George Wendell Pace Obituary for Mortuary
George Wendell Pace, 91, of Provo, Utah,
Disciple of Christ
Testifier of Joseph Smith Jr., the Restored Church of Jesus Christ and of Living Prophets
passed away, Saturday, November 7, 2020. George was born in Burley, Idaho, October 10, 1929 to loving parents, Presley Denny Pace and Agnes Judd in Burley, Idaho. He was the youngest child of twelve. His parents and siblings have preceded him in death.
George married Diane Carman from Portland, Oregon on Dec. 17, 1954 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.
They are the parents of twelve cherished children: Deborah Roghaar (Bruce) of Logan; Rachelle Castor (Doug) of Provo; Karolla Pace, of Provo; David Pace (Cheryl) of Salt Lake City; Brent Pace (Ralph Martinez) of Salt Lake City; Shenole Palmer (Dan) of Provo; Elizabeth Jensen (Dave) of Provo; Stephenie Petty (Scott), of Salt Lake City; Tamara Thomson (Kim) of Provo; Rebecca Liechty (James) of Newington, VA; Kimberly Henderson (Duane) Lewisville, NC; and Sarah Contreras (Omel) of Corinth, TX.
Two amazing sons and ten angel daughters, raising a total of 52 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren.
George taught in the LDS Church Education System in seminaries. He opened the LDS Institute of Religion at Colorado State University and directed the LDS Institute of Religion at Stanford in Palo Alto, California before returning to Brigham Young University to teach in Religious Education for thirty years. In those thirty years he taught over 60,000 students. He was selected as BYU Professor of the Year in 1978. An author, George lectured with Know Your Religion Series and Education Weeks. He earned his PhD in religious studies.
George served as Branch President in the Missionary Training Center and as Stake President of the BYU 10th Stake. He taught at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. He and his wife taught a year at Tongji University in Shanghai, PRC with the BYU China Teachers Program. They then served a two -and-one-half year mission as Facilitators of the China Teachers Program. They also served a Church Education Mission in the New Zealand, Wellington Mission and taught Senior Missionaries at the Provo MTC.
George was a traveler, and he loved everyone. Everyone knew they were loved by him. He became a friend to all he met, from the University President in China to the Street Sweeper and from the couple who owned the Kodak shop to a little peasant couple visiting the big city for the first time. He was also loved by his students who arm wrestled with him and marveled as he did pushups on his desk. One student said to him: “Professor Pace, you, are the strongest man in the world!” They carried him on their shoulders the night of his farewell party.
A tourist on the Nile River in Egypt who mentioned they were from Utah might have had the boatman turn and ask them if they knew George Pace. Most likely the tourist would know him. A Sherpa, high in the Himalayas, if he found out you were from Utah would ask: Do you know George Pace? The Arab shop keepers in the Old City of Jerusalem knew George Pace. In the Joseph Smith Building at BYU where George was officed, the custodian was his friend. If George knew you he loved you.
The family has binders filled with letters from students and others grateful for George’s influence, not as his followers, but as individuals who were led to seek and find the Savior as the power available in their lives to lead them home.
George Pace is home. Home at last. Safe and happy with all he loves. Can you Imagine?
Private graveside services will take place at East Lawn Memorial Hills in Provo. In lieu of flowers, friends may make a donation to the LDS Church’s Perpetual Education Fund.
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