Cover photo for Marcella Burton's Obituary
Marcella Burton Profile Photo
1940 Marcella 2024

Marcella Burton

April 11, 1940 — March 11, 2024

In the early morning hours of March 11, 2024, Marcella Spracklin Burton, 83, loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother was called back to her heavenly home peacefully in her sleep, after a lengthy battle with cancer. 

Angels carried Marcella, youngest of nine children, into the arms of her parents, brothers, Theador Heib, Warren Long, twins, Mike and Pat Long (adopted as Ted and Jack Wright), Jack Long (adopted as Jack Coppin), and Clifford Spracklin, and sisters, Marie Long Moorhouse, and Mabel Spracklin Welch; And father and mother in-law and their children: Charles and Beatrice Burton, Harry Burton, and Inga Ann Burton-Ibey.

Marcella is eternally loved and missed as wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Surviving her are her husband John Charles Burton, Sons Ivan (Wendy) Grenfell, Timothy Grenfell, Darrin Grenfell and daughter Annette Burton-Nelson (David Gallegos) Grandchildren: Carey Hall, Cody Grenfell, Tayler Grenfell, Kara Leigh Alden, Jordan Grenfell, Alyssa Carpenter, Laura Schreiner, Amanda Nelson, Natalie Albello, and Johnathon Gallegos; and eight great-grandchildren.

Marcella was born in her family’s small farmhouse on April 11, 1940, to Clifford Ray Spracklin and Viola Christina Rose, in Jordan, MT. Raised on a prairie ranch, the family dry-farmed grain and raised cattle.  Marcella enjoyed playing with her older siblings, Cliffy and Mable, as well as many near-by cousins, where they would spend the days exploring the harsh lands and playing. She spoke of days on the gumbo flats with her pet antelope, Ninnie, and horses so gentle and well trained, she could jump off their backs into swimming holes. She would tell stories of riding her horse to school in the winter with woolen stockings that were thigh high to protect her from the bitter cold. Montana living conditions required the family work closely together. She learned to rely on and to love her family very much as they toiled through her difficult early childhood.

At age 12, Marcella moved with her family to Darby, MT to help grow raspberries and strawberries. In these young and tender years, while attending a religious revival with family members, she began a life journey exercising faith in Jesus Christ. She learned to pray and prayed often.

Marcella spent a short time in Anaconda MT while her father, Clifford Spracklin, worked at the copper smelter. It was there she became a baton twirler in eighth grade and found she excelled, creating the interest and drive for what was to come. 

Marcella moved back to Darby, MT her freshman year to attend high school. Her life at this time was tumultuous, she recounted times where her and her sister chopped telephone poles to burn for heat and went hungry from time to time. One Christmas, there were no presents and no tree. Eventually, families around the Bitterroot Valley took her in. She babysat and did household chores to pay for her room and board. With all the challenges in her life she still managed to be a 4-year varsity cheerleader and took a state championship in tennis for doubles. During this time, she also worked for Darby High School in the office in fall of 1957 until her graduation in 1958. Her penmanship, book-keeping, organizational and communication skills were highly valued. Her talents shined in many areas, and she had many friends and created life-long friendships which she cherished until the very end. 

After graduation from high school, Marcella married Donald Loyd Grenfell and gave birth to sons, Ivan, Timothy and Darrin Grenfell. Although this relationship came to an end, Marcella found employment with the REA in Hamilton MT, which at the time was the highest paying job in the valley and it allowed her to raise her three boys. 

From humble, and summertime’s bare-footed beginnings, she increased in knowledge and prosperity at the side of her soul mate of 56 years, John Charles Burton. John and Marcella were married June 2, 1967. She was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her faith in her heavenly father has remained strong throughout her lifetime. Soon after they were married, they moved to Thousand Oaks, CA, purchased their first home and welcomed their daughter Annette Larae Burton.

The time spent in CA was short and soon Marcella and John were headed back to Missoula MT, where John finished his degree and soon, they were building their first dream home on Sundown Rd in Missoula, MT. Surrounded by family, we had Aunts and Uncles and a slew of cousins from both parents' sides in proximity. Marcella always found time to gather us all together around food and fun. 

1977 found our family moving to Tucson AZ, and one year later to Albuquerque, NM where Marcella worked for Coors, Singer and Stratton PA, and at Marlin Maddy roofing company where she did cost accounting for her employer. Marcella then received an offer of employment with Keleher and McCleod Attorneys and Councilors at Law where first she worked in the bookkeeping room and later at the receptionist desk with a multi-line switchboard. With her social and communications skills, she was given the freedom to be expressive, and she thrived in this new position. She greatly enjoyed the people she worked for in the law firm. She also led several human resources initiatives. She made many good friends at Keleher and enjoyed her time there.

In the mid 1990’s Marcella and John purchased their first Motorhome which made many trips around the Western United States, and many more trips “home” to Montana, where family and friends resided. They purchased their second motorhome in 2003 and went back East to Kentucky and through the Mid-West as well as trips to Yuma, AZ to see and rekindle relationships with cousins and friends lost in time by the raising of families.

For Marcella and John, there was not any type of project they could not learn about and complete together. They designed and constructed three homes and landscaped five yards. They performed all aspects of the construction. While building houses they were building their family. Everyone participated in the work of building and of running the home. This work life experience continued into our adult lives, and we are eternally grateful.  In the years after they retired from their 9 to 5 jobs they moved back to Montana and built a second home on Sundown Rd from 1998 to 2003.   Realizing that kids and grandkids were scattered about the southwest and on the way to Texas, they moved back to Albuquerque and built their third and final custom home in Rio Rancho, New Mexico from 2004 – 2007 and is where they have resided since. Marcella took great joy in decorating her homes and creating a comfortable and loving spaces inside and outside of the home for all members of her family and special friends to gather when busy schedules would allow. 

In 2017, they relished their Golden Anniversary attended by their large family and many friends.

Marcella loved to cook, bake, organize and sew. She enjoyed activities such as canning, gardening, taking and displaying pictures, interior decorating, quilting and being social. When time allowed, she played on her work softball team and played tennis with friends. Marcella gathered her family together for prayer and dinner daily. Within the family, she was the storyteller. She carried the conversation onward to exciting topics and kind and thoughtful resolutions. Having an excellent memory and being a journal writer, she could remember people, locations and dates in an uncanny way. We would stare at each other and wonder how she could recall such amazing details about an event occurring over 50 years ago! 

We were blessed to enjoy her memories and stories right up to the time of passing. She will be remembered and missed by her family as our spiritual leader and keeper of time. Our parents created an excellent example of what a marriage is meant to be. Her unconditional love made it easy for her husband and children to be successful and find joy in life’s journey. For over 50 years, as best friends and best parents, they gathered their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and everyone’s friends into their home, into their kitchen and into their hearts. Marcella’s cheer encouraged everyone to feel welcome and loved.

Marcella leads us into the next life where we will soon be reunited with her and her amazing talents and timeless nature.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marcella Burton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, March 21, 2024

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

Daniels Family Funeral Services - Wyoming Chapel

7601 Wyoming Blvd, Albuquerque, NM 87109

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, March 21, 2024

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Mountain time)

Daniels Family Funeral Services - Wyoming Chapel

7601 Wyoming Blvd, Albuquerque, NM 87109

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Thursday, March 21, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 96

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree