Gary James Westphal Crowder
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1937 ~ 2012
Gary James Westphal Crowder passed away 22 May 2012 in Tremonton, Utah, of causes related to age, diabetes, and dementia. Gary was born February 19, 1937 in Glendale, CA, to Cody and Florence Shirk Crowder.
Cody was the backlot supervisor of Paramount Studios in Hollywood so Gary loved to go to work with his dad. Cody's employment also meant that Gary could attend the Hollywood Professional School where all the young actors were educated. Cody passed away in 1946, so at age 10 Gary moved to a monastery to study to be a priest.
At age 18 Gary decided to join the Navy. He was trained as a sonar operator and was stationed at Pearl Harbor. During the day Gary did his Navy job but all night he worked as a DJ at KIKI radio in Honolulu. When he re-enlisted Gary was transferred to Newport Rhode Island. Before his second term was up he was injured and received a medical discharge from the Navy.
Gary decided to stay in Newport, and since he had electronic training, got a job as the engineer of station WADK in Newport. Soon he become the morning air personality and was widely known around town. He later was also the Manager of the station. The well-known Gary met a friendly cashier at the local supermarket and in 1969 Gary and Ellen Daurant were married. Gary had joined the LDS church in Newport and their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple. Gary also served as Bishop of the Newport LDS Ward.
Gary then worked as station manager of station WLLH in nearby Lowell MA. Next Gary decided to try station ownership and purchased a station in Bishop CA in the summer of 1978 and, later that year, a station in Evanston, WY, which brought the couple to Utah.
He sold the stations after a few years and went to work for his former Evanston engineer who had started Gentner Communications which manufactured broadcasting equipment in Salt Lake City. Gary worked there for several years, then moved to Glens Falls NY to work for Northeast Broadcast, a sales company. He later returned to Gentner in Salt Lake City.
Gary had an interesting career as a broadcaster, living in many places and travelling to many locations throughout the world on business. Gary and Ellen also liked to travel to Hawaii and to Orlando FL and went to both places many times. Gary and Ellen were friends to all they met and were generous to all.
Gary and Ellen had no children. Gary was preceded in death by his wife Ellen, his sister Coda Virginia, his brother Cody Vincent, and an infant brother Charles.
A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 PM on Wednesday 30 May at the Murray Memorial Mortuary with a graveside service the next day at 11 AM at Murray City Cemetery.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on May 27, 2012