Gaylynn Gurney Mortensen. 1967-2013
Our beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece and friend, Gaylynn Gurney Mortensen (45) passed away peacefully Feb. 7, 2013, at her family home in Herriman, Utah.
She was born in Provo, Utah on Aug. 16, 1967. Her parents are Walden and Marilyn Williams Gurney who lived at Dugway at the time of her birth and continued to live there with their family until 1980 except for the two years they were at Wendover. In 1980, her family moved to Grantsville where she graduated from high school in the class of 1985. Then she attended BYU where she graduated with a BS Degree in Information Management in 1990. She began her professional career working for Dynix in Provo, Utah.
While studying at BYU, Gaylynn met Ronald Keith Mortensen from Roosevelt, Utah. They had several classes together and studied together on various projects. After BYU graduation they were separated by some miles as he took a job in Washington and she took a job in Utah. They continued a long distance friendship that blossomed into romance and increased profits for Delta and Sprint. Ultimately Ron took her for an airplane ride over the Salt Lake LDS Temple where he presented her with a ring and asked her to marry him in that beautiful place.
On March 4, 1994, they were married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake City Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They began their married lives in the Vancouver, Wash., area, later moving to Camas, Wash. Mattie and Nathan were born in Portland, Ore. during the time Ron and Gaylynn lived in Camas. In the year 2000 they moved back to Utah and into their family home in Herriman.
Together they created an exemplary home where nothing was more important than family. Four children came to bless their home: Mattie, Nate, McKay, and Hayden. Gaylynn was preceded in death by a baby daughter, Holly Rose, and a baby son, John Nicholas, who anxiously welcomed her to her new home.
Gaylynn will be sorely missed by her family and extended family and her countless friends. She was a tremendous example to all of us in her effort to always do the right thing.
She was a lifelong member of the LDS Church and served in many positions. She was a faithful visiting teacher and a friend to all. She truly lived the gospel of Jesus Christ and taught her children to do the same. She was a wonderful mother and taught her children many homemaking skills which have greatly benefitted the family during her illness.
Ron and Gaylynn enjoyed having a family garden. Gaylynn loved flowers, especially tulips and hollyhocks. She grew her hollyhocks from seed originating from her Grandma Gurney’s flower garden in Canada.
Gaylynn enjoyed a number of hobbies: sewing, knitting, crocheting, stamping and card-making and many others. She was a great cook and helped her children bake and sell their goods to earn their own money. Many will remember her cookie exchanges at Christmas time.
Gaylynn was a teacher and a friend to all. Many people enjoyed her stamp camps. She shared her talents and taught others to make bread, plan and make freezer meals and create jelly rolls and ice cream rolls. Many people have expressed the profound impact Gaylynn's friendship made in their lives. Gaylynn's primary concern was always her family. In all she did, the impact on her family was always her first priority.
Gaylynn has shown deep faith, and great courage over the last two years while she has battled a terrible illness which gradually took away her ability to do the things she loved to do. We are comforted in our knowledge that she is surrounded by God’s love and has found peace and comfort where she is now. We know we will see her and be with her again.
Preceding Gaylynn in death were the two babies mentioned above; her grandparents, Walden O. and Rose A. Holladay Gurney, and Marvin H. and Eunice L. Drake Williams.
Gaylynn is survived by her husband, parents, and children, Hayden Marie (7), Thomas McKay (9), Ronald Nathan (14), Matilyn Kay (16). She is also survived by two brothers and a sister, all of Kennewick, Wash.: Lance Gurney, Kevin Gurney (Kathy) and Heather Morgan (Michael).
Gaylynn passed away after a long and courageous battle against an extremely rare disease. In June of 2011, she was found to have eight tumors throughout her brain and some in her spine. One tumor was removed from the brain for diagnosis: Xanthogranuloma. This is a non-cancerous disease, but is treated with chemotherapy (trial and error). Four different kinds of chemotherapy failed to stop the tumors. Radiation treatment directed at a tumor in her neck also failed to help. Ultimately the pressure in her brain gradually took her away from us. It is our hope that there will be an increased awareness of this terrible disease and that a cure will soon be found.
Funeral services will be held at the Rose Canyon Stake Center, 7079 W Rose Canyon Road, Herriman, Utah, at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 16.
A viewing will be held Friday from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Rosecrest 1st Ward LDS Church, 14172 South Emmeline Drive, and preceding the funeral from 9:30 to 11 a.m at the Rose Canyon Stake Center listed above.
Interment will take place after the funeral at the Herriman City Cemetery, 12300 South 6000 West.