Merna Halterman Mitchell

Merna Halterman Mitchell, 82, passed away October 29, 2017 surrounded by family after a 3 year battle with cancer. She was born in Cedar City, Utah on November 26, 1934, the fourth of five children born to Clifton and Arvilla Dalton Halterman.

She married Larry Benson Mitchell on October 29, 1955. The marriage was later solemnized in the St. George LDS Temple. They had four children, Leslie, Curtis, Raelene and Gaelene.

She was a devoted daughter, daughter-in-law, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. She was hard working, loyal and very dependable.

Merna graduated from Parowan High School, where she was very active in all activities, and then she attended CSU in Cedar City for a while. She was working at JC Penney’s in Cedar City, doing alternations for the men’s department, when she and Larry were married and she worked there until they started their family. She was a good seamstress and began working in her home doing custom sewing and alterations. Some of her favorite creations were formals and wedding dresses. She also worked for Miriam’s Style Shoppe doing all the dress alterations.

She was very active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She held many positions throughout her life, starting at an early age as Junior Sunday School pianist, then played the piano for MIA and then the organ for Sacrament meeting. She also held the following positions; Ward and Stake MIA President, Stake Music director and also Ward Sunday School Music director. She was the Third Ward Choir director for 26 years and directed the annual Christmas Cantata for those years, which she dearly loved. She was a Relief Society Visiting Teacher for over 57 years and ended her church service playing the piano for Relief Society.

She loved music and sang in a ladies quartet as well as several ladies trios for programs and funerals. She sang with a mixed quartet called the Vermillion Voices for over 15 years. She was also a member of the Parowan Community Choir.

She also served as Parowan High School PTA President and was active in the Daughter of Utah Pioneers organization, serving as Camp Captain as well as other offices. She loved her pioneer heritage and worked as a volunteer at the historical Old Rock Church Museum.

Merna worked for Iron County for 31 years–17 years as deputy Treasurer and 14 years as Iron County Treasurer. She was very proud being Iron County’s first Woman Treasurer and loved being of service to the good people of Iron County and it was a hard decision for her to make when she retired.

Merna did enjoy her retirement with her husband, Larry. They spent a lot of their time in their 5th Wheel Trailer at their RV lot in Hurricane as well as camping in Parowan’s beautiful mountains. She had always loved the mountains and camping with the family. She loved being around her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Camping in the mountains is something she has greatly missed during the last few years and stated that, “There is nothing like lounging and reading a book in the shade of a pine tree in the beautiful mountains of Southern Utah.”

Merna is survived by her husband Larry, of 62 years, son Curtis (Dawn Ann) Mitchell, daughters, Leslie (Russell) Mortensen, Raelene (Mike) Carr, and Gaelene Mitchell. 7 grandchildren, Jossie (Karl) Schauerhamer, Christan (Kenny) Smith, Brock (Alicia) Mitchell, Randy (Robyn) Sullivan, Adrie (Jimmy) Belanger, Ashley (Hayden) Bryant, Jessica (Nick) Burns and 15 great grandchildren. Her sisters, Aleen Orton and Elna (Howard) Stubbs. In-laws, Collins Mitchell and Annette Mitchell.

She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers Joseph Dee and Merrell and sister in law, Diane Mitchell and brothers in law, Connell Mitchell and Reed Orton.

The Family would like to express their gratitude to Robyn Bench and staff of Intermountain Homecare & Hospice. Dr. Karen Lin and all the staff at Southwest Cancer Center for taking such good care of our dear sweet mother.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the Parowan Stake Center. A viewing was held on Friday, November 3, 2017 at Southern Utah Mortuary in Parowan, and on Saturday at the Stake Center. Interment was in the Parowan City Cemetery under the direction of Southern Utah Mortuary. Online condolences can be made at


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