Mary Lou Chavez 


Mary Lou Chavez

Our mom, Mary Lucille Morrow Chavez, finished her earthly journey on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Lehi, Utah, just 15 days shy of her 86th birthday.  

She was born in Covina, Calif., on Aug. 18, 1937, to William Arthur Morrow and Mary Ella Brooks. Mary Lou had one sister, Lois Morrow Whipp, and step-siblings, Thelbert Morrow and Lillian Morrow.  

She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1955, then moved to Colorado to train as a flight attendant but returned to the LA area and worked at Occidental College. She met our father, Vincent Chavez, at a party and they were married on Nov. 8, 1958.  

She and our dad made a life-changing decision to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in September 1970 and remained a follower of Jesus Christ through her life. She loved the scriptures and was an avid student and teacher always excited to share. She lived her life serving the Lord and others with her strong faith and devotion to the Lord and her fellow citizens. She was never afraid to express her opinion, help others or share her testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Mary Lou started making her own clothes at a young age. She continued this amazing talent all throughout her life and expanded to making quilts, costumes for church youth plays, needle point, making Christmas tree shirts, crafting all the latest trends and was the pioneer at making T-shirt quilts for her family.  

Mary Lou was very involved in civic, church and community affairs in Lawndale, Calif., and in Belen. Mary Lou was always busy, serving as the president of the Young Women at church for many years (1973-1981) while her daughters were involved and then went on to teach an early morning religious class to high school youth in Belen for eight years, from 1981 through 1998.  

She and our dad served missions in both Albuquerque and El Paso, Texas. Mary Lou was actively involved with the PTA and many school committees through the years. Later in her life, she was the director of the Chamber of Commerce and helped lead the effort to bring the Farmers Market to Belen. She worked diligently with the people she loved to improve the community.  

After leaving Belen, she and dad moved to Las Cruces and then Rodey (Hatch) New Mexico, where they worked tirelessly to keep a historic, former, Catholic church functioning and beautiful as their home. Finally, in 2016, she decided to move closer to family and lived in American Fork, Utah.  

She loved the beach and would take us beach camping often by herself. She enjoyed traveling and keep in touch with family and friends. She traveled the world with dad after discovering a love of “cruising.” They made lots of friends and saw beautiful places together. She made many trips with different family members all over the USA.  

She was devoted to her family and was committed to being at every special event. Every baby born, blessing, baptism, performances, games, graduations and all the events in-between, she traveled to be with her family for any excuse. Her life was a gift of service to all she met and loved. She was never afraid of hard work and always had an open door.  

She is survived by her three daughters, Vicki Sheehan (Mike) and their children, Michelle (Drew) Gillespie and Kelly; Marji Winder Arce (Rene) and her children, Mike (Julie); Jason (Karren), Jennifer and Kyle; Lori Wheatley (Mark) and their children, Paige and Camille; seven great-grandchildren, Mac, Lincoln, Rett, Andrew, Addy, Finn and Ella; sister-in-law, Irene LeFevre; nieces, Liz (Luke) Pettit and Cheryl Whipp Tenold.  

She is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Vincent Chavez; son-in-law, Michael Winder; sister, Lois Whipp; and other precious loved ones.  

A viewing was held Monday, Aug. 7, and a graveside service was held Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Mountain Green Cemetery in Mountain Green, Utah. 

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