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Sara Marjorie Mower

12/12/1917 - 08/02/2018
Service Date: 08/11/2018
Service Time: 2:00 PM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Twelve Oaks 1st Ward, 10 South Twelve Oaks Boulevard, Chandler, Arizona
Interment: Lehi City Cemetery, 1525 North 600 East Street, Lehi, Utah


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!


  • Clark Cederlof, Bishop

    Loved Marj. Worked with her on two missions. She was a willing servant and always of service to those in need. My wife and six children have fond memories and loved her dearly.

  • Marcie White Daines

    Loved Marjories bold sense of humor and thought . She always cut to the chase
    so to speak and saw things as they were in a fun and honest way. Ran into her in my wards
    hallway and asked her what she wa doing there. Well low and behold she has a son
    living here in Washington! Her cheerful smile will definitely be missed.

  • Bill & Susan Horsley

    What a special lady. . . Marge will be missed but will live on for many years to come in our hearts!
    We are out of the country and will miss the service. Our love, thoughts and prayers go out to her sweet family!

  • Don & Pat Havranek

    Marge was a dear. She had so many friends in Arcadia ward who benefited from her wit, charm and example of service to the very end. She was blessed with a keen mind that served her well to 100 years. We should all be that lucky. We are in Utah and will miss the funeral but hope to attend Lehi service. Our love and prayers to her family.

  • Taggart Grant and Lisa Piorczynski Family

    I always tell my husband that I want to be just like Marge when I grow up. My favorite memory of Marge is from a Sunday morning about 9 years ago. Campbell Avenue was closed off for a marathon. If you were to follow the detour, it’d take the better part of an hour to get to church. Marge, realizing this, simply moved the orange cones and drove out onto Campbell Ave. When a race officiant told her that she couldn’t do that, she retorted, “I’ll see you in jail!” And off she drove to the Arcadia Ward building. We still laugh to this day when we think of that bewildered officiant.

    A second favorite memory: She ran into a relative of ours (who she hadn’t seen in a few years) in the celestial room of the temple and blurted out, “Oh my goodness! How many face lifts have you had?” The relative answered, “Um.. one.” To which Marge replied, “Well, it did you a world of good, honey!”

    Like I said, I want to be Marge Mower when I grow up. She was fantastic.

    All my love to your family at this time. –Lisa Piorczynski (Taggart Grant and family)

  • Becky Hansen DeWitt

    Aunt Marge was always a riot to visit with! I loved her sense of humor and quick wit. The last time I got to visit with her in December, my Mom-Shirley Russell Hansen and sister – Carrie Hansen Selin, had a good laugh and were amazed that she was still doing so much within her ward and clubs. She is amazing and I wouldn’t mind living to the ripe old age of 100 if I could be like her! As we were leaving, and as usual, Aunt Marge had a treat for us on our way. She handed me and Mom a candy bar and my sister a banana. I don’t know if she ran out of candy bars or what, but when she handed it to Carrie she said ‘ I know you don’t eat sugar, so here you go’. It was hilarious because my sister does not deny herself of sugar! As I was driving home from that visit back to Mesa, I sent my sister a picture from my phone of me eating my candy bar! We’ve had a few good laughs from that visit for sure.

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