Mary Merlene Sanford Daley

March 7, 1932 – Jan. 25, 2021

Mary Merlene Sanford Daley, 88, left this earthly existence to be reunited with her sweet Leo on Jan. 25, 2021. She was born Mary Merlene Sanford on March 7, 1932 to Merle J. Sanford and Gladys Marie Taylor in Payson, Utah. She married Leo Lynn Daley on April 24, 1958. And was sealed in the Provo LDS Temple on March 18, 1974. She is the last of her and Leo’s longtime friends from Payson and surrounding areas. Her cheerful demeanor and caring ways resulted in lifelong friendships, and to know her was to love her. Her passing truly leaves a void in the lives of many. She was a descendant of early pioneer saints. She was a devoted daughter, mother, and grandmother.

Merlene graduated from Payson High School in 1950. She was the Payson Centennial Queen in 1950. She was the President of the Utah Women’s Auxiliary Retail Grocers Association from 1969-1970. She worked side by side with the love of her life, they owned Leo’s Market and car wash in Payson. They went on to open many chicken restaurants throughout Utah. Her dream was to move to St. George, Utah, and it came true in 1976 where they built a beautiful home in Bloomington. She worked at the Bloomington Country Club for a time. They had a restaurant in St. George called Sheriff Hardy’s and Chef’s Palace in Kanab.

The Daley home was always open to family and friends. They enjoyed traveling to Arizona with many friends and family which was a relaxing and fun time. She was a big sports fan, always loved watching football, baseball and basketball games. Sunday dinners were a highlight of the week. Merlene loved Christmas celebration. Her trees were always decorated to perfection. Her family Christmas parties were always such fun. She was an immaculate homemaker. She was an elegant lady. But was never afraid to roll up her selves and work. She was a hard worker, seldom idle.

Her hobbies included bowling, playing cards, crocheting and embroidery. She was a animal lover; she always had schnauzer dogs.

Merlene is survived by her children: Debra Elmer Canfield (Fred Dumas) of Ivins, Utah, Karie Lynn Daley Jackson of Tooele, Utah, Alan Leo Daley of Kanab, Utah; 12 grandchildren: Mathew (Melanie) Jackson, Emily (Russell) Spendlove, Blake (Gina) Jackson, Mark (Shelly) Jackson. Audrey Tullis, Alan Jr. (Cindy) Daley, Jamie (Ryan) Glazier, Richard Daley, Clinton (Rachel) Daley, Casey Daley, Krista (Rob) Melling, Darby Nielsen; 28 great-grandchildren; and eight great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by two sisters: Nancy (Bob) Greenhalgh and Sandra (Les) Camp; and many nieces, nephews, family and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Leo Daley; son, Steven (Fudsy) Elmer and his wife Vickie Bills Elmer; son in-law, Lloyd Jackson; daughter-in-law, Julia Schaugaard Daley; granddaughter, Keira Merlene Nielsen; brother, Richard T. Sanford; and sister, Lorraine Sanford Sutton

We know a great celebration is being held in the eternal heavens.

We would like to thank Dixie Hospice for their thoughtful and tender care in her last days.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021 at 1 p.m., with a viewing prior at noon, at Metcalf Mortuary Chapel, 288 West St. George Blvd., St. George, Utah. Interment will be in the St. George City Cemetery.

Masks are required for those attending services.

Live streaming web-cast is available at by clicking on the obituary, then click on broadcast at the bottom. Web-cast will remain on-line for 90 days.

Arrangements entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221. Visit Metcalf Mortuary’s website at for condolences, complete obituary and funeral listings.

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