and took special joy in the time she spent with her grandchildren: Akasha, Will, Merritt and Cabot; along with a niece; Emma. They loved her back and cherished the time they spent at Nana and Papa’s house.
Throughout her life, Martha was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had a strong testimony of the Gospel—even as she resisted cultural and political norms that she believed detracted from the essence of the Gospel. She served in various callings in the church, including as an instructor, Primary President, and Relief Society President.
Martha was a voracious reader; books filled every room in the house, and she read most of them. She was a member of the Farmington Junior Literary Club. Martha also loved to travel. She traveled with Gene and Doug to visit Hawaii, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Germany. She and Doug also went to London to see her favorite theater production, Les Mis, at the Royal Palace Theater.
Martha had a gift for creativity and a passion for handcrafted arts. She was extremely talented in crochet, needlepoint, and counted cross stitch as a particularly favorite craft. She loved to create samplers for friends and family. Martha also enjoyed word puzzles and loved to make flower arrangements and plant flower gardens.
On May 7, 2021, Martha passed away peacefully at home under the care of her beloved family and the staff of CNS Hospice. Martha was preceded in death by her parents and brothers Edgar Bentley Mitchell III, and David Maughan Mitchell. Martha is survived by her sweetheart Gene and their family.
A graveside service in Martha’s honor will be held at the Farmington City Cemetery on Saturday, May 15th, at 2:00 p.m.
The family wishes to express their deepest gratitude to the staff of CNS Hospice for the amazing and tender care they provided Martha.