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His first name was Lloyd but for some reason preferred his middle name Wendell. In high school he played basketball and was called “Wings”. He had other names. Dad, Pops, Grandpa, Bishop, Friend.
He was born in Burley, Idaho on December 21, 1923 to Creighton B. Hurst and Mary Elizabeth Mitchell and passed away in the early morning hours of September 22, 2018. He died of a very common and highly contagious disease: Old age. His nearly 95-year old body ran out of gas and slowly sputtered to a stop. He’ll be thrilled to reunite with his wife Arlene Parker, his high school sweetheart and companion of 60 years. She died in 2002.
Dad was THE guy about whom the phrase “selling refrigerators to Eskimos” was invented. He spent a career in sales and made lifetime friends out of customers. He had a natural, calm, steady presence and a whip-smart sense of humor that endeared him to friends, family and colleagues. Neither crass nor off color, his wit was always quick and endearing. He loved music and loved to sing. Our home always had music playing and he sang along with the gusto of a Broadway star. His taste in music was more Perry Como than modern pop or rock and roll, and couldn’t begin to understand, much less tolerate “yeah, yeah, yeah” of the Beatles. You wouldn’t ever say that the Beatles were banned from the house but……well OK; the Beatles were pretty much banned from the house.
He spent the war years as a machinist at the Mare Island Naval shipyards while living in Vallejo, California; where he and Mom began a family. They moved back to Burley for a few years before finally settling in Salt Lake City, where 6 kids grew up. But his home, his real home, the place where his heart truly resided, was in the trout streams of Island Park, in the pine covered mountains of Idaho. “The Cabin” became a gathering place, a sanctuary, an escape, a refuge, and a place of solitude and solace; where families bonded, life’s bruises were soothed, and petty differences were stilled and forgiven. Whether in a boat on the river, four-wheeling to Sawtelle Peak, singing around the campfire, or just chilling and whittling on the porch, we were proud to be a family with a father who raised us in his simple ways, with his calm and ridiculously cheery and contagious disposition, and his constant, unflinching love of fellow man.
Wendell’s oldest son Carey died just six weeks ago, and that death, the cruel and heartless irony of outliving a child, wreaked havoc on a kind, old man. He is survived by five children, Dianne (Dale) Huber, Vicki (Bob) Liljenquist, Mark (Jill) Hurst, Reed (Jolene) Hurst, Lynn (Jerrie) Hurst; 20 grandchildren, and 56 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Friday, September 28, 2018 at 11:00am at the Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 South 2300 East, where friends and family can visit Thursday evening 6:00-8:00pm and Friday morning 9:30-10:30am prior to the service. Interment will follow at the Murray City Cemetery. Guestbook to post messages and tributes for the family available at: HolbrookMortuary.com