Darla May Newell Gooch, 64, of Layton Utah, passed away on October 8, 2023. After a routine MRI due to MS a tumor was found. Seven months later she passed away in her home surrounded by family.

See 4 Photos

Darla was born to the late Lynn and Wilhelmina Newell on January 12, 1959, in Spanish Fork, Utah. Darla attended school in California.

In 1975 she started writing to Jack, who had just joined the Air Force. Jack asked Darla to marry him on December 3, 1975. They were married in Reno Nevada on June 22, 1975 and sealed in the temple on October 19, 1978.

While Jack was in the military, they lived in California, Germany, and Nevada. During this time, they had six children and 3 miscarriages. They moved back to Utah after Jack retired from the military. After her children were grown, Darla went back to school and graduated from Weber State University in English.

Aside from her husband, children, and grandchildren, one of the things that gave her the most joy was a Sub-for-Santa program that she created and managed for 25 years called “The Giving Tree”. While teaching in an elementary school computer lab she asked the students to type what they wanted from Santa for Christmas. One of the children told her that he couldn’t because Santa does not visit his house. She didn’t want other children to experience the same thing. From that short encounter, a legacy was born that touched hundreds of lives, both from those who were sponsored and those who participated. She managed this program in an unassuming way.

The Utah Jazz and Utah Power and Light awarded her the Outstanding Service Award for the community service that she provided through “The Giving Tree” program.

This program was very important to her. Whenever Darla was in the final stages of cancer, she still wanted to prepare for the 2023 Christmas Season.

Darla is survived by her husband and all six children; Jacque (Brad Taylor), Karen (Shane Clark), Tracie (Dane Larsen), Jason (Berena), Lori (Chris Wardle), Lisa, and her grandchildren.

Darla was the heart, soul, and driving force behind the family. She loved having family gatherings and celebrating any type of holiday and birthday’s together. She was very creative, inquisitive, and loved learning new things. She did not allow her health problems, or the fact that she was legally blind, slow her down. She was always very patient, generous, and put the needs of others ahead of her own.

She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and her faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ was the most important thing to her. Her faith in Jesus was reflected in everything she did.

In a journal entry from 2004 she wrote, “The legacy I hope to leave behind is one of kindness, generosity, patience, love, and a firm belief in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that by my example, and the way I live my life, I will accomplish this.”

She was a light to those around her through her selfless acts of faith, love, and charity. Her presence will live on in the lives she inspired to do better through her example and because of the love that she showed them. She was an incredible mother, grandmother, and neighbor. She will be missed and remembered.



Friday, Oct. 13, 2023 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Lindquist Mortuary and Cemeteries
1867 N. Fairfield Road
Layton, UT 84041

Funeral Service

Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
1480 West Phillips Street
Kaysville, UT 84037

Life Story Info


Tracie Larsen

Post Date

Oct 11, 2023

Personal Info


Layton, Utah, United States

Cause of Death






Religion and Beliefs

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


  • Bachelor's
    Weber State University
Concerned about this Life Story? Please let us know.
NEXT Kenneth George Faulkner Kenneth George Faulkner


Jack, I was so sorry to hear about Darla. The few times I met her at work I knew the wonderful relationship you had. Sending prayers and love to you and your family.

Darrell Oct 14, 2023

To Jack and family I send my deepest condolences to you all for your loss of Darla. May you all find comfort and peace in the memories and times shared with Darla. God Bless you all at this difficult time.

Bob Dickinson , ROY, UT, US Oct 12, 2023