- About Us
Joseph Taylor OsguthorpeFebruary 18, 1946 ~ August 1, 2017 (age 71)
Joseph Taylor Osguthorpe, born February 18, 1946, magnificently rolled into the mystic on August 1, 2017, to continue his unending exploration of all that is unknown. His quest for greater knowledge and deeper understanding applied equally to things as sublime as the workings of the mind, body, spirit, and world, as well as things as frustrating as the “extra parts” from a Whirlpool washing machine that were left over after he had it back in working condition. His thirst for knowledge and common sense is no doubt unquenched and will serve him well as he embarks on the next leg of his journey.
The term “Regular Joe” was likely coined to differentiate his “Unique Joe” approach to this life from others who shared his name. His bona fides included engineer, chemist, botanist, metallurgist, wood worker, prospector, beekeeper, rancher, geologist, luthier, builder, brewer, explorer, theologian, anthropologist, psychologist, political scientist, scout master, and mechanic. Yet, the only titles he ever acknowledged were Joe, dad, or Papa.
Aside from his low thermostat setting in the house and his high volume setting for any Waylon Jennings song, he believed that everything else in this world was to be experimented with and questioned.
His spaces were arranged and meticulously catalogued in ways understood only to him. In those spaces he was simultaneously a scientist, an artist, and a craftsman. One day, he would be conducting experiments with electricity or chemical reactions. The next day, the results of his experiments would be applied to metallurgy or some other field. The following day might yield a previously unknown patina on a sheet of copper, brass, steel, or some alloy he had created. Day four might see frets, sound holes or small inlays of the metal on an expertly crafted guitar or mandolin that he had built and that been curing somewhere between his welding equipment, his table saw and jars of a new strain of yeast he had developed for some unknown, future purpose. By week’s end, the newly finished instrument would find itself being quietly strummed in his rugged and scarred hands as he gave birth to a gritty, new blues song, never to be heard again. Then, it would either be gifted to a musician friend, or inconspicuously hung over the piano that he would only play when he believed no one was listening. Then he was off to his next set of experiments.
Spending a day with Joe was like enjoying the company of Plato, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, Jack London, Nikola Tesla, Bob Villa, the Dalai Lama, and Bob Dylan.
He was a “horse whisperer” before anyone knew such a thing existed. He communicated with the souls of dogs by calmly looking into their eyes until connection had been established and understanding was reached. He could effectively reason with the most unreasonable child, or simply enthrall them for hours with detailed works of fiction from his own mind or autobiographical tales of his rambunctious childhood.
He wasted no time on pretense or posturing and wouldn’t abide such from others. He used the time he saved with such an approach, instead, to listen empathetically to the authentic experiences of others and learn…or to plan a good practical joke to point out the absurdity of those who took themselves, and life, a little too seriously.
His legacy is carried on by his adventure-loving wife, assistant and partner in exploration, Vera Ellyn (Jacobsen), a songwriting, story-telling son, Shane, and his daughter Amy (Castro), who continues to open young minds through music and elementary education. Their partners on this journey, Angie, Ashley (Smoot) and Ben (Castro), signed on to the Osguthorpe expedition to help groom five additional crew members and grandchildren: a paramedic/firefighter and future engineer, Hyrum; a fiercely independent earth scientist, Kylie; a comedian, musician and scholar, Isaac; a passionate violin virtuoso, Paige (Castro); and an extreme mountain athlete and adventurer, Anna (Castro). His sisters Georgina (Brozell Coons) and Harley (Duane Hansen) are, no doubt, sad to see their little brother reunited with their loving parents, Vere and Juana, ahead of themselves, but their children, Joe’s nieces and nephews, have plenty of stories to share about Uncle Joe to help smiles return to their faces. Countless cousins, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and Boy Scouts are wiser because of his mentorship.
Papa loved family gatherings such as parties, Thanksgiving and reunions. Outside of that, he pretty much eschewed any tradition that was perpetuated for the sake of tradition alone. As a result, “traditional” funeral services weren’t part of his wishes. Understanding the impact he had on so many lives, the family will hold a reception at Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 S. 2300 E., on Thursday, August 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. Per his wishes, a small graveside service will be conducted on Friday, August 4, at 1:00 p.m. at the Manti City Cemetery and close friends and family will enjoy an informal gathering at his home at 280 W. Union St. in Manti where he wanted everyone to share good food, good music, funny stories and fond memories, and insisted that absolutely no neckties be present.
In lieu of flowers, Joe would want you to tend to a horse, adopt a dog or add a Willie Nelson, Grateful Dead, Tom Waits or Rolling Stones CD to your collection and give it a good listen.
Special thanks to Applegate Hospice, George and her team of caregivers for their loving care.