Valton Jackson

Valton Elmer Jackson ,96, graduated from this mortal life on a beautiful Sunday morning june 9th 2024 in Provo, Utah of natural causes.

   Val was born on July 24, 1927 in Kanab, Utah to Lorum Elmer Jackson and Leah Meeks Jackson exactly 80 years to the day after his pioneer forefathers entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. 

     He was blessed in his childhood to have 24 first cousins living in a 2 1/2 block radius of his home. As he grew older he spent the summers with his dad herding sheep and cattle on the Kaibab Plateau and Arizona Strip.

     Val attended school in Kanab and played on the first ever football team of Kanab High School. He also excelled in basketball and played on one of the winningest teams in school history. He also enjoyed playing in the band, singing in the choir, and performing in school plays.

     Val enlisted in the US Navy after graduation in 1945 and left for boot camp that Summer near the end of World War II. He served a 3 year term in the medical corps that included caring for the combat veterans suffering from severe PTSD at the naval hospital in Dublin, Georgia, and later at the submarine base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Val was honorably discharged in 1948 and returned home to Kanab.

     Though he had already been away for 3 years, Val still had a great desire to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He submitted his papers and was soon called to serve in the British Isles Mission. It was while serving as a missionary that Val felt strongly that his life’s purpose was to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the youth of the church. At the end of his 2 years of service he was asked to extend an additional 6 months and he readily accepted. He returned from Great Britain in 1951 at the age of 24.

     Val enrolled at Brigham Young University that Fall and showed up as a not so young, but very mature freshman to continue his education. He applied himself seriously to his schoolwork because of his late start, but decided to accept an invitation to take time out of his busy schedule to sing in a combined men’s / women’s choir on campus. That decision turned out to be one of the most important choices of his life, because he met the love of his life, the beautiful Afton Maxwell from South Summit, Utah. They began dating and were sealed on August 15, 1952 in the Salt Lake Temple.

     Val graduated from BYU with his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Masters Degree in Education Administration in 1956. He was hired by the Church Education System as a seminary teacher and was thrilled to find out that the seminary position in Kanab had just opened.

     He was blessed with the assignment to come to Kanab to begin his teaching career and help his dad on the ranch. He immediately gained the respect and admiration of the students because he was from Kanab, was a bonafide real cowboy, had a great knowledge of the scriptures, and had great skills on the basketball court. He spent hours playing basketball with the high school boys after school over the years and gained their trust; and spent countless hours supporting all the students of KHS in their many activities and performances. He became affectionately known as “Brother Val,” to all his students.

     Val spent 21 years teaching at the Kanab seminary, 6 years at the Institute of Religion at Arizona State University, and 10 years at the Institute of Religion at Utah Valley University in Orem. Val served in many different church callings throughout his life. He cherished the time that he served as president of the Kanab Stake from 1974-1982. He had a special way of relating to all kinds of people from different backgrounds. He was raised around rough cowboys who had bad habits, bad tempers, and bad language, yet he could see the good in them all. He helped so many overcome addictions and destructive behaviors, and go on to live covenant Christian lives. His family remembers him coming home from punching cows covered in dust, cow blood, and manure; and then cleanup to go meet with visiting general authorities and other church leaders. He was truly a man for all seasons and was equally comfortable with the lowly or learned. 

     In his later years he was called to be the Patriarch of the Orem Utah Stonewood Stake and again had the opportunity to serve the youth in his 80’s. He found so much joy in serving his fellowman.

     Val loved fishing, hunting, backpacking, camping, and touring the spectacular country of  Southern Utah and Northern Arizona with his sons and grandchildren.

     Val’s family wants to express their deep gratitude for the outpouring of love and fond memories that have come from so many friends and former students who feel their lives were positively influenced by Brother Val. Please know that he felt the same about all of you. To his last day his face would light up whenever he saw and interacted with one of you. 

     Val is survived by his wife of almost 72 years Afton, and his 6 sons: Maxwell (Janet) Jackson, Trent (Cindy) Jackson, Lance (Julie) Jackson, Brenan (Veronica) Jackson, Rhett (Tiffanie) Jackson, and Kirk Jackson; 23 Grandchildren, and 41 Great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved daughter-in-law Lisa Freeman Jackson and great-grandson Wells Ward Shuman.

We would like to express special thanks to the amazing staff at Legacy Village of Provo and iCare Hospice for the loving care they have provided for both Val and Afton during these past 3 years.

     Funeral services will be held on Monday June 24th with a viewing beginning at 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM and the service at 11:00AM at the Orem Utah Stonewood Stake Center located at 450 South 100 West Orem Utah. There will also be a viewing on Tuesday June 25th at the Mosdell Mortuary in Kanab, Utah from 6:00PM to 8:00PM with a graveside service on Wednesday June 26th at 11:AM at the Kanab City Cemetery. 

     Services entrusted with Lindquist and Sons and Mosdell Mortuaries.



  1. Steve judd June 11, 2024 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    He was a giant of a man…
    I’ll bet he’s teaching someone right now…

  2. Orval n Gerta Palmer June 12, 2024 at 3:04 am - Reply

    He is a great teacher and great leader. We appreciate his positive and righteous influence through the years. Bless Sis. Jackson and their family.

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