Maralyn Holman Larson died Sept. 15 at her home in Jackson. She was 88. The following was provided by her family.
Maralyn Marie Holman was born on March 8, 1933, in Mount Pleasant, Sanpete County, Utah. Her parents were Farril and Luella Holman. Maralyn was the oldest daughter and the second child in a family of five children. She had one sister and three brothers. The Holman family came from England, Wales and Scotland in the late 1700s. They were sheep ranchers and settled in Utah and Colorado. They thrived on their ranches and became very prosperous ranchers and successful families. The Great Depression wiped out the family livelihood, and during that time the Farril-Holman family moved to the Salt Lake City area to find work.
At age 5, Maralyn attended kindergarten in the Granite School District, where her mom was a school teacher. She then went on to attend first and second grade in Murray, Utah, and finished grade school in the Jordan School District.
Maralyn graduated in 1950 from Jordan High School, home of the “Beet Diggers!” When Maralyn graduated from high school she was the youngest student in her senior class.
Maralyn attended Utah State University, where she majored in English and joined the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She also participated in the college radio station. After working for some years at Universal City Regional Credit Corporation, she met Grant Larson and they were married on Sept. 17, 1954.
After getting married Maralyn returned to her position at the credit corporation while Grant finished his senior year at the University of Utah and received a commission with the United States Air Force.
Maralyn became an officer’s wife. Grant was a pilot and they traveled to and through many states and places. Maralyn loved the life of a pilot’s wife, and they met many friends whom they have heard from their entire lives.
In 1958 Grant and Maralyn moved to Jackson Hole. They lived in a small apartment behind a restaurant called the Silver Spur. It was the family business and they both worked especially hard and achieved success as the restaurant operated for 20 years as the Silver Spur. The restaurant is still going today under a different ownership and name.
Maralyn and Grant also started the Indian Village Drive-In Restaurant. The North Cache Avenue business, a reminder of Jackson’s old-style tourism, had tipis set up and they brought in Shoshone and Arapahoe dancers from the Wind River Reservation near Lander.
Maralyn and Grant ran the Prospector Motel and were part owners for a while of the Elk Refuge Inn. They were both early investors in the Jackson Hole Ski Resort and opened the Valley Station Cafeteria at the base of the Aerial Tram.
Maralyn and Grant bought and ran the Valley Bookstore, which was in the Pink Garter Plaza, where they were also investors. Grant and Maralyn then opened the Valley Shop, next to the post office in town, selling office and art supplies.
To people in Jackson Hole today, the Larsons seem like pioneers but they were latecomers when they arrived from Utah in 1950, a good half-century after the Hole was settled.
Maralyn and Grant had vacation homes in Maui, Hawaii, Flathead Lake, Montana, and St. George, Utah. They owned a boat and spent many days and nights on Jackson Lake and Yellowstone Lake. Maralyn was terrified of water and did not know how to swim. But she still mastered slalom water-skiing.
While working hard and supporting her husband, Maralyn was a dedicated volunteer. She was a lay chaplain at the St. John’s Living Center for over 40 years. She was nominated as Volunteer of the Year in 1983 and 2010. She received the Avis Ranck Memorial Award for her work as a lay chaplain in November 2005 (with over 6,000 hours of work in the preceding year).
Maralyn was chosen as one of Wyoming’s candidates for the 2007 Jefferson Award. She received the President’s Call to Service Award in November 2010. Maralyn raised money for numerous associations and nonprofit organizations, like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the new Chapel at the Living Center, and the Senior Center, to name a few.
She knitted hats for new-born babies at St. John’s Hospital and ran the St. John’s Living Center church services every Sunday, among many other acts of kindness. She also enjoyed accompanying Grant with their dog, Hollie, to Cheyenne for every state legislative session during Grant’s tenure as state senator and president of the Senate.
Maralyn and Grant took many trips in their motor home. They traveled from Acadia, Maine, to the San Juan Islands of Washington on their motor home trips. They even drove the entire 1,200 miles down the Baja to Cabo San Lucas on not-so-good roads. In addition they traveled to Europe many times with friend Stan Klassen and his groups.
Maralyn felt blessed and fortunate to visit the many places they traveled to, but Jackson Hole was always her home. She felt doubly blessed in enjoying many meals and great times with Grant and their friends at the Senior Center.
Maralyn and Grant built their home in the Gill Addition with the help of Grant’s father and brothers. They made it their home for nearly six decades until Grant died on Sept. 11, 2020. Maralyn and their collie, Hollie, continued to live in the home until Sept. 15, when Maralyn died.
Maralyn was preceded in death by her husband, Grant, her son, Kevin, her parents Farril and Luella Holman, and her brothers, Richard Holman, Bryant Holman and David Holman. She is survived by her son Terry and his wife Jackie, and daughter, Karin, all of Jackson. She is also survived by her sister, JoAnn (Richard) Dahl of Salt Lake City, and many nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law and brothers in-law, Judy and David Larson of Jackson and Eva Lee and Karl Larson of St. George, Utah. And her beloved dog, Hollie.
Maralyn was buried at the Aspen Hill Cemetery on Thursday, Sept. 23, next to Grant following a graveside service attended by family and a few close friends. A celebration of life gathering will be held in Jackson in Maralyn and Grant’s honor at a future date.
In memoriam, the family suggests donations be made to the Senior Center of Jackson Hole.