Leroy "Roy" Barlow Jeffs was born June 5, 1992, in Sandy, Utah to Gloria Barlow and Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) prophet Warren Jeffs. Roy was the oldest of her four children. He moved to Short Creek (Colorado City, Utah) with his family in 1998. Throughout his life, Roy would travel to many FLDS enclaves around the U.S. clearing land, building houses, tending herds, and learning to repair appliances.
In February 2014, Roy made the difficult decision to leave the FLDS community and bought a one-way ticket to Salt Lake City. There he built a new life for himself and would later reconnect with his brother Ray and sisters Lenora, Rachel and Becky. Roy worked hard to create his own community, and found a loving, diverse, and inclusive group of former Mormons to whom he became a cherished brother.
Roy took great joy in exploring the secular world as an adult. Disney movies, Taylor Swift, and good food- were some of his favorite ways to experience his new life. Roy's near-constant discoveries and infectious joy made him a lot of fun to be around. More importantly, he had a kind heart and he became a soft place to land for his friends.
When Roy left the FLDS, he watched the TV series "Friends" at least eight times all the way through. He dreamed of finding friendships like the ones he saw on that screen, and he eventually did. His friends will remember that when he laughed, he would throw his hand over his heart as if to hold all that happiness in there as long as he could. He was able to keep one step ahead of the darkness in those moments, when he was having new experiences and felt loved and connected. He only ever wanted to be met where he was at.
Roy was courageous and brave in being his authentic self and was a proud member of the LGBT community. His friends saw him as simply Roy, an incredibly honest and generous man with a huge heart. His true gifts were unapologetic curiosity paired with unconditional empathy. He brought light and love to all he met. More than anything, Roy wished to be seen as his own person and not for anything his family members had done. Too often the shadow of his family name hung over his head and it was a difficult weight to carry.
But Roy was not just one thing, and he was not just one story. His soul contained multitudes. His childhood was full of happy times and he had wonderful memories of his mother, spending their days landscaping and gardening. Roy knew she was the one person that truly loved and cared about him. His fondest memories included helping his mother tend to the flower gardens in the family home and planting alyssum and rose bushes. It is clear that Gloria nurtured Roy and instilled in him integrity, compassion, and courage- because Roy would reflect those values throughout his life. He lived with a wide-open heart in a way that should make any mother proud.
At the time of his death, his mother was in hiding and Roy hadn't seen her in six years. He yearned to reunite with her and searched for her until the end of his life. Roy would want everyone to create families made of love wherever they go, sing loud, share good food, be proud of our histories and resilience, and accept one another. He embodied pure love for others, even if he couldn't always hold it for himself.
Roy is survived by many who loved him dearly, including many, many cherished friends in his community of choice. He is also survived by mother Gloria, his full brothers Richard and Rulon and full sister Patricia, his 50 additional siblings and beloved mothers. He was loved and supported by his siblings Rachel, Becky, Lenora, Sarah, Raymond, Isaac, Abraham, Jacob and Wendell and mourned by his chosen family, Lindsay Hansen Park and their dinner group, Crystal Chamberlain and Katrina and Chris Green.
We ask that the media please respect the privacy of Roy's service and of his family and friends at this time. Roy's story was often told without him and we'd like to allow him this private moment.
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, June 8, 2019 at Larkin Sunset Gardens Mortuary located at 1950 E. 10600 S. Sandy, UT 84092 at 11:00 a.m.
There will be a viewing the Friday evening before from 6 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Cherish Families who are collecting funds for the funeral.
I’m so sorry for your lost