Don W. Pihl

1929 ~ 2021

Obituary Photo for Don W. Pihl < >


Aug. 23, 2021
5:00 PM
Larkin Sunset Lawn Cemetery: 2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah

Our humble, kind, and loving father and grandfather, Don Walter Pihl, passed away peacefully while surrounded by family, on August 12, 2021, at age 91. He lived a full life. He wanted all to know he overcame a battle with COVID-19 in December of 2020, but died of natural causes. The family would like to thank the hospice team, including Nurse Joelle Chase and Dr. Anna Beck, who so lovingly cared for him during the final stages of his life.

Don was born in the Sugar House area of Salt Lake City, on September 14, 1929, and grew up in Holladay, Utah, with his sister, Barbara (deceased) and their parents (deceased), Amanda Elizabeth Petersen and Walter Conrad Pihl, where he shared many fond memories. As a boy, he worked many jobs to help the family, and was an incredibly hard worker all his life. He graduated from Granite High School in 1947, and from the University of Utah in 1951. That same year, he entered the United States Air Force, where he became a fighter pilot (F-86 & F-89) and Lieutenant Colonel, serving in Portland, Newfoundland, and Texas. Flying became a love and passion for him (along with ice cream and peanut butter). In 1958, he joined the Utah Air National Guard, where he continued to fly and serve until 1973. He met many of his closest friends throughout his life in the service. Some of the planes he actually flew memorialize his life at the Air Museum at Hill Air Force Base.

On September 23, 1955, he married Lenora Joyce Manning and later started and raised a family of three boys in the magical Harvard-Yale area of Salt Lake City. Over 40 years of life in the Yale 2nd Ward created many friends and memories. He was a wonderful father and marvelous example of service and hard work. He had a varied business career, including work at Otley Decorating, manager of the University Club Building, as well as being a serial entrepreneur and real estate investor, to owning his own fast-food franchise (Central Park). For a time, he worked as a condominium development consultant, with Keith Romney Associates, and was instrumental in the development of Graystone Condominiums (where he lived at the time of his passing), which was the first condominium development in America. He worked on, and pioneered condominium development throughout North America, where he met many influential people and lifelong friends. Don’s humility, kindness and gentle demeanor attracted many friends.

After the passing of Joyce Manning, in May of 2001, he eventually “re-Joyced” and married Joyce Quayle, in July of 2003. They met while serving in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was happily married to Joyce and lived a life of vitality until the time of his passing. From May of 2013 (at age 83) to May of 2015, they served a mission for the Church, serving military personnel in Korea, where they touched the lives of many missionaries and people. Don’s life was marked by service in life and in the church, where he served as a branch president (in the Air Force and at the VA Hospital in Salt Lake City), counselor in two bishoprics, high counselor, as well as many years of service in the Salt Lake Temple. Don and Joyce also cherished their service in the Addiction Recovery Program at the Salt Lake County Jail.
Don is survived by his wife, Joyce Q. Pihl, two sons, David, Mike (Mary Ann McMaster), stepchildren: Steve and Leah Wynn, Chris and Rachel Lott, Paul and Anna Ayala, Joseph and Pam Wiggins, as well as 8 grandchildren and 12 step-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, first wife, Joyce Manning, son, John, and stepson, James Herren.

Graveside services will be held Monday, August 23, 2021, at 5:00 pm, at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, followed by a visitation at the mortuary (at the same location), from 6:00-7:00 pm.

For those who would like view the recorded graveside service you may do so here:


Please, accept my condolences for the lose of your father and husband. I met him once, he was a gracious host. So interesting with the many places he had traveled, his military service, and his many businesses. A real lose for the family. May God give all of you the peace and comfort he has promised us at times like these.

- Nancy Lee

My sincerest condolences to my aunt Joyce and all the loving family that surrounds you. May you find comfort and peace within your loss soon.

- Audrey Sinopoli

We send our love and tender thoughts at this difficult time. We loved Don and remember him fondly!

- Buzz and Kelly Welch

My condolences to my dear Aunt Joyce and my sweet cousins. I so thankful for Don as he was such a wonderful friend to my dad, Wendell. They loved talking about their military days together always over in a quiet corner while us women went on with our activities in the chaotic kitchen. He will be missed.

- Julianne Jakins Owsley

It is with a sad heart that we say goodbye for now to Don Pihl. He married, Lenora Joyce
Manning, my sister, and we enjoyed celebrating many events throughout our lives together with our children. Never heard a cross word from him and he was always steady as you go which I am sure was good for a jet pilot! He lived a very full and interesting life.
So for now, Hasta la vista Don!
Marcie Daines and Family

- Marcene Daines

We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Don. He was a joy to work with in the Temple. We will miss him but only for a short time. Our prayers are with you.
Michael and Chris

- Michael & Chris Richards