Our beautiful, spunky, sweet and spicy Mother and Grandmother, Maribelle Wareham, age 88, passed away peacefully February 27, 2021, in Cedar City, Utah, of age-related causes. She was born on the kitchen table on an extremely cold winter day in Kremmling, Colorado, on February 7, 1933, to Horace Wills Brown and Loretta Jewell Sharrah Brown. She married Kenneth “Ray” Wareham June 22, 1952, in Kremmling where they spent their early married life. Ray and Maribelle later purchased a farm and made their home for over 60 years in Ferron, Utah, where they enjoyed extended family and many life-long friendships. Despite the difficulties of ranching in the area and enduring hard economic times, they expanded and developed a successful cattle operation oftentimes supported by Dad’s second job as a coalminer and later by Mom’s position as an elementary school teacher.
Before meeting Ray, Maribelle was living her dream working as horse trainer and jockey at the horse track in Kremmling. She caught Dad’s eye as she was waitressing at the local restaurant. Because he was working as a ranch hand, they had similar passions and seemingly a perfect match. She quickly said “Yes” despite her parents’ objection because she had not finished her college degree.
Mom loved horses and did not miss an opportunity to bet a quarter on a horse-race at Peach Days, participate in the riding club, or compete in a barrel race where she once won 4 th place in the State on her beloved Dodger Jim. Horses were her true passion and she supported Dad’s dream of owning his own cattle ranch and dabbling in horse racing where their horses won several futurities throughout the State. Maribelle was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Emery County Historical Society, and welcomed as a member of Daughter of the Utah Pioneers. Mom and Dad were honored as Grand Marshalls of the 2008 Peach Day Parade and happy to be driven by their son Wills atop his 1967 Corvette Convertible.
Maribelle joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1964 and was sealed to Ray and her family in the Manti Temple in 1969. Their children are Wills Phillip Wareham (deceased), Kit C and Alma Wareham (Cedar City), and Ginger and John Wiscombe (Washington, Utah). Maribelle is also survived by seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren Clinton and Brittni Wiscombe (Taylen and Teagan), Rebecca and Scott Portlock (Nicholas), Cassidy and Jeremy Hymas (Jaidyn, Kaycen, Bridger and Adriana), Jordan (Trey and Mack), Logan Wareham, Kelsey Rae Wareham, Myra Wareham, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her oldest grandson Dana Wareham and very recently by her only sibling, Charles Thomas Brown.
Maribelle served many callings and lived a lifetime full of service to both her church and community. She never missed an opportunity to share a special casserole with a neighbor in need or even a partial side of beef if she found the need was great. Following their retirements, Ray and Maribelle served an LDS mission in Cove Fort. Mom later filled her days updating family history and genealogy presenting a scrapbook to Ray, every grandchild at their high school graduation, and each of her children.
Prior to her marriage to Ray, Maribelle attended Colorado Women’s College in Denver majoring in speech and drama. As her children grew older, she fulfilled her lifelong goal by graduating from the College of Eastern Utah and Utah State University with a degree in Elementary Education where she was honored to be instilled as a member of Phi Kappa Phi. This greatly pleased Grandma Brown as both of Mom’s parents were college graduates, a rarity for this generation.
Maribelle taught school at Ferron Elementary and Cottonwood Elementary for 25 years where she touched the lives of many students and will be remembered especially for her specific aversion to the word “ain’t”, annual field trips to the Utah State Fair, and trips to the San Rafael swell to search for petroglyphs where she would present a history lesson, and full-sized candy bars given out on Halloween. Mom favored those students who cheered with her for her beloved Denver Broncos, therefore, possibly awarding extra credit for Monday’s assignments. She celebrated her students’ accomplishment of graduating high school by sending each of them a writing or piece of artwork she had saved from their time in her fourth and second grade classroom accompanied by a two-dollar bill. Seemingly frugal, Ray and Maribelle generously supported missions for many including their own children and Maribelle’s students, and very generously supported their children’s and grandchildren’s endeavors to achieve college educations. They were most proud of those accomplishments.
Maribelle had the opportunity to travel both the United States and the world extensively. She and Ray loved traveling to bull sales and stock shows throughout the West with friends in the cattle business. She and Dad also traveled to Mexico, Korea, Hawaii, Canada, South Africa, and cruised through the Alaska inside passage and the Panama Canal. They made new friends wherever they went. Their final trip was a church history tour from New York to Illinois ending in Missouri where Mom spent much of her childhood with her beloved Granny Sharrah. Mom also traveled with life-long friends throughout Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. She loved to attend Jazz and Denver Bronco games, local high school sporting events, and theater productions whenever possible.
Following Ray and Wills’ passing in 2013, Mom moved to Cedar City to be closer to family. She enjoyed the past seven years at Brookdale Assisted Living, where she was treated like a queen as a beloved resident and was a favorite of many of the nurses who lovingly cared for her during her time there. Maribelle enjoyed her life at Brookdale participating in all activities especially entertaining the other residents with her weekly dance to “These Boots are Made for Walkin’”. She never lost her sense of humor. Bingo games will not be the same without her however other residents may now have an honest chance to win a candy bar!
Maribelle will be especially missed by her family during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and each birthday that she always made special. We will especially miss her divinity, her special jumbo rolls made from Grandma Wareham’s special recipe, prime rib, and Santa’s personal visit on Christmas Eve much to her grandchildren’s delight. Mom and Dad never missed a dance review, stock show, ballgame, piano recital, graduation, or wedding often traveling many miles including to Oklahoma and Oregon to celebrate those milestones and achievements. They taught us the value of hard work and we are forever humbled and grateful for their sacrifices, patriotism, and huge influence they had in our lives and the lives of others.
Maribelle will also be remembered for her huge smile and wave during her daily morning walks, her colorful clothing, extravagant jewelry, fabulous costumes for any occasion, and her participation and involvement in every church and community activity in the beautiful town of Ferron that she loved. “Maribelle’s Hill” is a tribute to her that will ensure she is never forgotten by the residents there.
Viewing will be Saturday, March 6, 2021, at the Ferron Millsite Ward, 30 West 200 North, Ferron from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. with funeral services to follow at Noon. Live-streaming will be available on the Fausett Mortuary Facebook page. Burial will immediately follow the funeral services where Marielle will be laid to rest next to her husband and son at the Ferron City Cemetery.
The family wishes to extend sincere appreciation and thanks to the both the kind staff and residents at Brookdale Assisted Living and the staff of Intermountain Hospice for their loving friendship and the wonderful care provided to Mom. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of Fausett Mortuary. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook and share memories of Maribelle at www.fausettmortuary.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the Utah Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org Chapter Utah).
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