Beloved mother Marlina Dee Rhodes returned to our Heavenly Father on December 7th, 2023, at 63 years old. Born in Provo, Utah on May 15th, 1960, to Thad and Marla Johnson, Marlina was the second of six children and the oldest of four girls. Marlina remembered her childhood in Utah, Arizona, and California as being filled with sunshine, turquoise beaches, and the rich love of her family. Her grandfather, Allan Johnson, was the wisest man she ever knew; the short poems and maxims he shared would influence her significantly and be recalled for the rest of her life. Her grandmother, Lupe Fackrell, would introduce Marlina to red lipstick, silk ballgowns, and tabloid magazines, developing in her a life-long love of style, fashion, and silver screen glamour. Her father Thad was her hero, she loved to attend the many sporting events her brothers played in, and she helped raise her sisters with closeness and love.
With bright-blue eyes, a constant tan, and unmatched conversational wit, Marlina would make endless friends wherever she went; from bohemian musicians to missionaries, performers in Madonna’s videos to up-and-coming celebrities (she ate ice cream with a young Robert Downey, Jr), many people had the luck of hearing her laugh and seeing her smile. She would manage a Salt Lake City fashion boutique, ski with Robert Redford, and personally know and babysit for the governor of Utah. Marlina’s richly lived life would come to be adored and admired by all who had the fortune of knowing her. She studied political science at BYU, and she volunteered at playhouses and homeless shelters, always deeply loving those who felt unloved.
Marlina’s adventures would lead her to marrying Marcus Rhodes on May 19th, 1990, and shortly after she would bring to life the four luckiest children in the world. She would raise her family in Utah, Washington, Idaho, Texas, California, Colorado, and finally Indiana. She loved being a pianist in her ward, painting beautiful artwork (inspired by her favorite artist, Patrick Nagel) and decorating elaborately for her favorite holidays Halloween and Christmas, much to the intensely fond memory of her children.
Marlina's self-professed life purpose and greatest calling was motherhood, her highest priority was family, and every day of her life would be lived in service to her family and Heavenly Father. The love she gave was immense, her example was Christ-like, and it's hard to put into words how dearly she will be missed.
She is survived by her husband Marcus, her children Gabriele, Marcus (Natalie), River (Ellie), Dillan (Tawni), and her granddaughter Adelaide Lena Rhodes.
Residing now with her beloved son Stefan and the dear family who came before, viewing services for Marlina will be held at Indiana Funeral Care on Saturday December 16th from 11:00am-2:00pm. An additional viewing will be held at the LDS church located at 670 E 800 N, Orem, Utah on Friday December 22nd, where she will thereafter be laid to rest near her cherished grandparents, Allan and Inez Johnson.