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Front Page » August 4, 2011 » Obituaries » Marvin Walter Mabbutt
Published 1,086 days ago

Marvin Walter Mabbutt


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Marvin Mabbutt has left the building. . . and I miss him very much.

PRICE - Marvin Walter Mabbutt was born a very long time ago, on Oct. 18, 1914, in Mohrland - a coal mining camp in Emery County that has not been there for a very long time. Daddy loved the mountains around Mohrland and growing up there was a big part of shaping who he was. He was the next-to-the oldest of five boys (Waldo, Art, Fred, Darwin); his youngest sibling was a girl (Donna Lou). Daddy was the only one left living; the rest of them died some time ago. His Father was Albert, his Mom was Martena. Daddy married Lena Hansen on Sept. 21, 1939 (71 years ago!). She now lives in Hurricane.

In March of 2010, Daddy moved to South Weber to live with me. He moved to the Mountain Ridge Assisted Living Center in South Ogden (3.1 miles from my house) in March of 2011, and died there on July 21, 2011 at 3:50 a.m.

Daddy has two children, Dan (who now lives in Springdale), and me (Peggy Bon, South Weber), one granddaughter (Heidi Esplin), a son-in-law (Larry), and two Great-grandsons (Austin and Alex). They also live in South Weber. Ron Decker and David Buist helped and loved Daddy for the last three years. Ron was with him in Price, before Daddy moved to live with me, and David helped us after Daddy moved to South Weber.

Daddy went to elementary school in Wattis (Emery County). Not many kids from the coal mining camps went to high school, but Daddy had a dream; he wanted to graduate from high school. By himself he ran the show hall in Mohrland (and did any other job he could find) as a teenager to earn money so he could board in Price and pay his school expenses there. He fulfilled his promise to himself and graduated from high school in Price.

Daddy started Mabbutt's Service on South Carbon Avenue in Price and operated it with one and then another of his brothers until he sold it to one of his brothers when he decided to be a carpenter. He had a camp house transported down from a mining camp in Emery County and used this as a framework to build our family's home at 327 S. 100 W. in Price; there always was a great big vegetable garden and many fruit trees on their two city lots there.

Daddy could (and did) build anything. He was a proud member of Carpenters Local #184 for 69 years. He "built Dragerton." (He proudly stated that he was the first carpenter on the job and the last one to leave when the town was finished.) Daddy donated his time and expertise to design and construct a building so Huntington could have an airport.

Daddy was given a Craftsman of the Year award by Governor Rampton on March 30, 1976 in a ceremony held in Salt Lake City. It was easy for the committee to select him for this award; Daddy was a superior craftsman, a designer, an inventor, and an artist in anything he set his mind to (designing silver work, lapidary, mechanic, construction, etc.). Daddy's last job was single-handedly running the saw shop for the company building the Huntington Canyon power plant. He was responsible for the operation of the saw shop, operation of all saws, turning out all of the intricate material to shape forms for concrete work and all other phases of the project. He enjoyed this job very much. He retired on Feb. 18, 1977.

Daddy also was a rockhound and was the first president and a founding member of the Castle Valley Gem Society and the President (in 1963) of the Utah Federation of Gem and Mineralogical Societies. He also was on the Founding Board of the CEU-USU Prehistoric Museum and donated a complete Apatosaur femur to the Museum, which he found near Green River on one of his rock-hunting excursions.

He and my Mother had a selling space at the gem show in Quartzsite, Ariz., for many years (I went with them for the last three or four years). Daddy had a great time there; he did so love to "talk shop" with other rockhounds and trade/sell rocks. Daddy's best friend, Bill Branson (Bill is from Helper but currently living in Elmo) walked and drove miles and miles and miles together across deserts in Utah and other western states looking for and finding tons and tons of rocks. They also built roads across the desert; if there was a big rock they "needed to have" and they couldn't immediately drive to it, they built a road.

The jewelry Daddy made from these rocks is stunningly beautiful. He also designed and made all of the special saws and rock equipment he used to make the jewelry. He designed and built a "dry washer" so he could go to Arizona and look for gold. (He once wrote that he found enough gold that it might "give a person a little discomfort if he had it in his eye.")

Daddy also could fly a plane. His brother Darwin taught him to fly in planes Darwin built. When they flew up to see their brother Waldo in Washington, Daddy flew most of the way.

After he retired, Daddy, with no musical education at all, taught himself to read and transcribe music and to play the harmonica and the chromonica. He was, for many years, a member of the band at the Senior Citizens Center in Price. And he called me, for many years (and my Brother and his granddaughter) and played Happy Birthday (with my Mother singing).

Throughout his life, Daddy never really thought about whether or not something might be difficult to accomplish. He just thought about whether he wanted or needed to do that something. And if he decided he did want to do that something, he set about doing it. Some things take a little longer, that's all. Whether the task would be difficult or not wasn't something that even ever entered into his thinking. His only thought was just whether or not he wanted the job accomplished. And if he decided he did, then he set about doing it. And whatever he set out to do, he did extremely well.

It was an honor and a grand opportunity to have the privilege of spending the last three years with you, Daddy; I was most fortunate. You were a good Father, a good friend, and my pal. I love you Daddy - and I miss you.

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