Sarah Marlene Brenchley Gage (Marlene), 91, died peacefully on April 21, 2023 in Columbus, Montana. Born on August 5, 1931, in Wellsville, Utah, to Merrill Murray Brenchley and Agnes Ellen Glenn Brenchley, she spent much of her childhood and adolescent years in Green River, Wyoming. In 1948,much to her disappointment, her family moved to Parker/St. Anthony , Idaho to farm. Upon graduating from high school, Marlene went to nursing school in Idaho Falls, Idaho. During her nursing training, 2 of the doctors she worked for offered to pay for her to go to medical school . It was during her time in nursing school that she met her sweetheart of 70 years, Delwyn Orin Gage. Married on January 2, 1953, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, they traveled to Shelby, Montana, where Delwyn was employed. Shortly after their move to Shelby, Delwyn went back to school at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, to study accounting while Marlene worked at Utah Valley Hospital. The first of their six children, Scott O Gage, was born while they lived in Provo. Upon finishing school, they moved back to Shelby and added three more children to the Gage nest, Paul Delwyn Gage, Shelley Janice Gage, and Jerri Ellen Gage. After joining with an accountant in Cut Bank, Montana, Del and Marlene moved their young family a few miles west making Cut Bank their new home for the next 43 years. While living in Cut Bank, they added the last two children to their nest, Mark Robert Gage and Connie Christine Gage. From 2002-2003, Nauvoo, Illinois became their new home as they served a Senior Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After completing their mission in 2003 and Marlene having had to put up with enough Cut Bank wind for a life time, they sold their home in Cut Bank and moved to Bigfork, Montana. In September 2022, they moved to Billings, Montana to be closer to family.
Marlene had a great love for things that start with “F”- Faith, Flowers, Family, Friends, Freedom, the Flag, and our Founding Fathers. She was a very active member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints giving her time and talents to serve in various ways in the women’s Relief Society organization. She loved reading and studying about church history so the opportunity to serve a church mission in Nauvoo, Illinois, was one of the highlights of her life. She radiated the light of the gospel in her life. She loved the Lord and knew the Lord loved her. Throughout her 91 year journey, Marlene walked with Faith in her every footstep. Marlene had a rock in her flower garden that said “One is closer to God in a garden than anywhere else on earth.” She felt close to God in her flower gardens and loved her flowers. They brought her endless joy, comfort, and peace. Marlene loved sharing her flowers with others, whether it was by walking with them through her gardens or fixing beautiful floral bouquets for them to enjoy or sharing starts of her beautiful flowers with others. She especially loved her roses- the smells, the colors ,and the varieties. When Delwyn would bring her a fresh cut rose from her gardens, she would immediately smell it and get the biggest smile on her face. Because of her love for flowers, she worked at the Cut Bank Floral and Greenhouse for several years. Besides her love of flowers, she had a great appreciation and love for the beautiful gifts and talents of people and God, such as china, pottery, art, antiques, the majesty of the mountains, or the clear, blue water of the rivers and lakes. Because of her love for beautiful things , Marlene opened up a retail store called “Something Special” to share beautiful things with others. Marlene loved to travel to see the beauties of the world- some of her most memorable trips were to Mexico, Ireland, and China. Marlene loved her family. She loved singing “ I love you. A bushel and a peck and a hug around tbe neck.” She was known by many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren as “grandma bushel and a peck”. Marlene was in Heaven when she could hold and rock one of the new born babies. She loved watching her family grow and sharing in the successes and accomplishments of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She was their greatest cheerleader. The family reunion gatherings at Fairmont Hot Springs and Double Arrow or the family gatherings for temple marriages and sealings, birthdays and anniversaries were Heaven on Earth for her. Marlene and Delwyn celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary January 2, 2023. Marlene had many good friends. She loved getting together for a good chat or laugh with friends, playing cards, gardening, or making ceramics or other crafts. While still in Cut Bank, she went to work for Doctor Wallace with one of her good traveling friends, Mabel Slezak. Marlene loved her country - the United States of America. She deeply loved the Founding Fathers and their sacrifices to establish the freedoms we enjoy. When she listened to patriotic music or watched the stars and stripes blowing in the wind, it stirred her soul and brought tears to her eyes. She served on the Republican Women’s committee and supported Delwyn during his service as a Senator in the Montana Legislature.
Marlene is survived by her husband , Delwyn Orin Gage of Billings, her six children- Scott O Gage (Shirley) of Cut Bank, Paul Delwyn Gage (Stacy) of High Point, NC, Shelley Gage Larson of Cut Bank, Jerri Gage Swift (Robert) of Hamilton, Mark Robert Gage of Conrad, and Connie Gage Love (Cody) of Park City, one brother- Ronald Glenn Brenchley (Alice) of Ashton, Idaho, along with 25 grandchildren and 56 great grandchildren. She was preceeded in death by her mother-Agnes Ellen Glenn Breanchley, her father- Merrill Murray Brenchley, and two brothers- Paul Glenn Brenchley and Richard Michael Brenchley.
Marlene’s final words and thoughts upon the completion of her mortal journey would be her testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ. He was the pre-mortal Jehovah, the creator of Heaven and Earth. He came to earth born in humble circumstances to do His Father’s will. He established His church and called His disciples. He was a healer and teacher, Savior and Redeemer. Marlene truly believed “ Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ , having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”
The family deeply appreciates the loving service and care given to Marlene this past year by so many. Thank you to the doctors and nurses, Synergy, Comfort Keepers, the Stillwater Staff, and the Staff at Morning Star. You are all Heaven sent. Details for Marlene’s funeral service can be found at jgfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Conrad Scholars for the Debbi Gage Memorial Scholarship at PO Box 787, Conrad, MT 59425 or to utahsmilesfoundation.org/donate.
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