October 2, 1968 - June 17, 2022
Our beloved Martha, daughter of Ted and Jan Johnson, passed away surrounded by loved ones on Friday, June 17, 2022, after a full life of fifty-three years and a hard-fought battle with cancer. The ripples of her bright, vibrant life continue onward and outward in directions and ways that cannot be fully counted or comprehended.
Intuitively compassionate, Martha empathetically recognized sorrow and suffering all around her throughout her life and selflessly offered her educated Clinical Social Worker heart and soul to relieve every kind of pain she possibly could. To know Martha was to be loved by Martha. To be loved by Martha was to understand, if only in a human way, the love of the Savior. She truly loved her Savior, Jesus Christ, The Great Healer, and as she drew nearer to Him, often in the Temple in her own sorrow and pain, she reflected His love outwardly in lifting others.
Martha had eyes to see potential in the raw, and beauty in simplicity. She was always in her element with a bandana, a backpack, or a shovel. From adventurous climbs in the mountains to getting her hands dirty in the soil, she relished Mother Earth. She loved planting seeds, flowers, and trees, watching things grow and the seasons change, along with pulling a few weeds to make the world more beautiful, as she did for several years in assisting a volunteer group design and plant the St. George Temple flower beds.
Martha found her voice in the pen and a deep satisfaction in the artful expression of words, and as an editor, she made the words of others fresher and clearer. Her educational interests took her to places far and wide, including the Pacific Islands of Fiji and the deserts of the Australian outback, from which experience she wrote her Masters Degree thesis in sociology about an aboriginal “matriarchal elder” who taught her about healing practices among indigenous peoples. She truly came to love and be loved by people of rich and diverse cultures. She could relate to anyone of any age, and she loved connecting the dots in deep and personal ways in her callings with Primary children in her Provo wards, Young Women in her stake, and Relief Society women in her General Board assignments.
As the sixth of eleven children, Martha was an anchor in the middle of the family, connecting the younger five siblings with the older five siblings. Fondly referring to the road between Utah and Idaho as her “driveway,” she made many surprise appearances dressed up as Mary Poppins or a giant dog, arriving in large boxes, or just showing up unexpectedly to be extra hands when she saw a need. She adored her nieces and nephews and kept a watchful eye on their sports and special event calendars and a revolving door at her home in Provo as many moved on to college. Among countless fond family memories, the quintessential Martha will always be remembered at the heart of a family campfire, singing and playing the guitar.
Martha found meaning in every circumstance. She knew what it meant to wade through searing adversity. One of her doctors said of Martha’s wrestle with cancer and yet her trust in God, “The greatest lessons are taught in adversity while facing the monstrous storm, not in easy sunny summits; so knowing how to adapt our will and path to such impending forces is the greatest test of the depth of our character and that’s what Martha carried with her.” Having discovered that God might be giving her “severe mercy,” Martha’s character was sorely tested, refined and burnished. She learned in the depths of gut-wrenching faith to align her heart, not with her will, but with God’s—until she wholly trusted that Jesus was carrying her in His hands.
Martha was preceded in death by her father and will be greatly missed by her mother and ten siblings and their spouses: Kerrie Cox (Dale), Paul (the late Alice), Kristin Turnbull (David), Becca Labrador (Raúl), Tucker (Denise), Clark (Jane), David (Mindy), Sam (Kathy), Jenny Wood (Blair), and Tyler (Rachel). Martha will also live on in the hearts of her forty-eight nieces and nephews and twenty-two great nieces and nephews, as well as countless dear friends around the world.
Friday viewing 6:00-8:00
LDS chapel 3511 N 180 E Provo
Saturday viewing 1:00
Funeral 2:00 LDS chapel 3511 N 180 E Provo
Zoom link TBA
Sunday Celebration of Life
6:00 Home of David & Mindy Johnson, Boise, Idaho
Monday burial 2:00 Cloverdale cemetery
1200 N Cloverdale Rd