Forrest and RoLayne Staffanson
Forrest Leland Staffanson, age 92, bravely passed away on Sunday, January 10th, 2021 at McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah. He left us only long enough to turn and greet his wife and sweetheart, RoLayne Rich Staffanson, age 88, who passed away at home just three days later on January 13th. Both succumbed to complications brought on by the COVID-19 Virus. We, their family are heart-broken for the loss of our dear parents, but we are grateful they were blessed to leave this world together.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 30th at 11 a.m. for the Staffanson Family, and will be live-streamed at www.staffansons.com where a recording will be available for later viewing. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no public viewing/visitation. Interment will be at the Myers Evergreen Memorial Park in Ogden. We request family and friends pay their respects by posting memories of Forrest and RoLayne here on their "Tribute Wall". In lieu of flowers, please consider making a "Tribute" donation in memory of Forrest and RoLayne Staffanson to the Boys and Girls Clubs. We express gratitude to the medical professionals who have cared for our parents, including those most recently at McKay Dee Hospital, Symbii Hospice, and Myers Mortuary.

Forrest was born in Lompoc, California, the oldest son of Leland "Lee" Staffanson and Shirley Forrest Staffanson. He spent his childhood living in Johns Manville Company housing where his father worked as an operator of heavy excavation equipment. Forrest learned the value of work from his handyman father, tending to various animals and farming responsibilities. He enjoyed 4H, Sea Scouts, building model airplanes, radios, and tinkering with cameras. Influenced by his mother, Forrest valued education and developed a love of music, starting violin lessons in kindergarten, learning to play the mellophone in the high school marching band, and plucking the double bass in a local dance band during his first years in college.

Forrest participated in every sport, mostly warming the bench, but finally discovered his talent as a long-distance runner. His success on the high school track team earned him a scholarship to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Physics. Anxious to advance his education, he moved to Provo, Utah and attended Brigham Young University, receiving his Master of Science in Physics in August, 1952.

Murray, Utah was the birthplace for RoLayne, the second of three daughters born to Samuel Ansel Rich and Tessie Fewkes Rich. While Ansel worked for Kennecott Copper Corp. at the Garfield Smelter, RoLayne enjoyed a childhood filled with school, reading, singing, playing the piano, and sewing. Her parents instilled in her a strong work ethic, as she learned to garden, cook, bake bread, and keep an immaculate house. By 1946, Ansel took the family north and settled in Emmett, Idaho. RoLayne's hobbies took a back seat to chores on the farm, milking cows, mucking out the barn, and driving teams of horses during the hay harvest. After enduring one year of junior high in a two-room school house, RoLayne was grateful when she advanced to high school, graduating in 1950. She eagerly returned to Utah to pursue a college education at Brigham Young University.

Both Forrest and RoLayne had great love for the Savior and were valiant members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. While students at BYU, they attended the same student ward. In a testimony meeting, RoLayne's expressed convictions caught Forrest's attention, and the two were married eight months later in the Salt Lake Temple on August 21, 1952. From the beginning of their union, they established a theme of service to God, family and their fellow man.

The couple moved to Las Cruses, New Mexico where Forrest secured a job as a US Civil Service Physicist at White Sands Proving Ground. In 1955, Forrest accepted a position with Stanford Research Institute, and the family moved to Menlo Park, California. Two years later, they returned to Las Cruses where Forrest resumed work at White Sands. RoLayne quickly proved to be a resourceful and efficient mother, as six children arrived within the first seven years of marriage.

In 1962, Forrest accepted a position at Thiokol Chemical Corp, and the family purchased a home in Ogden, Utah where they resided the rest of their lives. Three more children joined the Staffanson brood over the next 7 years, and by 1969, the family was complete. Forrest took a position with the Upper Air Research Lab at the University of Utah in 1964, and was later appointed to the faculty of the Electrical Engineering Department where he earned his PhD in 1970. During those years, he traveled often due to contract work with NASA and involvement with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Meanwhile, RoLayne exercised her creativity by sewing clothes for the children, reupholstering furniture, reading, and fulfilling church assignments, several in leadership capacities. Her community involvement included Utah Republican Women, PTA, and American Field Service. She was crowned Mrs. Ogden in 1967 and was one of 10 finalists in the Mrs. Utah pageant. In addition, RoLayne directed the family in performing many musical programs together.

As the first children started leaving the nest, the Staffanson household remained full with extra residents, including nephews, nieces, a young Navajo student, and several teenage foster children. RoLayne always opened her home for those needing a hand, including many years caring for her aging parents, as well as Forrest's sister, Celia. In 1982, RoLayne was elected to the Ogden City School Board, and five years later enrolled in Murdock Travel School, after which she was hired as their director and recruiter. Eleven years later, at age 61, she attended Weber State University and received her Bachelor of Integrated Studies in 1996. While earning her degree, she found her wonderful talent as a poet, and compiled a book of her compositions.

Forrest left the U of U in 1982 to become a Staff Engineer at TRW, and traveled extensively as a member of the board with IEEE, including trips to England, Singapore, Italy, and Brazil. 1995 brought heavy responsibilities for Forrest as he was appointed chairman of "Autotestcon '98," an IEEE systems Readiness Technology Conference. It was the grand finale of Forrest's career, and he retired five months after the event, on January 1, 1999.

Having served in many church capacities over the years, Forrest's retirement allowed more time to devote in his recent calling as Bishop. The needs of his aging "flock" kept him busy, including conducting nearly 40 funerals during those five years, one being that of his son, Drew in 2002. Forrest's continued involvement with IEEE and freedom from employment obligations allowed Forrest and RoLayne the opportunity to enjoy domestic and international travel. To satisfy their love of the arts, they held season tickets to the Utah Symphony, The Shakespeare Festival, and several local amateur theaters.

In 2004 Forrest and RoLayne were called to serve in the Maryland, Baltimore Mission for 18-months, where they worked in the mission office and provided leadership support to the inner-city branch. After returning to Utah, their lives of service at home resumed, including delivering food to the needy through the local SHARE program, and volunteering as reading tutors at Gramercy Elementary. They were generous to anyone in need, as well as donating to multiple charities.

Forrest and RoLayne leave behind a large posterity and thousands of beloved friends. We are inspired by their good works that continued to the time of their passing. Their 2020 Christmas letter testifying of Jesus Christ, which was sent to each child and grandchild, as well as the stack of January birthday cards, stamped, labeled, and resting by the front door for mailing on the day they passed away, are evidence of their love for their family. They will be greatly missed. We have no doubt this faithful couple was greeted in Heaven with the words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servants."

Forrest and RoLayne are survived by daughters: Leslie (Terry) Carpenter, Deon (Steve) Turley, Mauree (Ron Vanderstappen, deceased) Cassel, Jean (Don) Keaton, Joan (Merril, deceased) Hutchinson, Rachel (Mike) Keeney, and Gayle Staffanson (Brian McFadden); brothers: Bill (Carol, deceased) Staffanson, and John (Lura) Staffanson, 29 grandchildren and 76 great-grandchildren. Forrest and RoLayne are preceded in death by sons, Neil F. (Ranae) Staffanson and Drew C. Staffanson (Shayne Bell). Forrest is preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Celia Staffanson. RoLayne is preceded in death by her parents; and sisters, Jeanette (Wayne, deceased) Thornock, and Sharon (Jack) Morris.

Arrangements entrusted to Myers Ogden Mortuary.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Myers Mortuary from Jan. 21 to Jan. 22, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Jan
30
Funeral service
11:00a.m.
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I would like to dedicate this song to Forrest & RoLayne Staffanson. They were two very special people who touched my life when they were here in Baltimore on their Mission. I loved every moment I was able to spend with them, especially RoLayne. May the Lord Bless the entire Staffanson family with the comfort of His Spirit at this time.
https://youtu.be/uZ55mDL7dA0
Rose Matlak
Friend
February 7, 2021
I send my love and sympathy to Forrest and RoLayne's family. I was born and raised in Emmett, ID. I knew Ansel and Tessie Rich. Tessie designed several patterns for me for our dance floorshows and Salt Lake Dance Festivals. I worked with Forrest many years at TRW and I loved and admired both Forrest and RoLayne. They welcomed my children and I in their home. What a wonderful legacy they have left their family.
Loreen Poff
January 29, 2021
My heart goes out to all of us who knew these two wonderful people. May your tears be those that heal your heart and your memories be there to restore your smiles.
Ardis Brush Williams
January 25, 2021
Oh my goodness! I am so sorry for the large empty spot in all your lives, that your parents once filled. Your tribute to their VERY accomplished lives, was amazing like they were. A ton of love to you all, from your cousin Nedra
Nedra L Bohan
January 25, 2021
Besides being a classmate of Deon, I was one of the lucky ones who got to know RoLayne through her work with AFS. She helped place Cristina from Venezuela with our family for my senior year of high school, then helped me as I started my AFS journey to Switzerland right after graduation. My strongest memory of the family is warmth. Keeping you all in my prayers.
Kay Schriock Seamons
January 24, 2021


A poignant Romeo and Juliet moment. Inseparable in life, and a quiet passing thru the veil together in death. Forrest and Rolayne are happily reunited with children and family. We will deeply miss them here but are assured they are at peace in another assignment as they prepare the way in their eternal progression. No regrets.

The Staffansons became my second surrogate family at a challenging crisis period in my life. Already with a houseful of nine children, Forrest and Rolayne willingly opened their home to an additional young high school student who was struggling. It was the first time I ever experienced a sibling lifestyle with "brothers and sisters" since I never grew up with any in my home. It changed the direction of my life forever and gave me the chance to graduate from Ben Lomond, the school I loved dearly.

Two of the standouts are when Dr Staffanson was on staff at the University of Utah, and took me to a special event when astronauts visited campus and gave a lecture. I was truly in awe.

Forrest also made arrangements to visit me and my companion on my LDS mission in Virginia. It was more than a visit, he even got permission to team up and work the field with us for a day. I couldn't have been more thrilled if the Savior walked with us, for I know that is something he would do. Forrest Staffanson thought like Jesus. It lifted my spirits and carried me thru my two years.

Forrest and Rolayne faced struggles in their lives with humor and optimism. I loved Sister Staffanson's jovial laugh. There wasn't a person who didn't feel better from being in her presence. She would not allow others to suffer in her internal pain and challenges. A truly remarkable mother, grandmother, and daughter of God.

We are at a void without them, but would be selfish to not share them now with their Father in Heaven and their extended family, which they truly and richly earned. We will all someday get to know and understand God's eternal plan, as difficult as it sometimes appears to be. We are a better people because of the many lives Forrest and Rolayne touched.

I wish the best for all the family near and far, and know that I love you and you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

George Zinn
Friend
January 22, 2021
I grew up in the same neighborhood as the Staffanson' children. Forrest was our home teacher and a mentor of sorts, as I later received and electrical engineering degree. I will never forget RoLayne as my Cub Scout Den Mother. I always wanted to stay after and shoot arrows. My condolences, prayers, and best wishes are with all the Staffanson family. With loving regard, Mike (and Joyce) Williams
Michael Williams
January 22, 2021