Marilynn June Arensman, 86, died Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, at her daughter’s home in Salt Lake City, Utah. She passed away peacefully after battling a degenerative muscle condition, surrounded by loving family — including her devoted husband of 64 years, Elton Arensman.
Marilynn was born March 28, 1931, in Garden City, Kan., to Marion Lynn Russell and Hazel (Crawford) Russell. While growing up on the family farm she witnessed the dark clouds of the Dust Bowl, as well as the Great Depression. She played saxophone in a jazz band during her high school years before graduating from Garden City High School in 1949.
She attended Kansas State University, where she earned a degree in home economics and met Elton, a civil engineering student. They were married on Aug. 28, 1953. After graduation the following year, they moved first to Tulsa, Okla., and then to Denver, Colo., where Michael, Russell, Kevin and Diana were born.
In 1965, the family moved to Southfield, Mich., where they lived for more than a decade before relocating to Boise, Idaho. Elton and Marilynn lived in Boise for nearly 40 years, until moving to Salt Lake City earlier this year to live with Diana and her husband Ira Goodsmith.
Marilynn enjoyed gardening, cooking, sewing, quilting, reading, music and travel. But her greatest love was children, which she devoted much of her life to caring for. In Michigan, she helped to start and run a preschool and day care center. She also taught Sunday school and served as both a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader. She and Elton were longtime members of the Parkview Christian Church in Meridian, Idaho, where they both served as church elders.
Marilynn is survived by her husband Elton; three sons, Michael (Susan) of Benicia, Calif., Russell (Debra) of Glenwood Springs, Colo., and Kevin (Shannon) of Boise; daughter Diana (Ira) of Salt Lake City; sister Linda DeMartine of Cheyenne, Wyo.; and grandchildren Bryan (Rachel) and Dennis (Holly) Arensman, Cailey and Erica Arensman, Jessica (Emerson) Andrews and Alex Brownlee, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and their children.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Jim Russell and Richard “Dickey” Russell; a sister, Frances Russell; and a foster brother, A. Doyle Moore.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 4 p.m. at the Hilltop United Methodist Church, 985 10600 S., in Sandy, Utah.
Internment of cremains will be scheduled for a later date in Boise, ID.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Russell Child Development Center in Garden City, KS, or to a charity of your choice. Condolences may be sent to the family at: email@example.com.