Jan. 29, 1941-Feb. 14, 2024

Mary Luella (Rawson) James, age 83, passed away peacefully on Feb. 14, 2024, in Provo, Utah. She was born on Jan. 29, 1941, in Murray, Utah, to Lloyd Crane Rawson and Luella Johnson. She married Harvey Stanley James in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Jan. 15, 1960.

Mary was a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ and faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even at an early age, she recognized the importance of the Gospel and the necessity of keeping her commitments and covenants. She was fond of telling her family that she often walked alone to Primary as a child and that a neighbor drove her to church on Sundays. When Mary entered the covenant path through the waters of baptism, she never wavered. The temple was a symbol of her faithfulness. She loved the temple.

Mary loved music, especially singing. While she did not have perfect pitch, she never shied away from singing her heart out, even if it caused her children embarrassment. In addition to music, Mary had many talents and interests. She loved to draw. She loved word puzzles, playing them daily for years. She loved to reminisce about camping during the summer with her family. She religiously kept a journal. She knitted hats for the homeless. For several years, she turned the family garage into a voting precinct.

She loved basketball, especially the Utah Jazz. During the Malone-Stockton years, Mary knew the names of every player on the team. One of her favorite classes in high school was drama. In fact, Mary had an amazing ability to memorize. When she and Harvey served a mission together in Nauvoo, Illinois, she memorized every script the volunteer guides needed to know.

Mary provided considerable service to her church family. She was always found serving either in primary or Relief Society. She led both organizations on multiple occasions. In addition to the mission to Nauvoo, she and Harvey served the Tongan people for two years in Sacramento, California. One evidence of her quick mind was her ability to pick up much of the Tongan language.

Her family was her pride and joy. Mary never had a desire for worldly fame and glory. She always made sure she was close to her home so she could care for and support her family. When her children were older, Mary ran a popular children’s daycare out of her home. She loved children, and they loved her. Everyone loved and respected Mary. She had such a pleasant and kind personality, people always felt at ease around her.

Mary was born and raised in Utah Valley. She raised her family in Stockton and Elk Grove, California, with a brief detour in southern Utah. After she and Harvey retired, they eventually settled in St. George, Utah, which became a second home for her.

Mary is survived by her husband Harvey James; children: Harvey James, Jr. (Heather) from Columbia, Missouri; Kathleen Olson from Washington, Utah; Cheryl McCullough (Lee) from Midway, Utah; and Gary James (Kathleen) from Mesa, Arizona; siblings Harold Rawson (Bonnie), Betty Mann, and Juanita Wallin (Richard); and 13 grandchildren Stanford McCullough (29; Addison); Isaac James (28), Mary McCullough (28), Hannah James (26), Christopher Olson (26), Kelli McCullough (25); Julian Olson (23), Benjamin McCullough (22), Rebekah James (21), Anna Edwards (21; Seth), Alexandra Olson (20), Samantha James (19) and Danielle James (16).

She is preceded in death by her daughter Diann; siblings Robert, Joyce,and Jacqueline;and parents Lloyd and Luella.

Funeral services will be on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 11 a.m. at the Sun River church building, 4461 Country Club Drive, St. George, Utah, with a viewing preceding the service at 9:30 a.m. Interment will be in the Tonaquint Cemetery under the direction of McMillan Mortuary, (435-688-8880).

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