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Gareth William Seastrand

January 1, 1925 ~ April 7, 2022 (age 97)

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Obituary

     Gareth (Garth, Gus) William Seastrand, beloved patriarch, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, passed away April 7, 2022, having lived 97 years and 3 months on this beautiful earth. A lifetime of service earned him the love and respect of family, friends and community.

     Gareth was born on New Year’ Day, January 1, 1925 in American Fork, Utah, the sixth of ten children born to his Swedish immigrant father, Ernest Joakim Seastrand and his mother, Myrtle Robinson.  His great-grandfather, William Edward “Curly Bill” Robinson walked across the plains to Utah in 1849 when he was 9 years old and shared his pioneer stories with his grandchildren.   Gareth loved to listen to stories about the adventurous trek West.  He was eleven years old when his hero grandfather died in 1936 at age 95.   Gareth was proud of his pioneer and Swedish ancestry. 

      Gareth attended elementary and secondary schools in American Fork and graduated in May of 1943.  He wasn’t stout enough to make the football or basketball teams, so he settled on boxing, later taking second place in the Utah AAU Boxing tournament as an aggressive 126 pounder.  He earned the nickname of Gus because of a cartoon boxing character named Gus.   That stuck with his high school friends.   His high school yearbook said of him “He has a pleasant wit and loves a timely joke.”  This never changed throughout his life.  He was a born storyteller and had a story for every occasion and loved to bring a smile to peoples’ faces. 

    In May 1943, just after graduating from high school he joined the U. S. Navy at the height of World War II. He became a medical corpsman, serving at several bases, mostly on the island of Saipan in the Pacific Theater.  One of his fondest memories occurred on the cruiser, Milwaukee as it was nearing the California coast at the end of the war.  He climbed to the top of the mast as he wanted to be the first to set eyes on his beloved country as it neared San Diego’s San Pedro harbor. The fog lifted and there it was!  His country, his home, his family, and his people.  He was honorably discharged in March 1946.   He loved America and felt it was an honor and a privilege to serve his country.

     After the war he enrolled at BYU with thousands of returning servicemen taking advantage of the G.I. Bill.  It was here he met a pretty little freshman, Dorothy Stice, from Highland, Utah.  They fell in love and were married June 16, 1948 in the Salt Lake Temple.  He continued his education and graduated from BYU in June 1950.   Jobs were scarce and he was grateful when he was offered a job to teach 6th grade in Lyman, Wyoming.   He was excited to move Dorothy and their little daughter, Linda, to Lyman and begin his teaching career.

        He taught two years in Wyoming, then was offered a job at Westmore Elementary School in Orem, Utah.  The next year he was offered a job at the BYU Lab school, which gave him the opportunity to work on a Masters degree    Alpine School District offered him a job once again where he served for 33 years as teacher, principal and district administrator.  

     His time of service saw many innovations and implementations such as full-time first grade, head start, elementary libraries, summer school, remedial reading, Clear Creek outdoor education, teaching internships, and the introduction of computers.   Educators were like one big family to him.  He loved his profession and felt it was a calling from above. He was the proud teacher of future Governor, Gary Herbert.

Throughout his life Gareth was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints serving in many callings, including twice as a Bishop, counselor in the Stake Presidency, and Stake Patriarch, where he served 41 years and offered over 2,000 Patriarchal blessings.  From 1988 to 1990, he and Dorothy served as Directors of the Church History sites in Palmyra, New York.  It was a very special time and they made many friends within the community and with fellow saints.

      A major part of Gareth’s life was community service, which began with the SCERA in 1960 when he was asked to chair the fundraising for a new swimming pool.  This began a life-long commitment to the SCERA and eventually resulted in the founding of the Orem Heritage Museum.  He has been recognized several times by his beloved Orem, including as the Grand Marshal of the Orem Family City parade, the Arthur Watkins Citizen of the Year, and the SCERA Star Award for Community Service. While recognition was nice, his motivation was never about personal recognition but simply serving his fellow men and making his community a thriving place of quality values.

      He loved nature and spending time in the mountains.  He constructed a cabin in Scofield and enjoyed years of interaction with family, friends and relatives.  Fishing was his passion.  His love of nature abounded in his interest in gardening and farming.  “I love the soil” was frequently articulated out loud.  His little farm in Orem had animals and produce and taught his posterity how to work.

     Love abounded in his family.  He advocated for unity and charity.  His exemplary life was focused on his Savior, Jesus Christ.  He touched lives by being kind, thoughtful, and happy.  He showed us all how to be saints, patriots, and friends.  Great was his wisdom.  Strong were his beliefs.  Obedient and humble were his trademarks.  He noted, “My favorite scripture and greatest desire is for me and my family to always love one another as the Savior loves us.”

     He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings: Selma Miller (Eldon), Genevieve Deans (James), Lillian Holmberg (Chet), Vivian Evans (Bruce), Ernest, Richard (Gay), James (Rosell), and Eugene. 

     Gareth is survived by his wife of close to 74 years and his six children, Linda, (John Hanks), Gary (Denise), Ken (Caryl Ann), Marilee (Jeffrey Novak), Mark (Shelly) and John (Liberty).  These children have married loving spouses and brought 24 beautiful grandchildren into the world, who in turn have added 45 great- grand-children and 2 great-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his youngest brother, Stephen (Nancy).  This family of special people have brought tremendous joy and happiness into his life.  

     He loved life; to see a smile and cause a smile.  Every day was an adventure and began with a look at the “list” to see what needed to be accomplished.  There remains an unfinished list on his desk today.  He felt blessed with Heavenly Father’s tender mercies to enjoy all these bonus years, allowing him to spend time with his “one and only angel,” his beloved, eternal companion Dorothy.  

       We wish to acknowledge and thank Logan and the team at A-Plus Home and Hospice for their kind and loving service.  They have been like family and made it possible to enjoy Gareth’s final months together with Dorothy in his home. 

       A viewing will be held at the Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street in Orem, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursday, April 14, 2022.  Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am, Friday, April 15, 2022, at the Orem Park Stake Center, 280 West 300 South, with a viewing preceding the services from 9:30 to 10:30 am.  Interment will be in the American Fork Cemetery. In lieu of flowers do a kind deed for someone in need.

 

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Recording of Service


Services

Evening Viewing
Thursday
April 14, 2022

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary
495 South State Street
Orem, UT 84058

Daytime Viewing
Friday
April 15, 2022

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
LDS Chapel 280 West 300 South
280 West 300 South
Orem, UT 84058

Funeral Service
Friday
April 15, 2022

11:00 AM
LDS Chapel 280 West 300 South
280 West 300 South
Orem, UT 84058

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