Our sweet mother, Marian Ione Burrell Downs, 85, of Nibley, Utah, passed away on May 21, 2011, in Arlington, Virginia. She was on vacation with her daughter and son-in-law, when she suffered a fall, followed by complications . She passed away peacefully with loved-ones by her side, and surrounded by the love and prayers of all her family and friends back home.
She was born on January 31, 1946, to Edna Hopkins Burrell and Jarvis Milton Burrell, in North Logan, Utah. Her father passed away when she was just two years old, and her mother latter married James O. Lauritzen. She has a brother, Lynn, who died in infancy, a brother Jarvis Milton (Gladys) deceased, and one sister, Betty (Denton) Brough, who lives in Syracuse, Utah.
Mom spent most of her childhood in Hyrum, and had many fond memories of time with her cousins and riding the milk truck to Avon to stay with her Grandma Burrell. She attended grade school in Cache Valley and was proud of the fact that she skipped third grade. She graduated from South Cache High School in 1944. Mom met Leslie John Downs, who was living in Hyrum after serving in World War II, and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on September 12, 1946.
Mom was a hard worker, always busy in her yard and home, and worked as a telephone operator for Mountain Bell. As telephone operators were phased out, she successfully completed training and worked pulling and installing telephone lines in homes, prior to retiring in 1983.
Mom and Dad made their home in Hyrum for 57 years, raising four children: Jon Douglas (Cindy) Downs, of Bountiful; Shauna (Steve) Jensen, of Logan; Josie (Dave) Shepherd, of North Ogden, and Joel Leslie (Tana) Downs, of Smithfield. This union has produced a large and proud posterity of 17 adoring grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren who lovingly call her grandma â€œgreat.â€ She also has a large extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins, sisters-in-law, and brothers-in-laws that were very special to her.
When Dad suddenly passed away in 2003, Mom was left with a void that never was filled. She reluctantly sold their beautiful home, and moved to Nibley, where she soon made wonderful new friends and once again became a caring neighbor to many.
Mom was a wonderful homemaker. She was a beautiful seamstress, an excellent cook, kept an immaculate yard and home, and was always anxious to learn a new skill and share it with someone else. She loved attending classes on cooking, computers, quilting, decorating, and crafts. She loved to keep busy, and spent many hours making bridesmaids dresses and memory quilts for each grandchild as they were married.
She was always eager to volunteer to help sew costumes for road-shows and Halloween, and helped with countless humanitarian projects. Christmas was a special time as the lovingly gave members of the family things she made by hand. She was a good sport and loved to be involved in the lives of her family. Her and dad helped countless times when children and grandchildren moved, helping put in yards and gardens, and painting and decorating their homes. The family shared wonderful memories of summer reunions at Bear Lake and 4th of July parades and picnics in Hyrum.
She loved to attend the special events of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and felt bad if she missed even one. A thoughtful and generous person, she was the first to offer a ride, send a card, make a gift, or take a meal. She loved her weekly quilting group, her Friday dinner group, the Wednesday â€œseniors,â€ and the good friends that kept in touch daily. Mom was fiercely independent. She was proud to be able to take care of her own home, to drive where she wanted to go, and take occasional road trips and vacations. She had fond memories of a trip to Peru with her cousin, Joann, a trip to Italy, to pick up a grandson from his mission, and trips with family members to Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, California, Nauvoo, and Virginia.
A devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, mom lived her testimony. She served many times as Relief Society President, as well as in other stake and ward organizations. She graduated from Logan Institute of Religion and enjoyed a six-year special assignment as sealing office secretary for the Logan Temple. At the time of her death she was serving as a volunteer in the Logan Temple clothing room. She was especially proud of her missionary grandsons, with one, Taylor Downs, currently serving in the Oklahoma City Mission. Mom and dad served together as stake missionaries for 18 months, during which time many sister missionaries lived in their home.
Mom was most happy serving others. She always had time to â€œpay it forward.â€ The family wishes to thank the nurses, doctors, and medical staff for their tender care and compassion. Special thanks to the family and friends that called, sent cards, flowers, e-mails and texts to help sustain us through a most difficult situation. Mom was proceeded in death by her husband, Les, a grandson, Dana Wareham, and one great-granddaughter, Jaycee Parker.
Funeral services will be held at noon on Friday, May 27, 2011 in the Nibley 10th Ward LDS chapel at 2825 South 1000 West, Nibley, Utah. A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday at the Allen-Hall Mortuary, 34 East Center St.,Logan Utah, and at the chapel on Friday, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., prior to the service. Internment will be in the Hyrum City Cemetery. Memories and Condolences may be expressed to the family online at Allen Mortuaries.