Jean LaRay Myrup
June 27, 1929 – December 15, 2018
It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of our beloved mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, and friend, Jean LaRay Myrup.
Jean was born June 27, 1929, to Ruben and Equata Thompson Tucker. Her brother, Darrel, came along two years later. Together, they were little rabble-rousers, and Jean told many stories about their shenanigans. A second bother, Deloy, was born two years after Darrel. Sadly, Deloy passed away when he was only two. Sister Shirlene came into the family seven years after Jean and Lorna five years later. During her childhood, Jean lived in Elmo, St. George, and Manti, UT. She graduated from Manti High School in 1947. Jean was attending her first year at Snow College when her mother passed away. Jean dropped everything and stepped in to raise her two sisters.
In 1949, Jean worked at Thurston’s ice-cream parlor in Manti. A handsome young man from Gunnison had taken a fancy to her. His friends dared him to ask out the “stunner in the shop” and said she would never go out with him. With an opportunity so clearly laid before him, he waltzed into the shop and asked her to go dancing. Mom loved to dance, and she soon loved our dad, Ray Lee Myrup. They eloped and were married in Las Vegas in January 1951. Dad said Mom took so many shoes on the trip that there was hardly room for her! Shortly after their wedding, Lee was drafted into the Army, and they moved to Port Townsend, WA. Once Lee left for the Philippines, Jean moved back to Gunnison and lived with Lee’s parents, Ray and Thelma, as well as his two younger brothers, Gary and Theldon. She became the daughter and sister they never had, and she gladly accepted those roles and loved them deeply.
Jean welcomed Lee home nearly two years later holding their one-year old son, Richard. The family of three moved to Layton, UT. It was there they met Janet and Stan Gallagher, who remained their close friends for over 66 years. Jean said Janet’s daughter, Christy, was so cute she just had to have a girl of her own. So, soon the family of three became a family of four with the birth of daughter, Debra. It was a real shocker when a second daughter, Kimberly, was born seventeen years later. In 1963, Mom and Dad were sealed in the Logan LDS Temple. They celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary three months before Dad’s death in 2014.
Jean loved working with the public. She began her banking career at Barnes Bank in Kaysville. She moved on to First Security Bank (later to become Wells Fargo) where the two Hill Air Force branches became home to her. She built life-long friendships with the “girls” at the bank. Jean always went above and beyond to help her customers and received several letters of acknowledgement from the bank’s president. When Jean moved to Chancellor Gardens Assisted Living in 2014, she was reunited with Hazel, who had been one of those customers! Thank you Hazel, Sharon, Nancy (all three deceased), Judy, Lois, and all the other wonderful friends Mom made during the last four years. Her friends, Chancellor’s staff, and her church all enriched her life and gave her so much joy. Jean was a member of the LDS church, Chancellor Branch.
No holiday ever went uncelebrated, and Jean never did anything half-heartedly. During her work years, Jean made sure the bank celebrated Halloween in a grandiose manner, and she always roped Lee into building some theme-related prop. From special Mother’s Day dinners to iconic Thanksgivings, you were guaranteed a party in Jean presence. She especially loved Christmas and made it a magical time for all. Her Christmas Eve parties were legendary. Jean dressed in over-the-top costumes, piled tables with food, and left no present unwrapped. Everyone was welcome, and Santa always came bearing gifts. For Christmas of 2017, Jean organized a Jingle Bells’ parade at Chancellor Gardens, which included her and four of her friends as reindeer, our cousin Teresa as Santa, and Sharon’s daughter, Heidi, as an elf. They pranced around Chancellor Gardens as only they could in their wheelchairs with music blaring and Santa handing out candy canes.
Jean loved to host parties, entertain, and open up her home to friends and family. She initiated get-togethers for every neighborhood she lived in and every place she worked. Soon after moving to Chancellor Gardens, the marketing director recognized Jean had the gift-of-gab and enjoyed meeting people. She asked Jean to become the ambassador and welcome new residents. She loved that assignment and was uniquely qualified to empathize with newcomers during their transition from independence to assisted living. Jean was also involved in the bake sales at Chancellor. Her raisin cake, fudge, and banana bread were favorites among the customers. She was very proud of the money they raised for charities.
Jean specialized in keeping a beautiful home. She had a passion for decorating and would put Lee to work installing trim and flooring, hanging wallpaper, and painting to make her visions become reality. We would laugh when she’d proudly show off a completed project saying, “Look what I did!” while Lee smiled quietly beside her. Her seasonally accessorized door was permanently open to friends, children, and grandchildren in need of food or conversation. Her grandkids have fond memories of gathering in her kitchen to make and decorate sugar cookies. More dough ended up on the floor or into little mouths than onto the cookie sheet. Family Sunday dinners were common, even as her physical limitations worsened.
Jean was a mother to many over the years...her two sisters, her own three children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, her children’s friends, and even an exchange student from South Africa in 1972. She was a grandmother to every child she met. Jean loved her family above all, and Mom, please know how much we love you, too. Tears fall on both sides…tears of sadness from those you left behind and tears of happiness for those you are with now. Thank you for all of the spirit-filled moments you inspired.
Those of us Jean left behind will miss her terribly, while all of her beloved family and friends who went before her are gathered and ready to embrace her at a grand welcome home party. Jean waited patiently for her dear husband to come and escort her to this party. We can hear her saying, “My Lard, Lee, what took you so long? I’ve been waiting!” They enter the party arm in arm, gazing and smiling at each other. Their son, Richard, is strumming his guitar and serenading her with her favorite tunes, hair cut smartly for the occasion. Jean and Darrel will do a wild, overdue jig, while Lee and Darrel’s wife, Mary, stand smiling and shaking their heads. What a glorious reunion!
Jean is preceded in death by her husband Lee, son Richard, and brother Darrel Tucker. She is survived by daughter Debra Robins; grandson Emit Robins, wife Jennifer, children Lucy, Maggie, and Phoebe; daughter Kimberly Flint, husband Adam, children Zachary, Caden, Addison, and Maycie; granddaughter Jessica Myrup (Nic); grandson Mikael Fehlberg (Becca) and child Leila; sisters Shirlene Stoven and Lorna McKnight; nephew William Stoven (Linda) and family; and niece Teresa Sommers (Derek) and family. Bill and Teresa were like a son and daughter to her.
A memorial for Jean will be held on January 5, 2019, at Chancellor Gardens, 1425 S. 1500 E., Clearfield, UT, from 2:00-4:00 pm. Please come and reminisce with us. We’re sure there are many tales of Jean’s antics we haven’t heard, and we would love to have you share them.