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Marilyn Kaye Wright

March 21, 1931 ~ March 10, 2018 (age 86)

Marilyn Kaye Ellis Wright lived a full life.  She danced into the world on March 21, 1931 in Blackfoot, Idaho.  Our beautiful, happy, funny, party-loving mom, grandma and GG passed away on March 10, 2018 in Cedar Hills, Utah surrounded by her loving family.  She left this world looking forward to her next grand adventure. 

Marilyn grew up on a farm outside of Blackfoot, Idaho in the town of Riverside, the third child of Glenn Ellis and Nettie Mae Turpin.  Her parents instilled in her a love of family, hard work, and taking every possible moment to enjoy life.  She learned to cook, sew, tease and, especially, to dance.  She enjoyed these things all of her life. 

Marilyn attended BYU and USU after graduating from Blackfoot High School in 1948.  She enjoyed drama, musicals and more dancing.  On August 21, 1952 she started the biggest musical of her life by marrying Darwin Jay Wright in the Idaho Falls Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  They started their life and family together in Oakland, California, where Darwin finished his tour of duty in the Navy. During that time, Marilyn worked as a bank teller.  She became known for humming and whistling happy tunes while working.  She continued working in this field when they moved to Utah and then to Idaho so Darwin could finish his education. Darwin graduated from Dental School in Portland, Oregon in 1961 and started practicing dentistry in Grants Pass, Oregon. By then they had 5 children.

Marilyn and Darwin’s family grew to six children while living in Grants Pass.  Marilyn served in many areas both in her community and in the church.   Marilyn was known for her productions in both drama and dance.  She wrote and directed many musicals, dramas and dance productions while raising her family.  After her husband retired from dentistry she retired as his bookkeeper and they served a mission together in Hawaii. 

Marilyn and Darwin moved from Grants Pass Oregon, to Cedar Hills, Utah in 2002.  Marilyn cared for Darwin as he struggled through a terminal illness until his passing in 2004.  Marilyn spent a great deal of time traveling and visiting her children and grandchildren.  She traveled the world with friends and family.  She loved seeing new places and finding new adventures.  She loved to sew dresses for her daughters and granddaughters.  She made several wedding dresses, dance dresses and costumes, never passing up an opportunity to make her family more beautiful. 

“Oh, for heaven’s sake.” was an often heard phrase when she found something funny on the internet she wanted to share with her family.  She was always up on the latest social media and loved following national politics.  She lived for her family.  She loved talking on the phone, checking her instagram account and cooking for everyone.

She adored Mitt and Ann Romney and had the pleasure of a visit from Mitt just two weeks before she passed. She exclaimed, “Oh, I can’t believe this!” when he walked in as it had been kept a secret from her. We so appreciate his graciousness in taking time out for her. She called all of her “Lovely Ladies” friends for bragging rights. She was the life of the party and she will be deeply missed by all she knew.

Marilyn is survived by five of her six children:  Tamie Brown (Jim); Paula Vial (Richard); Tyler Wright (Shelley); Heather Stewart (Steve) and Tina Davis (Warren); 39 grandchildren; and 76 great-grandchildren whom she adored and who adored her.  Two brothers, Merthan Ellis and Gerry Ellis and many nieces and nephews, also survive her.  Preceding her in death were her husband, Darwin Jay Wright; her son Tim Ellis Wright; her grandson Kyle Austin Brown; and her sister, Miriam Ruth Elison. Immense gratitude goes to Nancy Trapnell and Anne West, hospice nurses with Encompass Home Health.  They truly went above and beyond in their care for Marilyn. 

Funeral services will be held Friday, March 30, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the Manila 10th Ward, 3785 Box Elder Drive, Cedar Hills, Utah.  Interment will be in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery under the direction of Olpin Family Mortuary, Pleasant Grove.  Please send condolences to the family at  In lieu of flowers, vote for Mitt! 

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