May 15 1934 July 18 2019
Gary’s Obituary Gary L Roper 85, died peacefully at his home in Cedar City, Utah on Thursday, July 18th, from complications of Alzheimers. Gary was born in Oak City, Utah on May 15, 1934 to Melvin J. Roper and Margaret Ann Lovell. He was the oldest of seven children. Gary loved flowers, just like his mother. He also learned patience and an appreciation for the piano from her. He could play by ear. Gary could fix and extend the usefulness of almost anything. He could do electrical, plumbing and any type of handy man or carpentry work—skills learned mostly from his father. Gary was always interested in the latest technologies. In his youth, he set up the projectors in many movie houses. He graduated from Delta High School, Class of 1952. After graduation, he served a 3-year mission to Japan for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After his mission Gary attended BYU in Provo, Utah, where he became reacquainted with Shirley Christensen, a young lady who lived close to his hometown. He married his sweetheart June 13, 1958 in the Manti, Utah Temple. The couple recently celebrated 61 years of marriage. They were close and equal companions, treating each other with love and respect, supporting each other through life’s challenges. Together, they set a great example for their children and posterity. Early in their marriage Gary was elected mayor of his home town of Oak City, Utah. Gary was an educator. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and administration at BYU. He taught for 38 years. He received the Utah Rookie-of-the-Year Award and two teacher-of-the-year awards from Iron County School District. He was principal at Enoch Elementary for 12 of those years. Gary was an extraordinary man. He spent his life in the service of his Heavenly Father, family, and in many unassuming ways to his fellow man. He was a man without guile; a man of integrity. He was not one who enjoyed the limelight; he greatly disliked any type of attention. Gary was a humble and Christ-like man. He genuinely loved people and would do all in his power to lighten their load. Gary served as bishop in a congregation serving Southern Utah University students. He served in the 8th Ward bishopric as a counselor, ward clerk, elders quorum president, among other callings. He was a true minister by faithfully fulfilling his home teaching assignments throughout his life. In 1997, while serving as bishop and principal, he suffered a traumatic brain injury from which he never fully recovered. Gary and Shirley were still able to complete three missions together: a member location mission in St. George, Utah; another to Hiroshima, Japan, a country he had grown to love on his first mission as a youth; and the last to Micronesia, Guam. Gary loved to travel and took his family on numerous cruises and adventures. He had a great love and appreciation for the arts and music. Gary was also a fantastic cook. He was famous (in the family) for his desserts, especially his pumpkin chiffon and cherry pies. No one can recreate his flaky pie crusts. Gary and Shirley are the parents to five children. Marlene Salvaggio (Michael) of Basalt, Idaho; Sherry Bushnell (Jeffrey) of St. George, Utah; Elaine Roper of Delta, Utah; Marie Holmes (Christopher) of Cedar City; and Matthew Gary Roper (Jennifer) of Gilbert Arizona. He is survived by siblings, Afton Dutson (Howard), Dorothy Atkinson, Suzanne Labaron (Gary), Marjorie Lovell (Phil), and Alan Roper (Lori). In-laws Ross Olsen (Julie), Kay Christensen (Linda), Ray Christensen (Rinda), Ann Schmid (Hal), Scott Christensen, and Jerry Christensen (Christina). Gary and Shirley are grandparents to Andrea Carlstrom (Devon), Kimberly Child (Brody), Vanessa Barben (Mike), Sherisa Hawkins (Brandon), Jelisa Robison (Wyatt), Brenton Bushnell, Nicholas Holmes, Spencer Holmes, Jocelyn Batt (Josh), Alyssa Holmes, Jace Holmes, Wade Roper, Seth Roper, Trenton Roper, Rylee Roper, and Casen Roper. Great-grandchildren include Bo Barben (missionary in Oklahoma), Brielle Barben, Bella Barben, Birklee Barben, Kade Hawkins, Sadie Hawkins, and Briggs Robison. He was preceded in death by his parents, Mel and Ann Roper; sister, Carolyn Olsen; brother-in-law, Jay Atkinson; parents in-law Merlin and Martha Christensen; and brothers-in-law Ken and Don Christensen. A viewing is scheduled for Sunday, July 21, 2019 from 6-8pm at Southern Utah Mortuary, 190 N 300 W, Cedar City; and Monday, July 22, 2019 from 9:30-10:30am at the Cedar West Stake Center, 725 S 1100 W, Cedar City. A funeral service will follow, beginning at 11am. Interment will be at the Oak City Cemetery, Oak City, Utah under the direction of Southern Utah Mortuary. The family wishes to thank Applegate HomeCare & Hospice, Mandy Hatch and Bri White, along with Dr. Ryan Workman. Online condolences can be sent at www.sumortuary.com. Read More
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Gary L Roper May 15 1934 July 18 2019.
Death notice for the town of: Beaver, state: Utah