George Howard Whitehead (Tuff),
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born and raised in St. George, Utah on March 6, 1915 the second son of four boys, better known as Cotton (Grant), Tuff (Howard), Pig (Wayne), and Bish (Rulon), to Gordon and Clara Jane Church Whitehead.
By 8 years of age he had attended Woodward Elementary School and earned money by picking grapes in the back lot and selling them on the street.
By 18 years of age he had worked at shining shoes, washing dishes at the hotel café, delivering ice to the many homes and the St. George Temple, white washing the temple, riding his bicycle to be baptized for many souls in the temple when his grandfather called for help, greeting guests at the Liberty Hotel, managing the baseball team, fishing, earning his Eagle Scout award, and graduating with honors from Dixie High School.
By 28 years of age he had married Nelda May Cornelius in the St. George Temple, graduated from Dixie Junior College and earned his Master's degree at the University of Utah, served in the FBI as a handwriting and document analyst, taught school in Manti and at the University of Utah, first child was born, entered dental school at the University of Southern California and became a real Trojan - Fight On!! (which he always did), and opened his dental practice in Los Angeles.
By 38 years of age two more girls had been born and he and Nelda played bridge every month for forty years with their friends from USC, loved to square dance, served as a Captain in the Army at Fort Bliss Texas during the Korean War and was blessed with his first son, a Texan. He continued his service in the LDS Church by being in several bishoprics and built his first home in Los Angeles.
By 48 years of age his family consisted of four daughters - Elaine, Linda, Kathleen, and Wendy, and two sons, Gordon and David. He moved his family from Los Angeles to a new home he built in Palos Verdes, California.
By 58 years of age his love of music was Lawrence Welk and juke boxes that he bought for his children's families.
By 68 years of age he began the 30 year annual family vacation to Lake Powell. The first trip was in tents but grew to needing three houseboats to house the large group of 75 descendants.
By 78 years of age he and Nelda served for many years as ordinance workers in the Los Angeles Temple.
By 88 years of age he retired and had practiced dentistry until he was 80 years old and then returned to St. George where he built a new home overlooking the valley and the temple he loved as a boy.
By 98 years of age he and Nelda celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary, enjoyed his birthday, fell three times, broke his ankle, acquired pneumonia and passed away on April 7, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Nelda, 6 children and their spouses, Elaine Miller (Bruce) Fountain Valley, CA; Linda Johnston, St. George; Kathleen Goodman (Quentin), Yorba Linda, CA; Gordon Whitehead (Grace), Washington; Wendy Farr (Kenny), Sandy; David Whitehead (Cara), Santa Clara; 34 grandchildren and 61 great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. at the Southgate Hills LDS 1st Ward Chapel, 1068 West Chandler Drive, St. George, Utah. Visitations will be held Friday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 West St. George Blvd. and on Saturday, prior to services, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Chapel. Interment will follow at the St. George City 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.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Dixie State University in the name Dr. G. Howard Whitehead.
Published in The Spectrum & Daily News from Apr. 11 to Apr. 12, 2013
288 West St. George Boulevard St. George, UT 84770