Longtime Phoenix, Arizona resident Sara “Marjorie” Mower, age 100, passed away Thursday, August 2, 2018, in Chandler, Arizona. Sara Marjorie Russell Mower was born December 12, 1917, to John C. and Maude L. (Kirkham) Russell. Born in her Kirkham grandparents’ home in Lehi, Utah, Marjorie was the oldest of four children and the only girl. She had a fun childhood with lots of family, friends, and school and church activities.
Marjorie attended schools in Lehi, Provo, and Ogden, Utah. After receiving an associate degree from Weber College in Ogden, she went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in education at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. After teaching school for a time in Salt Lake City, she worked at the Defense Depot in Ogden, Utah, and volunteered with the USO, entertaining US troops and German and Italian prisoners of war.
Marjorie met and married Ben E. Mower, starting their life together in Centerville, Utah. Their son Russell, daughter Nancy, and son George were all born in Utah. Then the family moved to Los Angeles, California where their daughter Susan was born. The family then moved to Phoenix, where sons John and Robert were born. Marjorie loved living in Phoenix for more than 60 years.
With an unusual intelligence, Marjorie had many talents and interests that blessed her family and many others. She learned to play the piano by watching her grandmother’s player piano when she was young, and she played at many activities and celebrations throughout her life. A quick wit and an entertainer at heart, her talents included tap-dancing, giving monologues and speeches, writing and directing musical skits for youth and adults, and making people laugh. She stayed up with current events, writing notes of encouragement, journaling, sewing, cooking, reading, giving advice, checking on friends, traveling, gardening, swimming, handing out treats, sharing family history, following her favorite sports teams, and playing games with her family.
After Mom’s children were in school, she went back to teaching school and took graduate classes at Arizona State University. She substitute taught and then was hired at Perry School, working with special needs children. She later taught special needs children at Wilson School District, where she thrived and eventually retired.
After retirement, Marjorie enjoyed traveling, filling her church assignment by serving at the Mesa Temple, and then serving two missions for the LDS church at the New Zealand Hamilton Temple and South Africa Johannesburg Temple.
Marjorie was observant of others and tried to help in quiet ways. She loved people and felt the love and support of her family and many “family by affection,” which included neighbors, the Arcadia Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, the Reminiscence group at the Devonshire Senior Center, and the Arcadia Ward book club later in her life.
She had a close relationship with the Savior Jesus Christ and never failed to mention her love for Him. Marjorie spent her life doing what she could to serve Him by serving others. She had many church callings and was still active until the last weeks of her life. She had a full life and was grateful to get to participate in her callings and would rarely pass up a chance to do so.
She loved life and would express gratitude to many, many people that made her life enjoyable. Thank you! Special thanks to her son, Russell, who was close by to help out the last several years, to Nancy and Dave Jordan for caring for Mom in their home the last few months, to the Hospice of the Valley team for their support, and to all the family members and friends who’ve provided support.
Marjorie was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Dick K., Warren B., and Calvin G. H. Russell. She is survived by her children, Russell of Mesa, AZ, Nancy (Dave) Jordan of Chandler, AZ, George (Karen) of Vail, AZ, Susan (David) Keller of Provo, UT, John (Pam) of Kennewick, WA, and Robert (Denise) of Provo, UT. She has 16 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren and counting.
A memorial service will be held for Marjorie on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 2:00pm, in the LDS chapel at 10 S Twelve Oaks Blvd, Chandler, AZ. Friends may visit with family from 1:00 to 1:45pm. A graveside service will take place on Monday, August 13, 2018 at 3:30pm at the Lehi City Cemetery, 1525 N 600 E, Lehi, UT.
Happy Trails to you, until we meet again!