Dwight M. Blood
09/17/1932 - 03/23/2020
Dwight M. Blood passed away on March 23, 2020, after a brief illness, at Sagewood at Daybreak in South Jordan, Utah, where he had been living the past two years. Dwight was born September 17, 1932, in Penrose, Wyoming, to Russell M. and Minnie Wasden Blood. His father was a hard-scrabble worker and provider, who found his way to Wyoming as a teenager seeking a home with relatives he did not know when there was nowhere else to go. His mother was the daughter of Mormon pioneers who in the early 20th century settled in the Big Horn Basin.
Dwight spent his childhood in Ralston, Cody, and Penrose, Wyoming. The family farm in Penrose provided sustenance for Dwight and his five siblings and parents during the difficult depression and war years. Dwight graduated from Powell High School in 1949 at the age of 16. He fondly recalled his time as co-editor of the PHS newspaper and 1949 annual and as Wyoming FFA president. His childhood years and experiences and his relationship with his siblings and parents molded his outlook and character for the rest of his life. His siblings were a source of great strength and love throughout his life.
In January of 1950, seventeen-year-old Dwight left Penrose for Laramie, Wyoming, to attend the University of Wyoming. Shortly after arriving, he was set up on a blind date with Velna Black, whom he married in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on December 18, 1952. Dwight and Velna enjoyed nearly 63 years of marriage before Velna passed away in 2015. At the ages of 20 and 19, Dwight and Velna undauntedly began their journey together while Dwight pursued his undergraduate degree in agricultural economics at the University of Wyoming, where he graduated in 1953, an M.S. from Montana State University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in economics. His career stops included stints as Director of Research for the Wyoming Legislature and as an economist at the U.S. Department of Treasury. But his career ultimately focused on teaching. Dwight taught over 20,000 university students about supply and demand for 45 years at Penn State University, the University of Wyoming, Colorado State University, and Brigham Young University. He had a great love for teaching and for the students he taught over the years. Dwight regaled the students with stories about his life in Ralston and Penrose, Wyoming, finding ways to weave those stories into explanations of marginal cost and marginal utility. Dwight expressed great admiration for his university colleagues over the years.
Following Dwight’s retirement from Brigham Young University, he and Velna split their time between St. George and Riverton, Utah, where they developed lasting friendships and encountered generous and kind neighbors and friends. After Velna’s death, Dwight experienced health challenges that necessitated a move to Sagewood at Daybreak, in South Jordan, Utah.
Dwight and Velna raised five children, and together they worked diligently to provide for their family and establish an environment of faith, work, and learning. After their children left home and started their own families, Dwight and Velna gathered with their children and grandchildren often, where Dwight would regale all with stories about his life, about Wyoming, and about whatever would make everyone laugh; he enjoyed being the teacher and storyteller.
In his retirement years, Dwight became a photography enthusiast, especially focused on the beauty, colors, and variety of flowers. And although he was limited in his mobility, he found a way to photograph flowers every day, including by having new bouquets delivered to his room each week. He learned to use various cameras, lenses, filters, and techniques to find beauty in every flower, and he never tired of it, daily posting numerous flower pictures online for many years. He has tens of thousands of photos saved on his various computers, and yet, he could find something different and new with each flower that he saw that made it worth photographing and sharing.
Dwight supplemented his love of photography with his love of writing, using the latest technology and social media to share his works. His online community that followed his writings and photography was an important part of his later years. Dwight’s recent works of photography and writing included a series of short books he published in which he offered his thoughts on caregivers, gratitude, and finding joy, among other topics, supplemented with his photography.
Dwight was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held many callings during his life. His faith helped to shape his outlook and provided meaning and understanding during difficult times.
Dwight is survived by his five children Russell Blood (Susan), Ronald Blood (Lani), James Blood (Sharman), Carolyn Nielson (Tom), and Kim Hamon (Cliff); siblings Louise Blood, Judy Petersen, Elizabeth Gage, Ann Tanner, and Steven Blood; and 19 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Velna. Dwight’s children wish to express their deep appreciation to all the caregivers who have so lovingly and kindly cared for him these past several years, especially to Soni Johnson and all the other outstanding crew at Sagewood who helped Dwight navigate these last two years in a way that allowed him to find greater meaning and joy.
Due to the current situation with the coronavirus, there will not be a memorial service; instead there will be a private, small, graveside service. When it is possible to gather people together again, there will be an open house when those who wish to can come to honor and remember Dwight. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes contributions in memory of Dwight Blood to the Minnie Wasden Blood Scholarship at NWC Foundation 231 W. 6th St., Powell, WY 82435 or online at www.nwcollegefoundation.org/giving Select GIVE NOW, then under Designation, select Other and type Dwight Blood.