Keith Bess

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather returned to his Heavenly Father on August 31, 2021 in Ivins, Utah surrounded by his loved ones.

Keith was born on September 10, 1925 in Cedar City, Utah to Joseph B. and Elsie Mosdell Bess. He attended Cedar City schools and then later went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps as a Military Police Officer in WWII.

Upon completion of his service, he returned to Cedar City where he met the love of his life, Margie Jones, at the Deer Hunter’s Ball in the fall of 1946. They proceeded to date for the following year, and after asking for her father’s blessing, he received it, with one condition; that he muck out a horse corral. Little did Keith know the request was made in jest, but after completing it, it impressed her father nonetheless. He proposed on Christmas Eve, 1947 and they were sealed on June 26, 1948, in the St. George LDS temple. They made their home in Cedar City, Utah where they raised their six children.

He spent the majority of his career in the mining industry. He earned his Master Electrician Certification when the mine closed and worked as an electrician to support his family. He was a hard worker as well as a natural born problem solver. He was always willing to step up and serve a family member, neighbor, or friend with his learned trade of electrical work. He worked into his 80’s repairing and maintaining irrigation pumps.

Working in the mining industry proved to be very dangerous. In late 1966, a serious accident occurred when the dirt under the loader Keith was operating gave way and caused the loader to tip over trapping Keith’s leg. He was hospitalized for over a year receiving many surgeries to repair his leg. Although this was a difficult challenge in his life, the accident had a humbling effect, which made him a better person and father. He spoke fondly throughout his life of the doctors and nurses that helped him in this challenge.

Keith has many memories of time spent in the Cedar Mountains. As a youth, at only 8 years old, he would spend summers alone herding sheep. Throughout his life, he would return to his beloved quaking aspen trees, hunting with friends, and then later with his sons and grandsons. Deer camp was a favorite tradition, and he often came home with stories to tell (true or not) and the occasional prized deer as well. In later years, he and Margie spent many afternoons driving down dusty roads, exploring the mountains and hills, and chatting in his little red pickup truck.

In the later years of his life after becoming widowed in January of 2000, Keith found great happiness, fulfillment, and purpose in helping his daughter and her husband raise their two daughters.

Most of all, Keith loved spending time with family and especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His bright blue eyes would light up when they would come to visit him and he loved to dote on the babies.

Keith was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He had many callings throughout his life with his favorite being that of Nursery Leader with his wonderful wife.

Keith is survived by his children, Stephanie (Burke) Cartwright, Randy Hoyt, Charles (Cleola) Bess, Annette (Greg) Morrill, JB (Karen) Bess & Byron Stucki. As well as seventeen grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren and one on the way. He is preceded in death by his parents, his siblings, George, Jack, Willard, Ambrose, Leonard, Dorthy (Dot), Rex, Nolan, Colleen Bess Murdock, Joseph (Drew), LaRue Bess Rowley, Marilyn, and Marie Bess Wheeler, his loving wife, Margie Jones Bess, daughters Cynthia Bess Hoyt and Carolyn Bess Stucki, grandson, Matthew Hoyt, and great-grandsons, Jaxson and James Bess.

Keith lived a big, wonderful life just 11 days shy of 96 years, and we know that his reunion with his loved ones on the other side was sweet and joyful.

The family would like to thank the caretakers and medical providers at the Veterans Home in Ivins, Utah for the love and care that was extended to Keith over the past 4 plus years.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 11, 2021 at the Paragonah, UT Cemetery,
at 11:00 a.m. Friends and Family are welcome. Services were arranged with Mosdell Mortuary of Kanab.


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