Marian Faye Walker Vance
Faithful and loving, our sweet Marian Faye Walker Vance returned to her Father in Heaven on December 11, 2016, surrounded by family at her home in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Marian was the third child born to Emma and Milton Walker in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 25, 1933. Her family suffered an early tragedy with the unexpected loss of her father when she was only 5 years old. Her faithful mother never remarried and raised her four children in loving, humble circumstances. Marian graduated from South High School (class of 1951) where she considered herself a “wallflower”. She attended the University of Utah and went on to serve an LDS Mission in the France Belgium Mission from 1957-1958. After her mission, she was fortunate to stay in Paris and attend the Sorbonne University. In 1960, a wallflower no more, she competed in the Miss Utah pageant where she won the swimsuit and talent competition as well as the title. In the Miss America Pageant, she was a top 10 finalist and, for the second time, won the talent competition by singing a French aria. A few judges confided in her she could have won the title if she hadn’t worn her engagement ring during the competition. She said she didn’t care because all she wanted to do was get married and have children. A few months later, on November 4th, she was sealed to her eternal companion, Dr. Robert Bliss Vance, in the Salt Lake Temple. The first of her 10 children was born within a year.
Her ultimate calling in life was as a mother. She was devoted to her family and truly loved spending time with her 10 children and their spouses, 42 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. They in turn adored her, often competing for “favorite child” status, but they were all her favorites. She had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh. She was a well-known practical joker who was not opposed to a pie in the face that ended in a food fight or being thrown into a pool fully clothed. She became a pro at Snapchat and her hilarious snaps kept her family laughing. Her love was far reaching and she loved, welcomed, and adopted many into her heart and home. She was a mother to many and an angel to all who knew her.
Marian had a never ending passion for music, which she inherited from her talented father and mother. She participated in many choirs, operas, and musical theater performances throughout her life. Her children remember searching the screen for her face during many televised performances of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, of which she was a dedicated member and occasional soloist for over 25 years. Her passion for performing never waned and, at the age of 72, she won a Grammy singing with The Saints Unified Voices, a choir directed by Gladys Knight.
A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints her entire life, Marian had a deep knowledge and love of the Savior and followed Him diligently. She lived a life of service, serving as a Temple/Ordinance Worker in the Las Vegas Temple for nearly 20 years. She also served a Church Service Mission with her husband, Robert, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Institute from 2004 – 2006. Marian was an avid genealogist, whose children were sometimes envious of the time she spent indexing. In one year alone she indexed over 100,000 records!
Marian is preceded in death by her parents, Milton and Emma Walker, and her brother Lowell Walker. She is survived by her adoring husband of 56 years, Robert “Bob”, and their 5 daughters and 5 sons: Stephanie Thomas, Alison (Lee Allen), Robert (Linda), Jon, James (Krista), Paul (Anna), Catherine “Kitty” (Ian Carter), David (Kristen), Rebecca (Doug Anthony), and Rachel (Josh Munns), 42 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Marilyn R. Weber and brother M. Richard Walker.
We will celebrate Marian’s life at a memorial service on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 3pm at the Willows LDS Chapel, 9825 West Desert Inn Road, Las Vegas, Nevada 89117. Donations can be made in her honor to the LDS Missionary Fund or to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. http://rmhlv.org/
This is the most beautiful tribute to a mother I have ever read. And having spent much time riding to a from the temple with this sweet woman, I know first hand of her love for her family and the goodness in her. I am so grateful to have known her and learned from her. I wish I could be there to hug each of you and bask in the sweet memories that will be shared, but we are in Hong Kong serving a mission. We send our love to Bob and all Marians beautiful family. Thank you for honoring your Mom in such a loving way. Joyce Cory
Thanks for your comments Joyce. I know mom loved you too! I didn’t know you were on a mission. How wonderful, may the Lord bless you in your service. Thanks for loving our mom. Ali
I am saddened to learn of Marion’s passing. My memories of her were that she was warm, engaging and full of life. She was a beautiful person inside and out and I want to be like her when I grow up.
Wonderful to read more about Marian’s life. What an amazing legacy she leaves. So grateful I knew her. All my love and prayers to the Vance family. Kory Brown