Marjean Barnett, 67, passed away on May 30, 2020.
Her precious soul was born to Harold and Vilda Erekson in Payson, Utah, on Nov. 9, 1952. As a child, Marjean showed aptitude in a variety of athletic and artistic endeavors. She played catcher for her softball team, where she acquired her chipped front tooth when she was hit in the head with a bat. Still naturally beautiful, Marjean participated in pageants such as Miss Payson. Full of spirit, Marjean decided to fine-tune her artistic abilities by attending Brigham Young University. What may not be known by many is that Marjean not only studied art and civil engineering, she also minored in ballroom dancing.
It was during her time at BYU that she met her future husband. Marjean married John Thomas Barnett II at the Manti Temple on Dec. 10, 1974. They lived briefly in Danville, Illinois, where their first two children were born (Tom III and Jeremy). They soon moved to Billings, then later to Sidney, where they lived for several years and had two more children (Janelle and Jacob). During her time in Sidney, she was able to meekly show those around her just how talented she was, including her talent for art, calligraphy and making what will forever be known as the World’s Best Peanut Brittle. She loved music and reading, and passed this love along to her children. She had a true drive for family history work; in fact, she served in the church Family History Library almost all of her adult life. She was not afraid to learn or try new things, such as learning in a simple church activity how to cut hair, then practicing this skill for many years.
Later in life, Marjean bravely set out to Pocatello, Idaho, to study radiology, completing her bachelor’s degree while also working and supporting her children. Marjean was hired out of school and began working in Driggs, Idaho, as an Imaging Technician at Teton Valley Health. She acquired additional licenses in mammography and CT before later becoming Director of Imaging. Her work in mammography became her passion and she dreamed of starting a local 5k run for breast cancer awareness. In Driggs, she was able to explore her more adventurous side with her newfound love for hiking the mountainous terrain of the Tetons, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. It took a lot to finally slow Marjean down, her own body starting to work against her, but still she showed that her will to be around family and help others could not be outmatched. Finally, but only due to medical advice, did Marjean retire in 2019. With this, she let her faith guide her next steps and moved back to Billings to be closer to her children. Here, she continued to show her strong faith, presence and love for helping all.
It should be noted how much she loved and cared for all of her family. She did her best to make everyone feel that they were her important to her. She will never be known as the loud one in the room, but this only made you want to listen more due to her serene panache. She was incredibly faithful no matter the circumstances and always looked with an open heart for someone to help. She led by example to her children, teaching them, as the song goes, all that they must do. Marjean was a true disciple of Christ, always following the commandment, “love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
Marjean was preceded in death by her father, Harold Keith; mother Vilda Josepha Hatch; and oldest brother, Danny Jack. She is survived by 10 brothers and sisters, Billie June Gold (Thomas), Phillip Kay (Teri), Charles Lawrence (Mary), Kenneth Jacob, Rosalie Naylor, DeeAnna Erekson, Marylin Davisson (Ken), Patricia Whitney (Matthew), Richard Leslie (Dorlena), Edward Duane; four children, John Thomas III (Rebecca), Jeremy Todd (Melissa), Janelle Theresa, Jacob Timothy (Nadine); and seven grandchildren.