Edith Lyman Isaacson, age 99, passed away peacefully on January 13, 2024. She was born on New Years Eve, 1924, the sixth of twelve children born to Frances Marion Lyman and Hazel Snow Lyman. She was born in Boulder, Utah. To say Boulder was an isolated ranching community at the time of her birth, may be an understatement. The first automobile road to Boulder would not be built for nearly a decade and the town would not receive electricity for another twenty-three years. Throughout her life she retained a close association with the town and its people, often returning to visit family and friends. In 1939, her father was tragically killed in a hunting accident, and her mother was left to raise eleven children on her own. Edith had a close relationship with her siblings all her life. Edith attended Richfield High School from 1940- 1942 before moving to Salt Lake City and briefly attending Granite High School.
In January 1943, just after her eighteenth birthday, Edith took a job at the Kearns Army Air Base. Shortly thereafter she met Antronig Magarian at a USO dance, and the two were married on October 29, 1943. After the war, they moved to Fresno, California. Edith and Antronig had three children: Linda Jean Magarian, Charles Francis Magarian (Lisa Ann Summers), and Susan Magarian (Courtney Plummer).
Edith later enrolled at Fresno Community College and graduated in 1964 with a degree in elementary education. She spent five years teaching school in Madera and Fresno. Edith’s home in Madera burned down on Christmas Eve 1965; she once described that as one of the saddest days of her life. Two years later Edith and Antronig divorced.
In 1969, Edith’s close cousin, Gladys King Isaacson, passed away from cancer. Before her passing, Gladys encouraged her husband LaVar to call on Edith when she was gone, which he did. After a brief courtship, primarily through letters, the two were married in the Oakland LDS Temple, on December 17, 1969, and Edith moved to Holladay, Utah. Through LaVar, Edith became a mother and grandmother to what she called her “second family” with LaVar’s five children and their families: Lola Hanks Ivie, Ann Marie Jenkins (Harold), LaVar King (Gwendolyn Olsen), Glade Samuel (Twila Mae Humphrey), and Shauna Rasmussen (Dale). For many of LaVar’s numerous descendants, Edith is the only grandmother they have known.
Edith lived to serve. As LaVar’s health declined in the years prior to his death in 1992, Edith was his constant companion and caregiver. Her daily journal entries are filled with constant acts of service and kindness for her family and others. Edith loved to garden and tend the fruit
trees in her back yard. She would spend hours canning fruit, some of which she would store, but most of which would be given away. In the late 1970’s she took up quilting as a hobby and even joined the Utah Quilt Guild. Quilting became a passion for her, and many family members
treasure the quilts they received to commemorate events such as births or marriages. For many years, LaVar’s family met at her home every Sunday evening to socialize and reconnect. Gatherings of over thirty were not uncommon. Edith was a gracious host and was always ready with a fresh-baked cake to serve.
From 1992-1994, Edith served as a Family History Missionary in downtown Salt Lake City for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There she learned to use a computer and gained a passion for genealogy. A longtime member of the Olympus Third Ward, Edith treasured her faith and religious associations. In an autobiography she wrote, “The greatest blessing in my life is my testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of our Heavenly Father. I know He lives, that He died and was resurrected. Because He lives I, too, will live after my time on earth. The time here is only a short while in the eternities. I will meet my family and loved ones when I leave this life.”
Following a stroke, Edith’s memory began to decline and in 2017 she moved into what is now Spring Gardens Senior Living in Holladay, Utah, where she lived until her death. The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks for the kind memory care nurses and staff at Spring Gardens. Likewise, they extend their gratitude to the nurses of Canyon Home Care and Hospice. A cheerful and optimistic soul until the end, whenever one of her many family members stopped by to visit and asked how she was doing, she would always reply that she had “no complaints.”
Edith will be missed by her numerous family members including 21 grandchildren, 51 great-grandchildren, 48 great-great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-great grandchildren. A viewing for friends and family will be held at 10:30 on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, at the LDS chapel at 4100 South Camille Street in Holladay, Utah. A funeral will follow at 12:00pm. The interment will be at Larkin Sunset Gardens in Sandy, Utah.
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