Raymond Vard Heaton, age 75, passed away Sept. 23, 2021 at his home in Winchester Hills, St. George, after a 6-month battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed by his family and leaves a legacy of faith, hard work and Christlike service as an example for his posterity.
Ray was born on Jan. 5, 1946 in Panguitch, Utah to Vard and Florence Heaton and lived in Alton, Utah for most of his life. He graduated from Valley High School and went on to attend Dixie College before graduating from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business.
Ray married Allida Tucker on May 29, 1970 in the St. George Temple. They had 11 children together and lived for several years in Allida’s hometown of Bunnell, Florida before moving back to Utah. After Allida’s death in 2009, he married Toni Wilson Holt on Dec. 10, 2011 in the St. George Temple. They lived together in Alton and St. George.
Ray served two missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held various church callings, including temple worker, branch president, bishop and serving in the stake presidency. He was passionate about sharing the gospel and serving people his entire life.
Ray helped manage the family-owned cattle ranch, Heaton Livestock Company, in Alton his entire career and could outwork most people almost right up until he died. Their ranch was awarded the prestigious national Leopold Conservation Award in 2012. He was actively involved in his community and served on the school board while living in Florida, on the Utah Wildlife Board, and in various other public leadership positions. He also served in the Army for two years during the Vietnam War and always had a great love and pride for his country.
Ray is survived by his wife Toni, 10 children, 5 step-children, 63 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren and 4 siblings. He is preceded in death by his wife Allida, his son Joseph, his step-son Corey, his parents; and his wife Allida’s parents, and his sister Vivian.
The viewing will be held on Thursday, Sept. 30 from 6-8 p.m. at the Winchester Hills Ward building at 5338 N. Winchester Dr. South in St. George. A second viewing will be held on Friday, Oct. 1 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Alton Ward building in Alton. The funeral service will take place at 12:00 Noon. Following the funeral, a private burial service for family and close friends will take place at the Alton Cemetery. Services were arranged with Mosdell Mortuary.
Zoom link for online services: