Our dearest father, Rex Dee Pinegar, passed away at his residence in Holladay, Utah, on June 24, 2021, a few days after enjoying a wonderful Father’s Day with numerous members of his family and sharing his love, kind words and delightful humor. Rex was born on September 18, 1931, to John F. and Grace Ellis Pinegar, in Orem, Utah, just minutes before his twin brother, Max. They were the youngest of 10 children. The family moved shortly afterward to Spanish Fork, Utah. Rex enjoyed a full and active life. He worked in sugar beet fields, fruit orchards at a local dairy, and construction, sang in youth choirs, was an active boy scout, excelled in wrestling and football, performed in theatrical productions, participated in Boys’ State and school government. As a young boy he suffered serious burns and was blinded by fireworks in an accidental explosion – an experience that taught him faith and humility and rooted his belief in God and the power of prayer. He was blessed with a full and miraculous recovery without scarring from the burns or other injuries.
After high school, Rex enlisted in the armed services, following in the footsteps of his older brothers. He served in the US Navy from 1950-1954 in the Korean conflict. During his naval service he experienced the highs of boxing for his ship’s boxing team, and the lows of being hospitalized with scarlet fever and confined to a wheelchair for several months. His aircraft carrier, USS Bairoko, was part of the flotilla that participated in Operation Castle and the testing of the hydrogen bomb in the Bikini and Eniwetok Atolls. His lungs were permanently scarred by radiation exposure from the test. As a result of his service and the service and sacrifices of his brothers, Rex always had a very soft spot in his heart for all veterans.
After his discharge from the service, Rex enrolled at BYU and was elected Freshman class president. He married Bonnie Lee Crabb, the “little neighbor girl” from Spanish Fork, who was “all grown up” and whom he would love and cherish for the rest of his life. They were sealed for eternity in the Salt Lake City Temple on January 24, 1955. After graduating from BYU with a Bachelor of Arts in 1957, Rex moved the family, which now included two children, son Kevin and daughter Lisa, to California to complete a masters’ degree in special education at San Francisco State College and a doctorate in education at the University of Southern California. During this time, he and Bonnie welcomed two more daughters, Suzanne and Shelley, into their family. In 1965, Rex joined the faculty of BYU’s College of Education, teaching special education and other courses. He later became chair of the college’s Department of Educational Psychology. Another daughter, Kristen, was born during the family’s time in Provo. Rex also was called to serve on the Sunday School General Board for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In 1971, as he was preparing his first sabbatical year, Rex was called to preside over the North Carolina-Virginia Mission, headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia. While serving in this capacity, in October 1972, Rex was called by President Harold B. Lee to serve as a member of the First Council of Seventy. He served in both positions simultaneously until his release in 1974 as a mission president. The family settled in Salt Lake City and eventually welcomed the addition of their fifth daughter, Amy, to complete their family. Rex’s full time church service included many assignments and took him to many parts of the country and the world, often accompanied by his beloved Bonnie. In 1998, Rex and Bonnie moved to Tokyo, Japan, where Rex spent three years as a member of the Asia North Area Presidency. After receiving emeritus status in 2002, he and Bonnie served as president and matron of the Mount Timpanogos Temple until 2005, after which they served for five years as Temple Missionary Trainers.
Rex was humble, patient, happy to listen, and ready to help anyone in any way at any time. He was gentle, yet strong. He was the consummate teacher, well read, creative, and artistic. His sense of humor was quick and dry and he used it often to make difficult or hard situations less so, more for others than for himself. Never one to draw attention to himself, Rex was all about ‘the one’, the other person. No one was beneath him or unworthy of his time and attention. His children never heard him say a negative or critical word about anyone, ever. His children and grandchildren cherished his storytelling, his singing, his love for reading books to them, teaching them the joys of yardwork – and work in general – and gathering around him as he shared his incredible experiences with them, often with tears in his eyes. They loved watching him interact with his twin brother and thrilled with his many life-lesson stories from his childhood. He was proud of his heritage and family roots. His greatest loves were the Lord and his family. He devoted everything to them. He expressed gratitude for even the smallest acts of kindness toward him. He radiated charity and warmth up through the final days and minutes of his life. All who were a part of his life in any way would share with his children the special feelings they felt around him and had for him.
Rex was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2010. As with all other serious challenges in his life, he met this last fight with humility, patience, humor and determination. He never complained. Rex was an extraordinary man and will leave a tremendous hole in the lives of all who knew him. His family expresses deep appreciation to his many neighbors and colleagues for all their years of friendship. He had many friends and was a friend to many. The family also thanks the tireless and loving caregivers at The Ridge at Cottonwood, where he resided during the last year of his life.
Rex was predeceased by his beloved Bonnie, wife of 66 years. He is survived by his older brother, Lynn (Mary) Pinegar; his six children, Kevin (Susan) Pinegar, Lisa (Erven) Nelson, Suzanne (Kenneth, deceased) Wadsworth, Shelley (Michael) Peterson, Kristen (Eric) King, and Amy (Nathan) Robinson, as well as 30 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.
A public viewing will be held on Friday, July 16th from 6:00-8:00 pm, at the Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple in Salt Lake City. Services will be held Saturday, July 17th, 1:00 pm, in the Mt. Olympus LDS Stake Center located at 4176 S. Adonis Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to the General Missionary Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at https://philanthropies.churchofjesuschrist.org/missionary.html.
You can watch the recorded service by clicking this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/Ziuds-j5Y0K83f9tEUJZ9GyZuJ9ru-c94B_hn4bGVujkQDTdVs-Qt24rRGD6IhrJ.mXfQmAf368GIptei
I am very sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I hope you are comforted in the knowledge that he is in a better place.
I am so sorry you’ve lost your mom and dad. Both were so kind to me—always. I loved to hear your dad speak because I felt he was saying what the Savior would have said. I loved his responses to teacher’s questions in Sunday School because of his humble clarity saying only that which is good and right. I was blessed to be in the presence of your loving parents. Heaven is a little better because they are there now doing the Lord’s work. At the same time it is so very hard for you all to be without them here. May the Lord bless and keep you.
I can’t find words to express how much my life has been blessed by the teachings and influence of President and Sister Pinegar. Thank you. May you all be blessed with peace and comfort.
Elder Pinegar was always one of my favorite speakers. Wise and inspiring to good works.
At 19 I left SLC to serve a mission in Virginia/North Carolina. I arrived not knowing anything about the church really...just a young man who was scared to death. I had my welcoming interview with President Pinegar who somehow put me at ease and said, "I know right where I want to send you." Thus I was introduced to Fredericsksburg and my trainer Dan Hinmon. I always knew that President Pinegar was led by the spirit. Every transfer that I was involved with, I had a whispering "feeling" before the transfer arrived, and when it did, the sweet confirmation that I was lead my a Man of God.
Since those mission days, I've always been grateful that President Pinegar taught me to be a receptor of the Spirit. While serving as a Bishop and a Stake President, I always acted on impressions that I came to know about because of my years of working with an inspired mission president.
I love you President Pinegar, and if your mission instructions weren't enough to inspire me for life, then your funeral service, by your family, certainly continued that inspiration and desire to repent and improve. As we left the chapel at the conclusion of your service, my wife and I (Thankyou for sealing us together) just looked at each other in amazement at your honorable tribute...and the closing song, oh my goodness...your family is amazing!!!
We have added our prayers to the many that have been offered for you, for continuing comfort and solace, as you make the transition to life without Rex Pinegar here. Our lives have been forever blessed by him, and we consider him to be our treasured mentor, second only to our own parents. While we were living in Vladivostok, helping start the Church in the Russia Far East in the mid-1990s, both Rex and Bonnie were frequently there with us, visiting from Tokyo. They stayed in touch with us over the years, and Rex performed the sealing of our daughter and her husband. They even attended our childrens’ mission talks. What Christlike people!! God bless you all.
Mike & Joyce Williams
This is a little late but I want the Pinegar Family to know how much I enjoyed and appreciated serving under one of our Father's truly valiant. Rex was an influence in my life for the good and I have carried fond memories of him and his family throughout my life. One of Rex's favorite scriptures in the mission field was Alma 29 9-10 which I memorized and have quoted through the years as it relates to many topics. Rex and Bonnie had a genuine interest in me, as they did all of their missionaries, which made a huge difference in my life. I felt pretty special as I wrestled Rex in the living room of the Roanoke Mission Home. I'm sure the Holy Ghost has been with this great family in Rex and Bonnie's passing and has given them a special Eternal perspective of life and families. Faithfully, Brad Wilkinson
I was with President Pinegar as a missionary for only a short time. After my mission, I had a sort layover in SLC and had time to visit Pres Pinegar in the church office building. It was like the final interview as a missionary. Afterwards, President Pinegar and Elder Lorin C Dunn drove me to the airport. On the way I thought, “Wow, I have two GA’s right here, I ought to ask a question..” So I asked, “Brethren, how come we have stake 70;s quorums but no General 70’s quorums even though we have 7 Presidents of the 70?” This was back in 1975 when we had Assistants to the Quorum of the 12. I remember after I asked that question, Pres Pinegar and Elder Dunn looked at each other and said. “Good Question. I have always wondered if they took my question to the prophet and asked him which then came the 1st Quorum of the 70 in 1975, I always loved Pres and Sister Pinegar. What fine examples of Christlike people. My prayers are with the family.
On behalf of the Johannessen family we send our love and condolences to the Pinegar family. President Pinegar inspired me and many others on our missions to North Carolina and Virginia. The Regimental flag of our mission is now lowered in honor of this wonderful man. We salute you President Pinegar! May God's blessing be upon you and your family.
I was so saddened to hear of the passing of President Pinegar. My thoughts and prayers have been with his family and especially his children since I learned of this. President Pinegar was one of the greatest men that I ever met. His influence for good as my mission president has been a major help for me throughout my life and continues to be a positive thing that I turn to. He was one of the most kind, loving and compassionate individuals that I have ever known. To the Pinegar children, thank you so much for sharing your father and your mother with all of us. I know that we have all been enriched in so many ways by their faith, their spirituality and just the opportunity to know and love them.
Sending my love and sympathy to you and all the family at this sad time. It was a joy to be neighbors and friends to your mom and dad and some of you children. So glad my girls and Lisa are still close friends. I admired your mom and dad for their faithfullness and service to the church and appreciated their accomplishents. Hope all goes well for the funeral services. Wish I could be there.
It is not surprising to read the positive comments of the many NCVM missionaries who served under the guidance of Rex Pinegar. He and Sis. Bonnie Pinegar provided great examples of caring and service in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They taught us to follow the Savior's example and teach with love. I was fortunate to be another who worked closely with the Pinegars for a time. I was touched by their quiet strength and testimony. Following my release in late December of 1971 I began a construction job working on the Washington D.C. Temple three weeks later. When the President was called to be a general authority I had a visit with "Elder Pinegar" about his new calling and opportunity. The Pinegars continuing example of service for decades to come was always an inspiration to me. Additionally, I wasn't surprised when I heard that the wooden back scratcher I left behind for the kids was renamed the "Hand of Fellowship." Our sympathies for your loss Pinegars but thank you sincerely for sharing with us.
I wanted to send my condolences to the Rex Dee Pinegar Family. He was my mission president when I served in the North Carolina Virginia Mission in 1970-1972. He also sealed my son and daughter-in-law in the Salt Lake Temple in 1998. The Pinegar's have been very important in my life. I have always admired their example and service. My thoughts are with the family at this difficult time and I wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing your parents with me.
Elder Melvin Hale
Star Valley, Wyoming
Words cannot express our love for this incredible man. We learned so much from him. His gospel doctrine lessons were life changing, but his example taught us more than anything else. Our first day in the ward, he got down on his knees in the foyer to be eye level with our boys to meet them. When our son Doug broke his femur at age eleven, the doorbell rang and he was there to see Doug, no one else! His ministering to the crowd as well as to the one was inspiring. Our three boys have him at the top of their list as the man who influenced them the most outside our family. We loved being his neighbor the past 28 years and we are so happy Bonnie dug a hole and pulled him through so quickly after her passing. They needed to be together! We love your family and hope you feel great comfort from our Savior at this time.
Rex lived a beautiful life of service to others. I miss Rex and Bonnie deeply, and I've been blessed to know them and count them as two of my dearest friends.
When i received my Mission Call to NCVM, in 1972, I wrote to President Pinegar and asked if I could bring my guitar. He said no. But my letter came back to his mind when he wanted to create the musical missionary group called Proclamation. I was called to be part of this group and purchased a guitar to use, along with my voice, in our performances. The 6 of us toured the whole mission performing at every ward and branch. I understand that we were helpful for bringing over 200 people into the gospel! After Proclamation, and a couple months as a Zone Leader, President Pinegar called me to be one of his Assistants. There happened to be 4 Assistants instead of 2 because myself and Elder Smith were to go to North Carolina and help set things up for the split of NCVM into 2 missions - North Carolina and Virginia. We received training from President Pinegar and went with him to mission training meetings for a couple of months. I hated to go to North Carolina but his trust in us made our experiences there great. Oh, how I love this man and his dear wife and family. I am glad that he did not have to suffer too long after his wife died. I wish and pray comfort and increased knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Roger and Shelley Barton
Rex and Bonnie were serving as Temple Missionary Trainers while my Bonny and I were serving in the Provo Temple Presidency and we enjoyed seeing them again after many years of separation. We were all members of the Spanish Fork Third Ward growing up and Rex taught our Sunday School Class when he was in high school. Max was my Deacons Quorum Advisor at the same time. We are thrilled that they are together, never to be separated again. Our sincere condolences to their family.
President and Sister Pinegar had a great influence inmy life. I met them in 1972 after being called to the North Carolina-Virginia Mission. I had just been Baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 18 months before. I was raised in the Catholic Church and attended Parochial schools. I was the only member of my family and the Pinegars gave me alot of love and support.
I have received so many blessings for making that one glorious decision.
I met my husband when we were 30, at BYU and were blessed with 7 beautiful children. We are now happy grandparents of 19 grandchildren and one more on the way.
President and Sister Pinegar were very loving, had such a beautiful marriage and had the highest respect for each other. I remember at zone conferences President would stand every time Sister Pinegar would walk into the chapel to support him.
I watched the zoom for Sister Pinegars funeral and it was so amazing. Your family is so special and so very unique...
We will never forget your family and all you did to teach us how to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My Testimony grew so much! It changed my life forgood and forever!!!
Love, Tina Tansey Linford
I had the privilege to serve my mission under the direction of Pres. Pinegar in Virginia. He was one of the greatest men I know. He also married my wife and I in the SLC Temple. The whole family are so awesome and I really appreciate the opportunity to know the family. I pray the Lord's choicest blessings to each member of the family. I know Rex and Bonnie are certainly in a wonderful place. One that each of us remaining on Earth can only look forward to obtaining.
Love you all,
I am sure you will miss your father and grandfather. He was a fantastic mission president and I am thankful I got to serve with your parents. So thankful for the plan of salvation and to know that he and your mom are together ❤. They were a great influence in my life.
I’m so blessed that the Lord put Elder Pinegar in my life. I had the privilege of doing his travel for many years and what a wonderful friend he became. We had some great talks and visits. I always felt uplifted, after each one. And your right, he had a wonderful sense of humor. May your hearts be comforted. Thanks for sharing him with Heavenly Father’s children. Just a great, great man.
We are all blessed to know your family - you are part of an amazing birthright and we are blessed to know you and your father. Thank you for sharing your family with us and what a great person your father was and is.
We too have a (grand)father who passed also named Rex and we love his memory as well. We wish we could bring you a meal - Braxton definitely does as he is always hungry and he loves and appreciated you both so much during his time in Taiwan. Thank you Shelley for all you and your dear husband have done for him and the many other lives you have blessed.
President was my first Mission President. I learned so much from him and Sister Pinegar. For both of them their counsel and wisdom have guided me through my life after my mission, college, the Air Force, Security Officer and Private Investigator. and now retirement. One of the things I learned from his obituary was that he was a special education teacher. I majored in English and minored in special education. Although I only taught a few years the lessons I learned from President Pinegar helped me a lot and I never realized it. I pray that the family has written down his stories and experiences. That will help your family remember him and your mom. Take care and God bless you all.
We send our condolences at his sacred time for your family we treasure the opportunities to serve with your dear parents both in Japan and in the temple presidency. We will be eternally grateful for their influence and love.
L Edward and Carol Brown
Your father (President Pinegar) was an amazing man with so many talents. I have no doubt but that he used all the talents God gave him to bless the lives of others. He certainly blessed my life and still to this day I enjoy the fruits of his good deeds. No man (other than my own father) has had a greater impact on my life.
I cherish so many stories, teachings, cautions, blessings and examples of pure Christlike leadership that he taught me over the years from my mission days to our brief encounters/meetings over the years. I have kept many inside my heart and they have guided and blessed me; many I have written and spoken of them to my own family to be part of our own travels.
I am reminded of a beautiful song in the play "Wicked" titled "For Good". There are a couple of lines sung that capture how I feel: BECAUSE I KNEW YOU...I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD.
My family and I send our deepest condolences. Your Dad is one of the great ones!
I was a missionary in the North Carolina/Virginia mission from 1970-1972
Pres. Pinegar came as a general authority speaker to our Stake Conference in 1998 in Bloomfield, NM. He had only been my mission president for 1 year, but he had recognized me in the crowd and he remembered my name when we came up to speak with him. I introduced him to my wife who was holding our 1-year-old daughter. When he made eye contact with her, she smiled and jumped into his arms. Pres. Pinegar caught her and they had a little conversation. We had never seen her jump into anyone's arms before - either family or stranger - but she really wanted to be near to him.
He had such a great spirit that even infants were drawn to him. Seeing Pres. Pinegar holding my little daughter was a true example of a loving and humble servant of God. It was a privilege to know, serve, and be directed by this kind man. Being a missionary with him was one of the best times of my life. It's my hope that his example of love will continue to bless his family as it his blessed mine.
The first time we meet in September 1970 you asked me for what I thought was be a verily informal chat.
You brought up the fact that you had several documents of mine that were sighed in different ways : Redmond Andrews , Red Andrews , Andrews.
He asked, " what do you what to be called? Just call me,"Red I said in all sincerity!" He chuckle and said, " call me Rex."
I was quite aware that proper names and office was required.
I love you Rex and might see you soon.
So very grateful for the wise loving inspired counsel from President and Sister Pinegar. Indeed a wonderful blessing that has affected our children and grandchildren!
It was my honor and a great blessing to serve as a missionary under President and Sister Pinegar. I had the privilege of living in the mission home for about 5 months. I was able to travel with President Pinegar, I had meals with his family and the other missionaries in the home, he often made time to come to our early morning study sessions. When he did they were a whole different experience as he brought greater light and understanding to the scriptures we were studying. I never once saw him behave or say anything that made me lose admiration for him. Other than my own parents he had the most influence on me of any other person during this time of my life. He was and is a great man and He and Bonnie are a wonderful example to all who were blessed to know them.
It is the honor of my life to know your parents and you children while serving in the North Carolina-Virginia 1972, 1973 and Virginia 1973-1974 missions.
Your parents were released a month after I was released. My beloved wife of 47 years were sealed by your father in the Salt Lake Temple, October 11, 1974. His counsel throughout my mission and at our sealing lives daily with me and my wife and family.
It is comforting to know they live just beyond the veil and continue to minister for their family on both sides of the veil.
Suzanne and I send deepest condolences at this time of your losses.
With all our love!