Verna Marriott

September 11, 1938 ~ December 23, 2017

Once upon a time

Verna Edna (Hillier) Marriott passed away on Saturday, December 23, 2017 in Ogden, Utah, from dementia and exposure. She was born in Flint, Michigan, on September 11, 1938, to Vernon Elmer and Clara Belle (Frizzell) Hillier. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1960, and on August 20, that same year, married Lee Walter Marriott in Flint; the two later divorced.

Lee and Verna moved to New York City, where three children were born to them, the youngest dying in infancy. Verna loved history, literature, and musical theater. The family spent a couple of years in Midland, Michigan, before moving to Ann Arbor. Verna remained an avid Wolverine fan until her death, and was pleased her grandchildren could sing the Michigan fight song and yell "Go, Blue!"

Verna was fortunate to spend many years as a full-time homemaker. She volunteered in the PTO at Ann Arbor schools, and served as a Girl Scout leader. She returned to the U of M to get her Master’s Degree in library science, and then landed her "dream job" at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library in 1979, where she worked as a children’s librarian for 21 years, and added professional storyteller to her resume. There she worked with a great team of librarians, staff, library pages and patrons. She was particularly proud of the Battle of the Books program she helped implement, and connecting patrons and family members to great books brought her joy throughout her life.

Retiring from the Dow Library in 2000, Verna headed to Utah to be closer to children and grandchildren. Life took an unexpected turn that autumn, when a stroke caused her to lose some short-term memory and the ability to recall the stories she loved to share. Still, she was happy living with family.

Verna was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her daughters are forever grateful she made the decision to join the "Mormon" Church, as so many blessings were brought into their lives because of that choice.

Verna was preceded in death by her parents; father-in-law, Walter Irwin Marriott; mother-in-law, Laura Gertrude Marriott-Stevener; and her second husband, Wilford Edward Stevener; niece, Lynea Marriott; sister, Gwen Gilbert; and sister-in-law, Jeannette Reaume.

Verna is survived by daughter, Kathleen (Jeffrey) Rollman of West Jordan, Utah and their children, Steven (Nicole) Rollman of Riverton, Utah; and Rebecca and Matthew Rollman of West Jordan; by her daughter, Laura (Russell) Rentmeister of Ogden, Utah and their children, Jonathon (Ashley) Rentmeister of Clearfield, Utah, Amanda (Derek) Caswell of Pleasant Grove, Utah, and Michael (Chelsea) Rentmeister of Taylorsville, UT; also by six great-grandchildren she adored. Also surviving: sister, Janice Hillier of Panama City Beach, Florida and niece, Christina Boone, same location; brother-in-law, Lynn (Sheila) Marriott of Manistee, Michigan and nephew, Bob (Kim) Marriott of Ludington, Michigan; nieces and nephews, Terri McCoy and David Gilbert of Ann Arbor, Kathryn (Andrew) Marsh of Saline, Michigan, and Eric (Kim) Gilbert of Traverse City, Michigan; aunt, Myrtle Friese, age 100, of Farwell, Michigan; various cousins and numerous friends.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 6, 2018, at the Jefferson First Ward, 2720 Jefferson Ave. in Ogden. Family and friends will gather at 10 a.m., prior to the service. Service entrusted to Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary.

Special thanks to the Ogden City Police Department and to all volunteers who helped our family over Christmas weekend.

In lieu of flowers, Verna would request you make a donation to a library or to Alzheimer’s research in her name, read a good book yourself, or read aloud to your children and grandchildren.

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