Marie  Wyler's Memorial

Marie Wyler
(1960 - 2006)

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General Details

Name: Marie Wyler
Maiden Name: Theresa Marie Massey
Gender: Female
Age: 46 years old
Lived: Sunday, 17 January 1960 - Saturday, 25 November 2006

My Story

Marie was born in Maine in 1960, the first child of Mike and Terry Massey. Her sister Lynn joined the family 3 years later. Whenever they weren't arguing, the two sisters were very close their entire lives.

Mike joined the military, so before high school Marie lived in Maine, Massachusetts, Florida, California, Alaska, and Germany. The family was back in Maine by the time Marie started high school.

At 15, Marie was was introduced to missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had heard of the "Mormons" because she was a Donny Osmond fan (look, it was the 70s, okay?). So she asked the school librarian for a Book of Mormon. The rest is history.

Marie was baptized in November 1975 and soon after, her sister Lynn and her mother followed her into the church as well.

Marie's parents divorced when she was in high school. Lynn went to live with her Mom in New York, and Marie stayed behind in Maine with her dad to finish her senior year. They lived in a farm house that Marie always swore was haunted. Seriously.

After high school, Marie tried a year at Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) but she was invited to not return after her freshman year. She joined her mom and Lynn, then living in the Philadelphia area, where she worked at Dunkin Donuts long enough to realize the value of college after all. She attended community college, learned to play the flute, and earned all A's. That got her admitted to Brigham Young University in Utah as a music major.

Marie ultimately had such extreme performance anxiety that she switched her major, to public relations. She was an editor of the campus newspaper. And she dated some lesser souls (this is Rich writing this; what do you expect me to say?).

Even though we were both PR majors, Marie and I never met until February 1987, just before graduation. A professor had given us both a job lead at a PR firm in Los Angeles. Separately, we traveled to L.A. and interviewed for the job. At an end-of-the-year party for graduating PR majors, Marie and I met each other for the first time. Whatever the outcome of the job we were competing for, we agreed to meet in Los Angeles once we both landed there after college.

By fall, we were working for competing PR firms (yes, she got hired at the firm where we'd both interviewed), living near each other and attending church together. By October, we were dating; by December, falling in love. I had a LOT of baggage from a previous marriage and other personal challenges, but I found Marie to be the most accepting, kind, gracious woman I had ever met. I couldn't help baring my soul to her, and I found nothing but acceptance and love. How can you not fall in love with someone who thinks you are better than you really are, and who is your greatest fan?

We were married in the Los Angeles LDS Temple June 30, 1988. We moved into an apartment on Hollywood Boulevard. Our beautiful daughter Jordan came surprisingly and dramatically into our lives (that’s another story or three) in December 1990. Marie was a loving, concerned, attentive mother. She cut back to working part time (as PR director of a large residential facility for pregnant teens).

Just three months after the Northridge Earthquake, we received a much bigger jolt: Marie was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 1994. She was just 34. She had a mastectomy and chemotherapy. We prayed and cried and reached out to God for support and assurance, which she received clearly: It was not yet her time. 

We both longed to have another child, but another pregnancy was not an option. Her prognosis was good enough, however, that we were able to adopt. Chase came surprisingly and dramatically into our lives (another story or three) in September 1995. When they placed our new baby boy into Marie's arms, her immediate feeling was one of recognition: "Well hello again." It was as if she had known him before.

A major source of discontent for Marie, however, was that, in her mind, we had stayed far longer in Los Angeles than anyone should. She longed for the four seasons and greenery of the East Coast. She surfed the internet to find me an East Coast job, and she succeeded: In November 1999, we said goodbye to my beloved Los Angeles (because, as much as I loved L.A., I loved her more) and moved to beautiful, tiny (by comparison) Charlottesville, Virginia.

Just six months after moving, Marie's cancer returned. We were devastated. Marie was 40. Jordan was 9. Chase was 4. We prayed vigorously and Marie faced the cancer with humor, commitment and faith. When her hair began to fall out, she set up a "beauty shop" for Jordan and her friend to take scissors to her beautiful hair and hack away. They had great fun, and Marie told them to never mind that she was bawling her eyes out.

Marie prevailed upon her mother to sell her house in Maine and move near us in Virginia. Then she lobbied her sister Lynn to move here too.  She wasn't above playing the cancer card: "Look, I'm dying here. Don't give me this 'someday' crap. Pick up and move here and be with me now." It worked. Eight of us all live in Charlottesville because of Marie.

(For my part, I often said to her, wryly: "That's the problem with cancer patients. They have no long-term perspective. Everything is now now now." To which she'd reply, with entitlement, "Hey, I'm dying. I can ask for anything I want.")

Marie had great faith. She was famous for her humor, but also for her friendship. She was so compassionate, authentic and easy to talk to. Perhaps her biggest challenge was to put her life on the altar and say, "Thy will be done." She so desperately wanted God to spare her life. She wanted to see Jordan and Chase graduate and get married and have children. She longed to be part of their lives always.

I know Marie is as alive today as ever. I'm convinced she's as much at work in our lives as she was when she brought us all to Charlottesville just much more quietly and invisibly now. (And without the attitude.)  I probably love her more now than ever. I – and we – will always love and remember her, every day of our lives.

Rich Wyler

Latest Tributes

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Comment Memorial Tribute
From: debio
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I just miss Marie so much still. Her wit and insight always made "the journey" through life better.
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: Janelle
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I was ten when I met Marie for the first time at her wedding. I think she recognized somehow, how lonely and sad I wa...
Heart Memorial Tribute
From: Teresa1
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Comment Memorial Tribute
From: dia2ne
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Dearest Marie - I miss you!
Heart Memorial Tribute
From: jwyler
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From Ken Wyler: "Because of her cancer, Marie was often on the receiving end of service. But I know she was happiest...
Stone Memorial Tribute
From: jwyler
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From Teresa Kondor: (Part 3) "...I was so excited that I immediately went over and introduced myself to her and told...
Stone Memorial Tribute
From: jwyler
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From Teresa Kondor: (Part 2) "... The following Sunday I went to Church and during Relief Society Meeting I saw a be...
Stone Memorial Tribute
From: jwyler
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From Teresa Kondor: (Part 1) "Jordan, Your mother was loved and admired by many people, including myself. I firs...
Heart Memorial Tribute
From: jwyler
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From Jolene Bodily: "Jordan, Your mom was an excellent Visiting Teacher Leader. In that position she shared a monthl...
Candle Memorial Tribute
From: jwyler
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From Marian Cheney: Jordan, When I think of Marie I think of descriptive words instead of experiences. I rememb...
Incense Memorial Tribute
From: MjGreen
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I will always remember Marie as the laughter in the crowd. No matter how many times I passed by "the adults" when I ...
Flower Memorial Tribute
From: glenclayburn
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Jordan, I never got to meet your Mother but I know she must have been a special lady because she has a special daugh...

Biography

Fathers Name: Michael Massey
Mothers Name: Theresa King
Spouse's Name: Richard Wyler
Children's Names: Jordan Elise Wyler, Chase Christian Wyler
Siblings Names: Lynn Massey Arebalo
Country of Birth: USA
Country of Residence: USA
City of Residence: Barboursville
Occupation: Other
Marital Status: Married
Religion: Other Christian

Interests

Favourite Movie: Postcards From The Edge
Favourite Music Genre: Acoustic
Favourite Artist: James Taylor (singer)
Other Interests:
Her children, her husband, the Bible (especially Isaiah), the Book of Mormon, Jack Russell Terriers, Virginia countryside, Chevy Suburban, friends and family, laughter, taunting her doctors, mocking the compulsory education system.

Passing

Place of Passing: Martha Jefferson Hospital, Charlottesville, Virginia
Date of Passing: 25 November 2006
Cause of Passing: Breast Cancer
Place of Burial: Maplewood Cemetary, Gordonsville, Virginia
Funeral Date: 29 November 2006

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