John George Harris


January 15, 1934 – November 15, 2018

John George Harris, 84, passed away Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, at the University Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, after a lengthy illness.

John was born January 15, 1934, in Oakley, Wyo., to John Henry Goddard Harris and Edna May Brown Harris.

He attended schools in Kemmerer, and graduated from Kemmerer High School in 1952. After graduation, he went to work for Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Co. until he was inducted into the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged from the Army on January 16, 1962.

He married Anita Gayle Stephens on July 30, 1954, in Frontier, Wyo. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on August 20, 1971.

After his military service, John returned to the telephone company and worked there for the next 35 years, spending 20 years in Rock Springs and 15 years in Salt Lake City offices. After he retired from U.S. West, he did contract telephone work on Hill Air Force for the next 10 years.

After he finally retired, John and Gayle moved to Smoot. They loved living in Star Valley. They were warmly welcomed and loved by the Smoot community and now consider this their home.

He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in various callings including in the bishopric in the Rock Springs 1st Ward and bishop of the Rock Springs 4th Ward. He also served as a temple worker in both the Ogden and Star Valley temples.

John loved the great outdoors and enjoyed hunting and fishing. John and Gayle loved to camp in their travel trailer in Bear Lake, Jackson, and in the mountains of Wyoming and Utah.

A devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, John is survived his wife, Anita Gayle; a son, John George Jr. (Shirley) from Lehi, Utah; a daughter, Valerie Jean (Gerry) Vallette from Warminster, Penn.; and a sister, Beverly (Gary) White from Caldwell, Idaho.

He is also survived by five grandchildren, Robert John (Jamie) Harris, Steven Ray (Alison) Harris, Ashley Kayleen Harris, Christopher Jesse (Karen) Harris, Stephanie Elaine Vallette and 12 great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his siblings, Thirza Jane, Betty Ruth, Milton Henry, and Darlene Ramona, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Nov. 20, 2018, at the Osmond LDS Building, 3161 WY-241, Osmond, Wyoming.  A viewing will take place from 6-8 p.m. Monday at Schwab Mortuary, 44 E 4th Ave. Afton, and one hour prior to the services at the church.

Graveside services with military honors will follow at the South Lincoln County Cemetery in Kemmerer, at 2:00 p.m. on November 20, 2018.

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