Merilyn Kay Willis Liston, cherished daughter of Arthur William Willis and Clara Rose Rice Willis, was born November 18, 1927, in Bell, California. She had a lively childhood growing up surrounded by siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. Her parents provided her with many wonderful opportunities, including singing lessons at MGM Studios. This led to a life-long love of music and sharing her beautiful soprano voice in musical performances on a variety of stages.
In 1947, Merilyn met her knight in shining armor, Wayne Ralph Liston. They were engaged within two weeks, and married 10 months later in the Mesa, Arizona temple. They had 71 wonderful years together, filled with fun, laughter, challenges and lots of love. They were blessed with four children: Lorraine, Janine, Melodee and Wayne Jr. Life-long Southern Californians, they raised their children in Whittier, California. Mom encouraged and supported us in all that we did. We cherished our adventures and time spent in Balboa, Big Bear, Capistrano Beach and Cambria.
Merilyn was always busy and very goal-oriented. She had at least one project going at all times. If she could do two things at once, even better. She loved decorating her home, making it welcoming and comforting. She loved to sew, knit, crochet, quilt and needlepoint items for her family and friends. Merilyn enjoyed working as a bookkeeper for a variety of businesses, with side benefits of bringing home fun gifts of home decor, furniture, motorcycles and needlepoint. She owned and operated a needlepoint and knitting shop in La Habra, California.
A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Merilyn served in a variety of church positions and at the Los Angeles Temple. In 1992, Merilyn and Wayne were inspired to move to St. George, Utah. They were blessed with wonderful neighbors, friends and an outstanding ward. Among many opportunities, Merilyn embraced becoming involved in the Family History program and absolutely loved it, extracting thousands of names from Ellis Island records, ship’s logs, and other records.
Merilyn loved to travel, anytime, anywhere. She enjoyed planning and looking forward to her next trip with Dad. She left this worldly existence on October 17, 2019. We’re sure she’s already planning their next great adventure, just waiting for Dad to join her.
Merilyn is survived by her beloved husband, Wayne, her daughters, and son-in-law, Don Johnson. She was preceded in death by her cherished son, Wayne Jr., her adored grandson, Chris, and her parents and siblings.
Merilyn’s funeral service will be held Tuesday, October 22, 2019, at 11:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints building located at 3381 Mulberry Dr, St George. Visitation will be an hour prior to the funeral from 10:00 to 10:45 am. Interment will be in Tonaquint Cemetery.
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