23635-7911-oth-VernalUT-cv1

Mary Jeanne (Merrill) Tollefson

October 28, 1946 ~ March 14, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Mary Tollefson Obituary

Mary Jeanne Merrill Tollefson, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, friend, and teacher, passed away peacefully in Vernal, Utah on March 14, 2024, surrounded by her spouse and all her children. She was 77. Jeanne was born on October 28, 1946, in Thatcher, Arizona to Orlando and Phyllis Merrill. She lived in many different places growing up including Arizona, Idaho, California, and Utah. She met Ron Tollefson when her family lived in Duchesne, Utah during her junior year where they became high school sweethearts. She moved to Snowflake, Arizona for her senior year where she graduated from high school. She stayed in touch with Ron that year and the next two years while she attended Brigham Young University (BYU) and he was serving a LDS mission in Norway. They rekindled their relationship when Ron returned from Norway and enrolled at BYU. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on August 16, 1968, and enjoyed 55 years together. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Elementary Education and they soon after moved to Phoenix, Arizona where Ron attended the police academy. They moved back to Utah where Ron began his law enforcement career- first in Duchesne then in Provo- and she worked at her favorite occupation- raising her children (Derrik and Sonja had come along by then). They moved to Vernal, Utah in 1984 when Ron accepted a position with Juvenile Court. There they lovingly continued raising their five children (Kristin, Kari, and Rhonda had also joined the family) and then started spoiling grandchildren when they came along. Jeanne began teaching elementary school in Vernal and, after a few years, began a distinguished career in special education while completing graduate work through the University of Utah. She retired in 2009 after teaching for 26 years. Jeanne had a gift for teaching special needs children and was a great blessing to many fortunate to be in her classroom. She cherished her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved teaching and supporting them. She also had a talent for shopping. No store was too big or small- she shopped them all, and the internet opened a whole new world of shopping to her during her retirement years. Although she preferred the city for its abundance of shopping and culinary opportunities, she grew to appreciate the Uintah Basin because that's where most of her children and grandchildren lived. She always had ice cream in the freezer ready to share with anyone who visited her home. Her passion for ice cream is legendary. Banana splits were her favorite. She also enjoyed pie, so it seems providential that she passed away on Pi Day. Jeanne loved to read, especially the scriptures, and liked musicals and Star Wars, Star Trek, and Hallmark movies. After retiring, she worked countless hours on family history and loved baking goodies with her grandchildren. She served faithfully in her church- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She held numerous church callings but loved teaching the primary children and serving in the temple the most. She was kind to everyone, an angel on earth. Now she is an angel in heaven.

Family Members
Jeanne is preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband Ron and her five children, Derrik Tollefson (Cassie), Sonja Delaney (Brian), Kristin Young (Jeramie), Kari Hatch (Cloyd Jr.), and Rhonda McKenna (Kyle), 11 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, and by her beloved sisters, Marlene Farley and Marie Snow, and brother, Paul (Sunny) Merrill.

Services Information
Funeral services will be held on March 23, 2024, at noon at the Glines 3rd Ward chapel at 475 West 100 South in Vernal, UT. A visitation for friends and family will be held Friday, March 22, from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home located at 410 N. 800 W. in Vernal, UT, and at the church before the funeral from 10:45-11:45 am. Interment will be at the Rock Point Cemetery in Maeser, UT.

Charity Info
Eat a banana split in lieu of sending flowers.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Jeanne (Merrill) Tollefson, please visit our floral store.

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Services

Visitation
Friday
March 22, 2024

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Ashley Valley Funeral Home
410 North 800 West
Vernal, UT 84078

Visitation
Saturday
March 23, 2024

10:45 AM to 11:45 AM
Glines 3rd Ward Chapel
475 West 100 South
Vernal, UT 84078

Funeral Service
Saturday
March 23, 2024

12:00 PM
Glines 3rd Ward Chapel
475 West 100 South
Vernal, UT 84078
 

Video is available for this event



Interment
Saturday
March 23, 2024

1:15 PM
Rockpoint Cemetery
2250 West 2250 North
Vernal, UT 84078

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