Phyllis Baker White, 81, slipped the bounds of mortality on March 29, 2021. She passed away at home surrounded by her six children.
Phyllis was born to Jesse and Ireta Mortimer Baker on February 26, 1940 in Minersville, Utah. She was the third child in a family of six.
She married Marvin D. White on August 30, 1960 in the Salt Lake Temple. He preceded her in death in 2019.
Over the course of her life, Phyllis lived many places in Utah: Beaver, North Logan, Salt Lake City, Provo, Goshen, Tremonton, Bountiful and Farr West; as well as in Arvada, Colorado, and Auburn, Washington.
Phyllis was a homemaker and in later years, a bookkeeper. She ably served her family and helped support her children on missions and college. She was a voracious reader and lifelong learner.
Phyllis was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in a variety of callings. Her favorite calling was Choir Director, one she capably filled for many years. She was known for her beautiful and inspiring holiday musical programs, directing community performances of Handel’s Messiah, and when she conducted music, her emotions and passion for music were palpable. From 2001-2002, she and Marvin served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the New Hampshire Manchester Mission in the Rumford Maine branch.
Phyllis had an amazing gift for loving others and making friends. In addition, she was the poet laureate for her family and friends. Her poem, “The Poet,” captures her hope for those who read her poems:
Blending words upon her palette,
she paints a picture on the canvas of my mind.
Turning feelings into rhyme,
she writes a message on the tablet of my heart.
And in her poem, “Grief,” she aptly captured what we are all feeling now:
The sadness and pain we feel at the death of a dearly beloved or friend,
of an innocent victim, a soldier, a child, leaves a hurt that’s not easy to mend.
Though our loss is much greater than theirs—for they’ve gone to a kinder and gentler place,
to happy reunion with family and friends where they’re welcomed in loving embrace—
we who are left feel the depth of our loss and our sorrow is bathed with our tears,
heart-broken with grief that’s so painful to bear when our loved one no longer is here.
As we draw on our faith, we turn to our God and the answer comes clear as a bell—
The only way to take grief from this world is to take love from this world as well.
Because we have loved, we grieve as we mourn the passing of family or friend,
Yet the love of our Savior brings peace and assures we will all be together again!
Phyllis is survived by her five siblings: Ken, Jerene Weeks, Bill, Doug, and Carol Black; her six children: Mark (Cynthia), Cindy (Mark) Smith, Kerry (Karen), Keith (Heather), Michael (Cynthia), and Susie Tayrien; and her 20 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
Graveside services were held Friday, April 2, 2021 at 11:00am at the Ben Lomond Cemetery, 526 East 2850 North in North Ogden, Utah.
Special thanks to the Poplar First Ward and all her dear friends. We also express appreciation to hospice nurses, Amber and Sunny, and her home health aides, Brandi and Amber, for the loving care provided during the past year.
In lieu of flowers the family has requested that memorial donations be made to Primary Children’s Hospital Pennies by the Inch Campaign:
Intermountain Foundation: Primary Children’s Hospital
Pennies by the Inch
PO Box 26722 – Department 2672223
Salt Lake City, UT 84216
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at Goff Mortuary.