CHARACTERISTIC – They include politicians and pillars of the State of Dixie. Patriarchs and pioneers, legends of sport, the arts and the local media.
As the year draws to a close, here’s a look at some of those well-known figures in the local community that we lost in 2021.
dean cox: Washington County government chief for more than 30 years and a longtime business owner, Cox died of cancer on July 7 at the age of 66.
Cox, an avid amateur radio operator, started in county government as the director of emergency services and played a role in county search and rescue teams from 1991 to 2009. He then served as administrator of the Washington County. It was Elected Washington County Commissioner in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. He cited his work on the Red Cliffs Desert Preserve and the Northern Corridor among his key accomplishments.
As a businessman, Cox became a partner of Colorland Sales & Service in October 1980, when it was a small agricultural and general repair business, and helped it become one of Utah’s largest electrical equipment dealers.
Jack Reber: Called Patriarch of Ivins, Reber was mayor of what was then a city in the late 1970s and died at the age of 100 on December 1 at the Southern Utah Veterans Home he had played a role in the construction.
Also a longtime city councilor on the Ivins city council, Reber was among the first 11 families to settle in the area that has become Ivins. He was also Ivins’ oldest WWII veteran.
On the occasion of his 100th birthday in June, Ivins hosted a “Jack Reber Day” to honor him.
Minor L. Brent: A backstage personality on local radio, Miner was part of the KDXU family from 1968 to 1986.
In his later years, Miner became a well-known real estate agent in the St. George area and started the low-power FM jazz radio station KWBR.
Miner, 69, died of COVID-19 on November 23.
Kent “Red” Dover: Such an important figure to Southern Utah University athletics that his hall of fame is named after him, Dover died of natural causes on October 12, a month before his 99th birthday.
After growing up across the street from the Cedar City campus – serving as a ball catcher for the Branch Agricultural College football team – Dover played football, basketball and track and field for the Thunderbirds in the 1940s.
A longtime supporter of SUU athletics, a walnut that Dover helped plant 95 years ago was pulled in May. It was planned that the wood of the tree would be used for the coffin of Dover.
Adam ashworth: An 11-year veteran of St. George’s Police Department, Ashworth was a member of the department’s honor guard and a training officer.
The 39-year-old man died of COVID-19 on July 22, leaving a wife and three children.
Craig booth: By his own count, at least 2,000 of St. George’s children were delivered by Booth, whose 43 years as a physician at what is now St. George’s Regional Hospital have been the longest of all .
Booth, 77, was the hospital’s first medical director after it was renamed Dixie Regional Medical Center and held that position from 1988 to 2002. As an administrator of the local water authority and of electricity, Booth was responsible for installing the large American flag at Brooks Nature Park which flies over the town near Dixie Rock.
He died on June 5 of undisclosed causes.
Glen blakley: Many parts of the arts community in St. George and Dixie State had their seeds planted by Blakley.
A professor of ceramics at Dixie State for over 40 years, Blakley founded the St. George Arts Museum and was the first director of the St. George Arts Festival.
With the National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition Foundation, he co-created the Regina Brown Teacher Development Award, which aims to further the work and ideals of dedicated art teachers nationwide.
Blakley, 78, died of COVID-19 just before the start of 2021 on December 31, 2020.
Harry reid: Although known as a national figure for holding the highest elected office ever for a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the former U.S. Senate Majority Leader had roots in southern Utah.
Before rising to political prominence, Reid came from the rural southern Nevada community of Searchlight to attend what was then the College of Southern Utah. The University of Southern Utah issued a statement upon his passing, calling it a “classic SUU success story.”
“He came from a rural community in Nevada and he thrived at the College of Southern Utah (now Southern Utah University). He took part in extracurricular activities, discovered a love for learning, and realized that if he worked hard he could be successful anywhere. He achieved national notoriety and dedicated his life to public service. ”
Reid, 82, died of pancreatic cancer on December 28. Las Vegas Airport was recently renamed in his honor.
Debbie zockoll: In an outdoor city and host of the Ironman Triathlon, few could say they ran as many marathons as Zockoll, who died of cancer on March 1.
Zockoll is the record holder for the most consecutive St. George’s Marathons – she ran all the St. George’s Marathons from 1977 to 2019. This included running them during seven months of pregnancy and while being treated for cancer.
Before her death, she almost ran her 300th marathon, counting 298.
Jesse kochel: A pioneer of youth water polo in southern Utah, Kochel founded the Southern Utah Water Polo youth sports program, which notably produced the first local water polo player to compete at the national college level.
Kochel found out on Valentine’s Day that he had an inoperable brain tumor and died two months later, on April 8, at the age of 46.
Jeff Bowden: A man of many trades, Bowden has helped build the boys’ soccer program at Canyon View High School as an assistant coach for over a decade.
He was also a local rodeo clown, electrical contractor, ski instructor, and a member of the St. George News family as part of his sales team. The 55-year-old outdoor enthusiast died doing what he loved on April 25 in a canyoning accident in Fat Man’s Misery Canyon near Zion National Park.
Garret and Brandon Bangerter: Bangerter Homes owner and son died in an Interstate 15 overturn near Enoch in September.
Garret Bangerter, 66, has won several awards as a leading home builder, including being named 2019 Builder of the Year by the Utah Home Builders Association. His son Brandon, 41, was also part of the Bangerter Homes team.
The residents of St. George were the son and grandson of the late Governor of Utah Norman H. Bangerter.
Andrew Burt: Burt was the director of the Charter Gateway Preparatory Academy in Enoch.
Starting as a deputy principal in 2011, he was credited by the school board for getting the school back on track from a low point to what is now one of the top ranked charter schools. of State.
He died of heart complications from COVID-19 on October 2. He was 44 years old and left behind a wife and four children.
lynn dean: A music teacher at Dixie State, Dean was known as a piano teacher by hundreds of people in the St. George community and as a well-known figure on the local art scene.
Known for his “lynnisms,” Dean, 79, died on July 23 from COVID-19.
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