Walter Talbot Obituary (1923 – 2022) – Provo, Utah, UT

Walter DeVaur Talbot


Utah – On Saturday, May 21,2022, Our beloved Dad, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Great-Great Grandfather, Uncle and friend moved on to be with Mom. What a beautiful reunion that must have been!

Walter DeVaur Talbot was born April 27, 1923 in Panguitch, Utah the 8th child of John Taylor Talbot and Celeste Orton Talbot. He just celebrated his 99th birthday with 99 plus cards from family and friends.

He married Ruby Dorleen Williams March 20, 1946 in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He proudly served our country in World War II as a Marine.

Dad determined to pursue the profession of teacher (and soon administrator). He ultimately graduated from Weber State and Utah State, with a masters from University of Utah and a doctorate from Utah State University. He began his chosen profession by becoming a teacher, coach and principal at Bryce Valley School, a small school serving K-12 students. He served as school superintendent in Garfield County, in Murray as assistant superintendent, and Brigham City as Box Elder School Superintendent. He was appointed Deputy State Superintendent. He became a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Educational Administration at BYU. He was finally appointed Utah State Superintendent, a position he held for 12 years. He dedicated his lifework to improving education for every child and was known “a friend to education”.

He felt a great love for our ancestors and family history and wrote copious histories of our families as well as numerous personal histories and biographies, including his parents.

Above all he loved his family. When they were married, he and Dorleen decided 12 was a good number of children, so when their first child was born they named him Bruce A, the A denoting the first of many. Bruce has often said he was an only child with 11 brothers and sisters, because they collected children wherever they went. When his sister passed away they became guardians of her three unmarried children, Stan 16, Kathy 13, and David 6. They also had an Indian Placement student Melvin. Later they were blessed to adopt a newborn girl they named Jilyn. They also had many exchange students from time to time as well as other children who needed a loving home. After Dorleen died, he took on the task of sending birthday cards to each member of the family, even down to the great-great-great grandchildren, about 30 a month.

He had a great sense of humor, a beautiful singing voice and was a wonderful storyteller (sometimes exaggerated a bit for interest).

He loved the Lord and loved serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in Bishoprics and Stake Presidencies, a councilor in the Provo Temple, as Stake Patriarch, an Ordinance Worker, and a temple sealer. He was able to seal many of his Grandchildren and even Great Grandchildren’s marriages. He and his wife were called as President of the Florida Tampa Mission and later served as missionaries in the Nigeria Aba and England Manchester missions.

As his health declined he spent the last 6 months being cared for and loved by his granddaughter Tammy Gilliland, her husband Dave and their eight daughters in their home.

He left us a legacy of honesty, hard work, love and joy and will be missed by his sons and daughters: Bruce A Talbot (Teresa), Jilyn Clay, Stanley Miller, David J (Linda) Miller, Kathy (Dave) Christensen, Evelyn Salazar, Roe Smith (Kolleen), Melvin Natoni, Kenneth Cameron (Pauline) Debbie Tanne (Michael), Vanessa Hobbs (Jon), and Reija Leena Ylinen (Timo), 28 Grandchildren, 101 Great Grandchildren, and 11 Great-Great Grandchildren .

The funeral will be Wednesday June 1, 2022 at 11:00 AM in the Oakview Ward at 3477 East River Bottom Road in Spanish Fork, Utah. There will be a viewing Tuesday evening May 31, at the Walker Family Mortuary, 187 South Main, in Spanish Fork from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and Wednesday morning from 9:00 to 10:30 am at the Oakview Ward.

Interment will be in the Memorial Estates Cemetery at 1640 East Lakeview Drive in Bountiful, Utah.

Published by Deseret News from May 31 to Jun. 2, 2022.

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