George Iliff Andrus rode peacefully into the sunset as he started his journey home to his Father in Heaven September 5, 2013. His loving family, held his hand as he entered the arms of his earthly parents and sister who preceded him in death.
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George Iliff Andrus was born on April 4, 1940 in St George, Utah the much loved second son of Charles Iliff and Vivian Leavitt Andrus. George enjoyed a wonderful childhood with his older brother Charles Lee and younger sisters Diane and Kathy living on Diagonal Street in the part of St. George known as Sandtown. George grew to love the outdoors and especially the horses and cows of the family farm. He learned to work hard and to have fun. Special times were also spent in Gunlock, UT with his Uncle Rod and his extended family. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He worked with his family and was blessed to experience many varied and interesting jobs in his life. Growing up he worked for many ranchers and he became an expert cattleman and familiar with the beautiful country of Southern Utah and the Arizona Strip. He also worked in the movies as a horse wrangler and extra. In 1963 he graduated from the Police Academy and was hired as the first full time Sheriff's Deputy in Washington County as well as the Under Sheriff. He was also the Brand Inspector and worked doing many things in his life all while running the family farming and ranching concerns.
George lived all his life in the St. George area and attended school there. He attended Dixie High where he played football, basketball and track, and as a senior was a member of the State Championship Dixie Flyer Football and Basketball teams. He attended Dixie College where he played football and basketball. He also attended SUU.
George always had a love of rodeo and like most things in his life he excelled in rodeo and enjoyed much success in the arena. He helped with Dixie High and Dixie College rodeo teams and welcomed anyone who wanted to learn the sport. The Andrus arena was often filled with his children, grandchildren and many young men and women learning how to care for horses, how to rope, and just to be a better person. All were welcome if you were prepared to leave for the ranch at 4 am, work hard and treat your horses and other people with respect, listen to the unvarnished truth, be teased, enjoy practical jokes, and generally have some of the best times of your life and laugh until your stomach hurt.
He met his sweetheart, Dixie Gayle Heaton at Dixie College and they were married in the St George LDS Temple on August 9, 1963. He and Dixie have 1 foster son and four children, 14 grandchildren, one great-grandchild with a second expected in February. Home and Family were everything to George. He cherished his children and grandchildren in everything they did. Dad loved nothing more than to see the grandkids playing together and having fun. He was an example of hard work, discipline and integrity as well as having fun and enjoying life.
Dad was such fun to be around and told the best stories, made even better because they were mostly true. Wherever we went with him he was welcomed and known by name. George lived an amazing life. He grew up in a time where he could ride his horse to Santa Clara or Washington Fields and to school. He had a loving family who supported his love of horses, rodeo and sports. He was content to live his life in the Southern Utah country he loved. And even though the city grew around him, he was able to keep the farm and ranch so his grandchildren could learn the values and way of life he loved so much.
He is survived by his wife Dixie, St. George; son Brock (Belle) Andrus, St. George; daughters Gia (Bret) Allred, Kanarraville, Andrea (Randy) Beckstrand, Ginger (Lance) Vause, both of Enterprise, foster son Finley John, Moapa Valley, NV;14 grandchildren, and one great grandchild. His brother, Lee (Terri) Andrus, Roseville CA, sister, Kathy (Steve) Hafen, St. George, brother-in-law, John Harper, Salt Lake; nieces and nephews and extended family.
Funeral services will be held Monday Sept. 9th at 11:00 a.m. in the Little Valley Stake Center, 1762 S. River Rd. A viewing will be held Sunday Sept. 8th from 5 -7 p.m. at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George, Utah. Another viewing will be held Monday, Sept. 9th from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. prior to service. Interment will take place in Washington City Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary (435) 673-2454. Family and friends are invited to sign his guest book at www.spilsburymortuary.com .
110 South Bluff Street St. George, UT 84770
Published in The Spectrum & Daily News from Sept. 7 to Sept. 8, 2013