Ivan J. Watts
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Ivan J Watts 1927 ~ 2005 "Saying goodbye is hard to do. Be loving, be kind, be true. Put your arms around each other. Stay together. Love your mother and take care of each other." Ivan J Watts, a man we love and adore, passed peacefully from this life into his Savior's arms, in the early morning hours of August 16, 2005. Ivan was born March 4, 1927 in Kanosh, Utah, the oldest son of Wilford William Watts and Thrella Christensen Watts. Ivan married Olive Hansen for time and all eternity in the Manti temple on January 2, 1952. Ivan loved the gospel of Jesus Christ and his country. He served both honorably as a missionary in the North Central States and as a soldier in Korea. Ivan was educated in the traditional sense, earning degrees from the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, and a Master's Degree from Golden State University; although, the education he treasured most came from the mountains, the desert, from everything his Heavenly Father created. Ivan had a gift for understanding and caring for animals. Throughout his lifetime, he shared this love with everyone, particularly his children and grandchildren. With Ivan, trips through the outdoors - although not always safe - were always a "Watts Adventure!" Ivan devoted his life to his family and taught them all of the things that he loved: ranching, camping, horseback riding, fishing, scouting, gardening, teaching, and above all, a love for his Savior, Jesus Christ. Ivan loved life and the opportunities it afforded him. He was an accomplished rancher and educator, and worked for the BLM and the United States Air Force. After retiring, Ivan worked as a supervisor at the Delta Center. First and foremost, however, Ivan was the last of the old-time cowboys. Ivan is survived by his devoted companion, Olive; four children: James, Thrella (Alex), Bryan, Maurice (Jan). Six grandchildren: Kimberly, Jarica, Alexis, Luke, Landen, Raquel, and one great-grandchild, Case; brothers and sisters: Gloria, Marilyn, Wanda, ReVon, Raymon, and Douglas. Funeral services will be held Friday, August 19, 2005 at 12:00 p.m. at the Little Cottonwood Sixth Ward (Brownstone Chapel), 6410 South 725 East. Friends and family are invited to call Thursday, August 18 from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary, 4760 South State Street, and Friday, August 19 from 11:00-11:45 a.m. at the church. "I will end by bearing my testimony. I know the Church is true and that families can be together forever. I wouldn't have changed one moment of the past. It has been so beautiful and full of love."

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Published in The Salt Lake Tribune from Aug. 17 to Aug. 18, 2005.
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Memories & Condolences
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30 entries
August 24, 2005
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Robert Sears
August 22, 2005
My sympathy and best wishes to you. Do you remember when you and Ivan visited me and my wife, Idalee, in Hawaii? We had so much fun. I have good memories of Ivan even though I knew him for a short time.
Dave Hargraves
David Hargraves
August 22, 2005
Dear Bryan and Watts family,
I am so sorry to hear about you're fathers passing. Bryan,I know how much you loved and honored you're father. My thoughts and prayers are with you and you're family.
Love, Nan
Nan Parker
August 19, 2005
I also had Mr Watts for my history teacher. I was the class of 65. He will always remain my favorite teacher. I have always had a love for history, but it grew stronger with Mr Watts teachings. I was there at Fridays class reunion. I am sorry that I missed him. In fact I saw him, but didn't realize that was him. I will remember when he came to our 20 year reunion, and he gave me a great big hug. I didn't think that he had remember me. I am sadden at his pasing, but know that he is in a better place, that I will see him again. I am so thankful for a that testimony. Once again I will treasure my time in his class. May God bless you and your family.
Jeanne Nation-Randall
August 19, 2005
Ivan was a wonderful man. I worked with him at the Delta Center as a fellow Guest Services employee, and under him when he was promoted to a supervisor for many years. He was always an inspiration to me. He could see the potential in people and always brought out their best. Ironically, two weeks ago I was chatting to another usher at the Delta Center when a situation came up and he mentioned "we need Ivan here, he would take care of this". Yes Ivan, even after your retirement from the Delta Center you are dearly missed. Thanks for coming to see all of us (your employee friends) one last time last year at the Jazz game. It meant alot to us...
Brian Bintz
August 19, 2005
To the Watts Family.
I was saddened to read of Ivan's passing. It was always a joy to run into him at hockey and baseball games. He always left me with a smile and will always remember him with one. My thoughts are with you at this time.
Janeen McMillan
August 19, 2005
This is my second entry I will try to make and hope it goes thru. We sure loved visiting Ivan at the VA care center almost all my Sundays off from work . He always had a good hug and kiss for us and so many interesting stories. It was the highlight of our week and now we will be lost without that time. Gene also enjoyed the rides to the ranch and hunting stories. We love you Olive and now we will just have to start visiting you more often. Love and comfort to you and your family. Oh how Uncle Ivan will be missed. We loved him so. Love, Julie and Gene Snell and family.
Julie Snell
August 19, 2005
Especially for Osh
To the Watts Family
We won't be able to be there, in person, but know that our love and prayers are with you all.

Alta Beth Brunson
Julie Beth Brunson Erekson
Norene Brunson Snyder
Denise Brunson Seamons
and all of our families!
Bonnie Brunson
August 18, 2005
Dear Olive, Jim, Thrella, Bryan &Maurice,
I want you all to know how special you are to me and how special Uncle Ivan was to me. The time I got to spend with Ivan on deer hunts, reunions, and camping trips will be cherished forever. The Pole Canyon trip in particular stands out in my memory, no finer camping adventure have I experienced to this day and it was vintage Ivan. Uncle Ivan was a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and stories that he would freely share with a special twinkle in his eye and a master storytellers skill, how privileged I was to be in the Ivan Watts clans midst. No matter what dark clouds hung overhead last I saw Ivan in Mesquite he made me feel a part of the family and loved, for that quality alone he will be sorely missed and now as I dry my eyes I hope that you will forgive my absence at the services and know that I will be there in heart and spirit. God Bless you all.
Darrin Watts
August 18, 2005
I just wanted to tell Ivan's family how grateful I am for the time I got to spend with him at the VA Nursing Home. Ivan has become such a wonderful part of my life and an incredible friend to me. My heart goes out to his family. I loved your husband, father, and grandfather. Thank you again so much. Good bye Ivan you will be missed very much.
Emily Winmill
August 18, 2005
Olive, Jim and Watts family,

How I treasured my friendship with Ivan over the years!

When I was an insecure little HS junior who somehow got elected to student government, Ivan believed in me more than I did. As our advisor, Ivan didn't tell us what to do, but empowered us to develop our own vision of the upcoming year. He not only let us plan the calendar, the activities, the clubs, etc., etc., he even let us re-write the constitution! And then he made us stand up and explain it to the whole school for a vote. Along the way, he built our confidence and our self esteem. In his World Affairs class, he made sure we didn't cut corners or expect special treatment. I'm so glad now that he helped us discover Africa, which has become so important on the world stage in the last 40 years! The best thing I learned in HS was not a list of facts, but how to THINK; and I learned that from Ivan!

We all knew Ivan cared about us individually beyond our spot on his rolls. That's why so many of us had him speak at our missionary farewells! That's why whenever I've seen him over the years (at the Delta Center, etc.), I've always come away with a lump in my throat, and reflected for days afterwards what a dear friend he was.

I will always cherish the fondest memories and love for Ivan Watts.

May the Comforter bless you with the peace of knowing that the Eternal Plan of Happiness Ivan believed in is true. You will be together again.


Raeburn Kennard GHS '64
Raeburn Kennard
August 18, 2005
Dear Watts Family,

The last time I had feelings about a person's passing like this was when I learned of my own father's death nearly thirty years ago.

Ivan has always been one of my idols and mentors. I have admired his quiet assurance that what he was teaching us was correct. Whether it was in Scouts, Sunday School, or Priesthood meeting, I was always inspired by Ivan's skill at teaching, but most importantly, I always thrilled at his testimony and faith in the Savior. He has been a great example to me.

I pray that Heavenly Father will comfort you at this time. I know that Ivan has entered that wonderful world where there is no pain and where Jesus dwells.

I love you all.

Jack Dunn
Jack and Melody Dunn
August 18, 2005
Mr. Watts was my history teacher at Granger High School. I have loved history ever since. The class of 1965 were honored to have him at our Friday night reunion at Granger Park prior to our Saturday event. Little did we know that we would pass in a few days. I still have the books he had us do on countries which took us almost the whole year. The comments he made in it gave me the confidence through my college years to excel. He asked me to represent GHS on TV for the current events contests between rival schools. I always knew he was too good to be true...but he was all that. We will always love and remember him. We are blessed to know him.
Lynda (Kimball) Richards
August 18, 2005
I met Ivan at the Delta Center. He helped me make it through my trials of having cancer. He always told me that when he saw me, he could see himself. I will always be grateful to have known Ivan, for the strength that he gave me. He was a dear friend, and will gratelly be missed. I am not the only one at the Delta Center who has missed him. My prayers go out to the family.
Lindsay Campbell
August 18, 2005
Dear Watts Family,

What a beautiful obituary and what a man with such a bold and beautiful spirit. Always a smile. I feel honored to have just seen Ivan at Jarica & Clints open house in SLC. We will truly miss him and the heavens will surely greet him. All of our love and prayers are with each of you at this time of loss. What memories you will have to cherish the rest of your life.
Angela Brimhall-Hicks & Family
August 18, 2005
Aunt Olive and Cousins - I was saddened to hear that Uncle Ivan had passed, but then I realized he was just on to the next adventure. I have such fond memories of our outings in the mountains at the cabin. I loved to hear him tell his stories about growing up. He was so full of love and always enjoyed life to the fullest. He will be missed by me and the many lives he touched. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Rhonda Watts
August 18, 2005
I was sorry to read about Ivan's passing. He was my brother Joe's first roommate at the Utah Veteran's Nursing Home. He was kind, welcoming and helpful to us during this year. We admired his zest for life and love of the gospel.
June Robinson
August 18, 2005
Please know i am sorry for your loss. Although i am not close to that side of my family anymore, i do wish you all the best. love Jennifer Bishop Colvin ( Gloria's Grand daughter)
Jennifer Bishop Colvin
August 18, 2005
May I add my deepest condolences to your family in your loss at this time. My memory of Mr. Watts was that I was in his History Class the day President Kennedy was shot. Everyone remembers where they were and I will never forget that.

But even more than that, who can forget how kind and thoughtful and caring about each individual he was at Granger High School. He took an interest in each student, no matter who it was.

I can still remember him always standing out in the hall greeting all of us as we passed by, grabbing our hands and always smiling.

We lost our 19 year old daughter just one year ago August 5th and we know that Heavenly blessings await you as you draw near to Him. May we always lean on the heavenly gates continually.....
Genevieve Groesbeck
August 17, 2005
To Bryan and all the family of Ivan Watts. We are sorry to hear of your father's passing Bryan. Give your mom a hug for us and you have our sincere sympathy. Love, Bob and RaNae Davidson
RaNae Davidson
August 17, 2005
Dear Watts Family,
My father, Hank, and I were greatly saddened to hear of Ivan's passing. Ivan befriended Dad at the Veterans Nursing Home at a time when my father truly needed compassion. I will always remember Ivan's bold spirit and his will to live life to its fullest. Much to the staff's chagrin, Ivan would be out in the halls daily walking back and forth on his own, determined to strengthen those muscles that were compromised in the stroke. He was quite an inspiration to many of the residents there. Because of a fall, my father had difficulty expressing himself. That didn't stop Ivan from chatting. The two became very good friends, and had planned to room together when my dad was asked to find another nursing home. He did, and just recently returned to his own home with help. We were just talking about Ivan the other day. I think he must have been talking to us! We will keep you all in our prayers. Ivan, I'm sure, is making his mark in heaven.
Katharine Biele
August 17, 2005
To Olive & Family,
I will always remember the outings to Kanosh with Uncle Ivan. They were always a lot of fun and I particularly enjoyed all the stories told by Uncle Ivan and the others at the cabin. I wish I could be there at the funeral but my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Brad & Toni Watts
August 17, 2005
Dear Watts Family,

I was very saddened to hear of his passing. I was one of those privileged to see him at our 40th reunion gathering at Granger High School last Friday evening. He looked GREAT! I told him that the only thing that had changed about him, was the color of his hair! He still had that wonderful smile of his. He was our History teacher and one that will forever stand out in our minds! We loved him dearly!

Valerie (Jones) Christiansen (Class of '65)
August 17, 2005
I only attended Granger High my senior year, graduating in 1965, and did not have the opportunity to take a class from Mr. Watts. However, I did have many opportunities to talk with him over that school year, and still remember his insights about life and apply them to mine. He was a man who made a difference in everyone's lives. I'm a better person for knowing him. God Bless
Dave Geordge
August 17, 2005
Ivan definitely left us with fond memories from our high school days at Granger High. He always had a smile and appropriate joke for the occasion. He will be a great asset to God's kingdom on the other side.
Boyd Wilson
August 17, 2005
Dear Watts Family,
I just wanted to express my feeling at the passing of Ivan. I know he is in a better place and I will look forward to seeing him. I have very fond memories of Ivan, and wanted to express a few. I remember him taking us to the pool and playing with us and rubbing him beard on us, and I remember the many time we went hunting together, and shooting his truck. That moment in my life should have been a turning point to see Gods Grace, instead it took 23 years to see how wonderful a God we have. I loved Ivan, I'm very sorry I cannot attend, but you will be in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless you all, Bobby Gleave
August 17, 2005
Maurice, Sorry to hear about your father passing away as I know all to well of my dad passing away last week. Reading of what your dad has done during his life time is impressive and he loved life.
Stan Macchione
August 17, 2005
I am so sorry to hear of Ivan's passing. Words cannot express what he meant to me throughout my life. My prayers and thoughts are with all of you.
Jeanne Josie Bryant
August 17, 2005
Mr Watts was my teacher in high school, and it is a cherished memory. After 40 years, I still have a term paper I submitted to him, and he returned it with the note: "It is because of students like you, I love teaching so much." I am sure he wrote this many times, to many students, but to me, it was very special. I saw him a few more times in the past 40 years, and was privileged to see him on Friday, August 12th, at our informal get-together for our 40th high school reunion. My sincere condolences to his family. His last words to me were: "You take care, William!"
William Mecham
August 17, 2005
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Kelly Chambers
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