Marilyn Scholes Bateman passed away peacefully at her home on August 14th, 2021 surrounded by her loving family at the age of 83.
Marilyn was born September 29th, 1937 in Logan, Utah to Harold B. and Orale Wayman Scholes. She was the second of four children. When she was in the second grade her family moved to American Fork, Utah. As fate would have it her second-grade teacher assigned another young girl in her class to be her new friend, while her older brother’s third-grade teacher did the same. It turns out that these newly assigned young friends were brother and sister and would someday become Marilyn’s sister-in-law and husband!
Marilyn graduated from American Fork High School in 1955. It was during her high school years that she became further acquainted with Merrill Bateman They met at a church dance and their courtship began. The Dance Director took Merrill aside during the dance and suggested that he dance with other young women. In the end, he was not deterred and continued to dance with the young lady that had struck his fancy.
Marilyn was an adventurous, fun-loving, beautiful, and energetic young woman. She worked at the local malt-shop, participated in many school activities, faithfully attended her brothers’ and Merrill’s football and basketball games, and loved being with her family and friends. She grew up in a home where she was taught that “successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).
Following high school Marilyn moved to California for a brief time with some of her friends to work as a switch-board operator. Soon however, she returned to Provo and attended Brigham Young University where she was a Cougarette. She was a social butterfly who gathered others around her in fun and wholesome ways (this was true throughout her life). She also had a serious and grounded side. Throughout her life she loved to read, seeking to follow the Lord’s counsel to “seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith” (D&C 109:7). She was taught from an early age about the things that mattered most: faith in Jesus Christ, family relationships and the importance of serving, loving and helping others.
From 1956-1958, her high school sweetheart, Merrill Bateman, served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in England. She wrote him faithfully each week for most of his mission – that is until there were only a few months left. With four months to go until Merrill would return home, she sent him a “Dear John” thinking it important that she have “the chance” to meet and become acquainted with other young men. However, upon his arrival home from his mission she greeted him at the airport – and the rest is history! Merrill and Marilyn married and were sealed to each other in the Salt Lake Temple on March 23, 1959. They have been faithful companions to each other ever since.
From the early days of their marriage, they traveled across the globe whether for schooling, career opportunities or Church assignments. The lived in Africa, Asia, England, both coasts of the United States and places in between – all the while building and raising their family, serving in their Church callings and supporting their local community.
Marilyn was truly passionate about her love for, and her loyalty to both her Savior Jesus Christ and her family. She strived to emulate the Savior thru her kindness, and selfless service to others. She had a wonderful ability to touch people in personal ways. She made friends and endeared herself to people everywhere she went. She devoted her entire life to loving and supporting her husband, as well as loving, supporting, teaching, and encouraging her seven children and their spouses, thirty-five grandchildren and forty-one great-grandchildren (and counting). One of her granddaughters has said: “To know Marilyn Bateman was to love her. Her class, quick wit and charisma made her special.” We all cherish Mom’s “pearls of wisdom”, “Marilynisms” and “Marilyn Moments”.
Her lifetime service in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes a vast array of opportunities: teacher, leader, temple matron, visiting teacher, and ordinance worker. She stood side by side with her husband in their church assignment in Asia where she shared her testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel dozens of times to the members and missionaries across the countries of Japan and Korea. She also served side by side with her husband during their leadership tenure at Brigham Young University, sharing her faith with thousands of students at the beginning of each semester, as well as traveling across the country and world representing the University and the Church. Marilyn never sought the limelight, but she never shied away from the opportunity to speak and teach truth - whether in a one-on-one situation with one of her children or grandchildren, or to an audience of more than 20,000 people in the Marriot Center. Marilyn Bateman was always true to herself, and, most importantly, she was always true to her Savior, Jesus Christ.
She is survived by her husband Merrill J. Bateman; her seven children: Michael J. Bateman (Cheryl), Mark S. Bateman (Lynette), Michele Swindler (Norm), Merilee Collins (John), Melisa Pitts (Greg), Matthew M. Bateman (Jennie), and McKay H. Bateman (Sara); as well as her 35 grandchildren and 41 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Harold K. Scholes and her sister Vickie Austin. She was preceded in death by her wonderful parents and brother Peter.
As a family we want to thank all the wonderful healthcare aides, nurses, neighbors and friends who assisted and cared for our wife and mother during these last several months. We love and appreciate you all very much.
Funeral services will be held at the Rock Canyon Ward building, 3050 Mojave Lane, Provo UT at 11 am on Saturday August 21st, 2021. A viewing will precede the funeral service from 9 am-10:30 am. There will also be a viewing held on Friday, August 20, 2021 at the Nelson Family Mortuary, 4780 N University Ave Provo, UT 84604 from 6-8 pm. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to the general missionary fund or Humanitarian Aid fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Life Story Info
I was so sad to hear of Marilyn's passing. You two and your family have been dear friends ever since long ago we lived in the same ward. Marilyn was/is a beautiful, wonderful woman. Please accept my love. She will be greatly missed.
I must add another brief note. You were a special Provo Temple President (as well as a special BYU President.) Some of the insights you told us in the temple were rather remarkable; I noted them in my scriptures. In fact, I came across one today.
With love, Kent
Merrill & Family: We honor Marilyn at this stage of her eternal progression. Please know our thoughts, prayers and good wishes go to each of you at this time. Even as a little guy I have vivid memories of Marilyn & her mom as they visited and joked with Grandpa & Grandma Smith.
Love, Jay & Elaine Roundy
Elder Bateman and family, We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your dear Marilyn. It was a privilege and a pleasure to associate with her closely when we were in the Presiding Bishopric together. She was always so cheery, kind to all, and delightful to be around, and we loved her. Sending you our sincere sympathy and condolences, as she moves on to even greater heights. Thanks for the enlightening obituary.