George Byron McLeese
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George Byron McLeese, age 81 passed away peacefully on April 29, 2014 in St. George, Utah. He was born January 19, 1933 in Salt Lake City, Utah to George Bailey and Bernice Prichard McLeese. Byron spent his early years growing up in Denver, Colorado returning to the Salt Lake area where he graduated from the University of Utah in Business Administration.
Byron married Betty Kochevar on May 14, 1961 in Salt Lake City where he worked as a title insurance executive at First Security Title. In 1969 Byron moved his family to the St. George area where he was instrumental in the development of Bloomington. Byron was a successful Real Estate Broker and owned and operated several convenience stores.
Byron served 25 years in the Army which included a tour of combat duty in Korea as an Engineer, eventually retiring as an Army Reservist holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1977.
Byron was active in the community serving many positions in Rotary Club, Washington County Board of Realtors, Dixie Sunshiners, Bloomington Community Council, Dixie College Athletics, and the GOP Executive Committee. Honored as Washington County Realtor of the Year and Outstanding Republican, he was also the first from Southern Utah to be appointed by the Governor to serve a term on the Utah Real Estate Commission.
Byron was an avid sportsman who loved hunting with his friends and his son Bradley; expeditions included Kodiak bear in Alaska and elk, moose, antelope and mountain lion in Utah. He enjoyed ownership of guns and target shooting which included reloading his own ammunition. Additional interests included golfing, boating, and spending time with family. Byron received his pilot's license while in the Army and continued to enjoy flying in his civilian life.
Byron is survived by his wife Betty of Salt Lake City, Utah; daughter, Francine (Kerry) Cox, St. George, Utah; son, Bradley Ryan McLeese of Salt Lake City, Utah; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister Bonnie Gayle Ball; and infant son John Curtis McLeese.
The family would like to express gratitude for the wonderful care received while at the Southern Utah Veterans Home in Ivins as well as a special heartfelt thank you to the many friends and neighbors that made the time to visit and make his last few months special.
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 5, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at the Metcalf Mortuary Chapel, 288 West St. George Blvd., St. George, Utah. Visitations will be held Sunday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Monday, prior to services, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. both at the Mortuary. Interment will be in Tonaquint Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, (435) 673-4221. Please visit our website at www.metcalfmortuary.com for condolences, complete obituary and funeral listings.
Metcalf Mortuary - St. George
288 West St. George Blvd.
St. George, UT 84770
Published in The Spectrum & Daily News from May 3 to May 4, 2014