Southern Utah Mortuary - Cedar City - Cedar City
190 North 300 West
Cedar City, UT 84720
(435) 586-4040
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Willard Wood

1943 - 2019
Willard Wood Obituary
Willard Wood

Cedar City - Willard Nelson Wood, a man more comfortable in buckskin and born well after his time, left his family, friends, and the town he loved so dearly, on Friday, November 1, 2019.

Born on June 7, 1943, the youngest child of Willard Hunter and Runa Nelson Wood, Willard grew up among the sagebrush and tumbleweeds and red rocks of Cedar City, raising as much hell as a child possibly could. Who are we kidding: he raised hell until last week.

There is really no way to describe Willard or the impact he had on so many people in Cedar City. He was involved in deer hunting, scouting, archery, muzzle-loading, fishing, coyote hunting, and was more at ease casting a Mickey-Finn in Yankee Meadow Reservoir in hip waders on a moonless night than he was wearing a shirt. Seriously.

Willard was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but you would be hard-pressed to find him at church on Sunday. No, Willard communicated with God in his own way, and found Boulder Mountain or the west desert a better tabernacle to invoke his prayers to his Maker.

Willard married Cathy Cason on April 27, 1962 in the Rock Church in Cedar City. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, served on the USS Midway during the Viet Nam War, and was honorably discharged in 1965. He also served in the Utah National Guard with Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 222nd Field Artillery in Cedar City from 1985 until 1993. Willard and Cathy had five children: Todd, Gregg, Cody, Brady, and Mellissa. He and Cathy had 16 grandchildren; and while he was close to and loved all of them dearly, his eldest granddaughter, Kristina, had been his co-pilot during his adventures in the high desert valleys west of Cedar City and shared in his love of the silence and beauty of nature. O.K., yes: if he heard a coyote, he'd kill it. So he enjoyed the silence, without the coyote howling.

Willard is survived by his wife, Cathy of fifty-seven years; (fifty-seven years! Mom, you deserve sainthood on that alone); sister, Marian (Gerald Hyatt); his children, Gregg (Nicola Camp), Cody (Sonja Shimmers-Wood) and Mellissa (Ben Hunt); sixteen grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and hundreds of friends who were and always will be considered family to those he left behind. He is preceded in death by his parents, Runa and Willard, his brother Jack, whom he has missed dearly for the last twenty-four years; eldest son, Todd, and infant son, Brady.

Please join us in celebrating Willard's life on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 from 5-7 p.m. in the Rock Church, 75 East Center Street, Cedar City, Utah. A secondary viewing will be held Thursday, November 7, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Funeral services will be held in the Rock Church chapel from 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Willard's final repose will be in the Cedar City Cemetery following services and a funeral potato food fest following that in the Rock Church.

In lieu of flowers, please bring some tumbleweeds, or a sagebrush, or a deer antler; better yet, bring your favorite story that you have of Willard, or your favorite Willard joke -you know, the ones you can't tell in church but you gut-wrenchingly laugh at anyway. Or donate to ; or hug the ones you love a little tighter; and if you have loved ones that struggle with alcoholism and addiction, tighter still and tell them that you love them a little more often.

Oh, and God....? Say, if you happen to see Willard in the next little while, could we request that you not point him toward the bar, but give him directions to the closest fishing hole? We promise, you'll love the results more. He might out-fish you, but you'll have a blast!

We love you, Dad, you Old Fart!

Online condolences can be sent at
Published in The Spectrum & Daily News from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6, 2019
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