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Norval R. Whitehead (1929-2014) Obituary

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Norval R. Whitehead (1929-2014) Obituary

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 11:05AM GMT
Classification: Obituary
Surnames: Whitehead, Allsop, Crane
The Spectrum, 04/30/14

St. George - Norval R Whitehead died peacefully Monday, April 28, 2014, in St. George, UT of conditions related to age. Norval was born Mar. 7, 1929, at home in Bench, ID to Francis Blaine Whitehead and Anne Della Allsop Whitehead, the youngest of three children. He attended the Bench school during grade school and graduated from Grace High School. He served an LDS mission to the West Central States mission in Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakota's.

Norval first met the love of his life, DonNiece Crane, as she was teenager visiting her oldest sister in Bench, ID. They became reacquainted as she taught at Grace High School, and they were married on June 15, 1953. Norval was a dedicated husband and provider. When they were first married, he worked at night driving slag trucks at Monsanto or at his uncle's cheese factory while farming during the day with this father in Bench. Norval eventually purchased the family farm, purchased nearby land as well as leasing additional acreage. In his youth, he farmed with horses and recounted his experience of harnessing a team to go out and plow. A hard worker, during the 40 years that the farm had dairy cows, he or his father milked every morning or evening with the exception of two nights. Despite broken feet from a childhood fall from a haystack and knees damaged during high school basketball, he was a strong and energetic man. He could throw hay bales six layers high onto a moving pickup and none of his sons dared to pick a fight with him.

Always a very practical man, Norval enjoyed an efficient and tidy farm. He was not sentimental about things: he easily removed old buildings and scrapped broken equipment. But he cherished his family and bragged about them to his friends (but not his children). He had little patience with pretense, arrogance, and dishonesty. He served as bishop of the Williams Ward for six years during which he led the fund raising and remodeling of the Niter chapel. He will be remembered by his children for teaching them a strong sense of right and wrong, to help others in need, and to accept people that are different than us. He loved reading western novels and was a student of Mormon doctrine and history. A long-time resident of Grace, ID, he and DonNiece moved to the St. George, UT area for their retirement years. They traveled often and Norval enjoyed visiting friends and family. Since DonNiece passed away, his world narrowed but continued to speak often with his cousin Thayne Whitehead, his neighbors at Green Springs, and friend June Turner. Norval believed strongly in being responsible and self-reliant. He remained on his own in his home until five months before his death. Always a teacher by example, in the end, he taught his family how to die with dignity and honor.

He is survived by his children, Val (Lee) Whitehead of Midvale, UT, Kent Whitehead of Sandy, UT, David (Margo) Whitehead of Henderson, NV, Emilee (Michael) Morock of New York, NY, sister Nina Taylor of Centerville, UT, eleven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Norval was preceded in death by his wife, his parents; his brother Arla Whitehead, and a still-born son.

A graveside service will be held at the Grace Cemetery, 1.8 miles south of Grace, ID, at 10:00 am on Saturday, May 3, 2014.

Friends and family are invited to share condolences online at

Published in The Spectrum & Daily News from Apr. 30 to May 1, 2014

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