Marillyn Barker Edwards Johnson
1926 - 2020
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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 or leave your thoughts at her online guestbook at . 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.

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Published in The Salt Lake Tribune from Mar. 27 to Mar. 29, 2020.
Murray City Cemetery
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3 entries
March 31, 2020
Marillyn's family -

I was so sad to have happened upon this obituary today. Marillyn was a dear fellow teacher friend of over 40 years. We taught together at Bonneville Junior High in the Quest program, and then my family was transferred to southern California - but we connected annually after that. And we had such fun teaching together both in the English department and later in the Quest program. She always said that we taught during the "golden years." Each summer we took our kids to the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, staying in the dorms. Whenever we had a teacher work day, four of us in the department would bring food to share and have a "picnic" in one of our rooms or we would sneak off and go to the Cottonwood Club for lunch. We had such fun collaborating on really creative lesson plans for our group of kids. I still remember teaching a small group Richard II in Marillyn's garage/patio on Cottonwood Lane.

Marillyn was the most creative, talented teacher! I loved working with her. And I loved how she kept her love of learning - meeting with her writer's group as well as those she taught in her church well beyond moving to Canyon Creek. One of the last times I visited with her there, I brought my dog, Lili who works as a therapy animal.

Marillyn loved her family - children and grand children - above all things. What a gifted, talented writer, especially poetry, she was! In fact, I have a file of her beautiful works and the book she wrote about her mother as well as several cds of Marie's work.

Oh my, she will be missed.
Jody Andes
March 30, 2020
Wendy, David, and Extended Family of Marillyn Barker Edward's Johnson,

Condolences to you all during this very strange and uncertain time.

Wendy, your Mother was a very exceptional and uniquely gifted soul. I always enjoyed hearing your stories of how talented she was. I can see how you have a lot of the same creative, musical and fun traits!

I look forward to hearing about the future Celebration of your Amazing Mom,

Warm Hugs,
Bert Wilson
Roberta Wilson
March 30, 2020
To Wendy/David Arnold and Extended Family of Marillyn Barker Edwards Johnson,

Condolences to all during this very strange and uncertain time.

Wendy, your Mother was such an exceptional and unique person. I always loved hearing your stories about your Mom, and I can see how you have followed with those same creative/musical, Fun talents!

I look fwd to hearing about when and where you are able to Celebrate here amazing life!
Roberta Wilson
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