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Russell Fred Healey, son of Russell Fred Healey and Adelaide Mae Jarvis, was born February 2, 1949 in Salt Lake City. His younger years were spent on Emerson Avenue, just above 700 East. When he was six years old, his family moved to their lifelong home in East Millcreek. Fred attended East Millcreek Elementary, Wasatch Junior High, and graduated from Skyline High School where he played football and served as the seminary president. His next step took him on his two-year mission to New Zealand, where he fell in love with the beautiful Māori people. When he returned, he attended the University of Utah, attaining a BS degree in business and graduated magna cum laude with a master’s degree in finance.
Fred married Jill Whittaker on August 20, 1970 and they formed a team that would work, serve and love together for the next 52 years. Fred spent his working years in varied business places, including Wallace Associates, owner of Ponderosa Steak House, Feature Films for Families, faculty member at the University of Utah and Westminster College in the real estate field, and Challenger Schools. His favorite business was the Healey Company, where he was able to use his real estate expertise and his unmatched business sense to create multiple business ventures and partnerships. As side responsibilities, he served on the boards of US Bank, Challenger Schools and Utah Community Bank. His time with Utah Community Bank grew as he assumed the position of Chairman of the Board. As the bank grew, it added a side entity from New York and the bank name was changed to Finwise Bank. Fred worked tirelessly for months with a team to take Finwise public on the New York Stock Exchange. He felt this one accomplishment was the cherry on top of his entire business career!
Fred had a strong desire to uplift and serve in the community. He served on the Eagle Scout Breakfast Board honoring all eagle scout recipients and their parents at a breakfast in the Little America Hotel. Granite Education Foundation had a stronghold on his heart for many years as he was responsible for creating many new methods to raise money for the children of the Granite School District. He served as president of the foundation from 1998-2001. Though he never joined the Lions Club, he was forever a Fourth of July member, always bringing most of his family along. While all the adults in the family worked in the kitchen serving breakfast, the teenage grandchildren ran all of the games in the midway.
At the beginning of 2016, Fred threw in his hat to run for mayor of the new city of Millcreek, which he had worked long and hard to create. Then in June, Fred’s health took a turn for the worse and, while he had to officially resign from the race, he never stopped serving the city of Millcreek.
Physical exercise was always an important part of Fred’s life. He ran for years with his neighborhood friends and completed four marathons. For many years we would have to drive his car out to the Sports Mall at night so that the next morning he could run to the mall and work out. It was there that he learned and fell in love with racquetball. He actually became pretty competitive! But his biggest love was the golf course – any golf course. He played in many tournaments with business associates, friends, and especially his sons.
Fred loved the Lord and served wherever he was asked. The youth were the focus of his church responsibilities for many years. He served as scoutmaster, High Counselor, Stake Young Men President, counselor in the Stake Presidency for nine years serving the young men and young women, Bishop and Counselor in singles wards, and coordinator in the baptistry of the Salt Lake and Jordan River Temples. His very favorite calling was teaching Gospel Doctrine.
The place where Fred felt the most satisfaction, and where he truly shined, was as the patriarch of his large family. He loved fiercely. Each child and grandchild knew they had a big piece of his heart. Lovingly known as “Papa Fred,” he did all things “grandpa”: attended games of soccer, baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse; dance recitals, school plays, and grandparents’ day. He took every chance he had to support his family. Teenagers’ club for all grandkids, ages 11 and up, included Sunday dinner at Grandpa and Grandma’s house followed by a lesson. Papa Fred never passed up an opportunity to bear his testimony to his grandchildren. He wanted them to truly know what he believed.
Fred was generous and fun, taking his family on many trips. He made cherished memories with them at the beach, Disney, Bear Lake, Florida, Park City, and at the family homes in St. George. He made certain that no tradition was ever lost or forgotten. He spent every New Year’s in St. George with the entire crew, had Easter egg hunts, bought mandevilla plants and Leslie’s pastries for all the moms in the family for Mothers’ Day, flipped pancakes on the Fourth of July, swam at the Evergreen Swimming Club, golfed, visited the Utah State Fair every September, carved pumpkins, played bingo every Thanksgiving, rode the bus to see Santa at the mall, attended the Forgotten Carols, lit up our home like Clark Griswold, and spoiled everyone on Christmas Day. He loved traditions and once a good event happened, it became an every-year event!
In June 2000, Fred was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (bone marrow cancer). The doctors gave him 2 1/2 to 3 years. At that time our world felt shattered. He began treatment immediately. After 10 years with Dr. Clyde Ford as his oncologist, Clyde closed the practice to go on a mission. Fred asked him how he could go and leave his patient, and he quickly replied, “ I never expected you to live so long!” He then began treatment under the diligent care of Dr. William Nibley and Anita McDonald. His treatment of chemotherapy continued for the next 10 years.
This past winter, Fred hit a wall with his treatment. The side effects of the past 21 years of meds had totally ruined his bone marrow and his body could no longer produce blood. Alternative procedures were tried month after month with no results. For the past several months, he has just survived on blood and platelet transfusions. We count about 30 to 35 of them! He ultimately passed away from a brain bleed caused from aplastic anemia.
We add all this information to help one realize how truly tough, courageous and persistent he was. For over half of his years in the workplace he was also battling cancer. He constantly pushed himself to maintain his busy schedule with family work and social. He kept his daily calendar filled with more appointments and deadlines than were physically possible, but not for Fred! His work responsibilities were demanding executive positions, but somehow, like only Fred Healey could, he was able to multitask his way through it all!
Our family recognizes and has strong gratitude for the many miracles and blessings we have been given over the past 22 years that have allowed us to have more time with our husband, our dad, and our grandpa!
Fred is survived by his wife, Jill, seven children, 35 grandchildren and two great granddaughters:
Holly & Patrick Brain (Lauren & Matt Wilcox & baby Eloise, Tanner & Savannah Brain, Abbey & Sam Whipperman, Elder Conner Brain, Jensen), Heather & John Peterson (Hannah & Tanner Squires & baby Gwennie, Christian, Elder Josh Peterson, Haley, Sarah Jane, Ashton, Addie), Travis & Mindy Healey (Austin, Tate, Taylor, Lexi, Landon, Jake, Sophie), Tyler & Melanie Healey (Tyson, Carter, Lincoln, Tess), Colby & Lindsey Healey (Caylin, Bree, Lia, Nora), Creed & Amanda Healey (Callie, Cole, Weston, Madison), Brett & Lisa Healey (Elle, Olivia, Winnifred, Penny.) Fred is also survived by his three brothers, Jim (Joan), Arthur (Laurie), and Patrick (Diane); Brother in Law Rich Whittaker (Shelley), Sister in Law Ginger Hyde (Gerald) and the entire Evans Family. Preceded in death by his parents, Russell & Adelaide Healey, and Jill’s parents, Joe & Marva Whittaker.
Services will be held on Monday, October 17th, with a viewing from 10:00-11:30, and the funeral at noon. The previous evening, Sunday, October 16th, a viewing will be held from 6:00-8:00. All events will be held at the East Millcreek Stake Center (3103 East Craig Drive). Interment at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.
Virtual Services are available by clicking the "Watch Services" button above. A free zoom account is required to participate.
Fred was a wonderful and influential man. I just loved him as a person. I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you all. Prayers of comfort during this difficult time.
Sorry about Fred's passing. My prayers are with Jill and the family. May the Lord bless all of you.
I am deeply saddened to hear of Freds passing. Our hearts and prayers are with all of you at this time.
We will forever miss Fred. He was a major part in our lives.
Fred had a great deal of influence on Barbara and her decisions about Challenger - he obviously had a large affect on many of us with whom he worked. We will miss his energy and eternal optimism.
Thank you, Fred, for keeping us all looking up!
Our family loves the Healeys'! We are so saddened to hear of Fred's passing. Heaven will be better when he arrives but the world will miss his light, laughter and presence. We as a family were blessed by his example and his goodness. We cherish the memories we have had with you and your father and husband. May you each be strengthened and encircled by angels as you do a very difficult thing. We will be praying for each of you and thanking our Heavenly Father for His goodness in letting us get to know and love Fred Healey.
Blessings every moment,
Steve and Elaine Dalton and family
I am so sorry for your loss. Fred was an amazing person. He influenced me as I grew up. I am grateful I had the opportunity to know him.
Fred is my 2nd father and will always be, I will forever cherish every memory with Freddy. The car rides, the ice creams, the movies, my whole childhood- I sure love you guys, and Jill you are always in my heart and mind. I love you and was so happy to see you today- I’m so glad for every time I had with him and the family. all of my love from SF, A.J., Toby, & Harpua
Such an honor to know Fred, Jill and the rest of the amazing family. His obituary brought tears to my eyes. He lived what he believed and loved unconditionally. God bless your family.
We are so grateful to have had the example of Fred (and Jill) in our lives!! They were amazing people that have tireless energy and abilities!
Fred could always sense what kind of encouragement we needed with our family or our church callings and he was always so generous with his praise. Our boys absolutely loved having him as a coach. We will miss him but I know Heaven will be a better place because he is there. I know he is already hard at work to make Heaven better!
You are definitely a dynamic and admired couple. I also know of your regular early AM temple attendance.
Bless you at this time