Our father, William Jay Schmutz, age 89, passed away on January 28, 2018. He had long looked forward to the day when he could be reunited with his wife, Georgia Lou Heaton.
Dad was born on May 24, 1928, to Wilford Antone and Martha Foremaster Schmutz in St. George, Utah. He grew up working on his father’s farm in the Washington Fields. It was this beginning that taught him the value and satisfaction of working hard and taking pleasure in the outcome.
He served in the army during the occupation of Japan at the close of World War II. He met mother upon his return and they were married July 13, 1949, in the St. George Temple. They soon moved to Los Angeles where Dad attended dental school at USC. He began his practice in Edwards, California but after a few years moved to Kanab to be closer to family and the area they loved. He spent the remainder of his life in Kanab, and with mother, raised a family of seven children.
Dad loved the out of doors, evident in his many slides and pictures of the beautiful scenery of southern Utah and northern Arizona, especially the wildflower blossoms. He often had us hiking the hills around Kanab, gathering wood, rocks, exploring the Arizona Strip or simply spending an evening at the “crick” or the sand dunes enjoying his dutch oven potatoes.
Mother and her sister, Anna Laura, purchased their ancestral home in Moccasin, Arizona, and it was there that dad returned to his roots and became a master gardener. He spent countless hours restoring and repairing the Big House and often volunteered his children as his helpers. He leaves us a rich reminder of him in his beautiful sandstone walls, patios, and sidewalks that surround the home. Many a grandchild left their name carved into the cement as they worked along side Dad.
Active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served in many callings including branch president, bishopric counselor, on the high council, teacher, clerk, and home teacher, among others. He read extensively, especially the scriptures and about the history of the church.
He loved his family and mentioned them often in the last few years of his life. He is survived by his sister, Janice (Roy) Nisson, and his children, John (Peggy), Gilbert (Bertie Sue), Elizabeth (Rick), Andy (Andrea), Sharon, Nancy (Jon), and Rachel (Jeff), 27 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Georgia Lou, parents, and four brothers, David, Don, Richard, and Clare.
Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Saturday, February 3, at the Kanab Utah Stake Center. A viewing will be held from 9:45 to 10:45 am prior to the service. Burial in the Kanab Cemetery under the direction of Mosdell Mortuary.