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Don Mowrey Halverson

September 11, 1945 ~ February 20, 2019 (age 73)

Don Mowrey Halverson passed from this life unexpectedly on February 20, 2019. Don spent his last day doing what he loved best: skiing, playing tennis, and spending time with his precious family.  Don was born September 11, 1945 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Ray Lee Halverson and Dorothy Mowrey They lived in East Millcreek with his older sister, LuRae. 

One of his fondest memories was a three-week trip to New Orleans he took as a six-year-old, sitting in the front seat of a ’47 Chevy sedan on a small suitcase between his mother and father. His sister LuRae sat in the back with their two grandmothers, singing and talking all the way there and back.  It was a great blow to the family when Don’s father passed away (age 33) from polio just a year and a half later when Don was only seven.  One of Don’s most poignant childhood memories is seeing his father in an iron lung.

When Don was ten, his mother married Bart Mitchell, and another child, Maureen, was added to the family.  Don’s stepfather was an avid skier and friends with Alf Engen, who originally developed the Alta Ski Resort.  Bart instilled his love of skiing in Don as he taught him to ski and they spent every Saturday on the slopes.  Alf Engen passed Don off on his skiing merit badge when he was a boy.

Don worked hard growing up beginning with his first paper route in junior high school.  He taught skiing at Alta, Brighton, and Solitude, took singing and piano lessons, and played the trumpet and sousaphone in school.  He attended Olympus High School and then transferred to the new Skyline High School, where he was among the first graduating class.

Following high school, Don attended the University of Utah for one year.  He then served faithfully in the British Mission, headquartered in London, England, from 1964 to 1966.  Don then returned to the University of Utah where he received a BS in Mathematics and a MS in Engineering.  He worked for many prestigious companies, including Mountain Fuel, General Electric, and Boeing. His greatest professional achievement came in starting and building his own company, Systems West Computer Resources.  During this time, Don raised four children from his first wife.

Don and Janeen Madsen fell deeply in love and were married on April 8, 2004. Janeen was the love of his life. Both Don and Janeen describe their meeting and courtship as nothing short of “magical.” They both believe they were guided by Heavenly Father to meet and stay together despite the odds. He fully embraced her children and grandchildren and they became his own.  Janeen’s children and grandchildren loved Don for his warm smile, his sense of humor—full of puns—and quick laugh, the sparkle in his eyes, his willingness to help them, and his devotion to Janeen.

Don and Janeen were sealed on March, 31, 2006, in the Jordan River Utah Temple.  They had nearly 15 extraordinary years together filled with Sunday family dinners, backyard pool parties, teaching grandchildren how to ski, playing tennis, biking, serving in the Church, talking politics, and traveling together—sometimes with children and grandchildren—to Hawaii, Europe, and many destinations in Utah and around the country.  Don was happiest when he was in the middle of the family fun.

Don approached his life and hobbies with reckless abandon, including skiing, playing tennis, riding his mountain and BMX bike or putting his lead foot on the gas pedal in the car. This full-throttle lifestyle earned him the nickname, Dangerous Don, which transformed over the years to “Don-gerous.” Don was ranked 4th in the nation in his age group for BMX biking. Don’s other interests included World War II history, watching movies (especially James Bond) and loving actors John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, watching tennis (especially his favorite players Federer and Sharapova), listening voraciously to audiobooks, and writing, a gift he developed in the last few years by taking classes at the University of Utah.  He helped compile and publish a book on Halverson family ancestry and wrote his own history.  He was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in the scouting program as a cub scout leader and committee chairman, serving in the Primary and Sunday School presidency, and as an ordinance worker in the Draper Temple.  He and Janeen served a service mission together.    

Don was one of those people who just showed up and helped.  He could often be found supporting Janeen in her job at the Utah State Senate, doing home repairs or remodeling and yard projects, or fulfilling Church assignments.  Don did not let his own adversities define him, but rather could be found helping and lifting others.  Don was dearly loved as a wonderful son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend. Since his passing, the family has received an outpouring of tributes describing Don as the best and kindest man they knew. In addition, many envied his full head of handsome white hair.

Don will be greatly missed by his loving wife Janeen and their family.  He is survived by his children and grandchildren:  Amy Halverson and Roger Hurst (Jack, Maxine); Jason Halverson (Asha, Alia) and Ahmi Bryant; Julie and Ryan Wood (Oscar); Michael and Anne Halverson; Bryan Melchior [Bryan Jr., (deceased), Gavin]; Justin and Sarah Melchior [Tessa (great-grandchild Josephyne), Deana, Dylan]; Andrew and Shannon Melchior (Connor, Eliana, Bryntee); Jan and Glen Peterkin [Valarie, James (deceased), Olivia (deceased), Caroline); and his two sisters, LuRae and John (deceased) Ferguson and Maureen and Rick Sutherland.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 11:00 AM at the Granite View Stake Center, 9880 South 3100 East, in Sandy, Utah. Friends and family are invited to visit Friday, March 1, 2019, from 6:00-8:00 PM at Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 South 2300 East, Salt Lake City, Utah and at the church Saturday morning 9:30-10:30 AM prior to the service. Interment will be at the Riverton City Cemetery. Full obituary and online guestbook available at: HolbrookMortuary.com

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