Cover photo for Merrilee Vassar's Obituary
Merrilee Vassar Profile Photo
1969 Merrilee 2015

Merrilee Vassar

June 5, 1969 — July 4, 2015

Merrilee Fielding Brewster Vassar
June 5, 1969 – July 4, 2015
(“ I’m going out with a bang!”)

Merrilee died from pneumonia following a 2 ½ year battle with triple-negative breast cancer.

Born June 5, 1969 in Inglewood, California (not her fault) to Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr. & Judith Thiede Brewster.

Merr married the love of her life (her words not mine, but the feeling’s mutual), Rick Vassar, on August 12, 1995. In fulfillment of an apostolic blessing given to us in the Salt Lake Temple by Elder Neil A. Maxwell, Victoria chose Merrilee to be her mom and joined the family on March 28, 2002. Merr LOVED being Tootsie Bell’s mom and felt the saddest about knowing she couldn’t finish raising her on this side of the veil, but promised she would be her guardian angel the rest of her life.

Merr attended Cottonwood Heights Elementary, Butler Middle School, and Brighton High School, where she swam on the state championship swim team.  She also spoke at her graduation services.

Merr attended Ricks College and graduated from BYU in 1996 with a degree in early childhood education.  She earned a Master’s Degree with Honors in 2002 from Grand Canyon University.

Part of Merrilee’s life mission was to “teach Heavenly Father’s little one’s” and she fulfilled this at Riverside Elementary in West Jordan. She taught first & third grades and was currently the English teacher in the Spanish-English dual immersion program for third grade.

Merr served an honorable mission in the Belgium Antwerp Mission from 1990 to 1992.

Merr had a great love of the gospel of Jesus Christ and served in many positions in her ward.

She had a great talent for making friends.  She was always cheerful and optimistic even during her illness.  She always had a smile on her face and rolled with the punches.

Survived by husband Rick (Richard E. Vassar, Jr.), daughter Victoria Fielding Vassar, parents Hoyt W. Brewster Jr. and Judy Thiede Brewster, sisters Kimberly Carter (Russel), Hillary Young (John), brother M. Hoyt Brewster (Shelly), in-laws Rick Vassar Sr., Charlene S. Vassar, Karen Estefan and sisters Tonya Anderson (Doug), Monique Weese (Dennis), Jada Alexander (Charles), 6 nieces and 10 nephews.

Merrilee would also want me to include the Bensons, Bowdens, Roberts/Stout and Walboms families as part of our surviving family.

Preceded in death by a sister, Kristen, nephew, Charles, niece, Miranda, and mother-in-law, Dana, grandparents Hoyt W. Brewster and Naomi Smith Brewster, Robert D. Thiede and Mildred Allen Thiede, and our lovely friend, Dirk Roberts.

We are grateful for the many acts of service given to Merrilee and our family over the past 2 ½ years. Our family, friends, ward family and coworkers made all the difference in Merr’s journey. There were thousands of acts of charity that enabled Merr to continue fighting until the time she said, “It’s time for me to go.” May heaven embrace their new angel and may those of us left behind find comfort and strength through the Love of our Savior and His Eternal Plan of Happiness!!

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 8, 2015, 11:00 a.m. at the Draper Eastridge Stake Center, 1187 E. Draper Parkway (12300 S.)  A visitation will be held Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at the Draper Eastridge Stake Center from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and the day of the service from 9:40 to 10:40 a.m.  Interment Mountain View Memorial Estates.

Funeral Recording


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