Surrounded by loved ones, Verdon A. Manwaring, age 88, quietly passed away at home from complications associated with congestive heart failure.
Verdon was born in Naples, Uintah County, Utah, on November 7, 1934, in his Grandmother Manwaring's home.
He is Ashel and Elva Merrell Manwaring's fourth child. He joined his sisters Lawanna, Carol, and a sister Verlee, who passed away the day she was born. As the eldest son, Verdon was a great blessing to his parents.
Over time, siblings Phillip, Victor, Ashel Jr (passed away at birth), Glendon, Linda (passed away at birth), and ElvaLinn joined their loving family. Verdon loves and is close to each one of his siblings and their families.
Verdon married Rea Pope, his high school sweetheart, in the Logan Utah Temple on July 27, 1953. They had over 21 wonderful years as a couple and were blessed with seven children - Kevin Kay, David Ashley, Janice, Arlene, Eric Karl, Sherry, and Brent Douglas. In addition, Verdon and Rea loved their foster son Ronald Navanick.
Rea passed away very unexpectedly on March 2, 1975, leaving a huge hole in Verdon's heart.
After Rea passed away, he married a second time and accepted three additional children as his own. Although this marriage did not last, he was blessed with his daughter Katharyn "Katie" Louise.
After a few years, Verdon found true happiness again and was married to Marilyn Beth Judd in the Seattle Washington Temple on February 14, 1985. Subsequently, they were sealed in the Manti Utah Temple. Together they blended Marilyn's four children Twilla Dawn, Christopher J, Spencer Judd, and Steven Cole, with Verdon's children.
Verdon and his brothers worked with their father, uncles, and a myriad of other friends laying brick and rock on many buildings in Vernal, including the Vernal Tabernacle, as well as other projects throughout Utah and other states.
Verdon remained engaged in masonry and contract work throughout his life, whether it was his primary employment or a side job - and Verdon always seemed to have a side job to support his large and growing family.
He served in the Utah National Guard. He was employed as a pumper-gauger for Chevron Oil. He built and operated an LDS bookstore. He also worked for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Seattle Temple, on the Church farm, and in maintaining chapels in the Seattle, Washington area. He ultimately retired as the maintenance manager for the Uintah Care Center.
In his spare time, Verdon built three different homes for his family, all along 2500 South in Vernal, each a bit larger to accommodate his expanding family. He also built two other houses on 2500 South for other families.
Verdon's entire life was devoted to service in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he served in many different positions including branch president, a counselor in multiple bishoprics, scoutmaster, young men's presidencies, temple ordinance worker in both the Vernal and Logan Temples, and as a devoted home teacher and minister.
Although always active in the Church, Verdon was not just a Sunday saint. A deep love of God and his fellow man was embedded in his character. Verdon never met a stranger.
For example, it was not uncommon for Verdon to befriend someone he met at Walmart; before long, they were part of the family. Those friends and other extended family members often lived with Verdon and Marilyn. Some stayed for the weekend, some stayed for years. Both Verdon and Marilyn had an open-door policy.
Verdon's last years of life were very difficult as his body wore out, and he lost the use of his hands and his mobility due to peripheral neuropathy. However, he welcomed caregivers and neighbors - and everyone was a best friend and became family.
Verdon was preceded in death by his parents, his sweetheart Rea, his daughter Twilla (Jed Hedges), his son Brent (Meredith Middleton), his foster son Ronald Navanick (Mary Shingoitewa), daughter-in-law Loye Ann Mecham (Kevin), his sister Lawanna and her husband Val Ross, brother-in-law Willis J. Southam, (Carol), and sister-in-law Uvene Haws (Victor).
He is survived by his beloved Marilyn and children Kevin (Loye Ann Mecham, deceased, and Cleo Miles Mortensen), David (Kristie Jackson), Janice (Richard Brady), Arlene (Darwin Evans), Eric (Joanne Harris Parrish), Sherry (Ty Corbridge), Katharyn Louise Hill, Christopher J. (Pauline Richens), Spencer Judd (Annalynn Colvin), and Steven Cole (Tiffany McConkie).
Verdon currently has 37 grandchildren, 67 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren, with three more on the way.
The Manwaring family expresses a heartfelt thank you to the Glines 8th Ward and all the friends and neighbors who have been so helpful, as well as Kim, Shelly, Twila, Michelle, Amanda, Paige, Connie, Eric, Pastor Dan, Drew, and Dr. Woodward with Canyon Home Care & Hospice. In addition, the family is grateful for the kind service of the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home.
Funeral services for Verdon will be held Friday April 21, 2023 at the Glines 8th Ward chapel (1280 W 1500 S). The family will greet visitors at the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home (410 N 800 W) Thursday, April 20 from 6:00 to 8:00pm, and Friday 9:45am to 10:45am at the church. Interment will be in Vernal Memorial Park, next to his sweetheart Rea, with Military Honors by the American Legion Post 11. Services under the direction of the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home.
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