Mary Jane Stephensen Vandenberghe

Vandenberghe, Mary Obit(March 3, 1922 – April 21, 2014)

Mary Jane S. Vandenberghe, 92, of Cedar City, passed away April 21, 2014 at home surrounded by her family. She was born March 3, 1922 in Salt Lake City, UT to William Angus Stephensen & Elizabeth Hutcheson Urie.  She married George M. Vandenberghe January 22, 1942 in Pioche, NV.

Mary Jane lived in Salt Lake City until the age of 2, when they moved to Delta to be close to family as her father died of Goat Fever and left Elizabeth to raise three children and was pregnant with the fourth. Mom often mentioned that she wished she had a father, but her uncle George watched over them very closely. After graduating from Delta High School she came to Cedar City to attend college at B.A.C. now S.U.U. That is when she met and fell in love with a handsome man, George M. Vandenberghe.  They lived in a sheep wagon for the first year of their marriage.  With the addition of their children they built a trailer, then later into the home where they have resided on the farm for over 72 years.   Mom was hired to be dad’s right hand man on the farm. There was never a job to big or small for mom. She could grow a garden, raise doggie lambs, bake rolls, worked at EL Ray Café (Sullivans) and had time to raise 5 children and a nephew, Lee Roy Stephensen.  Mom and dad raised and sold fresh turkeys for many years.  Mom became famous for her Cinnamon Rolls that were sold at the Market Grill, as well as winning 1st place for her Chiffon Cake with Betty Crocker.  Mom raised goats and sold the milk.  Sometimes she had over 100 doggie lambs to feed and they would sell for .15 cents a LB. Mom always had home cooked meals for us and it was prepared with the things they had grown and raised on the farm.

Mom loved the Indians, and would buy or trade wool, lambs etc. for jewelry and rugs. Mom and dad enjoyed many years hunting deer, and she often got a bigger buck than dad.  Mom loved her light blue Karman Ghia which she drove for many years.  Mom took a weaving class at S.U.U. under Carma Jones where she created beautiful rugs from wool that she had washed, corded, spun into yarn and then wove a rug, for each of her children.  She made place mats, felted slippers, and bed pads from wool. Mom was an artist as well as a beautiful seamstress and helped with 4-H for many years.

Mom always loved having her Grandchildren visit. She would introduce them to life on the farm, cooked cereal, homemade rolls, chores, hard work and strong values. Mom opened her home to many friends and visitors and they never left empty handed.

Mom and Dad have been avid Jazz fans, attending many games and meeting the bear, Frank Laden, Jerry Sloan  as well as a few of the players.

Mary is survived by her spouse, George Vandenberghe, Cedar City; their Children, Bill Vandenberghe (Maxiene) of St. George, Regina Lister of Cedar City, Madeleine Shelley (Keith) of Highland, UT, Marsha Snow of Nashville, TN, Judy Jenson (David) of St. George, nephew, Lee Roy Stephensen of Delta, UT; 19 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren and 1 great great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by a brother, Robert; sisters, Helen & Margaret; and a daughter, Margaret Elizabeth Vandenberghe. Thank you Mom, we love you.

We would like to express gratitude to Iron County Home Health and Gayle Bistline for loving care given to Mom. Her Granddaughter Deanne prepared many meals for her; she loved and appreciated all that has been done.

Funeral Services

  • Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 1 p.m. at the Old Rock Church, 75 E. Center, Cedar City, UT.
  • There will be a viewing Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. prior to the services.
  • Interment will take place in the Cedar City Cemetery.

Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 435-673-2454. Friends and family are invited to sign Mary’s guestbook at

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