Earl James Saltzgiver passed away after spending the last day of his life surrounded by his daughters and his grandchildren. If you knew Earl well, you had probably seen him whip out pictures of his “Pride & Joy” from his wallet at any given moment to brag about his grandchildren, who affectionately called him Funny Papa. Earl was known for his smile and his kindness. He never met anyone he couldn’t be friends with almost instantly.
Born on May 3, 1931 in Kemmerer, Wyoming to Alverda May Kearl and Roma Orlando Saltzgiver, Earl was the ninth of twelve children. As a child, he moved to Salt Lake City with his family where he grew up, and attended West High School. He always remembered fondly the time he spent with Uncle Wes “up at the ranch” in Randolph, Utah. He learned how to work hard, and loved working there each summer with his brothers and cousins.
Earl enlisted in the United State Air Force in January of 1951, and served as a Staff Sargent in the Air Force Police. He often told of his adventures in the service and took every opportunity he could during his time in the Air Force to make others laugh, and provide enjoyment to those around him. Shortly before enlisting, Earl heard rumors about the beautiful blonde who had started working at the local Spudnut shop. She caught his eye, and he went back often to talk with her. A beautiful courtship began, mostly through letters, while Earl was serving his country.
Earl married June Carolyn Bonner on June 28, 1952, while he was on leave. The happy couple spent one month together before Earl left for England to fulfill his new assignment with the Air Force. When he returned to the states 18 months later, he was assigned to Castle Air Force Base in California, where June joined him until his Air Force service ended in January of 1955. At that time Earl and June returned to Utah and settled in Rose Park, where they raised their three daughters: Judy, Debra, and Sherri.
Upon returning to Utah, Earl took a job in the optical field. He enjoyed the work and in 1973 he started his own business, Foremost Contact Lens Services. Earl and June worked side-by-side, along with help from their daughters, to build the business and create a family friendly environment. Earl was a natural people person, and enjoyed much success building relationships with doctors and their patients.
Earl kept his business growing strong for over twenty years. He sold the company and retired with June in 1996. They enjoyed spending time at their home in Bountiful, where they had moved in 1992. They also had the chance to visit family out of state, and do some traveling during their retirement years. Earl and June loved to take drives together through the mountain passes of Northern Utah, especially during the fall season so they could enjoy the changing leaves and beautiful scenery.
Earl loved swimming each morning, first at the Northwest Multipurpose Center, Deseret Gym, and later at the Bountiful Recreation Center. When he had some quiet time, you could often find him reading the newspaper or a fun book. He was a regular at Crown Burger, and knew the employees by name. It was quite common for family members to join him and June for a burger and fries. They often had to combine tables to make room for everyone to join them. There was always room at the table for anyone who wanted to come and be part of Earl’s life.
Earl loved the gospel of Jesus Christ, and was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He loved the scriptures and was well versed in the teachings found therein. He loved sharing his testimony of Jesus Christ with others, and did so every opportunity he had. He loved to serve the Lord, and had callings spanning from Primary Teacher to serving in the Stake Presidency. He dearly loved the friendships made, and the people he was able to serve in each calling. Earl was a beloved Sunday school teacher for many years, and blessed the lives of many teenagers through his weekly lessons and faithful service. Earl also had the opportunity to serve a mission with June, working as ordinance workers in the Salt Lake Temple. He loved his time serving in the temple, and had many great experiences there.
So many family members and friends love Earl dearly, and we know his reunion in Heaven is blessed and happy. Earl is preceded in death by his parents Alverda and Roma Saltzgiver, his eleven siblings, his wife June Carolyn, and his grandson Kevin Farnsworth. He is survived by his daughters, Judy (Brad) Pack, Debra (Corey) Farnsworth, and Sherri (Aaron) Jenkins, as well as nine grandchildren, and seventeen great-grandchildren.
Thank you dad/grandpa/friend for a lifetime of love, kindness, and laughter. We are truly grateful for the memories, and we will cherish them always.Service Information
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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
April 24, 2023 at 11:00 AM
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints