Les K. Chatelain was born on August 26, 1956 in Ogden, Utah. He passed away on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2023 at home surrounded by friends, family, and his beloved dog, Izzy.
Les loved science. He often reminded us that “science ‘splains everything.” His passion for science and his love of sharing knowledge led him to a career in health education at the University of Utah. He came to the University of Utah in 1974 on a scholarship as an athletic trainer and eventually transitioned to an instructor in the College of Health. Les was a natural born teacher. This gift helped him shape the minds of both his students and his own children.
His love for science included culinary, agricultural, and animal sciences. These traits showed in the magnificent meals he cooked for his family and friends (like Soup nights) often using home grown herbs and vegetables. No walk was complete without furthering our knowledge about the flora and fauna around us. He spent many an hour on his front porch listening to AM radio (mostly Utah football or basketball games) or the sound of bird calls (particularly the Canadian Geese). In the event of a thunderstorm, there was nothing he enjoyed more than sitting on the same porch watching and listening to the storm. He had a love and appreciation for animals large and small. He allowed his children to adopt rodents, amphibians, birds, dogs, cats, and even a baby squirrel. He never met a dog he didn’t like.
Part of what made him a great educator was his belief in every person. He was fair, and just, and an advocate for those who most needed a voice. He spent countless hours volunteering for Planned Parenthood, the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, as well as serving on the Holladay Planning Commission. His sense of humor and sharp wit served him well in his teaching career but also made him a favorite among his friends and family. He had the ability to make even hard work fun.
There are few people whose lives have had such a lasting impact on those around them, both professionally and personally. He leaves behind a legacy of integrity, compassion, and commitment to his beliefs. He will be greatly missed by friends, students, faculty, staff, and family.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider a donation to the Les Chatelain Endowed Scholarship Fund. https://ustarter.utah.edu/o/university-of-utah-39/i/ustarter/s/les-chatelain-ems-scholarship-rsxbf2lyj