Marion Rose Spratt Palmer

1924 – 2021

Our extraordinary mother, Marion Rose Spratt Palmer, passed peacefully away on March 10, 2021. Marion, the daughter of Grover C and Rose Hansen Spratt and sister to Edward and Robert, was born on September 16, 1924. She grew up in the Liberty Park area of Salt Lake City and attended Hamilton Elementary, Roosevelt Jr., and East High School. Marion had a happy childhood filled with a loving family and a myriad of friends, which included her future husband, Lawrence Palmer. During high school, Marion and Lawrence began dating. They enjoyed going to her East High dances and his South High dances, and would spend summer days at Saltair. They loved the Big Band music of the 40s and spent many nights at the Rainbow Randevu with their combined groups of dear friends.

In 1942, Marion enrolled in classes at the University of Utah. She was active in clubs on campus, including Spurs, and joined the Delta Gamma sorority. It was there that she had many opportunities to lead, organize and serve. Life at the U was very different during WWII. There were lots of young women on campus, but not so many young men. Marion and her friends stayed busy with volunteer efforts pertaining to the war. They would serve refreshments and dance with the soldiers stationed in Kearns and visit wounded soldiers at the Bushnell Military Hospital in Brigham City. They collected metal, rolled bandages, and wrote letters to the boys in the service. Marion wrote many letters to her special soldier, Lawrence, during his military service from 1943-46. Marion graduated from the U of U in the spring of 1947 with a degree in business/marketing.

Marion began a new chapter in her life when she married her sweetheart, Lawrence Lee Palmer, Jr., on August 18, 1947, at the Garden Park Ward in Salt Lake City. Their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the following year.

The couple moved to Moab in 1949, where Lawrence had been hired as a coach at Grand High School. Brent was born in 1950 and spent his first year in Moab. In 1951, Marion and Lawrence decided they wanted to be back in Salt Lake and closer to their families. It was then that they bought their little home on Texas Street where Gayle was added to the family in 1953. This home was always filled with family, friends, fun and love.

Marion was not only an amazing mother, she was also a beloved aunt. Her brother Bob and his wife Carol had four children when, in 1956, Carol lost her life to polio. Marion became a second mom to Bruce, Sheron, Randy and Julie.

Marion was forever doing good—a consummate volunteer. During our school years, our mother was always actively involved in PTA, from the local to the state level. When her sister-in-law died of polio, Marion began volunteering for March of Dimes because they were leading the efforts to find a cure for the deadly and crippling disease. She began by collecting donations on her block and rose to Board Chair on the state level. When she was serving as Delta Gamma Alumni President in 1955, Marion was contacted by the National Society to Prevent Blindness. She was asked to recruit a small group of sorority friends to participate in an experimental program to do vision screening on young children to identify a new sight disorder called amblyopia or lazy-eye blindness. From this small beginning, the Preschool Vision Screening Program has been able to screen over 1.2 million children and saved the sight of hundreds. Marion continued to chair the program until last year. She continually enlisted the help of friends, neighbors, or anyone who happened to ask her about herself! Marion also served in many church callings and especially loved teaching the Guide Patrol.

We are proud of the many, and well-deserved recognitions and awards our mother received, though she was always embarrassed to be in the limelight. Marion received numerous honors from Friends for Sight, March of Dimes, and the National and State Societies to Prevent Blindness. She was privileged to receive the University of Utah Emeritus Alumni Award, the Lt. Governor’s Volunteer Award, and she was inducted into the Salt Lake Council of Women Hall of Fame. She also received two national awards, the Cable Award and the Shield Award, from Delta Gamma. Marion was honored by recognitions from the PTA, the Utah Board of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Salt Lake Detention Center, and others.

Our mother was blessed with an exceptional gift of making friends. She welcomed any opportunity to get to know people and was truly interested in their lives, no matter their age, appearance, or beliefs. We have been overwhelmed by the expressions of love from the many people whose lives have been touched by our mom.

Marion is survived by her children Brent and Cindy Palmer and Gayle and Mark Linford. She will be truly missed by her grandchildren and great grandchildren: Justin and Kristen Palmer (Alex {Cassidy}, James and Ava), Ashley and Kirk Rasmussen (Matthew, Palmer, William and Benjamin), Cameron and Allison Palmer (Mason, Dillon, Auston and Colemon), Bryan and Jodi Palmer (Jack, Noah and Liv), Jessica Linford, and Claire and Todd Argyle (Emily, Sarah, Rebecca and Eliza). She is also survived by Bruce and Carolynn Spratt, Sheron and Craig Tuttle, Randy and Sharen Spratt and Julie and Bob Jennings. Preceded in death by her husband, her Spratt and Palmer parents, her brothers, Bob and Ed, Carol Nelson Spratt, and Gertrude vanLeeuwen Spratt.

We would like to thank the kind employees of Inspiration Hospice, especially Melissa, the two Brennas and Sarah. We could not have navigated this journey without you.

A family funeral service will be held on Thursday, March 18th at Larkin Sunset Lawn. Please visit for Zoom information.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Friends for Sight or consider finding a way to volunteer in your community.


Services Handled By

Larkin Sunset Lawn
2350 E 1300 S
Salt Lake City, UT

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Post Date

Mar 12, 2021

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Our deepest sympathies. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Wayne & Becki Dudley Mar 16, 2021