Obituary for \r\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t Berta Eloisa Marquez\n\n\r\n\t\t\t\tThe world lost a bright light this week with the passing of Berta Marquez. Her loss is mourned by her wife, extended family, and countless friends in the LGBTQ+ Mormon community to whom she has dedicated her boundless love and energy.\n\nThroughout her life, Berta enjoyed the love and support of her entire family. \n\nBerta was born on August 31, 1978, in Guatemala City, Guatemala. \n\nBerta’s family emigrated from Guatemala with her family to escape persecution as a result of the civil war. They first found refuge in Costa Rica, and then immigrated to Mexico and later settled in Santa Ana, California. Berta muscled her way through school, learning English as well as how to navigate her “barrio” with grace and grit.\n\nBerta attended Brigham Young University, studying Media Arts and Film. She loved the arts and excelled at drawing, as well as having an ear for music and teaching herself how to play multiple instruments over the years. \n\nIn 2014, after praying for a loving companion to accompany her in life’s journey, Berta met Kathy Carlston. They married on a bright, sunny day surrounded by many who love them. To be near them was to know love and laughter. Having known sorrow, they created joy. Together they lifted countless young people from depths of abandonment and loneliness, lending hope and a safe place to land. Berta’s wisdom and gentle but fierce compassion and empathy drew people to her. She had a gift of making all she met feel heard, safe, and loved.\n\nHer way of life consistently echoed the Savior she loved. Prior to her and Kathy’s wedding lunch, she became aware of a young woman begging at the entrance. The woman was ill. Berta knelt by her side and spent 15 minutes to comfort her and tell her about the 4th Street Clinic so she could get help.\n\nBerta was a fierce and devoted advocate for others.. She used her considerable intellect and limitless empathy to lift, protect, and give voice to marginalized individuals and groups. Berta lived a full life, full of light and love, full of compassion and generosity. All who knew Berta were touched by her bold stand for loving and including one and all. To honor Berta, we encourage you to continue her legacy of kindness and compassion, and remember that you are loved. \n\nBerta inspired each of us with her soft-spoken and powerful calls to reach out to both those we know and strangers. She exemplified unconditional love and with her actions and her words, all who listened were reminded of our duty to those with whom we journey on this earth:\n\n“I know it is important to try to protect our hearts - to explain the suffering of others to keep our own hearts from hurting or being confronted with dissonance. I do this sometimes too I think. But please if you can, try not to explain away our suffering in order to feel emotionally or spiritually comforted and comfortable. We are taught to have a ready answer in all things. If you can, mourn with us, for we are mourning. I know that to many we are the unwashed, the Samaritan, we are other. But we are not. We are yours. If you can, walk with us, talk with us, hear our stories. The resplendent gift of listening is a balm of Gilead.” - Berta Eloisa Marquez\n\nBerta is survived by her wife Kathy Carlston; parents Estela and Israel Marquez; brothers and sisters Camilo, Fatima, Fabiola, Stephanie, Doris, Samuel; and her beloved nieces and nephews, who adored her.\n\nMemorial services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, 2018, at the Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 475 N 1600 W (US Hwy 89), Mapleton, Utah, 84664. A burial service and grave dedication will be held at 4 p.m. after the funeral service at the Mapleton Cemetery.