1930 ~ 2016
Arthur Wellington Weart Brothers, passed away March 30, 2016, after a very full life, very well lived.
Born in Salt Lake City on December 2, 1930, to Hilda Von Erxleben (nee Peacock) from Bath, England and Arthur Weart from Vancouver, Canada. His mother parted from his father in the middle of the Depression, when Art was an infant. In desperation at not being able to provide for him, his mother gave him up for adoption. He lived his early years in many foster families and multiple schools, but he was later adopted by Harrison S. and Dorothy Brothers. He attended Granite High School until, at 17, he joined the Air Force in December of 1946 where he trained as a radio mechanic. Graduating at the top of his class, he declined an offer to stay at Scott Air Force Base as an instructor, and when the Korean War commenced, he was shipped to Nagoya, Japan where he was assigned as a radio mechanic to the 5th Air Force headquarters. He was later stationed in North Korea where he supported Marines coming ashore by repairing boilers, setting up electricity and salvaging, repairing and setting up field phones, control towers and switchboards. After nearly 5 years in the Air Force, and having been awarded a Bronze Star, he was released as a sergeant in 1952, in time to start school at the University of Utah in the fall where he studied business.
After college, he worked briefly in Manhattan and then in Los Angeles. He later built a radio telephone system for boaters on Lake Mead. He became increasingly aware of unmet needs for telephone communication in rural areas where there was no telephone access at all, just the postal service. Puzzling through the legalities and regulatory complexities of telecom law, he applied to the Nevada Public Utility Commission to serve Montello, Nevada and Grouse Creek, Utah as a company he called "Silver Beehive Telephone Company" - because Nevada was the Silver State, and Utah was the Beehive State. Later he shortened the name to Beehive Telephone Company. The Nevada Public Service Commission shot him down but later, the Utah Public Service Commission granted him a Certificate of Necessity. Art wrote in his diary, "God hath made me a telephone company." Art and his young wife, Tina Brothers, set off to rural Box Elder County to bring telephone service to Grouse Creek. True to his nature, Art created it all out of nothing and sweat equity. He used wire he got from military surplus and switching equipment given him by another phone company. He hand-built the original long distance line, climbing every pole, hanging every cross arm, stringing every piece of wire on every insulator. When he was done, Grouse Creek residents had telephone communications, and Art has since replicated this in every unserved area he could find and anywhere that Ma Bell wouldn't serve. He was the CEO, the chief financial officer, and the lineman. He served his remote areas by piloting his own planes, sometimes landing on public highways when necessary. Today, Beehive Telephone - now known as Beehive Broadband -- employs 48 people and provides state-of-the- art service in telephone and broadband. His life became legendary for its inventiveness and resourcefulness. He was twice featured in the Wall Street Journal and for years, he wrote a column in a national magazine for rural telephone companies, inspiring and entertaining his readers by recounting his many adventures all over the world. He often received letters from mothers whose children had been saved from illness because they could (finally) telephone a doctor or a hospital, and for years, he maintained a telephone number ("1-234-567-8910") where children could call and talk to "Santa Claus" - which caused Mountain Bell great consternation.
Arthur is survived by his sister, Bonnie Cavill, and his children, Arthur Jr., Ravonne and Kenneth, whose success in life made him extremely proud. He is also survived by Rita Brothers, his beautiful and much beloved wife whom he met in Russia, and their daughter, Z Brothers. He is predeceased by his young daughter, Anastasia, whom he adored. His many employees at Beehive Telephone will remember him and work hard to honor his work and grow his legacy.
Services will be held at Evans and Early Mortuary, 574 East 100 South, in Salt Lake City, Utah on Monday, April 4, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. A viewing will be held one hour prior to the funeral services at 10:00 a.m. A graveside service will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery, and a lunch will be served thereafter at the Alta Club.
Published in Deseret News from Apr. 2 to Apr. 4, 2016.