On September 10, 2013 Mary Violet Murdock Christensen ("Heartbeat") passed away peacefully in her son's home, surrounded by her family. Born in Beaver, Utah on May 11, 1926 to Orrice Abram Murdock and Mary Violet Yardley Murdock; Mary Vie was the fifth of six children. She spent the first six years of her life in Beaver, then moved with her family to Washington, D.C., where they would spend half of the year and then return to Beaver in late spring for the other half. She did this until graduating from Western High School (Washington, D.C.) in 1944. Ever dreaming of a life on the silver screen, she enrolled in acting school at Pasadena Playhouse (California) in 1944; but she abandoned that dream for the curly haired boy she had fallen for back in the third grade who had just returned from the Navy at the end of WWII. She married Hal Merrill Christensen on September 8, 1946. Mary Vie was a doer. She made things happena"good things, usuallya"sometimes with her family and friends kicking and screaming in protest. Not long after moving to Chevy Chase, Maryland, in 1961, and realizing there was no 4th of July parade, she decided to create a paradea"the best days of the year in Beaver were the parades. She organized all the kids in the neighborhood, old and young alike, even conscripting tough-guy Johnny Styer, the 6'6" star of the high school basketball team, to be Uncle Sam (in full costume). Floats, marching band, decorated bicycles in synchronized routines, Dolly Madison, George Washington, Betsy Ross, John Glenn, The Goddess of Liberty, and more were in Mary's parades that grew into a neighborhood tradition. Mary had a keen wit and great sense of humor, and it was hard to be around her and not experience both. A beloved niece once said, "Being raised by Mary and Hal must feel just like being raised by Laurel and Hardy." And she was right. Mary loved people and devoted her life to family and friends, creating magical moments filled with love and fun. She made fast friends of perfect strangers and long-time friends of most everyone else. Her children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews were begrudging players in her Christmas plays and off-key sing-a-longsa"they all loved her too much to say no. From burying pirate treasure, to be discovered by her grandchildren on deserted islands near their Atlantic beach house, to organizing and hosting luncheons in Beaver for many of the widows in town, honoring their lives and good works, she was in constant motion. When family and friends aged and lost their spouses and had no children to care for them, she would care for them until the end of their lives, often devoting most of her time to them. She loved teaching her Primary Moonbeams, serving in the LDS Relief Society, the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, playing the piano, and creating adventures for her grandchildren. She loved trees, dogs, Christmas, her home teachers, her bishops, her neighbors, the Washington Redskins, and the United States of America. Most of all, Mary loved her husband and family and made sure they always knew ita"she made everyone feel like they were her favorite; she was like a warm blanket. And always ended visits and phone calls with her children and grandchildren by saying, "I love you more than tongue can tell." For 40 years, she and her family resided in Chevy Chase on her beloved Langdrum Lane. Mary and Hal moved back to Beaver in 2002, spending ten wonderful years in the town she loved most. Mary is survived by her sons Hal (Sharon), Bill (Karrie), eight grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, brother-in-law Wayne (Anne), and sister-in-law Ilene Christensen, and many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her husband Hal Merrill Christensen, parents, brothers William Murdock, Riggs Murdock, and Dan Murdock, and sisters Jane Jaremko and Cinda Sengstack (George). The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at Legacy House of Bountiful whom Mary loved dearly and were a second family to her; also to the caregivers of Rocky Mountain Hospice; and, especially, to Marianne Murdock, Wayne and Anne Christensen, Andrea Williams, Rose Hunt, all those at the Timberline and Arshels; and the many kind and caring neighbors in Beaver and St. George. Funeral services will be held on September 21 in the Beaver Third Ward Chapel, 200 North Main Street, with visitation at 11:30am and the funeral at 1pm. Internment at the Beaver Canyon View Cemetery.
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