Maren Halverson
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Maren Halversen 1955 ~ 2008 "Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth...And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings..."Our dear sweet daughter, sister, and friend, Maren Halversen, was released from the bonds of her mortal existence into a life free from the difficulties she faced on earth. We can hear her laughter and see her dancing now. Maren was born April 12, 1955, in San Francisco, California. She was the firstborn of Thomas and Charmaine Halversen. She died December 6, 2008 of heart failure, at her home in Bountiful, Utah. Each life she touched was touched for good. Most of us come to life to be taught, but Maren came to earth to teach us. Down Syndrome never kept her from trying anything. In her 53 years, she learned (and loved) to dance and play both the guitar and piano. She was a wonderful artist. She even tried to water-ski! (We forgot to tell her to let go of the rope!) Maren was a "first" in many ways. We were told she was the first student in Utah with Down Syndrome to be integrated into the regular school system. She learned to be independent; many other parents with similar children watched Maren's accomplishments, envisioning their own childrens' capabilities. She suggested to her Mom the idea for a Handicapped Mutual, and with others they forged the beginnings of that wonderful program. She graduated with honors from Viewmont High School and Seminary. She was loved and accepted by her fellow classmates, and was voted Outstanding Special Ed. Student. She worked for many years at Deseret Industries and was Employee of the Year at Welfare Square. She had an incredible sense of self and was true and uncompromising in her values. Thirsty for knowledge, Maren read daily from her scriptures. She understood that she was "caught between two worlds," and it was a struggle for her. She was anxious for the day she would no longer be physically and mentally encumbered. Our heartfelt thanks to so many who loved and accepted Maren. Special love to the Barton Creek Ward and appreciation to so many neighbors, friends and teachers. Thanks to Dr. Larry Green, Dr. Grant Christian, and our IHC Hospice angels, Cathy and Marcos. Maren is survived by her mother; sisters, Carla (David) Eskelsen, Laurel (Rick) Draper, Heidi (Gary) Calder, brothers Tom (Veronica) Halversen, and Gary (Jennifer) Halversen. She was preceded in death by her father. Funeral services will be held Friday, December 12, at the Barton Creek Ward, 640 So. 750 E., Bountiful, at 12 noon. Viewings will be held Thursday night from 6-8 p.m. at Russon Bros. Mortuary, 295 No. Main, Bountiful, and from 10:30-11:30 a.m., at the church before the services. Online guest book at If desired, donations can be made to the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation, 801-446-1994. We love you Maren and will miss you!

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Published in The Salt Lake Tribune from Dec. 10 to Dec. 11, 2008.
Memories & Condolences
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17 entries
December 22, 2008
As a mother of a daughter (Kendall, age 22) with Down syndrome, your loving obituary touched me. Maren lived a wonderful life--full of love and support. How she must be missed! I know I would feel lost without my Kendall. May Heavenly Father bless--and comfort you all
Peggy Giacalone
December 20, 2008
Thank you so much for sharing her and your family's small part of the love of a life's story.
December 20, 2008
What a remarkable life. My condolences to Maren's family.
Mary Ritchie
December 17, 2008
I first met Maren about 15 years ago when our Young Women put on the Halloween party for the Special Needs Mutual. She was in a bunny costume with a carrot necklace. I thought at that time what a wonderful mom she must have to make such an adorable costume for her. Maren was rightfully proud of her outfit, and then she proclaimed to me, “I’m Maren, and I’m an actress!” I knew right then we were kindred spirits.

A few years later I was called to write and direct the special needs production at the Regional Center. For the next eight years I worked with the mutual in various capacities. I remember with sadness one of the last years I did the production that she told me she just didn’t feel good enough to perform that year. As I begged her to reconsider, she consoled me saying that she was sure I could do it, even without her. It wasn’t quite the same though.

I was called to be YW president in my ward about 4 years ago, and now I’ve been called back to do the music with the Special needs Mutual again. When I came back, I asked about Maren, and they said she hadn’t been attending for awhile. My heart ached, realizing it must be her health. Last weekend a friend told me of her passing. I was heartsick, yet grateful for her wonderful life. How thankful I am to have known and associated with her. She is truly a wonderful daughter of God, and I know He has welcomed her home.

Love, Chris Brown
Chris Brown
December 15, 2008
My Sister Pamela Kay Barber told me of Maren's passing yesterday. Pam was so sad and wished she could have attended the funeral. Maren was a good friend to my handicapped sister and a good friend to everyone she knew. She really was caught between 2 worlds but anyone who made any effort at all to know Maren was blessed with a glimpse of the other world that Maren certainly knew more intimately than any of us.
Gary Barber
December 13, 2008
I have just heard of Maren's passing this morning. I still remember her bright smile when I first met her as she crossed in front of the bus 61 in Bountiful,while i was driving in for Uta. I have thought of her often over the years. And I feel blessed to have known her.
Mike O'Leary
December 12, 2008
How we entreated dear Meran to stay when she decided it was time for her to 'retire' and not be with us any more. Every sacrament meeting we do in the district tells her story and how all that we do was because of her. I will never forget her telling me that she practiced singing so that one day her voice would be lifted in praise of her Savior and it would be beautiful, at last. We all knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that she knew Him personally while she walked this earth life with us. Sweet girl, thank you for the honor of having been with you and carrying on your dream.
South Davis Special Needs Mutual
December 12, 2008
Charmaine - you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Scott Weierman
December 11, 2008
I never had the privilege of meeting Maren, but what a beautiful girl. I have three brothers and one sister with down syndrome and know just what special spirits of our father in heaven they are . Just by looking at her picture I can see a glow about her. I'm sure there were many spirits waiting anxiously for her return on the other side and had missed her tremendously. What an example Im sure she was to all who knew her. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Amy McPhail
December 11, 2008
I worked with Maren at the Welfare Square Deseret Industries. She was certainly a joy to work with. Always totally honest. Always caring about others. Always one to stay on task. Her spirit touched many lives in a positive way. I am grateful that she has been a part of my life.
Glenna Sweat
December 10, 2008
I remember Maren well from Deseret Industries when I lived in Salt Lake. I remember once telling her what a lovely name she had; she was very proper, as she did not know me, but I still saw little bits of a smile. She was adorable and bright. My best wishes to her family.
Jean Bucher
December 10, 2008
What a wonderful life your angel daughter has now finshed this chapter here on earth. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you rejoyce and remember.

Karen, Terry & Maddison Davies
Karen Davies
December 10, 2008
Dear Laurel,
So sorry to read about your sweet sister. I can tell that she was an angel and will undoubtedly be sorely missed by all who knew her. What a blessing these special individuals are! Please accept my love and condolences. I would love to visit with you and catch up sometime.
Janet Shumway
December 10, 2008
What a joy to have worked with Maren at Deseret Industries and what an impact she had on my life and the lives of many of the other staff! I've missed not working with her but whenever I think of Maren a smile fills my heart.
Debra Gongora
December 10, 2008
Tears are flowing down my face as I remember sitting and talking with Maren. I've never known a woman to be excited about being older than someone else! She was a joy to sit and talk with and an inspiraton to me. She was the perfect example of given a chance an individual can do anything they set their mind too. She indeed taught many, as there are doctors still out there sharing stories about Maren and what she accomplished; reassuring us with young daughter's who have Ds that everything will work out.
I know the reunion between her and her father will be glorious.
Suzie Smith
Utah Down Syndrome Foundation
Suzie Smith
December 10, 2008
I was happy to have had a short visit with Maren over Thanksgiving. She knows how much she was loved by her friends and fabulous family. Of this, there is no doubt. My heart is with you.
Lily Eskelsen
December 10, 2008
Even as I am crying to read this news, I am so excited for Maren as she reports on her exceptional experiences in mortality. I feel honored to have gotten to know Maren on several occassions, and loved how smart and with-it she was! I know what an amazing family she had, one that helped her do all she needed to do here. Maren is definitely up there putting in a good word for you all until you are together once again.

Amy Moore
Utah Down Syndrome Foundation
Amy Moore
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