Jack William Utton
1940 - 2019
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Jack William Utton, 79, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, at his home in Globe, Arizona. Born in Barton, Vermont, on July 27, 1940, Jack was preceded in death by his parents Robert C. Utton and Esther (Ives) Utton.
An accomplished and avid outdoorsman, hunter and adventurer, much of Jack's life was inspired by, and spent in, nature among Alaska's mountains and open frontiers and the Southwest's Native American culture and ruins. Ultimately, he would come to call both places home. First, Alaska, where he built a cabin by hand in a remote wooded area accessible only by seaplane, where he enjoyed fishing, hunting, hiking, dog sledding and mountain biking before retiring to Globe to continue similar pursuits.
Jack graduated from Orleans High School in 1958 before earning his Bachelor of Science in forestry from the University of Maine in 1962. After graduation, he spent several months traveling with friends across the U.S. and to Alaska, supporting his adventure with odd jobs along the way. From 1963 to 1967, Jack served in the United States Navy in San Diego as a pharmacy technician. Following his discharge, he worked as a forester in Wisconsin before returning to Alaska where he continued his forestry career as Director of Natural Resources for Tanana Chiefs Conference in Fairbanks.
A skilled woodworker and entrepreneur, Jack founded Fairbanks-based Superior Hardwoods in 1981, a lumber business still in operation today, specializing in exotic hardwoods and high-end millwork. He retired in 1994, dividing his time between Arizona and Alaska before making Globe his permanent home in 2013.
Always independent and determined to live his best life, Jack remained active into his mid-70s when, in 2016, his grit and determination were tested - and, ultimately, prevailed - when he was airlifted to a trauma center following a serious mountain biking accident in rural Arizona. After spending several months in recovery and rehabilitation, Jack overcame his injuries successfully enough to, once again, live independently at home although his days of outdoor adventuring were over.
Jack was ardently loved by his family with whom he was close despite geography throughout his life. He is survived by his brother, Richard (Rick) Utton, of Florida; niece, Elizabeth Utton, of Michigan; nephew, John Utton, of Illinois; John's wife, Ashley (Miles) Utton; great nephew, Matthew; and great niece, Katelyn.
A graveside service is planned for a later date in Vermont.

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Published in Daily News-Miner on Dec. 1, 2019.
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Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
December 10, 2019
So sorry to hear about Jack. I met Jack through his business Superior Hardwoods I was a salesman for a hardwood lumber company. We talked on the phone many times but when I started making sales trips to Alaska and met in person it became a quick friendship. Our love of the outdoors, philosophy regarding forest practices, and love of certain mechanical devices such as airplanes. I used to ride an old Harley, when I would call Jack or he would call me I remember he would always say, " you still riding that big Hog around the country?" I think maybe that was something he thought he would like to do. It became a lot more than selling lumber we became friends and had some great times and adventures. From showing me the sights around Fairbanks, golfing to sheep hunting up in the Brooks Range. The hunting trip was a wonderful memory even though we weren't successful bagging a sheep. It was more about the adventure of being out there seeing and exploring, we were both on the same page. I don't know if Jack shared the story of our hunting trip with anyone else, but lets just say it was truly an adventure that involved his plane, weather and a lack of fuel! We flew out to his cabin one time ( he let me fly his Citabria) and when we got there he said to take the canoe and go catch a nice Pike for dinner. So I did, me not being a Pike fisherman or knowing what they're capable of (they have teeth). Pike were plentiful most every cast, and when I caught a keeper, I gave it a good whack and began taking out the lure with pliers. The Pike came alive tried to swallow my hand. There was blood everywhere and Jacks pliers ended up in the drink. The point of telling this is the memory of Jack laughing so hard when I got back to the cabin with the fish and bloodied hand. Jack and I stayed in touch for years xmas cards and an occasional letter, never got down to Arizona he sure seemed to enjoy the new landscape to explore. Some of our last communications were about my new adventure in managing some timberland in NE Washington we had some good forestry conversations, he was truly excited for me. There was talk of a visit I wish it could of happened. We'd fallen out of communication for a number of years, for what ever reason I'd been thinking of him about a month ago telling myself I need to reconnect. Last week I found an appropriate card with a picture of a canoe, started looking up his address in my book and decided to do a search for Jack in Globe AZ and the obit popped up. A person goes through life trying not to have any regrets but things don't always go that way, I do regret not staying in better touch with my friend. Jack was a wonderful example of enjoying life. I'm so fortunate to have the memories.

Matt Hobbs
Ione WA

Matt Hobbs
December 6, 2019
Very sorry to hear this news and wish Jack's family and friends condolences. I first met Jack in 1982 when my logging partner (Chris Polson) and I needed to raise the bed of our "76" 1-ton truck. We purchased some large ash beams from Superior Hardwoods (Jack gave us a good deal) that did the trick and they are still in use today on that truck! Both Chris and I were fresh out of forestry school and looking for a way to make a living that winter in Fairbanks. We bought a truck and timber sale and thanks to Jack's good council, made a good run of it that winter.

I started work at Tanana Chiefs that spring and crossed paths many times with Jack in the ensuing years. A great Alaskan, forester and entrepreneur! RIP.
December 3, 2019
Jack was my old golfing partner. He and I play many rounds together and we competed as a team in the Wednesday night league, which we won a couple of times. He was a fine golfer but he was a better friend. I will miss him.
Patrick Weaver
December 2, 2019
To Jack's family, I am sorry for your loss! I was shocked to hear of his passing. He was a wonderful Gilmore Trail neighbor. We continued to keep in touch after he left here for Globe, AZ. We were so happy he recovered from his bike accident! Yes, shocked to hear he left us unexpectedly at age 78 as did my Larry in the summer of 2018! I will miss his emails too! We will all miss him ... a wonderful friend!
Ruth Knapman
December 1, 2019
Dear Utton family, your brother, uncle, Jack was a very wonderful sharing person. Our family and Jack staked and surveyed land, then each built cabins on adjoining lots on a small remote lake North of Alaska's Denali Park. Jack's cabin was finished and habitable long before ours. Our building progress might have much slower if Jack had not opened his cabin to us and our then toddler assistants. We were fortunate to visit more recently Jack in Globe while he was recovering from the terrible bike accident. Jack's body was badly injured, but his positive attitude was as ever. Robin and I are so thankful we knew this great human being!
Pauline Wilson
November 29, 2019
It's hard to say goodby to a friend that was such a big part of your life. In Alaska, Jack was my late husband's snow machine buddy and all around pal for many years. Such a gentle soul as his will be missed. This picture is of a group of friends meeting on Jack's birthday, close to the opening of Superior Hardwoods and on Vern's & my anniversary. Jack's dad is on the upper left. Happy snowmaching, Jack.
Sue (and Vern) Bauer
November 26, 2019
We are so sorry to hear of Jacks passing. Our sympathies go out to the family.
Pam and Jack Hildebrand
November 25, 2019
Reading this quite fitting family remembrance saddens us, because we had the privilege of meeting Jack just once at Shadow Lake, VT a few years back. We were gathered on the Zalenski front porch for a cocktail party overlooking the lake and were captivated by all the experiences Jack was able and willing to share. He clearly led a remarkable life and is a part of a remarkable Utton family that we love. God's blessings to you all. Sue, Charlie and Charles Beers
Charles Beers
November 21, 2019
I am so sorry to read of Jack's passing. He was a good friend of my late husband, Thor, for many years in Fairbanks, AK. Jack possessed extensive knowledge regarding different types of trees and the beautiful wood products they yielded. He adhered to conservation philosophy when harvesting wood, assuring a near perpetual supply of natural resources. He often talked about his hiking experiences in the hills surrounding Globe, an activity he truly enjoyed. When he was diagnosed with leukemia, he researched the disease extensively, and could speak fluently regarding its complex treatment, again demonstrating his relentless pursuit of knowledge. He was a man of many talents and he will be missed. I hope that he and Thor are united once again.
Eileen Weatherby
November 19, 2019
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
From the Staff of Lamont Mortuary
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