Maralin Payne Bennett was born to John W. and Sara Harris Payne on May 30, 1928 in the little town of Barnwell, Alberta, Canada. Her health was precarious in the first year and her mother was told that she must not let her baby cry, or it might rupture a vein in her head. She had two older sisters and three younger brothers. All have preceded her in death with the exception of her brother William Dennison Payne of Sandy, Utah.
When she was 5 years old, her family moved to Provo so her father could receive a degree from BYU. Later, they moved to Salt Lake where she attended Granite High School and met tall, handsome ElDean Bennett in the Debate Club. Their dates were going to the city library to study for their debate topic. When they graduated, both attended BYU, but Maralin soon went to work to support Dean. They were married in the Salt Lake City Temple on Mar 21, 1947. She always liked to say she was “almost 19” when they married. After his graduation, they lived in Salt Lake City, where he worked for KSL Radio and TV, doing news, and becoming known as the “Voice of the Cougars” as he did play-by-play for the BYU sports teams for many years. They had 5 children during this time in Salt Lake. In 1965, they decided to pursue an opportunity at a radio station in Boston. Not long after that he decided to go back to school for a masters and doctoral degree in Lansing, Michigan. Their last child was born as Dean raced between the hospital and the University, where he was registering for classes. In 1970, they moved to Tempe, Arizona where he began teaching at Arizona State University. He continued there for over 25 years. One sabbatical took them to live in Nigeria for a year. It was a challenging situation, but as always, she dealt with the difficulties. She supported her husband in all his responsibilities.
Maralin was active all her life in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many callings in the church. She served as ward and stake Relief Society and Young Women Presidents and late in life was given the huge task of caring for all the widows in her ward. She has always loved to serve and felt that true happiness can be found by helping others. Her righteous choice was to be a mother and care for her home and family. She worked hard to raise her children to be strong, contributing members of society. She loved serving her family and rejoiced to see the growth and development of her children and grandchildren. She spent a huge amount of time caring for her daughter Julia, who had cystic fibrosis. Julia passed away in 1975.
Maralin also cared for her own father and her mother-in-law, as they reached the end of their lives. ElDean passed away in 2001, requiring constant care during his last years.
After his passing, she served a mission in the Tulsa Oklahoma mission and found that her testimony grew greatly in this service. In 2018, she left her beloved home in Arizona to move in with her daughter Terri.
Maralin passed away on February 6, 2021 in the home of her daughter in Sandy, Utah. She is survived by one brother, Dennis (Mary Ann) Payne, and five children, Terri (Allan Packer), Randall (Vinita), Stephen (Amy), Barbara, and Allan (Colleen). She has 17 grandchildren, 55 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild. There will be a private service for her immediate family to honor her life.
Life Story Info
I have good memories as a child of my kind Aunt Maralin in Salt Lake, and an unforgettable trip from Utah with my mother and grandmother, by greyhound bus, to visit the Bennetts in Boston when I was 9, so it must have been 1965. Stephen and Randy were the gold standard in cool to me. My mom always admired and loved her little sister. I miss all you Bennetts.