In many ways your life has been unbelievable to us. It has been 92 years since you were born in North Logan, Utah. Since we were raised in the city, the stories of you growing up on a farm, riding horses, and having fun with friends like Cal, Clyde, and Don seem surreal. What we can relate to, however, is that you had grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who loved and looked out for you. We are extremely grateful to them because we cannot imagine how different your life would have been without them.
It is hard for us to understand why a boy would want to join the Merchant Marines on his 16th birthday, in the middle of World War 2. But you did. Even though you tried, we are glad that no other branch of the service would take you at an earlier age. Not many kids were sitting on a ship in Okinawa, waiting for the pending invasion of Japan, on their 17th birthday. The same day that the first atomic bomb was dropped. But wait, there is more! After your hitch with the Merchant Marines you just had to serve a two-year hitch in the Army. The freedoms that we enjoy today, and the service that others provide in the military, mean more to us because of your military service.
One would think that surviving a World War would have been enough excitement for one life, but not you. After being discharged from the service we are happy that you were able to fulfill one of your life-long dreams of riding in the rodeo. And of course, it had to be bulls. We have always enjoyed the stories of you traveling and competing around the Intermountain West with Geoff, and your other rodeo buddies, each weekend during the season. It was fun for us to find that you assisted in the creation of the Rocky Mountain Rodeo Association (RMRA) and were the first Bull Riding Director. We smiled and shook our heads when you, in your 70s, told us that you still had “one good ride left in you”.
We are grateful to Uncle Ben for teaching you the plastering trade, which you excelled at. We are glad that you were able to assist in building or remodeling the Nevada State Capital building, the LDS church office building, numerous LDS temples, and many other prominent buildings. With your expertise and hard work, you were always able to provide for our family.
To us, the most amazing thing you ever did was to stop riding bulls and become an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This decision made the rest of your life, including our family, possible. You jumped into church activity without ever looking back. You were a great example to us by always doing what you were asked to do, trying to do your best, and not complaining. We noticed the many hours you spent in church service, which was a sign of your dedication and testimony.
In our opinion, the best decision that you ever made was marrying our mother (Sharon Jane Brotherson Stauffer) in the Salt Lake Temple. You hit the jackpot with her and could not have made a better choice.
As we got older, we noticed that you did not go fishing, hunting, or camping like you did when we were young. When asked why, you responded that you really did not like those things and only did them so that we would have those experiences. What a great example of a father.
Your service to your country, your commitment to your faith, your desire to be the best at your profession, your courage to stand up for what is right and for others who could not stand up for themselves, your commitment to honesty, and your endless hard work provide us with a challenging legacy to follow. Like you, we will give it our best and will just have to “Cowboy Up”.
As you depart to the next life, we are thankful for a Savior who has made it possible for us to see both you and Mom again. But hopefully not right away.
Clint, Kyle, Russ, Nora, and Kathy.
Due to Covid 19, a private graveside service will be held.