Carlyle D. Marsden (1921-1976)

Carlyle Davenport Marsden was born on December 9, 1921, in Parowan, Utah. He was the son of William and Della Jane Marsden. He was survived by his widow, three sons and two daughters, 10 grandchildren, two brothers and four sisters.

He had been a music teacher at Eisenhower Junior High School in the Granite School District in Salt Lake, and also taught at Brigham Young University.

He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Army in the Pacific Theater.

He attended the College of Southern Utah in Cedar City for two years, and received his bachelor degree from Brigham Young University and his masters degree from the University of Utah. He also did graduate work at Claremont College, Occidental and Cal State in Los Angeles, California.

He had filled an LDS Mission in the New England States and had been a member of the bishopric and high council in Pomona, Calif. He had been music regional representative, stake and ward organist, and stake choir director. He had also been Sunday School superintendent in Salt Lake City.

Carlyle was outed in March 1976. This led him to take his own life on March 8, 1976. He was 54 years old.

Carlyle is buried at the Kaysville City Cemetery in Utah.

Carlyle's grandson Douglas Stewart was a gay Mormon and sadly committed suicide on March 8, 2006, exactly 30 years to the day his grandfather committed suicide.

Tribute by a Former Student

I recently came across the information in your website listing Carlyle D. Marsden as one of the LDS members that committed suicide back in 1976 after he was outed as a homosexual.

I am writing to tell you that in 1963-1964 he was my music teacher at Fremont Junior High school in Pomona California. I am now 56 years old and living in Salem, Oregon but I will never forget that man. He taught the best vocal music class I have ever attended. He had written an arrangement for a song called “Master, the Tempest is Raging” I have a recording of our choir singing it with him directing, somewhere deep in my garage.

Mr. Marsden was a great believer in the use of the diaphragm when singing and I have since taught this method, just as he did, to my students. I was horrified that this gentle, wonderful, talented, man ended his life feeling so alone and ashamed of himself.

I have remembered him so well and so long because of his dedication and talent as a music teacher. He was caring, and nurturing. He gave us strength just by his presence. I can recount far too many wonderful things that he said and did for us as a class to even begin to put them here in this letter to you.

I just though you should know that what you have done on your website is a wonderful memorial to these people. There is not a week that goes by that I have not thought of Mr. Marsden since my junior high school years. I always wanted to be just like him, calm, cool collected and kind to all.

I hope his family knows how many lives he touched in a good and gentle way, yet with the strength of a great leader.

So very sad to hear his life ended this way. Thank you for your excellent work in making this horrible truth known.


© 2011 Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons