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Chariton Arnold “Arnie” Ferrin, Jr lived a long and remarkable life of 97 years. He was raised in Ogden, Utah by his paternal grandparents after the passing of his mother Ellen Copening Ferrin when he was four. His father, C. Arnold Ferrin, was out of town often for work as he tried to support his small family and was unavailable to rear his young son. From an early age, Arnie had an extraordinary work ethic and competitive spirit that was veiled by his gentle and gregarious nature. These traits guided him as a father and leader, defining much of his life.
As a competitor and athlete his story is long, engaging and told in detail in many news articles and books. Some of the highlights include making the All-State Team when he played basketball at Ogden High School, being a four-year All-American player at the University of Utah and while there, playing on the winning NCAA, NIT and AAU National Championship Teams. As a freshman he was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament, the first freshman to earn the award. He was drafted by the Minneapolis (later Los Angeles) Lakers and was a starting guard/forward for three years winning two World Championships. He was a more than adequate coach of his sons’ little league basketball teams. Arnie was an excellent golfer and was twice a semifinalist in the Utah State Amateur Golf Championship.
Arnie collaborated with his father in numerous business ventures. In the early 1970’s, he became General Manager of the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association. He later returned to his alma mater working in several capacities including a long tenure as the Director of Athletics. Perhaps the endeavor he enjoyed the most were the years he spent on the NCAA Basketball Selection Committee including as its Chair on the 50th Anniversary of the tournament.
While attending the University of Utah, Arnie was smitten by a coed who loved theater, art and music and who had little interest in all things athletics. After a few missteps, he got a date with RoLayne Rasmussen and slowly won her over. He likely told her that he would attend as many theater events as she would attend sporting events, which turned out to be untrue by a factor of thousands. Nevertheless, they fell in love, united their interests and collaborated on a passionate and unending love affair for over 50 years. Arnie showed his true character when he lovingly cared for her and helped her back to health and independence after she suffered a severe health crisis in her mid-30’s and again in her mid-60’s. With RoLayne, Arnie had four children: Chariton Arnold III “Tres”, Richard Bard, Louanne and Shawn Christian.
Arnie was the adventure guide for his family. He worked hard finding the best places to fish and hunt. He was known to drag his children and their friends at breakneck speeds around the snow-covered streets of Ogden tethered to an inner tube behind his Forest Service surplus Willys Jeep. He set fire to a speed boat on the Colorado River and later sunk the boat on the Snake River. He attended all of their events and turned trick or treating into a competitive event, where children could toss ping pong balls for cash. He and RoLayne welcomed family and friends to their second home in Palm Springs. Arnie and a group of his closest friends found their way onto the most challenging and exclusive golf courses in the world.
As their children married, Sherry Ellis, MaryAnn Morley, Robert Davis and Charlotte Johnson were welcomed as family and joined in on his adventures. His grandchildren: Chariton Seth Ferrin, Devery Ferrin Tingey, Joshua Shawn Ferrin, Jessica Ferrin Nance, Carlyle Ferrin, Chariton Layne “Ari” Davis, Peter Christian Ferrin, and Michael Bard Ferrin also enjoyed his escapades. Arnie was proud of his heritage that also includes: 8 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and 4 great great grandchildren.
Stoically and with grace, Arnie endured the untimely passing of his wife RoLayne, his son Bard, and his grandson Seth.
Arnie was lucky to find Patricia Warshaw Panos as a dear and loving companion later in life. They dated for three years and were married for 17 years. They helped each other grow old gracefully. Her kind and happy spirit combined well with Arnie’s fun-loving lifestyle. Arnie often complained about having to pay $50 for their marriage license. Pat recited poetry and sang songs she had made up about him. As aging took away some of their abilities, Arnie noted that they still complemented each other by stating, “ The two of us together make one pretty good person.”
Arnie was a man of faith who had a deep love for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He enjoyed the community and connection he had within his church and, among other callings, was honored to serve as a bishop to university students and as President of the Michigan Dearborn Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Arnie was proud of his long association with the University of Utah and was a true “Utah Man.” He was rarely seen wearing any color but red; he attended and supported every sport. He was proud and humbled when the U honored him with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.
Arnie was a natural storyteller. He loved retelling stories of his adventures. Arnie moved with elegance through life (except for his backswing and back cast which were way too fast). He had enviable eyebrows and an ever-present soft heart. He lived a remarkable life that he would likely sum up succinctly using a favorite phrase, “pretty work”. Indeed Arnie, pretty work.
His family is grateful for the team of healthcare professionals who helped make these last challenging times safe and comfortable. They include: Kate Wilson M.D.; Monica; Canyon Home Care and Hospice; his nurse, Marie. His caregivers: Tiffany, Miranda, Gohaar and many others. He was also cared for by: Nelsy, Tui and her group including: Naki, Jazey, Mote and more.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at 12:00 pm with a viewing one hour before at the Indian Hills Ward, 1320 Wasatch Drive, SLC. Also, a viewing will be held at the same location on Friday, January 6, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. A celebration of life for Arnie’s family and friends will be hosted immediately after the funeral in the Varsity Room at Rice-Eccles Stadium from 2:00-3:30 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Crimson Club to fund scholarships for student athletes by calling 801-585-3515.
The services are being livestreamed via Zoom. Click the blue button that says "Watch Services" to join. You must have a Zoom account and be logged in to view the livestream.
My heart was heavy and sad as I heard about Arnie's passing. I was then filled with peace as I thought of the wonderful reunion with RoLayne, his parents, and dear friends that were there to greet him. I also felt peace knowing that he had been released from the confines of his physical body.
I'm so glad Steve and I got to see he and Pat when we returned from our mission in September. He still had his wonderful sense of humor and love and concern for me and my family.
Ironically, I was thinking about Arnie the day before he died. I owe so much to him. He was like a second father to me. I give him credit for raising me, since he hired me at 19 to work for him at the U. He trained me and gave me the opportunity that put me on a path to my career. I love him and am so grateful for him. I'm a better person because of my dear friendship with him.
While Steve didn't know Arnie for long, when he met Arnie, they connected and Steve was appreciative of the wonderful influence Arnie was in my life. Arnie was so happy that Steve and I found each other. As a second father to me, he wanted to make sure I found someone to marry. He approved of Steve, even though he was a BYU graduate.
My love and thoughts are with Pat, Tres, Maryann, Louanne, Shawn and the rest of your family. What an amazing legacy he has left for all of us. Go Utes!
Kris Alder (formerly Gross) Forsyth
January 10, 2023
What an amazing life he led. I didn't realize all of his achievements. He always seemed very humble to me. When I moved in the ward he was teaching gospel doctrine so that was the introduction I had to the ward that I have always loved so much.
I enjoyed reading the obituary and what his life was like as a youngster. I was so lucky to know Rolayne and Pat was wonderful too.
What a legacy your family has to look up to.
Love, Jean and Frank
Tres and Sherry - We read of the passing of Tres father and we send our love. He was a wonderful man and certainly deserved all the accolades he received. We wanted to send a card but don't have your address or phone number. It is a comforting feeling knowing that someday you'll be reunited with him.
My heart goes out to the entire family. I was one of the young ones being towed around the snowy streets of Ogden by Arnie and as part of a lifelong friendship with Bard, MaryAnn "zoom" and their children. Arnie would sometimes pick us up from school and make us wrestle our way into the car. So many amazing accomplishments the greatest of which is the wonderful family he raised. Love Always to all of you..
I worked with Arnie in the U of U Athletic Department. He was always a kind and gracious man with a big smile and a wonderful laugh. His fame was never greater than his humanity.
Nothing but great memories of Arnie's warmth and generosity many years ago as Mitzi and I came to meet the Ferrin family through our friendship with Bard, Mary Ann and the girls. Whether it was greetings at a Ute game or a long story at a family event, we will always appreciate Arnie and his love of family, friends and life's good fortune.
Our sympathy to the family and the Utah Utes community.
I am so grateful to Arnie and for his tremendous influence in my life and the lives of so many others. He lived and displayed, by thought and action, his faith - a faith centered through charity toward and for others. Arnie was a wonderful and inspirational husband, father, friend, and mentor. I am so blessed to have known and been supported and befriended by Arnie over the span of many, many years.. Heartfelt condolences to all who grieve his passing, especially to his family. Kindest regards,
Arnie and i worked together in the Park Building in the 1970s. We had a wonderful time working together on the second floor. He was a true red and white Runnin' Ute. He'll be missed and i will miss him. I went to the U of MN and was partial to the Minneapolis Lakers--not so much when they moved to LA--so we always had something in common.
Prayers and God's blessings as you traverse these challenging and difficult days--but what memories you can enjoy!
What a beautiful tribute. Sending our heart felt condolences to all of your family. Arnie will truly be missed. You are in our thoughts and prayers. ❤️
There goes one great fellow. I could not believe he was that old. Time just whizzes by! Arnie was always so gracious and so much fun. His eyes just sparkled under those bushy eyebrows. I always wondered if they got in the way of his basketball shots!
He made Ogden High so proud that we could have such a winner that attended our beloved high school. He didn't stop there but went on to the big time.
I am sure that all of his friends including my sister, Sharon, are having a good old time going over their past memories. It was a privilege to know him and his wife and children.
so, so sorry to hear of the passing of Arnie. He was one of a kind. He left quite a legacy for his posterity. Our condolences.
I'll never forget the times Bard & l enjoyed football and basketball games ee enjoyed by being in the Ferrin section thanks so much for all the memories, G
"GOD BLESS "
My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Hold your dear memories of this great man close as you go through this difficult time.