In Loving Memory
Armand Lind Mauss - husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, teacher, friend and mentor -- passed away peacefully on August 1, 2020, at his home in Irvine, California. He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Ruth (Hathaway) Mauss, who departed in November of 2018.
To many in the world, Armand was renowned as one of the preeminent scholars in sociology and Mormon Studies. To his family, he was a wise and devoted patriarch who instilled in his posterity the values of integrity, civility, charity, generosity, loyalty, responsibility, hard work and self-reliance. Armand was born on June 5, 1928 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Vinal Grant Mauss and Ethel (Lind) Mauss - parents from which he gained a unique appreciation of both gritty self-reliance and high culture. During the Great Depression, the family moved to California, where Armand graduated from Oakland High School in 1946. A lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Armand was a missionary for the church in New England from 1947 to 1949. He then joined his family in Japan where his father presided over a church mission there. Over the next few years, he earned a B.A. in History and Asian Studies from Sophia University of Tokyo, a distinguished Jesuit institution, while also serving in the U.S. Air Force as an intelligence officer. During this time, he met and married Ruth E. Hathaway, who was also stationed in Tokyo as a personnel officer in the Air Force. The couple moved to Spokane, Washington with their two children in 1954 to finish Armand's enlistment commitment to the Air Force. They eventually produced a total of eight children -- six sons and two daughters. In 1955, the Mauss family settled in Northern California, where Armand worked first as a night watchman and a janitor, and later taught in middle school, high school, and junior college as he earned an M.A. degree in History and a Ph.D in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1967, he accepted a faculty position at Utah State University. Two years later he moved the family to Pullman, WA, home of Washington State University, and spent 30 years as a professor of Sociology and Religious Studies until his retirement in 1999. During his career, Armand authored six books and more than 100 scholarly articles, while also holding leadership roles in 9 professional academic societies and a host of ecclesiastical callings in his church.
Armand took his obligations as a father and church member as seriously as he did his career. He led by example, keeping his commitments and expecting his children to do the same, whether it was in school, household chores, employment, church service, music lessons or any other responsibility. Armand insisted on having family dinners every night and a family meeting consistently once a week. He used these occasions, as well as family vacations, as constant teaching opportunities to ensure his children developed critical-thinking skills. Armand remained a teacher and a patriarch to his descendants until his final days. He often expressed pride and satisfaction that his children have close-knit relationships and are all productive members of society. Armand and Ruth spent their retirement years in southern California, where five of their children had settled and were raising families. For two decades, they enjoyed extensive travels, academic events and numerous family gatherings with their descendants. Armand also managed to remain active in academic work, teaching courses at the Claremont Graduate University and helping to establish and build the Mormon Studies program there.
Armand is survived by his adoring siblings - his sister Peggy (Mauss) Eliason and his brother Gordon Mauss - and his eight admiring children: D. Michael Mauss (Anne), Linda Rosenlof (Larry), Lottie Hobbs (Ronald), Matthew G. Mauss (Lyn), Eric L. Mauss (Shawn), Steven K. Mauss (Rebecca), Byron B. Mauss (Deborah) and Edmund A. Mauss, as well as by 21 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Toward the end of his personal history, Armand writes: "I gradually reached the decision, as Jesus of Nazareth taught us, that the good, moral life boils down to the two great commandments of loving God and loving each other as God's children. This is the simplest, but most profound and effective, moral code in human history. Compared to these two commandments, all other moral demands, from whatever sources, pale into insignificance. The main focus becomes how we should treat each other in this life, rather than on preparing for the next life."
A date for a memorial service will be announced by the family in the near future. In lieu of sending flowers, the family suggests making a donation in Armand's name to a charitable organization.
Published by The Salt Lake Tribune on Aug. 9, 2020.