John Odell Tolman

1935 ~ 2023

Obituary Photo for John Odell Tolman < >

Evening Viewing

Larkin Sunset Gardens - 1950 East Dimple Dell Road
Mar 17, 2023 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Butler 10th Ward - 6634 South Greenfield Way
Mar 18, 2023 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Funeral Service

Butler 10th Ward - 6634 South Greenfield Way
Mar 18, 2023 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Graveside Service

Larkin Sunset Gardens - 1950 East Dimple Dell Road
Mar 18, 2023 12:30 PM

John Odell Tolman passed away Sunday, March 5, 2023 in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. He was born January 11, 1935 in Pocatello, Idaho to William Odell and Opal Adams Tolman, the oldest of seven children. He graduated from Idaho Falls High School in 1953 and fulfilled a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (1955-1957) to the Northern California Mission.

John married Dixie Selby in the Salt Lake Temple in 1957 and they were blessed with 3 children: Stephen (Jan), Leah (David) Durr, Derek (Carolyn). In 1968, he married Joan Ranck in the Salt Lake Temple and added 2 children from her previous marriage, whom he legally adopted: Kathryn (Douglas) Jones, and Todd (Linda). Jennifer (Spencer) Allen, and Tricia Leslie were the final additions to their blended family, raised together as brothers and sisters - sons and daughters of John and Joan.

John loved sports! He was an active participant all of his life - enjoying football, basketball, softball, track and field, and golf. He was an avid supporter of BYU sports!

John was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Janice (Jon) Taylor and Shirlene Tolman, his brothers Michael Tolman and Darrel (Barbara) Tolman, and his granddaughter Kimberly Tolman.

He is survived by his wife, Joan and his seven children, and his sisters Loraine (Alfred) Pace and Loretta (DeLoy) Thueson. John leaves a large posterity of 31 grandchildren and 32 great- grandchildren.

John graduated from BYU with a B.A. in History and a M.A. in Ancient Near East Studies. He retired from the LDS Church Educational System after having worked in various positions as an instructor, curriculum writer, seminary principal at Hillcrest High School, and as Administrative Assistant to the Area Director over the Seminaries and Institutes in the South Salt Lake Area.

He enjoyed his opportunities for service in his ward and stake and especially enjoyed teaching the Gospel Doctrine Class. He also served in 3 temples - Jordan River, Palmyra, and Salt Lake, and enjoyed serving a mission with his wife, Joan, in the New York, Rochester Mission. His love of the Prophet Joseph Smith made serving in the Cradle of the Restoration a high point in his life.

We wish to express our gratitude for those at Escalante at Coventry Memory Care and Utah Home Health and Hospice who gave him loving care in the months prior to his passing.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, 2023 in the Greenfield Chapel at 6634 So. Greenfield Way, Cottonwood Heights, Utah. A viewing will be held at the Larkin Sunset Gardens Mortuary on Friday, March 17, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and the day of the funeral 10:00-10:45 a.m. prior to the funeral service at the Greenfield Chapel. The interment will be at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East Dimple Dell Road (10600 South), Sandy, Utah.

For those desiring to watch the recorded service, please click on the blue "Watch Services" tab above.


Seminary teachers are life savers! Hillcrest Seminary saved my life. Although I didn't have Bro. Tolman's class, I interacted with him several times in his capacity as principal. I thank him for his devoted service in bringing souls to Christ. As he meets our Savior, now, he might get a glimpse of the impact of his tremendous life. Thank you, Brother Tolman.

- Mary Holloway Thayer

Love you, Dad! I love your hugs! I will miss them. You have been a great example to me of faith and service in God's kingdom. I am so grateful for what I have learned from you.

- Kathy Jones

Thank you Bishop Tolman for your service and love and care of the Butler 10th Ward. I remember you saying how much you wanted to meet the prophet. Joseph. I hope you're having a good conversation. Condolences to you. Joan and to your children. Love and prayers sent your way.

- Lennan Jensen

I feel doubly blessed to have known Bro Tolman as both a beloved seminary teacher and my dear friend Tricia’s dad ❤️ I absolutely loved his class and any time I was able to visit with him. He will be missed! Sending all my love to the fam!

- Beva Hadlock Wilhelm

It is with great sorrow that I send this message to John's dear wife and family. He was a great supporter of mine and a very good friend that I could always rely on. We have had such good times when we were together and he made sure to remind me of the ever presence of the Lord in his family, and in his heart.

I can feel his influence, and love in my life daily, as I too have lost my mate 18 Months ago. My heart felt sorrow and love go to your family in this great time of grief. May The Lord bless you through the coming days and months, knowing that he is a true and faithful servant.

- Jay L Memmott

Kathy, Bishop, and Family;
We are grateful for the knowledge we have of the resurrection. We know that you will be reunited with your father and grandfather again. We love attending the temple monthly with you guys, it is a highlight we look forward to. May you find peace knowing that your father and grandfather is no longer in any physical pain.
Love you all.

- Andrew and Beth Petersen

Joan, we send our condolences to you and your marvelous family on the passing of your wonderful John. What a life well lived, and what an exemplary man of faith. Aren't we grateful that life is eternal!
Heber and Diane Lloyd
Olympus Class of '58

- Heber and Diane Lloyd

Dearest Tolman family,
Your dad is one of the very best. I have such wonderful memories of him. His breakfasts were legendary! I spent many a happy morning in your kitchen with Tricia. :) He always treated me so kindly. I know he will continue to be involved in your lives and I hope you feel him near. I feel so grateful to have known him.
Sending prayers and so much love to my friend, Tricia, and to Joan and to all of you.
Shawna Berrett Borg

- Shawna Borg

I want to express my condolences to Joan and all the family on the passing of their wonderful husband and father. I was able to work with John on the board of the Thomas Tolman Family organization where he served as President for many years. He was a dedicated and effective leader and I appreciated his wisdom and friendship as he worked for the blessings of the Gospel to be available to our ancestors. I am sure there is much rejoicing on the other side by many who have benefitted from his faithful efforts!! Love to all the Tolman family.
Kristie Tolman Pitts

- Kristie Tolman Pitts

Our family has benefited greatly from the teaching of brother Tolman and the Tolman family. They have supported our family and shown great love and support and been a great example to us . May Heavenly Fathers blessings be on you sister Tolman and your family. Sharon Jenkins

- Sharon Jenkins