Helen Miriam Burton Tate
01/02/1932 – 12/03/2019
Helen Miriam Burton Tate, who went by Miriam, and was affectionately called Mirt, was born January 2, 1932 in Malad, Idaho, the third child of Maud and George Burton. Miriam grew up in Malad, graduating from high school in 1950. As a young girl, she loved spending time with her father as she helped him with the early morning milk deliveries for Burton’s Dairy. She gained her love of gardening, cooking, quilting and sewing while working alongside her mother. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Miriam developed a strong testimony of the gospel and learned from her parents the value of hard work and service to others.
Miriam attended Brigham Young University where she roomed with two of her favorite cousins. When the church temporarily lowered the age for young women to go on missions, Miriam was eager for the opportunity to serve and was called to the Central States Mission in Minneapolis/St. Paul. It was there that she first met Elder R. Ray Tate. When they both finished their missions, Miriam encouraged Ray to transfer to BYU, where she was attending school. He did, and a courtship ensued with Ray and Miriam being married in the Logan Temple on December 15, 1955.
When Miriam graduated from BYU in 1956, she and Ray were expecting the first of their six children. As their family continued to grow, Ray’s career took them from Utah, to Idaho, to Montana, to Idaho again and finally back to Utah. In each of the 11 cities they lived, Miriam created a loving home for the family – a home where friends, neighbors, and relatives were welcomed, supported and loved.
Ray and Miriam enjoyed the outdoors and took their six children hiking along the Idaho vistas, picnicking on the riverbanks, and spent summer vacations with loved cousins and grandparents. Family was always most important to them.
As her children started college, Miriam entered the workforce to help support their education. Throughout the years, she worked in various positions: as a fry cook and as a secretary for the Catholic Church Diocese, the county courthouse and the office of probation and parole. She finished her career as a counter clerk for Utah Gas. Wherever Miriam worked, she was known for being conscientious, helpful and caring. Miriam also devoted much of her time serving in various positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where she was recognized for her compassionate service to others.
Ray and Miriam settled in Vernal, Utah, where for 23 years they enjoyed exploring the beauty of the public lands, hosting family and friends, and taking their grandchildren to see dinosaurs and petroglyphs.
After their retirement, Ray and Miriam chose to serve a senior mission and were called to work in public affairs in the Manila Philippines Mission, where they developed a deep love for the Filipino people and created strong friendships with the other missionary couples with whom they served.
Ray and Miriam eventually left Vernal to return to Miriam’s childhood home, Malad, Idaho, to be closer to family. In 2014 they moved to assisted living in Utah. Even though Miriam suffered from dementia, she never lost her sweet spirit and desire to care for and serve others. The family wishes to thank the staff of Sunrise at Sandy for their loving care of Ray and Miriam and especially for the extra ice cream for mom.
Miriam is preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Ray Tate; parents George and Maud Burton; brother LeR Burton, sister Lorene Blackham, and daughter Ann Tate Alger. She is survived by her brothers Sheril Burton and Ralph Burton, her children: Alice, Steven Ray (Karen), George Edwin, Helen, and Amy Tate; son-in-law George E. Alger; grandchildren Steven Toshio, Miriam Fumiko, Miya Ray Alger, Emma Lee Reich, Stevie Ray Tate, Nick Thorsfieldt, Breanna Foster, and three great-grandchildren.
The family will receive visitors Sunday, December 8th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Monday, December 9th from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 E. 10600 S., Sandy, Utah. Services will be held at Larkin Sunset Gardens, Monday, December 9th at 11:00 a.m. Following internment, friends and family are invited to a luncheon at the Union 3rd Ward Chapel, 1535 East Creek Road, Sandy, Utah.