Marvel Cooley Benton

July 9, 1923 – March 25, 2019

Marvel Cooley Benton, 95, longtime resident of Idaho Falls, Idaho, passed away peacefully in Preston, Idaho, on March 25, 2019.

Marvel was born July 9, 1923, in Newton, Utah, the second of eight children of Marvel Griffin and Marcus R. Cooley, Jr. She was raised mainly on a small farm in Newton, and spent any free time she had reading, roller skating, and hunting for wildflowers with her siblings. Marvel graduated from North Cache High School in Richmond, Utah, in 1941, and attended Utah State Agriculture College in Logan, Utah, until she married her sweetheart, David E. Benton, on February 2, 1944. They were sealed in the Hawaiian Temple on June 22, 1946, while David was stationed in Hawaii. David and Marvel celebrated 72 years of marriage in 2016.

Marvel and David raised seven children and spent the majority of their married life in Idaho Falls. Outside of her busy home life, Marvel found time to pursue her love of flowers through an extensive home garden, cultivating over 100 varieties of irises, as well many other types of flowers. She enjoyed stitchery and collecting dolls, figurines, and plates as well. Marvel also followed Aggie sports, and was a particularly devoted fan of USU basketball, despite their abbreviated performance in this year’s NCAA tournament.

Marvel’s mother and father both encouraged reading and education, and Marvel instilled this in her children and grandchildren. She followed in the footsteps of her father and other family educators by returning to Utah State to earn her teaching degree Cum Laude in 1971. She taught fifth grade for 15 years at A.H. Bush School in Idaho Falls, ID, until she retired in 1986.

Marvel was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in many capacities, including time as Relief Society President and 15 years teaching Cultural Refinement.

She was keenly interested in and celebrated her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and actively encouraged their curiosity and love of life. She and David enjoyed traveling to visit their extensive family, as well as learning about other cultures in places such as Guatemala, Ireland, England, and Wales.

Marvel was preceded in death by her husband, David Eugene Benton, and daughter Ann Benton Rogers. She is survived by six children, Dorothy (Ray) McCarty, Susan Farnsworth, and Barbara (Gregg) Baker of Idaho Falls; David (Kristy) Benton of Gilbert, Arizona; son-in-law Renny (Cindy) Rogers of Mesa, Arizona; Mary (Brian) Judy of Preston, Idaho; and Mina Robbins of Pleasant View, Utah; siblings, Audrey Fowler and Noel Cooley; 34 grandchildren; and 79 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews and in-laws.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday March 30, 2019 at Noon at the Newton Ward Chapel, 76 South 100 West Newton, Utah. Friends may visit one hour prior to services. Interment will be at the Newton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Missionary Fund. Condolences may be shared online at

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