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Marillyn Barker Edwards Johnson


1926 - 2020
Marillyn Barker Edwards Johnson died peacefully at her home on March 23, 2020 at age 93. She was born June 15, 1926 in Salt Lake City along with twin sister Marie to Ellis Webster Barker and Virginia Freeze Barker. Brother Richard was born in 1930.
Music and creativity dominated the Barker household with the two sisters and brother Dick giving command performances at the many parties hosted by their dynamic parents and the close-knit extended Barker family. She attended the University of Utah majoring in education and then Yale University where she earned a Masters degree in theater. Marillyn was a devoted member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, meeting monthly with her sorority sisters and recently received her 75-year pin.
Married Ralph Arnold Edwards in 1950, later divorced. Had two children, Jeffery Barker Edwards and Wendy Virginia Edwards. Married Norman Dale Johnson in 1961 and added daughter Jennifer to the household. Later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple in 1974.
She had lifelong career in public education primarily at Bonneville Junior High School in Salt Lake City where she taught English for 32 years and opened the world of literature and writing to many young people. She loved gardening, was a gifted poet and collaborated with Marie on her operas and other musical compositions. Marillyn was passionate about family history not only her own proud heritage from Italy and England but in teaching others to write their own stories.
Preceded in death by her parents, husband Dale, twin sister Marie Barker Nelson Bennett, brother Richard Ellis Barker and infant, Eric Todd Johnson. Survived by her children, Jeffery (Karamea) Edwards, Wendy (David) Arnold, Jennifer (Tom) McPherson; 9 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
A family graveside service will be held on Friday, March 27 at the Murray City Cemetery. A memorial event will be held at a future date where friends and family can celebrate her life. Please send memories to [email protected] or leave your thoughts at her online guestbook at www.russonmorturary.com . In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the Utah Food Bank. The family offers our thanks to her wonderful caregivers at Canyon Creek and Bristol Health.
Published in Deseret News from Mar. 27 to Mar. 29, 2020
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