Mom wasn’t a woman who was witty, brash or well-connected, but she was a woman of great faith, love and a beautiful smile. Marilyn Sanders Albach passed away in her home and among her beloved family on August 30th, 2021.
She was born the third child and second daughter on February 1, 1936, to Esther Sevilde Serine Torgersen Sanders and Virgil Sanders in Lovell, Big Horn County, Wyoming. Because the doctor was losing his eyesight her father helped with the birth and even cut the umbilical cord while following the doctor’s instructions. Marilyn was born on her sister Marjorie’s third birthday. They liked to tell everyone that they were born twins three years apart. They were best friends for life and would always keep in touch with letters and long phone calls. During Mom’s end of life hospital stay, she overheard her daughter telling someone she and her sister were five years apart, even though everyone thought she was sleeping she instantly held up a hand with three fingers. If mom was anything she was quiet and watchful. Her children knew this and didn’t stray far from the paths she laid out.
Her family lived and worked in the Lovell and Byron, Wyoming area. Her father built many homes over the years. The family, at times, made do with hauling water from a 2,000-gallon cistern tank until the plumbing was installed. They had eighty acres of land which allowed them to grow a big garden and raise farm animals. Besides the large garden, they had chickens and cows and always enjoyed fresh eggs and milk.
Marilyn loved the country life and spent much of her free time walking from town to town with her siblings. They would take sack lunches and sometimes raided a chicken coop on the way to “cook” eggs on the sidewalk. The story never said if they ate the eggs, but we assume they did. Once the kids stopped to get a drink out of a faucet only to find that it was gasoline not water. They loved to swim in the canal and run through the irrigation water. They worked hard and played hard.
Marilyn’s siblings have said that she was up to a prank from time-to-time and was once on the run from her six-foot-tall dad, whose legs were longer and faster than her own. When she jumped the ditch to get away, he caught her in midair with her legs still pumping fast to get away. This caused her sister no end of laughter.
Marilyn also loved school and especially enjoyed math, science and language arts, home economics. She learned to sew from a very strict teacher and used her skills over the years to clothe her family. Reading was her joy and passion throughout life, and she passed that along to her four living children in later years. She was the Senior Class President of 1954 at Byron High School, as well as a cheerleader. She made many wonderful, lifelong friends in the tight knit community. She later became an English major at Northwestern Community College in Powell, Wyoming. Her children would often be called “uppity” for using big words, what they couldn’t have known was Mom taught us the bigger words and we often couldn’t recall anything else.
It was during and after High School that she met and dated many young men. One of those young men gave her his high school ring as a promise to return. But his return was much too delayed, and he did not communicate well. While he was off joining the AirForce, Marilyn moved to Watsonville, California to be with her married sister and find work for the summer. First, she worked in a produce factory then later she had a dream job at an upscale women’s clothing store called Town Tree Fashions. She loved to dress up and was a pretty girl. Her family members hardly ever saw her without her hair done up, make up on and a nice, never shabby outfit. It was during her California days she met her sweetheart, Allen Arthur Albach. They married on June 15, 1955, in the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple. When the former sweetheart returned to Byron, Wyoming, he found that Marilyn was now a happily married woman.
Allen and Marilyn had six children together. The first son, Aaron, was stillborn. Their second son, Bruce Allen, died of acute lymphatic leukemia at the age of three. They were followed by another son, Chris, then their only daughter, Karen and sons Eric and Kurt. Their children knew from an early age that their mom was a woman of great faith and love. She taught them how to pray, how to worship, how to serve others and work hard and how to always put God first and everything else would mend itself. She pulled her children out of their “comfort zones” to help them grow, worked them hard (they still hate weeds), kept them busy with loads of activities and insisted Dad include them on family vacations. The world globe in their home was a symbol of places to go, people to meet and things to learn. The living children served missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, have learned languages and served faithfully because of her example and life lessons.
Marilyn served in various callings with children, youth and adults throughout her life, notably as a Stake Primary President. She and Allen served a mission in Portland, Oregon from October 2000 to April 2002, where they had many wonderful experiences. They traveled and loved spending time with family and friends.
Marilyn loved and is epitomized by one of her favorite poets, Helen Steiner Rice’s poem, “The Hands”. A few lines especially stand out in honor of a daughter, sister, mother and friend.
“But he who makes a sacrifice, so another may succeed, is indeed a true disciple of our blessed Saviour’s creed. For when we “give ourselves away” in sacrifice and love, we are “laying up rich treasures” in God’s kingdom up above.”
Her family truly felt the loving, prayerful hands of friends and family in the past few weeks.
Marilyn Sanders Albach is loved and remembered by her husband, Allen Arthur Albach; children: Chris Albach (Janie), Karen Albach Nish (Randy), Eric Albach (Amy) and Kurt Albach (Stephanie). As well as twelve grandchildren and twenty-one great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Marjorie Sanders Kelsey and brothers Howard Sanders (Suzanne) and Richard Sanders. She was preceded in death by her two sons, Aaron Albach and Bruce Allen Albach, her parents and brothers Darrell Sanders, Virgil Sanders, and David Sanders, and grandchild Virgil Albach.
Marilyn’s family would also like to give our heartfelt gratitude for all the care from so many wonderful professionals at Utah Valley Hospital, as well as the wonderful caretakers from Bristol Hospice. Your service, knowledge and loving advice were felt and gratefully received. We will try to pass on to others what we have learned from all of you.
A viewing will also be held on Thursday, September 2, 2021, at the Nelson Family Mortuary, 4780 North University Avenue, Provo, Utah 84604 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the Twenty-First Ward Chapel, 2900 North 650 East, Provo, Utah 84604 on Friday, September 3, 2021, at 10:00 am. A viewing that day will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 9:45 a.m. prior to the funeral. Interment will be at East Lawn Memorial Gardens 4800 N 650 East, Provo, Utah.