Mariya Yasuda Motoki

Mariya Yasuda Motoki, known as Mardi to her friends, passed away peacefully on March 19, 2023, due to natural causes. She was 97 years old. She had a strong spirit and lived independently until a few months prior to her death.

Mariya was born in Eureka, Utah to George and Yasuko Yasuda in 1926. They moved to Orem, Utah where she grew up on the family farm and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1944.

She met her future husband, Shigeru, at a group bowling event in Salt Lake City and they were engaged prior to his enlistment in the U.S. Army and assignment to a station in Japan. After the Korean War started Mariya qualified for the Civil Service so she could join Shigeru. They were married in Tokyo on June 22, 1951, and were soon transferred to El Paso, Texas. After Shigeru was honorably discharged, they relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mariya worked at Mountain Bell for many years until she retired. She remained close to some of her co-workers throughout the remainder of her life.

Mariya was a member of the Dai Ichi LDS Ward and was active in the Mount Olympus Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Nisei Bowling League and the Nibley Women’s Golf League. She continued golfing well into her 80’s.

She enjoyed knitting, making Washi eggs and crafting cards with dried pressed flowers grown in her garden. She enjoyed dining out and made traditional Japanese food for her family on special occasions, particularly on New Year’s Day. Mariya enjoyed traveling with Shigeru on trips to Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, the Pacific Northwest, New England, Canada, Europe and Japan. The Vancouver World’s Fair in 1986 and the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002 were particularly memorable.

She took great joy in her family, celebrating special events and hosting grandchildren and great grandchildren for weekend stays. She looked forward to their dance recitals and numerous team sports over the years including basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, and softball.

Mariya was preceded in death by her husband Shigeru Motoki, parents George and Yasuko Yasuda, brothers George Yasuda and Tomy Yasuda, sisters Lily Shino and Priscilla Nagao, and grandson Colin Motoki.

She is survived by her sons David Motoki, Kevin Motoki (Jaime) and Daniel Motoki (Deanna Johnson); Grandchildren Brandon Motoki (Mayu Nishioka), Darci Motoki (Chris Hill), Lindsey Green and Jody Gomm (Orrin); Great grandchildren Taylor White (Eric), Abigail Williams (Tate), Nathaniel Gomm, Michiko Gomm, Lincoln Gomm, Seima Motoki, Maho Motoki, Takeru Motoki, Ayumi Hill and Emiko Hill; Great great grandchildren Jasper Wilson, Stryder White and Ollivander White.

The family is grateful for the compassionate care Mariya received from the Sagewood at Daybreak staff, and The Peaks at South Jordan and Harmony Hospice staff.

A private family funeral service will be held.


I met Mariya at the phone company in 1981. We became great friends for many years. We lived by each other and Mariya would drop off treats , her famous chocolate cupcakes with cream on the inside. She also made me rice paper eggs that hang on my Christmas tree every year.
The last couple of years we were able to go to lunch on our birthdays, she will be missed.

- Susan Johnson

I was pleased to have helped Mariya with computer issues for several years. I always looked forward to the home made cookies

- Bob Beaudoin