Ira Merrill Martineau

Ira Merrill Martineau, age 86, of St. George, Utah, passed away peacefully with family by his side, Monday, January 4, 2021 of natural causes. He was born July 4, 1934 in Payette, Idaho, to Ira Albert Guthrie and Viola Mae Shields.

He spent his youngest years in the mining community of Stibnite, Idaho. Between the boredom, curiosity, and his ever-present creativeness, there was always the opportunity for new daily adventures, mainly with his brother Erwin. We loved it when we could get him to share the stories from when he was a kid left to entertain himself. Sadly, he lost his parents at a very young age. This was a turning point in his life, where the cruel twist of fate actually set Dad off into a completely different direction. This would eventually bring him to the gospel that became a cornerstone in his life. He was adopted by loving parents Leigh Edward Martineau and Leah Harriet Bean of Newdale, Idaho. The family would spend the winters in the “house in town” and then move to the family farm five miles east of town for the growing season.

He attended Sugar-Salem High School where he excelled in football and thoroughly enjoyed several teenage shenanigans with his friends. He went on to play football for Rick’s College in Rexburg, Idaho. He served an LDS mission to the Kentucky-Tennessee area, he always loved this opportunity to return to his “roots”. 

After returning from his mission, he married his Eternal Sweetheart, Lula Parkinson on December 13, 1957. They were blessed with nine children and a very happy, loving home. It was always a welcoming gathering place, full of laughter, hard work (not usually by dad) and amazing food. Many memories were made along the way. He and his family lived in Mesa, Arizona for a few short years where he worked at the custodial department of the Glendale Community College. The work was hard, the sun was warm, and life was good.  His idea of babysitting sometimes consisted of the VW Bug with the top chopped off and a carload of laughing children out through the desert chasing rabbits. Dad always had time for family and friends and that was the seedbed of what would become many lifelong and deep friendships that will truly endure the eternities. He moved his family back to Idaho in 1967 with the offer to take over the family farm. They purchased a new home in Newdale, which would be the home they raised their children to adulthood in.

He was by all accounts a jack-of-all-trades and spent countless hours in his shop tinkering away. There was nothing he couldn’t do or create if he set his mind to it. He loved singing and playing music on several instruments, many that he built himself. He enjoyed writing poems, especially if they could put a funny spin on so many of life’s unfunny situations, put a smile on your face, or just make your day a little better. He had a soft touch and a caring heart that were always there if you needed them. He loved to spend time in his den studying his scriptures or reading from his library of church books. He didn’t always know everything about his religion, but he wasn’t afraid to say, “I don’t know” and then set to work to find what his knowledge was lacking.  He knew what he believed and loved to share it. Dad’s faith and beliefs guided his everyday life and eternal choices.

We will all miss his quick-witted jokes and his ever-present sense of humor. There was always laughter when dad was around and I’m sure heaven is a little bit more fun today. He will be missed by his family and those closest to him on a daily basis.

He is survived by his children, Kristina (Bill) Roselli, Breck (Deanna) Martineau, Shawnee Paris, Leigh Edward (Shara) Martineau, Dorie (Craig) Boyle, Ferron (Rachelle) Martineau, Lexie (Jim) Dukes, Lalonni (Austin) Anderson, Alecia (Christian) Caprioglio and many grandchildren and not as many great-grandchildren; siblings, Della Candalaria, Zelda McWiggins, Barbara Neibaur and Mona “Ann” Grindstaff.

Merrill is preceded in death by his parents, Eternal Sweetheart Lula Parkinson, and siblings Darold Guthrie, Ruby “Susie” Swanson, Virginia Adams, Ethel Jones, Erwin Guthrie, and half-brother Ira Preston Guthrie and son-in-law Michael Paris.

A Viewing will be held Sunday, January 10, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:30 pm. Funeral services will be held Monday, January 11, 2021 at 11:00 with a viewing prior to funeral at 9:30 at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff Street, St. George, UT, (435) 673-2454.

For those who would like to view the funeral online, please log in to Type in the event number 44673 and password IMM2021 .

Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff St, St. George, Utah. Friends and family are invited to sign his online guestbook at



5:00 – 6:30 pm


11:00 am


Spilsbury Mortuary Chapel
110 S. Bluff
St. George, UT


Tonaquint Cemetery
1777 S. Dixie Drive
St. George, Utah

Guest Book

11 Responses

  1. Alecia and Bryce, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! Prayers for a quick healing and may you forever hold on to his memories.

  2. Merrill: Maybe we can meet again on the other side and have more good times. Always your friend. Jerald Oldham

    1. So sorry to hear about Merrill’s passing. I have many fond memories when we went through A&P school together. Merrill was always telling jokes and made the long 2000 hours of the class go by fast. Not sure how he got his nickname (Fred) but my friend will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless.

  3. I will be attending with my husband and 2 kids were are very sadden to hear about grandpas passing

  4. Dear Merrill and Family, So many fun memories from the time Merrill and Barbara came into our lives back in the 40’s. Just needed to say, “thank you for the memories”, and know we will see you again. We are disappointed not to be there in person and are glad to be able to watch it on webcast.

  5. We were saddened to learn Merrill had passed away. We have loved Merrill and Lula ever since we met them in 1969. We have had many wonderful times together, working together in Church, school and social times. We loved them when they helped us for weeks following the Teton Dam Disaster. We owe them so much and will remember them always. Yes, it will be a wonderful day when we see them on the other side of the veil, to renew our friendships. We wish we could be there at the funeral and meet all of the family, who we haven’t seen for years, except for Ferron. Anyway, we pray for all of you that the peace that only comes from God will be with you at this time of parting with your loved one. God bless you always.

  6. We send our love to all of you. We will all miss Merrill and all his talent but we know that it is a new morning dawning for him and all the others he has joined with on the other side. We totally believe that is a true promise from our Father in Heaven..Paul and Ellen.

  7. My heartfelt condolences to the family. Uncle Merrill and Aunt Lula were always the life of the party. May the party continue for them. I will always remember the good times spent in their company.

  8. Dear Family of Merrill and Lula Martineau: You had a good father who will be missed. I am one of his many childhood friends from Newdale, Idaho. We went to school together at Newdale from the 5th grade and graduated in the same class from Sugar-Salem High School in 1953. I was a roommate of Lula’s while they were courting. I have many fond memories of Merrill and the good times the Newdale kids had together. He was a big tease, but made happiness where ever he was. For years the Newdale couples would have annual Christmas dinners at the homes of each other. What a wonderful group of people who truly care about each other.

  9. It was always fun to be around Merrill! He was kind and loving man. I’m sure he has everyone laughing in Heaven.

  10. We loved your dad. He was a great friend and employee. He was the most creative person and funniest, that I have known. We had a lot of good times together. I wish we could have been to the funeral. It was very touching. I’m sure Merrill would have approved. May Our Heavenly Fathers choicest blessings be with each of you. Lon & Bev

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