Donald Bruce Ufford departed this earthly life in his home surrounded by his wife and children on the morning of September 16, 2021. He leaves with us a legacy of truly living life in the places where things can be a little more wild and a lot more free. Riding a horse named Sam, chasing dogs named Ringo, Red and Charlie and a heart that was always on the mountain. That was how most knew him best.
Born September 18th, 1945 to Richard and Roberta Ufford, he was one of 7 children along with Arnold, Robert, Ronnie, Ellen, Linna and Janet. As a young boy he spent his days outdoors from before dawn to beyond twilight. He loved our little valley, and he knew its secret paths better than he may have known himself sometimes. Few men have hiked as many trails, caught as many fish, treed, trapped, tagged and bagged as many critters as Don Ufford. Even in his later years the wealth of knowledge he had was so great that he was consulted to adjust maps and fill in records because nobody knew the mountain like him. Always active in many ways, Don was also the State Wrestling Champion in 1963 and he remained a proud supporter of the sport and the Uintah Utes his whole life. He attended Weber State on a wrestling scholarship and made the Dean's Honor's Roll. He coached tiger league wrestling for over 20 years and took great pride in the successes of the boys he coached, several of which were his sons and grandsons.
Don was lucky enough to marry his high school sweetheart Darline Helco on June 1st, 1966. Together they raised a beautiful family of 6 living children while a few looked on from heaven. As much as he loved his mountains, Don discovered his greatest joy was with his family. We were fortunate enough to have him instill his love of the outdoors in many of us as well. He loved to take his children and grandchildren along to teach them and have adventures. He supported them in every endeavor they undertook and could often be found cheering for them whenever he could.
He was an expert craftsman and welder who could never sit idle. This was a habit and skill he learned early, working alongside his father building homes for people in the valley. For many years, he was a licensed guide and founded his own outfitting and guide service for pack trips to hunt all kinds of big game, lions, and bears across Utah and Colorado. Later, he designed and oversaw the construction of living quarters for the oil industry at Mtn West Oilfield Services for his brother Ron, contracting carpentry from his brother Arn.
Don spent many years in service to his community fulfilling various church callings, as an Advisor for the Jr Jaycees, a BSA Scout Leader and was always there to lend a helping hand. As a volunteer for Search and Rescue he participated in many vital underwater recoveries and countless other rescues.
He taught his children to be strong, and his grandchildren to be understanding. He was a father to many more than just his blood and created a legacy of love that now spans 4 generations.
Don is survived by his loving wife Darline, his children Lisa, Diana, Bob & Brittany, Katy & Clint, Jake & Katie, Sammie & Josh, 22 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and his mother-in-law Lillian Helco.
He is greeted in heaven by his brothers Bob and Arn, his grandson Keaton, his parents, and many good friends.
Don was the best father, a loving husband, wise teacher, and faithful friend. He is treasured by all who knew him, and will be dearly missed by those who must wait to see his twinkling blue eyes on the other side again. He was a rare kind of man who is much loved.
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