Marilyn Joyce Turley Lee, age 89, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Friday, April 3, 2020, at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah. She was born December 24, 1930 in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico as the third child to Clarence Franklin and Anna Tenney Turley, and spent her youth growing up on the family fruit farm. She was a graduate of Colonia Juarez Academy and thereafter served a two and a half year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from 1953-1955 in Mexico.
She was blessed with an angelic soprano voice that was renowned amongst her family and friends, and she attended New Mexico State University and Texas Western University to study Opera. She performed alongside her mother in the chorus of a professional production of “Aida” at the Metropolitan Opera of Los Angeles, along with famous operatic mezzo-soprano Blanch Thebom. Shortly thereafter she met her husband Lawrence Benson Lee while she was serving as Choir Director in her church stake in El Paso TX, and they were married for time and all eternity in the Mesa, Arizona Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Aug 18, 1956. In that lifelong marriage she became the loving mother of seven rambunctious boys.
In the decades that followed, they lived their lives in Illinois, California, Germany, New Mexico, and Utah. Marilyn and her husband continued to enjoy their musical talents, performing in many private and formal functions. Marilyn contributed enormously to the lives of those around her, serving in multiple Stake and Ward Relief Society Presidencies as well as many other church and community positions of service. She lovingly and tirelessly supported her seven boys in their many church, scouting, sports, and music accomplishments, and her husband in his dental, military, and scouting careers. In the latter stage of her professional career, she also worked as Office Manager and Dental Assistant while helping to build her husband’s successful dental practice. After retirement, she and her husband served a full time Spanish speaking mission to San Fransisco, CA.
Throughout her life, Marilyn had a deep testimony of her Savior, Jesus Christ, and had a special gift to hear the spirit for the benefit of her loved ones. In a handful of sacred experiences over the years, she literally saved the lives of her sons and family by sensing and heeding the warning voice of the Spirit.
She is survived by her sons, Douglas, Erik (Valerie), Nathan (Deanna), Nelson (Lauren), Serge (Michelle), Theodore (Marissa), and by her siblings Kathleen Turley Hakes, Luther Dean Turley, Robert Walters Turley, Robin Marshall Turley, Frederick Eyring Turley, and Melodee Elizabeth Cooley. She has 24 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
End of Life services include a viewing by appointment between 9 AM and 12 Noon, Tuesday, April 7, at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary in Orem, UT. There will be a memorial service to celebrate her life later in the year.
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