Cover photo for Melvin Stanford's Obituary
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1932 Melvin 2022

Melvin Stanford

June 13, 1932 — January 22, 2022

Provo, Utah

Melvin Joseph Stanford (89) died 22 January 2022 at Payson, Utah.

Born 13 June 1932 at Logan, Utah to Joseph Sedley Stanford and Ida Pearl (Ivie) Stanford, as the fifth of nine children. Childhood experiences included working in the large family garden, playing on the lower campus of Utah State Agricultural College, and many outdoor excursions. His father was a professor of zoology and taught him to identify birds, wildlife, and flowers. Two older brothers served in World War Two. Mel was in the class of 1950, Logan High School. During the Korean War, Mel joined the U.S. Air Force and served in personnel administration.

He married Frances Yvonne Watson, Twin Falls, ID, 1951; they divorced, 1956. Children: Connie Tendick, R.N., and Cheryl White.

Mel graduated with honors from Utah State University, 1957: B.S., Business Admin; Gold "A" Medal. He was a member, Lambda Delta Sigma; and Life Loyal member, Alpha Kappa Psi. He worked as a Tour Bus driver and guide (Gearjammer), Utah Parks Company, summer 1957. Mel enrolled as Donald Kirk David Fellow at Harvard Business School in Sept. 1957; in Nov. he fell ill with Asian flu. Mel left school and found work in Salt Lake City at the Utah Tax Commission. Admission to the Tabernacle Choir greatly enhanced his gradual recovery of health. Mel sang in Carnegie Hall, New York City, with the Choir on tour.

In July 1958, Linda Barney came to work at the Utah Tax Commission, where she met Mel. After two beautiful years of courtship, Mel and Linda were married on 2 Sept. 1960 in the Salt Lake Temple. Their children are:  Joseph, M.D., (Kathleen Barnett),  Professor of Medicine, University of Utah; Theodore, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics, New Mexico State University; Emily, M.B.A., (David Schultz), Senior Manager at FamilySearch, Salt Lake City; Elisabeth (deceased); Charlotte, Ph.D.,(Ben Pratt-Ferguson),  Professor of Humanities, Brigham Young University; Charles, M.L.I.S., (Jennifer Hillman), Archivist; Sarah, B.A, (Jared Eastley),Home School Teacher and Geography Teacher at Northfield School, Wichita, KS.

Mel was completely devoted to Linda and all the family. He encouraged each of them to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, develop their talents and contribute their best. Mel summited Mount Timpanogos eight times, beginning in 1959 with Linda.  Family activities were high priority, especially camping, hiking, skiing, music, gardening, bird-watching, and travel across the world.

Mel and Linda with baby Joey moved to Boston in 1961, where Mel re-enrolled in the Harvard MBA program. He worked part-time at Haskins & Sells in Boston.

In 1963, after graduating with an MBA  from Harvard, Mel and Linda moved to Saudi Arabia, where Mel supervised oil operations accounting at ARAMCO, the world's largest operating petroleum company. Son Ted was born there in 1964. Christians had permission from the king to hold private worship services. Mel served for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as Presiding Elder of the Saudi Arabia Area.

In 1966, Mel enrolled at the University of Illinois and taught Industrial Administration while earning a Ph.D. in Business in 1968. Then Mel joined the faculty at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Emily, Elisabeth, Charlotte, Charles and Sarah were born in Provo.

Mel was author or co-author of 12 academic books and 151 articles, cases, and papers. Research and consulting enhanced Mel's prolific scholarship. He enriched his university classes with current research and encouraged his students to work to their highest level of ability. For his last three years at BYU, students rated Mel the top teacher in the Business Management Department. He also served as a Visiting Professor of Management at Boston University in Europe, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the University of Minnesota.

As President, and subsequently a Fellow, of the North American Case Research Association, Mel was widely respected as a leading scholar, writer and editor who upheld meaningful research inquiry and productive stewardship of talent, time and resources. He had a strong commitment to performance of duty, wise use of resources, and initiative for improvement.

In 1982, Mel was invited to serve as Dean of the College of Business at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He was responsible for leading faculty research, preserving teaching quality, and strengthening the curriculum at a time of increasing enrollments. He hired and mentored many new faculty members. He founded the Midwestern Journal of Business and Economics.

In 1988 Mel was honored by Mayoral proclamation as Ambassador for the City of Mankato, Minnesota. His biographical sketch was included in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, and American Men and Women of Science.

A licensed commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings, Mel flew for research, university travel, consulting, and occasional family trips.

He was a member and High Priest in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mel and Linda served together two full-time missions: from 1997 to 1999 teaching Institute in Boston, MA; and from 2001 to 2003 in Salt Lake City, UT, preparing a leadership training program for the Church's Farm Management Company. Linda and Mel served together as ordinances workers in four Temples.

As Bishop of Mankato, Minnesota Ward, Mel was attentive to the needs of every ward member. He served as chairman of the Bishops’ Council in the Rochester, Minnesota Stake, and, over the years, in many other Church callings.

Mel was commissioned in the U. S. Army reserve in 1956. He served for 25 years in many responsible assignments. As Commander of the 698th Military Intelligence Detachment, Mel led his troops to develop their skill with high morale. Their work contributed significantly to the Defense Intelligence Agency, for which the 698th received the Superior Unit Award from the Department of the Army. In the year of his military retirement Mel was selected for promotion to Colonel.

Mel was a Life Member, Sons of Utah Pioneers, and President Emeritus of the Utah Society, Sons of the American Revolution. He was a member and Director in the Kiwanis Club. With enduring loyalty to family and schools, Mel and Linda attended many reunions.

After retiring from his university career, Mel worked with family history, writing and publishing, reviewing and sharing research, and Boy Scout merit badge counseling. He and Linda published seven volumes of family history. After their second mission, they designed and built a home at Bear Lake, Idaho and happily lived there for 7 years. In recent years, Mel's energy and strength declined due to a heart condition, and Parkinson’s Disease. His favorite activity was to visit family, friends and neighbors and share encouragement, flowers, food and music. For more than 30 years, the Stanford family sang Christmas music at senior care centers.

Mel is survived by his wife, Linda, and children Joseph (Kathleen), Ted, Emily (David Schultz), Charlotte (Ben Pratt-Ferguson), Charles (Jennifer Hillman), and Sarah (Jared Eastley), two sisters: Marie (Wayne) Williams, and Diane Jastremsky, 32 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by his parents, brothers Theodore, Stephen and Glen Stanford and sisters Vesta Stanford, Katherine Staples and Elaine Brockbank, and by daughters Elisabeth Stanford, Connie Tendick, and Cheryl White.

The Stanford family gratefully acknowledges the kind and excellent care of the staff of Aspen Ridge Care Center, Homespire, Home Instead, and Central Utah Bennion Veterans’ Home, in the last year of Mel’s life.

Funeral services will be held at the LDS chapel at 1555 North 1350 West, Provo, Utah on Thursday, January 27 at 10 a.m., and streamed online by the Sundberg-Olpin Funeral Home. Visitations from 9:00 to 9:45 AM at the chapel prior to the funeral, and from 6 PM to 8 PM Wednesday, January 26, at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem, Utah. Burial with military honors in Logan, Utah City Cemetery.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary

495 S State St, Orem, UT 84058

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Daytime Viewing

Thursday, January 27, 2022

9:00 - 9:45 am (Mountain time)

LDS Chapel 1555 North 1350 West

1555 North 1350 West, Provo, UT 84604

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Funeral Service

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Mountain time)

LDS Chapel 1555 North 1350 West

1555 North 1350 West, Provo, UT 84604

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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