On January 20, 2018 our beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother, Kenneth Stirland, passed away peacefully of natural causes at home. He and his wife Yvonne spent his last days reminiscing about the wonderful life they had shared. He was born January 17, 1932 in Preston, Lancashire, England to Harold H. and Sarah Stirland. He came to the United States in 1951 and served with the 44th Division of the United States Army in the Korean War. After the war he served a two-year mission in England for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On August 3, 1956 he married Helen Pamela Davies in the Logan LDS Temple. They raised four remarkable children; Jeffery Kenneth, Gloria Jean, Michael Jay and David Dee “Red”. Ken worked for three years on the golf course of the Salt Lake Country Club, and in 1959 he accepted the position of assistant golf course superintendent at the University of Utah. While there, he also completed his education and graduated in 1961 with a B.S. Degree in History with a minor in Botany.
This was the beginnings of a successful and legendary career. Known in the industry by two names, “Mr. Turf” or “The Brit”, he shared his masterful talent for thirty-four years. During his career he had the unique opportunity to create, from the raw earth, two golf courses which gained the reputation of being two of Utah’s finest, Riverside Country Club (private) and Murray Parkway (public). As superintendent of Willow Creek and Ogden Country Clubs he improved the experience of skilled and novice golf enthusiasts alike. Ken trained scores of young professionals during his career and his influence is now felt throughout the world.
The Intermountain Golf Course Superintendent Association of America (IGCSA) elected him their president on two occasions (1967 and 1972). In 1995 they honored him with the inaugural Distinguished Service Award.
On July 29, 1974 he married his greatest fan, Yvonne Rider Chatterley, who shared in his love of golf. They moved from Salt Lake City, to Ogden and then to Murray as Ken oversaw acres and acres of rough, fairways and greens. Ken became a proud bonafide, card-carrying citizen of the United States in 1997.
He retired in 1996 and together he and Yvonne enjoyed a new passion of renovating Yvonne’s 1894 historic family home in Kanab, UT.
Ken is preceded in death by his father, mother and brother Les. He is survived by his first wife Pamela; his wife (of 45 years) Yvonne; sons Jeff Stirland of Phoenix, AZ; Michael Stirland of Salt Lake City, UT; David (Kathy) Stirland of Kearns, UT; daughter Gloria (Keith) John of Sandy, UT and two step-daughters Tanya (Michael, deceased) Meeks of Kanab, UT; Cindy (Doug) Turnquist of Taylorsville, UT; 16 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren; and brother George Stirland and sister Mary Crompton of Preston, England.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 2:00 PM in the Kanab Utah Stake Center, 20 West Center Street, Kanab. Viewing will be held from 1:00-1:45 PM at the Stake Center. Interment at the Kanab Cemetery with military honors by American Legion Post 69. Arrangements were made with Mosdell Mortuary.
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