Martha Irene Dickerson Burrows of Springville, Utah, was released from this mortal life on December 11, 2022, to dance within the arms of her eternal husband and angel, Hal. Martha's sheer determination of spirit and southern spice held her fast to this earth far longer than anyone could ever imagine.
Martha was born March 2, 1941, to Opal Canzadia Smith and Lloyd Eugene Dickerson, in Memphis, Tennessee. Born during a time of World War, Martha’s father, Lloyd, served and was killed in action a mere four days after Martha’s fourth birthday. The tragic loss of her father and the lack of presence by his family played a significant role in the trajectory of Martha’s young life.
At age 14, Martha was brought to live with her Aunt and Uncle Pearle and Newell Boston where she was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Shortly after her 16th birthday, while at a church activity Martha met her beloved, Hal. Martha was challenged in a game of spin-the-bottle to ask Hal if he would marry her, Hal responded, “Yes, the first chance I get.” It was told the moment Martha and Hal saw one another, they saw no other. Martha and Hal married on April 25, 1958, one month after her 17th birthday. The couple made their way from Martha’s beloved Memphis to Utah, where Hal’s family lived, and where the couple constructed their life and home. The couple was sealed in the Salt Lake Temple for time and eternity on August 28, 1958.
Martha loved family, be they her children, siblings, cousins, in-laws, uncle, and aunts, and found true joy in the presence of kin. She was a radiant light and a true beauty. Martha desired above all to be a mother but she faced years of struggles with infertility and internal, emotional strife. Martha and Hal quietly suffered thirteen miscarriages and the stillbirth of their twin daughters, Emily and Elizabeth Irene. Martha and Hal were blessed through adoption and finally pregnancy, with four living children and two grandchildren, who they raised within their love. A true ‘Mother Hen’ Martha always did her best to control her little chicks.
Martha had a brilliant mind and together with Hal, they taught their children the importance of education. She attended Brigham Young University for Elementary Education. Martha worked as a substitute teacher and held many leadership positions in her church, local schools, and elsewhere until she retired and began her own business, Tender Heart Childcare, where she could dote on many sweet children entrusted to her care.
To know Martha is to have known her fierce love and engulfed within a home of laughter, song, and southern cooking, including biscuits & gravy, butter beans, fried okra, jambalaya, and pecan pies. She taught to always use face cream daily on both your face and your neck. When answering the phone you say, “this is she/he”. And, you can avoid most children’s arguments with the distraction of ducks that are passing by, or by singing, “I love to see the temple.” Martha also taught, through her private battles, the importance that open communication should play to support living with mental and lingering traumatic struggles. Martha faced many earthly trials that brought great physical and mental anguish, but none so great as living these past sixteen months without Hal. One can only imagine their joyous reunion in the heavenly realms, free from mortal pain and human limitations. We celebrate Martha’s newly gained freedom and give humble thanks for her life, her love, and the absolute beauty she brought to this world.
Emily and Dirk wish to thank the friends, family, and church members who have visited, brought the sacrament, and talked with Martha during her many late-night phone calls, and helped her through this very difficult period of time. They especially wish to thank Chelsea, Paige, and the army of comfort warriors at Canyon Home Health and Hospice, who created an extraordinary safety net of love and true friendship, providing the highest quality of compassionate care for Martha. Through their care and support, it was made possible for Emily and Dirk to have Martha remain in their family home, surrounded by love, and for that gift and ability to care for her, the family is truly thankful.
Martha is survived by daughters: Shirlyn (Corbin) Rose and Emily (Dirk) Wilkinson; sons: Joel Lorin and Brandon Hal; grandson, Anthony Luke; granddaughter, Danielle Luke; grandchildren: Maya (Gunnar), Alyssa (Colton), Serenity “Ren”, Penelope, Parker, Katarina, Teancum, Marek, Chantele (Joseph), Bret (Baili), and Cheyenne; great-grandchildren: Addalie, Brooklyn, Hallie, Aura, and Maverick; Brothers, George (Carol) Eddleman, John, David, Frank, and Micheal (Jan) Eddleman, sisters-in-law, Marilyn Shoell and Gerrie Boston, brothers-in-law, Bruce (Cherie) Burrows and Louis Echols; and numerous precious cousins, nieces, nephews, and the dearest of friends. Martha was preceded in death by her husband, Hal R Burrows, twin daughters, Emily and Elizabeth Irene; her parents, Opal C. Smith Eddleman, Lloyd Eugene Dickerson, Pearle and Newell Boston; brothers Thomas Eddleman, David Boston, and sisters, Evelyn Eddleman, Peggy Sams, and Doris Faye Echols.
Viewings will be held at Wheeler Mortuary, 211 E. 200 S., Springville on Friday, December 16, 2022, from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 17, 2022, from 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm. Interment will directly follow at 2:00 pm at the Evergreen Cemetery in Springville, Utah.
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