Christa Erika Murillo, age 84, of West Valley City, passed away on January 20th, 2023.

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Christa was born in Konigsberg, Ostruben, Prussia on January 22nd, 1938 to Erich Ernst Paetsch and Margarete Charlotte Tichelmann and was the youngest of 4 children. At the end of WWII her family fled from Prussia, eventually residing in Potsdam, Germany. Later, her family left East Germany and emigrated to the US and Salt Lake City. She met her husband, Jack Freeman Murillo, when working as a short order cook at Woolworths in downtown SLC. They married November 14, 1958 in Elko, Nevada. Together they raised two sons and were married for 36 years until his passing in 1995. Survived by sons Tony Murillo (Darcy) and Chuck Murillo (Deann), 6 grandchildren: Cassie (Kevin), Alexander, Gabriela, Tristan, Charlize, and Dominic. Also survived by the mother of 3 of the grandchildren, Tammy Metcalf Murillo.

She became a citizen of the United States on March 7th, 1996. She was assertive, tough, and frugal but also kind, understanding, generous, and funny. She loved taking hot baths, noodles, gardening (particularly weeding), going to the movies by herself, metal/hard rock music, and spending time with her grandchildren. She adored her great-grand pets and loved to share treats and kind words with them. Christa loved working in her garden and yard and received a West Valley City beautification award in 2021. The Google Street View of her home shows her working in the yard. Her gardens were always prolific and she shared many tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini with neighbors and family who all benefited from her generosity. She never lost her German accent - which resulted in her grandchildren picking up pronunciations like “vatermelon”. She loved her husband, Jack, deeply – even though he has been gone for nearly 28 years, she mentioned in her last hours she was looking forward to seeing him again.

We would also like to thank the providers and staff at Huntsman Cancer Hospital for their incredibly kind, attentive, and thoughtful care - Christa felt safe with you. Brief graveside services will be held at Memorial Estates Lake Hills Mortuary and Cemetery on Thursday, 1/26/2023 at 2:00pm. As per Christa’s wishes, there will not be a funeral service nor a viewing. There will be a Celebration of Life held on Saturday, 1/28/2023 from noon to 7:00pm for friends and family – send a message to for details. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Green Urban Lunchbox, Huntsman Cancer Foundation, or a charity of your choice.


Services Handled By

Memorial Lake Hills Mortuary & Cemetery
10055 South State Street
Sandy, UT

Life Story Info

Post Date

Jan 24, 2023

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  • 2020
  • Feb 8, 2023

    Christa and her Mum, Germany 1947, RUHE IN FRIEDEN LIEBSTE TANTE!