Gordon Garth Josephson, 85, of Plymouth, Utah, died July 31, 2022, after 10 days in the ICU at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Garth was born April 3, 1937, during the Great Depression in a one-room pioneer-era log cabin in Plymouth to Sylvan Oleen and Jeanette Williams Josephson. He had five brothers and sisters: Boyd Josephson, Anna Peterson, Emily Markgraf, Kathy Haas, and David Josephson.
He married his high school sweetheart, LoReta Faye Fryer, on June 21, 1957, in the Logan LDS Temple. They just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with a lunch for just the two of them at Maddox Ranch House in Brigham City.
Garth and LoReta have two daughters and two sons-in-law: Sheree Josephson and Ron Hendricks of Kaysville, and Jill and Randy Winder of Highland. Their three grandchildren are Benjamin J. Hendricks (Margaret Monroe) of Washington D.C., Hannah J. Hendricks of Salt Lake City, and Lynsey Godfrey (Kelby Godfrey) of Clarkston. Their six great-grandchildren include Traeson, Rowan, MaCrae, and Emberly Godfrey, and Warren and Phoebe Hendricks.
Garth loved small-town life at the base of Gunsight Peak, nicknamed “Plymouth Peak” or “Grandpa’s Mountain.” This area, originally settled by Garth’s pioneer ancestors, is where he grew up, raised his family, farmed and ranched, served God and God’s children, made many friends, and enjoyed life.
Garth graduated from Bear River High School in Garland, where he was elected junior class president and student body president. He attended Utah State University in Logan. As a young husband, he worked at the Sugar Factory and Thiokol. He retired from Hill Air Force Base, where he was a foreman of an F-4 crew as a civilian. During his employment at Hill, he did leave Plymouth for two TDY (temporary duty) stints in the Philippines and Alaska. He received numerous commendations for improving safety and efficiency.
Garth never retired from running the family farm and ranch, although in the last years, he had to do it from his La-Z-Boy recliner. For many years, he worked the land alongside his father and older brother, but in later years, he adopted a farm family. They run about 200 cattle and farm hundreds of acres in northern Utah and southern Idaho. The cattle brand is the “Lazy J,” an inside joke among folks who work hard. For years, Garth raised thousands of chickens in a coop the length of a football field, and he hunted pheasants, deer, and elk.
Garth was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was bishop for five years in the Belmont First Ward and served as counselor or clerk in multiple bishoprics. He especially loved the elderly and the Young Men and Young Women of the ward. In Scouting, he was a member of the Century Club for the Trapper Trails Council. Garth read many books about LDS history and doctrine.
He had fun on road trips with family and friends. Garth and LoReta visited many Western and Midwestern states, including California, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Illinois, and Missouri. In their later years, they were even persuaded to board a plane to visit their grandson in Washington, D.C.
Garth was a big Utah Jazz fan, watching almost every game on his giant TV. He even saw several games in person. Eventually, he hung up his cowboy hat for a Jazz baseball cap. But Garth’s favorite thing was visiting with everyone. He was well-known and well-loved throughout the Bear River Valley.
A viewing will be Tuesday, August 9, from 6-8 p.m. at the Plymouth Ward LDS Church at 16925 N. 5200 W. in Riverside, Utah. The funeral will be Wednesday, August 10, at 11 a.m. at the same location. It will be preceded by a viewing from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Burial will be at the Plymouth Cemetery. For those who cannot attend in person, the funeral will be live-streamed by below.