Marilyn was a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, teacher, and friend. She was born April 28, 1943, in Coalville, Utah to James Emerson Staples and Florence Staples. She passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 20, 2020.
She grew up on the family dairy farm, learning the skills that would take her through life and be passed to her own children. After graduating from North Summit High School, she went to BYU and received her teaching degree in 1966. She started her teaching career with first graders.
She met her husband, Virgil, in Hawaii while he was in the Navy. They were married on June 2, 1973. She always said, “I fished your Dad out of the sea”. She was so proud to be a Navy wife. They lived in Bremerton, Washington until Virgil was discharged from the Navy and they returned to Utah.
She went back to teaching where she taught fourth graders at Horizon Elementary until she retired in 2006. Teaching was her passion. She had a gift to touch children’s lives. Throughout the years, no matter where she went, whether it was a restaurant or a vacation, it seemed that someone always said, “Mrs. Matthews, you were my favorite teacher”.
She was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in many different callings over the years. She was sealed to Virgil and her family in the Salt Lake Temple on January 31, 1975.
Marilyn’s three kids, Justin, Amanda and ShaNae were her joy. Holidays were always extra special when Mom made cookies and a grand meal. You could feel her love in how she tried to feed everyone and make sure no one was left wanting. She looked forward to the annual family trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She was always excited to see the mountains, eat at several of the unique restaurants, shop in all the little shops, and spend time with the family.
Marilyn also loved camping and the outdoors. She always thought that we were starving and made sure there was enough food for a small army. She loved to build a huge fire, cook in Dutch ovens, and make s’mores. We called her a “firebug” because if the fire wasn’t at least 4 feet tall, it barely qualified as a fire.
She was an avid collector of salt and pepper shakers and anything with an elephant. She had a huge collection of salt and pepper shakers and it was hard to find a corner that didn’t have an elephant peeking out of it.
Marilyn’s 10 grandchildren were her world. Every special event that any of them were involved in, whether it was a birthday, church program, baptism, blessing, concert, play, sport, recital, award ceremony or Halloween parade, Grandma Matthews was always there cheering the kids on. They all looked forward to seeing Grandma there, knowing that she was there just for them. She devoted hours of her time helping her kids and grandkids whenever help was needed. She gave so much of herself to anyone who needed her.
Marilyn was an extraordinary woman, touching the lives of everyone she came into contact with. Friends and family have described her as kind, loving, giving, thoughtful, amazing and wonderful. She was all of these and more.
Marilyn is survived by her husband Virgil, her son Justin (Brenda), her daughters Amanda (Matt) Montgomery, and ShaNae, her ten grandchildren: Leatha, Cameron, Amelia, Tristan, Brennan, Sammy, Micah, Addysen, Jesse, and Drew, as well as her four brothers and two sisters.
“A limb has fallen from the family tree that says grieve not for me. Remember the best times, the laughter, the song, the good life I lived while I was strong”.
Mom, may you fly high with the Angels. We love you and we miss you.
Graveside services will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, October 29, at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East Dimple Dell Road (10600 South), Sandy, Utah. A viewing will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 am prior to the services. Please share a memory at larkincares.com.