Marvin Blaine Fernelius
1921 - 2018
Marvin Blaine Fernelius was born the ninth of eleven children to Laura May Bybee and Heber Arthur Fernelius in Uintah, Weber County, Utah on June 7, 1921. He passed away on Tuesday, October 9 in Sandy, Utah, surrounded by family.
Because Blaine’s father was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad, he grew up in a series of railroad towns in Utah and Wyoming. The family experienced many hardships as a result of the Great Depression and Blaine grew up to become part of the Greatest Generation. As a young man, he worked on a farm, a service station, and later the Ideal Cement Company.
During his high school years the family moved to their first home with electricity and indoor plumbing in Devil’s Slide, near Morgan, Utah. Blaine sang in the chorus, learned trombone in the band, played on the Morgan High School football team, and joined a semi-professional baseball team. He graduated from Morgan High School in 1939 and attended Weber College from 1939-1941, specializing in accounting.
In 1941, he received a call to serve in the LDS California Mission. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he registered with the military but was able to complete his two-year mission. During that time he gained a fervent testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and met his future wife, Beth Monroe, from Scipio, Utah, who was serving in the same mission.
Immediately upon release from his mission, Blaine began his military service in World War II. He enlisted in the Air Corps (later the Air Force) and trained as a pilot and navigator, but his assignment changed to radar equipment as the war in Europe wound down. During a two-week delay en route, he and Beth Monroe were married in the Salt Lake Temple on February 5, 1945. In May 1945 he sailed zig-zag for 26 days to Manila, Philippines. He also served in Okinawa and Tachikawa, Japan as a radar technician during the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the war drew to a close, Blaine served as part of the occupation forces in Tachikawa, working on flight records and accounting.
On March 21, 1946 he was honorably released from his military obligation. He returned home to a job at Hill Air Force Base. Beth eventually persuaded Blaine to move to Salt Lake City, where he passed the Civil Service exam and worked as an accountant for the Bureau of Reclamation for over thirty years. He took night classes at the University of Utah to improve his accounting credentials and also held additional part-time jobs throughout his career, most notably at Alder Construction. Beth and Blaine raised two children in a home above Foothill Drive, where they lived for fifty years, a place Blaine called “a bit of heaven on earth.”
Throughout their lives they were faithful and committed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Blaine served in many bishoprics and later as a Gospel Doctrine teacher. Blaine was always a doer, and retirement only lasted three and a half months before he took a job at Deseret Federal as an Internal Auditor. In 1988 Beth and Blaine were called as missionaries over financial affairs of the Utah Salt Lake City North Mission, and they loved serving together while being able to live at home. Blaine taught his children and grandchildren the value of honest, hard work, and his greatest goal was to see them happy and successful. Through his example they learned that even unpleasant tasks like washing dishes or painting walls are not so bad if you have someone you love working alongside you.
Beth and Blaine loved ballroom dancing from the early years of their marriage into their eighties. They enjoyed socializing in missionary and ward study groups, but family always came first. He was an avid golfer into his nineties and they loved spending time in St. George during the winters, their condo a happy gathering spot for friends and family. They moved from Foothill Drive to Draper in 2000 where they continued to love and care for family and each other through significant health challenges. Beth and Blaine were very proud of their posterity. Their grandchildren have beautiful memories of time together, including countless hours of card games, rounds of golf, miles of hikes, fun sleepovers, delicious family dinners, memorable vacations, and cherished holiday celebrations. Family meant everything to Beth and Blaine, and they were always on the front row supporting their grandchildren at recitals, sporting events, concerts, and competitions.
Blaine and Beth were married for 62 years. He tenderly cared for Beth through major illness until she passed away in March 2007. He later married Marrilyn Cullimore Smith. They enjoyed travel and visiting their respective families together for almost eleven years until the frailties of age separated them.
The family is very grateful for the superbly dedicated people at Brighton Hospice and the Wentworth at Willow Creek who tenderly helped him in his final days. We also appreciate the kindness of the Wentworth at Coventry staff where he and Marrilyn lived for a year.
Blaine is survived by his wife, Marrilyn; two children Karen Rosevear (Craig) and Alan Fernelius (Karma); a brother, R. Dean Fernelius of Uintah, UT; sister-in-law, Beulah Quarnberg of Scipio, UT; 10 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. His posterity will forever remember a loving, fun, intelligent, and tender man, who reminded us at every family gathering, “I love you and the Gospel is true!”
Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 27 at 11 a.m., Willow Creek First Ward, 2115 E. Sublette Place, Sandy, UT. Friends may call from 10-10:45 a.m. the day of service at the church. Interment Larkin Sunset Gardens, Sandy, Utah.