Marilyn Joy Fairbanks passed away on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. She was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, on August 20, 1935. Joy was the youngest of eight children born to Reid and Letty Litchfield, two sons and six daughters. Although humble in circumstance, Joy’s early life at home was filled with happiness among older brothers, sisters, their families, and close friends. Given the age range of her siblings, Joy became an Aunt at the age of one and enjoyed her nieces and nephews throughout her life.
She and Bill Fairbanks, childhood sweethearts, were married in the Cardston Alberta Temple on April 10, 1957, shortly after Bill returned from his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Eastern Canada. While Bill was serving, Joy worked as a phone operator saving money and awaiting his return.
Both Joy and Bill grew up in Raymond, a small town in Southern Alberta, Canada, founded by Mormon Pioneers. Raymond was a small but close knit community. The Litchfield and Fairbanks’ families were both well-established in the community, rooted in a strong pioneer heritage going back to the founding of The LDS Church.
Not long after being married, Joy and Bill moved to Provo, Utah, where Bill attended Brigham Young University. Joy worked at Woolworths for a short period of time but stopped as her son Wade was born. A couple of years later, Debbie was born and Bill finished his teaching degree taking a first and new job as an elementary school teacher in Brigham City, Utah.
Their son Michael was born while in Brigham City. A family recollection Joy enjoyed sharing was Wade asking where Jesus was when he visited his Mother and new brother in the hospital. He had been taught that we all come from Heaven and had high expectations. Shortly thereafter, Joy and Bill decided to move back to Canada, taking a teaching position in Calgary and buying their first home but their destiny was anchored to Utah. After a year in Calgary, they decided to take a teaching position in Utah Valley where Kevin and Robyn were born.
As Joy raised the kids at home, she selflessly fulfilled her callings in the church. She was always an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joy believed strongly in the power of prayer and maintained a firm testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel. She lived a service oriented life and had a special gift for giving and expressing her love for others. Over the years, Joy also developed a love and talent for gardening, baking, reading, sewing, and genealogy but her greatest desire was for a strong and loving family.
It should also be noted how much Joy loved her Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters. As they each passed, her heart always ached and longed for them. In her passing, she acknowledged they were waiting and she looked forward to a grand reunion.
As retirement came, Joy and Bill moved into their current home which has become a hub for immediate and extended family visits and other social gatherings. The large extended Litchfield and Fairbanks families have spread throughout the US and Canada so travelers to Utah often come by to visit or stay at their home. Family and friends were always welcomed. Joy's loving and cheerful demeanor was well acknowledged and appreciated by all.
Joy leaves us having lived a successful, loving and rich life; she will be remembered and deeply missed. She is survived by her husband Bill of Orem, Utah and her children: Wade (Heidi) Fairbanks of Rogers, Arkansas; Debra (Nathan) Palmer of Lewiston, Idaho; Michael (Camiel) Fairbanks of Lindon, Utah; Kevin Fairbanks of Orem, Utah; and Robyn (Matthew) Kikuchi of Henderson, Nevada. She and Bill have 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the LDS Chapel located at 225 East 200 North, Orem, Utah 84057. Viewings will be held on Friday, April 6, 2018, from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary located at 495 South State Street, Orem, Utah, and on Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. just prior to the funeral services at the church. Burial will be in the Orem City Cemetery.
Condolences may be expressed to the family on this page.