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