Cover photo for Mary Arleen Trunnell Stillman's Obituary

Mary Arleen Trunnell Stillman

April 21, 1938 — July 23, 2023

St. George, Utah

Mary Arleen Trunnell Stillman

Our beautiful mother, Mary Arleen Trunnell Stillman, was born on April 21, 1938, to John F. and Belle Hintze Trunnell, in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was able to peacefully move on to her next journey on July 23, 2023, surrounded by her loving family in St George, Utah. She took her own sweet time coming into this world, as her mother was in labor with her for 72 hours. She finally arrived with blonde curly hair and big, beautiful, cornflower blue eyes. She left this earth in the same fashion that she came into it, on her terms, and in her own sweet time.

Arleen attended Oakwood grade school on Highland Dr. in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was always in a fight with the “mean boys” and would always stick up for the underdogs. She would climb trees and wait for the boys, then when they would be passing under the tree, she would jump down on them. They were all afraid of her and quickly learned to walk home on the other side of the street.

Her mother tried prying out the more feminine side of her by giving her chores of setting the table and helping her to make dinner. These chores she never took a liking to. Arleen would sneak out of the house to go out to the barn to be with her dad and the horses. This started her love affair of horses. She loved going with her dad to other people’s barns to shoe horses and go on horse rides.

One of her favorite stories was when her dad, much to her mother’s dismay, took her and bought her first pair of cowboy boots; she loved them more than anything. Back in those days, girls didn’t wear Levi’s and cowboy boots, but she did, she was a “tomboy”.

She attended Olympus Jr High school, and in 1956 graduated from Olympus High School. She was a popular girl who had developed a keen sense of style. It was during this time that her love of fashion, and shoes, came about.

After graduation, she went to Yellowstone with her three best friends, where she worked cleaning rooms for a summer. This led to much fun, and many shenanigans. It was one of the best times of her life for her. These friends remained lifelong friends.

Upon her return, she met and married Merrill D. Stillman on September 10, 1958. In her words, she married him because, “He was cute, had a nice car, knew how to ride a horse, wore nice cowboy boots, and was a good kisser.” From that union five children were born: John, Heidi, Merrilee, Tracy, and Matthew.

Arleen loved to ski, and when her kids were little, she made it a point to teach each one of her kids to ski. She also volunteered during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. She loved to volunteer, she also volunteered at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site, and The St. George Office of The Bureau of Land Management.

In 1975, Arleen went back to school at Salt Lake Community College to get her LPN nursing degree. In 1982 she graduated from Weber State University with her RN nursing degree. These were great accomplishments for her, and she was proud that she was able to achieve these goals.

In 1985, Merrill and Arleen divorced, which led her to St. George, to be near her parents. She started working at the Dixie Regional Hospital Emergency Room, ICU, and became a member of the first life flight team in St George. All while at the same time, she started moonlighting at the Desert Springs Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada, as an Emergency Room Nurse. She continued to work as an Emergency Room Nurse in Las Vegas for the next 11 years, and she loved it.

In 2000, Arleen became a travel nurse, and worked in Chinle, Arizona, at the Canyon De Chelly Navajo Indian reservation. It was there that she learned of the adopt a native elder program, which she became very involved in.

Arleen was a very talented nurse; she was licensed in 4 states at one point in her career. She was a hard worker, and a very independent woman, who also had the ability to be a good storyteller. Arleen had a cunning sense of humor and would keep us all laughing with the stories of her Vegas ER night shift days, and various other stories.

Arleen’s love of shoes had her taking each grandchild to buy them their first pair of good leather white high-top shoes. As the children got older, she would take them to buy shoes, and she would tell them that they cost $100.00, but they were worth it. They all walked away from the store thinking they just had a million bucks spent on them!

Arleen was very proud of her Swedish heritage and taught her granddaughters a saying that her Swedish grandmother taught her, “Du är en vaker flicka”, translated in English to: “You are a beautiful girl”.

Arleen was happiest with family, and friends around her. She opened her home to all and took care of many.

We will treasure the wonderful stories that we have been told, the lessons that we have been taught, and we will hold them near and dear in our hearts. “Until we see you again, we’ll see you at the cat’s eye”.

Arleen is survived by her children, daughter-in-law, Darlene Stillman of Riverton, Utah, daughter, Merrilee Morgan (Kevin) of Salt Lake City, Utah, son, Tracy M. Stillman (Susan) of Argyle, Texas, and son, Matthew J. Stillman (Nichole) of St George, Utah, 16 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren, sister, Barbara (James) Gaddis of Park City, Utah.

Arleen was proceeded in death by her parents, her eldest son, John D. Stillman, and eldest daughter, Heidi Stillman Jackson.

Remember me when you see or hear:

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Listen To Good Jazz

See a rodeo.

See a beautiful horse.

See good looking shoes.

Hear Sinatra.

Watch Lonesome Dove.

Lipstick (dark).


Hear or see Elvis.

Watch John Wayne movies.

Native American History.

See a white Mustang.

Watch The Kentucky Derby.

Watch The Andy Griffith Show.

Say ‘love you, mean it’.

Her family would like to thank the team at Dixie Hospice for the exceptional care that was given to Arleen in her final days. They are truly angles on earth.

As per Arleen’s wishes, the family will hold a graveside ceremony on Friday, September 1, 2023, at 10:30 am, at the Tonaquint Cemetery, 1777 South Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah

Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff St., St George, Utah, (435) 673-2454.

Friends and family are invited to sign Arleen’s online guest book at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Arleen Trunnell Stillman, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, September 1, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Mountain time)

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