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1929 Myrtle 2022

Myrtle Fitzgerald Munk

December 17, 1929 — November 17, 2022

Our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Myrtle Fitzgerald Munk, returned home to Heavenly Father on November 17, 2022, in West Haven, Utah, where she resided in the assisted living area at Lotus Park Senior Housing. This was following a week of quick decline with no specific causes other than old age. She was 92 years old, one month short of 93. Over her lifetime, she lived in Shelley, Idaho, and then in Utah – Lehi, Cedar City, Ephraim, Provo, Logan (52 years), Roy, and West Haven.
Myrtle was born December 17, 1929, in the hospital at Idaho Falls (her family lived in nearby Shelley, Idaho). She was the youngest of the seven children of Heber Alvah and Myrtle Kirkham Fitzgerald. The family moved to Lehi, Utah when she was three years old. They subsequently moved to Cedar City, Utah, and then to Ephraim, Utah, where she graduated from Snow High School in 1948. She graduated from Snow College in 1950 and from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah in 1952. She graduated at the top of her class and was one of the few women in accounting at that time.
She married Keith Mortensen Munk on May 14, 1954, in the Manti LDS Temple for time and all eternity. They lived in Provo and their first three children (Ann, Danette, and George) were born there. They moved to Logan, Utah in 1963 where their son Glen was born six years later. James Lopez, our Navajo foster brother, was an integral part of our family for nine years.
Mom gave a lifetime of service. She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She had her first church job as the organist for the Junior Sunday School at the age of 13. She served 20 years in the Primary and 30 years doing Extraction and Indexing. After Dad retired, the two of them served a mission to Japan from 1993 to 1995. They also served a part-time service mission to the LDS Church Archives for 2.5 years starting in 2001. They lived in the Logan 18th ward for 50 years. They were officers in the USU Emeriti Association and enjoyed many events and travels with the group. She volunteered at the Logan Library for 20 years. She was honored as a Citizen of the Month and an extraordinary volunteer for Logan in September 1982 and presented the Everyday People Award by KSL Radio in October 1983. She and Dad ran the Logan 18th ward pancake breakfast every July 4th for decades and also helped with the Adams School famous Halloween Festival. For many years she was a cashier each quarter at Utah State University during registration.
Mom and her siblings started the Alvah and Myrtle Fitzgerald Family Reunion, which has been held every two years for 25 years. It includes visits to local sites and favorite activities being a sing-a-long, talent show, and a dance. Because of this, extended family across three generations know and enjoy each other – what a blessing.
Mom was an expert seamstress, making school clothes for her daughters and uniforms for friends. She was known for her homemade bread (at least six loaves a week), which her children and their friends looked forward to eating as it came out of the oven after school. She kept a freezer stocked with cookies and brownies as snacks for other days. She was famous for her delicious Sunday dinners and home-made caramels. Her beautifully-set tables were a gathering place for family, friends, their friends, and strangers who were invited in. Family who attended USU took advantage of her open doors. All were welcome and mom took a genuine interest in anyone who came to her home.
Mom did all this in spite of her hearing loss. Most people were unaware that she did not hear because of her amazing ability to read lips. Mom never had normal hearing yet she still played the piano and could really dance! She eventually went completely deaf. Years later she was the 8th person in the United States to receive a multichannel cochlear implant. It was activated Feb. 14, 1985, and this was the first time she heard her youngest son’s voice. He was 16 years old. She continued to provide feedback for cochlear research, spoke to groups, and attended conferences. Her service lives on as she donated her temporal bones and brain structure to the NIDCD National Temporal Bone Donor Program for scientific research to help find new cures for hearing and balance disorders.
Education was a high priority. She encouraged each of us in our various interests and always expected us to just do our best. Right up to her last week, she was a voracious reader and loved Church books, history, and murder mysteries. She read four newspapers a day, one of which was the Wall Street Journal which she subscribed to in the last six months - just to try it out. She still used her iPad and read email. Conversations with her included religion, politics, current events, memories, and sports. She followed college basketball and football and was both an Aggie fan (USU) and a Cougar fan (BYU).
Five years after Dad died, Mom suffered a stroke that left her completely paralyzed on the left side. Thankfully her mind was spared and, with her usual determination, she worked through therapy and regained her ability to walk (with a walker) and most of the use of her left side. She could no longer navigate stairs so she moved from Logan to Roy, Utah, and lived with her son and his family for two years before moving to Lotus Park in West Haven.
When in various Primary Presidencies, she made a point of memorizing the names of all the children in her younger days and in her old age she memorized the names of every resident at Lotus Park and the staff who cared for her. She often said “Everyone likes to hear their own name.” We were told by several residents that she was the first one to greet them when they arrived there, made them feel welcome, and then became friends.
Mom was a wonderful mother, who with our father, created a home of safety, security, and love. She was a great example to us and the lessons she taught continue to benefit us. She will be missed!
Mom is survived by her four children and their spouses: Ann Munk Benton Rasmussen (Craig Rasmussen), Danette Munk Taggart McGilvray (Jeff McGilvray), George Keith Munk (Heidi Jackman), and Glen Fitzgerald Munk; eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. She was one of only four left of the original 11 siblings and spouses on Dad’s side and is survived by in-laws Luella Munk Jorgensen, Roger Nelson, and Nola Rae Munk.
She was anxious to join her husband, Keith Mortensen Munk, who passed away in 2010, and to meet her brother Alvah K Fitzgerald, who passed away before she was born. She was the last of her siblings to pass and was preceded in death by her parents, her other siblings and their spouses: Don Casot Fitzgerald (Jean), Martha Fitzgerald Taylor, Sherman Kirkham Fitzgerald (Bea), Miriam Fitzgerald Callister (Art), and Ann Fitzgerald Richards Doyle (George). She was also preceded in death by foster son, James Lopez, and two grandchildren, Marie Nicole Benton and Jason Keith Taggart.
We would like to thank everyone at Lotus Park who took care of Mom over the past six years. We would also like to thank Julie of IHC Hospice for her compassion and guidance over the last week.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Humanitarian Aid Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ( https://philanthropies.churchofjesuschrist.org/humanitarian-services ) or the Alvah H. & Myrtle Kirkham Fitzgerald Endowment at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah ( https://www.snow.edu/advancement/foundation/scholarships.html ).
Services will be held on Monday, November 28, 2022, at 502 East 300 North, Logan, Utah (formerly the 5th/18th ward church house). Visitation will be from 10:00 – 11:30 am. Funeral begins at 12:00 noon (MT). Interment will follow at the Logan City Cemetery at 1000 North 1200 East, Logan, Utah. For more information see https://nelsonfuneralhome.com/


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Visitation

Monday, November 28, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Mountain time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

502 East 300 North, Logan, UT 84321

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Funeral Service

Monday, November 28, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

502 East 300 North, Logan, UT 84321

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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