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Wilford Marsh Gurr Jr. Funeral that was held on February 23rd, 2004

There are 75 pictures in this gallery so just scroll to the right and click on the picture that you want to see enlarged.



 gallery is showing all those who came to the graveside dedication.

You have a marvelous posterity Dad!!!


The Viewing was held Sunday Evening, February 22nd and the Funeral was held 10:00 AM Monday Morning, February 23rd, 2004


Carolyn (Gurr) Standage and Frank Standage donated the plot of land for dad and mom to be buried in the Mesa City Cemetery.


Wilford's Obituary place in Vero Beach Florida, Provo area and Phoenix papers. Written by Pat Allen


Wilford Marsh Gurr         January 27, 1919 – February 19, 2004

 After a lifetime devoted to family and serving his Heavenly Father, Wilford Marsh Gurr Jr. passed away peacefully with family members by his side on February 19, 2004.  He will be greatly missed as the patriarch of a large and loving family, consisting of his beloved wife of 61 years LaRue Willis Gurr and their 8 children, Robert Gurr, Pat Allen, Carolyn Standage, Eileen Johnson, Jerry Gurr, Julie Souter, Leesa Sasser, Lori Egbert. 69 Grand-children and 44 great-grandchildren thought grandpa Gurr was the most adorable, wisest, and kindest Grandpa ever.  Wilford was born to Letha Edwards Gurr and Wilford M. Gurr Sr. on January 27, 1919 in Buckhorn, Utah. He served a mission for the LDS church in Hawaii after returning home to Caliente, Nevada he was soon to be married for time and all eternity on November 25, 1942 in the St George, Utah Temple.  He has faithfully served in many church callings, including Branch President in Vero Beach, Florida, also in the Bishopric in Pleasant Grove, Utah.  He managed and owned the Pleasant Grove Lumbar Company, and worked as a Plasterer for many years.

A viewing will be held at the Bunker Family Mortuary at 3529 East University in Mesa, Arizona 6:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Sunday. February 22.  Viewing held again at 9:00 A.M. and Funeral immediately following at 10:00 A.M. on Monday, February 23, 2004 at the Kimball East Stake Center at Greenfield and the Freeway (US60) 4640 E Holmes.



Here are the words that Jerry Gurr spoke at dad's funeral.


I want you to know that my father was a special man. He was blessed with an abundant life (posterity wise) and he was a kind and gentle person who loved everyone. He forgave all of their trespasses without exception. He had a desire to return to his heavenly home.  He was saying the last few days that he wanted to go home. He indicated in so many ways that he was leaving soon. In hindsight, it was plain that he knew he was leaving in a few days. He had said many things out of the ordinary to his children and took extra time to say good-bye to them. He had me finish his life history the week before and I told him that it is now finished and not to worry about it anymore. I didn't know he was checking it off his list so he could go. He was out weeding in the yard so mom would not have to worry about things when he left.


This made his passing a special occasion for me. Not a sad thing. I am very happy with our Heavenly Father's plan and I know that my father is now having a most wonderful reunion with his father and mother, and two sisters Thelma Gurr Higginson, and Mary Lou Gurr Asay and his grand daughter Rachel Allen. By the way, Rachel passed away on my birthday and dad passed away on Eilene's birthday. I thought this was a sad thing to occur, but now, as I look at this from another angle, it is actually the happiest day of dad's life and so that would make it more of an honor to that person rather than a negative thing. Remember, we were part of that innumerable family of God's children voting for the saviors plan before the earth was created. Dad has existed in the spiritual form for thousands of years and lived here for 85 years in this physical body and the highlight of those thousands of years was last Thursday morning at 1:30 am. He had lived his life as close to God's plan as anyone I know and he left without suffering, who could have asked for a better life or a better way to leave it?  What I am trying to say here Eilene is, remember that dad had his most wonderful day ever on your birthday. He has not seen his father for over 55 years and hasn't seen his mother for around 25 years. How could I be sad at this wonderful occasion. Of course I will miss being with my father. He was the best father and he was my best friend. My father didn't suffer, he was up and working every day. He wasn't sick, he was happy and doing well up until Thursday morning when he just stopped breathing.  I love him and he will be greatly missed.



Carolyn Gurr's feelings and summary of the Funeral Service.

March 2, 2004

Jerry’s dad died on Eilene’s birthday.  Feb. 19th .  Almost 100% of his grandchildren attended the funeral.  There were so many wonderful stories told that I think everyone came away wanting to be a better person and show more love because of grandpa.  I wanted to write a couple of the stories down…

  1. Leesa told how grandpa came and told her, “it’s time for choir practice and mom doesn’t feel good enough to go.  You need to come with me because I have to pick up this other woman and take her to choir practice.”  Leesa said, “Dad, she’s 86 years old!!!, and you are 70!!  I think you are safe!!”.  But grandpa said, “No, I promised mom that I would never ride in the car alone with another woman.”  So he made Leesa go with him.  He kept his promises.
  2. The girls told how grandpa would leave early every morning to play tennis, but would always leave a love note on the table for mom.  How safe it made them feel to know that their dad loved their mom so much.
  3. Eilene told how when dad would play tennis with his friends at Sunland (most or all of them non-members) that occasionally they would say a cuss word.  Grandpa would shudder loudly and say “oh dearrrrrr”.  Eventually they all stop cussing and instead, when they felt the need would say “oh dearrrrr”.  What a great example grandpa was to all of us. 
  4. They told of how he always was reading his scriptures and how often they would pass the room to see him kneeling in prayer. 
  5. I remembered how he handled everyone with kindness, when I would have been mad or grumpy at them.  He was a great example to me.
  6. The grandchildren told how he made each of them feel so very special and that he loved them soooooo much. 
  7. They remembered his great strength and stamina, how he would often beat them on the tough hikes and tennis matches.
  8. They remembered how he liked to be clean and neat.
  9. But most of all we all remembered how much grandpa loved us and how much we love him. 

Grandma handled the funeral, the many, many visitors and all those hard days and hard funeral preparations with the utmost grace.  What an example they are to us all.  We will miss grandpa very much, but Jerry made a great point in his talk…he said that it is not sad for Eilene that grandpa died on her birthday.  He has been working for thousands of years to get to this very day.  That the happiest day of grandpa’s life was on Eilene’s birthday, so that should not make her sad.  What a great reunion for grandpa…to have finished his life in such a glorious way and to meet again his mother, father and others that he loves when he stepped through the veil.  I think death was very sweet to him. 



Leesa Gurr Sasser’s story of warning about dad's departure.


At 3:00 A. M., Thursday morning the phone rang in our home. I was jolted awake and was so frightened when I felt right off, “It’s your Dad”. Jerry told Kevin the hard news then told me. I started crying right away and sobbed loudly for five min. or so. All of a sudden I felt no more desire to cry. I felt complete peace, as if Dad were there with his arm around me. I felt dad’s great love for me and two distinct thoughts came to my mind.

The first thought was “I am happy – don’t worry about me”. And the second thought that came was,” Take care of your mom”. It wasn’t long before I was crying again because I felt dad’s love fill the room like a Burning, spiritual fire. I was able the rest of the night and leave with my whole family to anyone the next day.

 I was happy to be at the funeral for Dad because the spirit was the strongest I had felt in a long time. It was the most inspirational meeting I even remember attending. I was also so gratified to spend a week with mom and be for her 83rd birthday. It helped me understand a thought I had several times the week before. I kept thinking I needed to go to AZ for mom’s birthday. It didn’t make sense at all since we had no money and I was very sick with my 8th pregnancy. Then I understood, Dad wanted me to “take care of mom”, He wanted us all to be here for her birthday. We all felt comforted the entire week. We felt that Dad was very happy and that he would take very good care of mom.  

Bob Gurr's summary of comments at the funeral service

Life report on Wilford Marsh Gurr Jr.

Born during WW1, in Buckhorn, Utah, a non-existent town now, but was located about 20 miles south of Beaver. 27 Jan, 1917

It can be and is very cold in the winter, and hot and dusty in the summer,

I believe all of us who were his children were in the pre-earth life, cheered on the day knowing that he would be our Father, We had to make sure he made it too, because if he didn’t, we wouldn’t.

And then our kids wouldn’t, and of course, it wasn’t just us, it was many people he and mom effected in their lives.

He said in his life history that he remembers his Dad having terrible headaches and stomach pains and he didn’t want to go through life that way. He didn’t, it was rough for him the last year or so because of difficulty breathing, so he slept with oxygen. This helped a lot, but at least he didn’t have to go through what his father did, who died of stomach cancer at age 46. Sherry and I were his only grandchildren at the time. Now he has lost of posterity, and so does dad most of whom are here today, who has 62 grandchildren, and 42 great grandchildren.

 Provo, Philo Farnsworth, Rabies

Buckhorn, Eagle,

Caliente, Plastered new home with Mortimer Willis, LaRue’s Dad, this was his start in plastering,

He dad was the Bishop, Flood and wood pile, lots of trains,

Mission, Sirens during meeting, bombing of Pearl Harbor, served on Oahu, Hawaii, and Molokai, Mentions the leper colony and the branch of the Church there, Could go swimming then but had several close calls in the water, Came home on a troop ship with 10000 soldiers through one of the worst storms ever recorded in the Pacific,

When he got home to Caliente after his mission he saw LaRue Willis again, who was visiting at home from Hill Air Force Base in Ogden. As soon as he saw her he knew she was the one for him and he soon asked her to marry. They were married in the St. George Temple about 3 months after the return from his mission.

Ogden: LaRue worked at Hill, Dad doing plumbing in the dead of winter and crawled around underneath floors of new housing all day, in the snow. After Hawaii this was difficult and he didn’t like the cold of Utah ever after.

Salt Lake, his Dad died, Los Angeles building tires,

Helped with the chapel, High Councilman Kunz watched him and offered him a job. Plastered with him for 10 years. Lived in Pasadena ward and stake, Howard W Hunter was the stake president at the time and they became good friends. So much so that Elder Hunter married Lili and I in the Salt Lake Temple and number of years later.

Highland-Manila, lived on a farm, Grandma Gurr lived with us. Plastered,

Moved to Pleasant Grove, where I left for my mission, married and so did some of the other sisters. Jerry went on a mission to Florida, Dad later moved the family there after Jerry’s return.

Built a home, plastered for a living,

Then to Mesa worked in several different businesses, including plastering. He and I were partners in this business for a number of years and it prospered and grew. We did a lot of work in this valley.

Now a few stories: Mesa, at Sunflower, Bushnell tanks, rolling the ATV

falling off the roof,

Branch President in Florida, saved the Branch from disintegration.



I have always had a very deep feeling of love for my mother and dad and also my brother and Sisters so I have always tried to be a good brother and also son. I hope I have also been giving my love and devotion to the Church and to Heavenly Father. I don't ever remember not having a testimony and knowledge that They, Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ were as real as I myself.

When I first saw LaRue I was 14 years old, but even at that young age I felt some stirrings that I was in the presence of an angel and that she was different than any girl I had ever met and that feeling never did change, and 9 years later when we were married I knew I was right, I was in the presence of an angel and 53 wonderful years later, I know I am still in the presence of an Angel and I have always been what I feel is the worlds most blessed and happy Man.

. . . our children and Grandchildren are some of the finest and choicest young people to ever be born on the earth and will surely accomplish all that is necessary and that has to be done to usher in the Millennium and the 2nd coming of our Savior.

Story of playing tennis in Kona. Lifelong love of the sport.

At this time his Wilford’s dad worked at an auto repair shop in Provo. He would bring home used coils from the cars and Philo Farnsworth, a close relative who was working on inventing television, would use the many miles (as Dad put it) copper wire from the coils in his experiments. Dad played with the wire too, but of course, he didn’t invent television.

Another close call with dad was when he was a kid, one of his cousins wondered how much gas was in the tank of an old model T Ford car in the back, so he suggested dad light a match and see how far he could see into the tank. Dad did and blew himself up, but managed to live through it with just burned off hair and eyebrows. He said he was lucky he didn’t lose his sight with that explosion.

Why dad sold his motorcycle,

 The family later moved to Buckhorn. As a young boy he saw lots of rattlesnakes. There were colonies of rattlesnakes and often they were in the house, but he never got bitten by one of them. There were many close calls for the family with these rattlesnakes, as well as the eagles that were abundant there.

Story of Rheumatic Fever, sometimes fatal too, in bed for months and could not walk for a year, parents got him a horse for Christmas. He eventually got to be able to walk, then to run, so he ran everywhere he went, it was so good to be free. How do you think he is doing now, running and flying everywhere he goes, Ill bet.

One time he was riding his horse Pet and it sidestepped a badger hole and dad fell off, landing on their dog Ring, who jumped away of course, putting dad in the path of the horse with stepped on his stomach. He couldn’t move for the longest time, but eventually crawled back home and recovered. Another time he was in a runaway buggy with baby Dean and he thought both would die, but they didn’t. The horse eventually stopped after it got tired.

During the depression their family moved from Buckhorn to Caliente, Nevada to find work. After a few years there, the family built a new home and had Mortimer Willis plaster it inside and out. Dad helped him, and this was his first experience plastering. He has been in many lines of work, but most of all has been a plasterer all his life. He taught me the trade as well and it has also been my work in life.

When dad was 19 he went on a mission to Hawaii. The missionaries swam in the ocean back in those days, and the first time he went in the waves were huge and he was afraid. His companion just told him to dive under the waves. He did but the wave slammed him into the sand so hard he thought he had broken his back. His companion had the same experience. After they headed for home they learned than a Navy ambulance had just pulled out 2 sailors from that place and both had broken backs.

Another time they were pulled out into the ocean by monstrous waves and they only managed to get back into shore by praying hard and by holding onto coral and getting cut up in the process. These 2 elders could have easily lost their lives on this occasion. All they had to do was to be pulled out to sea past the coral and that would be it. But Dad had to be around so that us, his children could be born so it just wasn’t time for him to check out yet. Maybe we were watching out for him. It is sure somebody had that assignment because he had to be bailed out time and again.

Such was the time when he was on the Big Island of Hawaii at Parker Ranch. They rode horses from the ranch to reach some of the members on Mona Kea. One time he got on one of the biggest horses he had ever seen. The ride up was ok but the ride back the horse just got the bit in his teeth and ran, for 8 miles through a treacherous canyon. They went over cliffs, trees, and gullies. The only thing that stopped the horse was a huge gate back at home at the end. The horse stopped just before hitting the gate. Dad kept going for another 50 ft. Without divine protection, he says, they both would have been killed.

So dad has been healthy with a strong body, mainly built by his work, plastering. He didn’t even have any broken bones even, except one time I remember he broke his thumb. Dad would get mad at things, rather than people. If something didn’t work as it should, he would get mad at it. One time he was trying to get two flatback horses off the truck and I watched as he couldn’t get them apart so with one mighty angry heave he got them apart and broke his thumb in the process. He had a few other accidents. One time he was plastering a parapet on the roof of a condo in Mesa, shooting brown coat. He wasn’t watching very good I guess and he tripped and fell off. He took the hose with him and it was dangling off the roof, still spraying him and nearly buried him in cement plaster. I wasn’t there, but others cleaned him up some and got him to the hospital. But he wasn’t cleaned up good enough and the lime burns he had from that were quite painful for the next week or so.

Rabies: living in the river bottom in Provo, dog had rabies, ran around foaming at the mouth, he wanted to bite this little 1st grade boy but his Mother got him in the house and they stayed there all day,

Brother Mason pulled a gun on him and was going to blow him away in Florida.


Places he lived: Buckhorn, Utah, Provo, Utah, Buckhorn again, Caliente, Nevada, Ogden, Salt Lake, Los Angeles, Pasadena, California, Highland-Manila Utah, Pleasant Grove Utah, Sebastian Florida, Mesa, Arizona

2 full time missions and 5 stake missions,

I want to say that plastering was a good thing for us, but oh what a pain it was in the winter. Every night we would have to drain all of our water hoses and then the next morning, if they weren't perfectly drained we would have to thaw them out and then many times we wouldn't have water as the pipes would be frozen. We would have to heat our water some of the time so it wouldn't freeze in the mixer, and if the sand was a bit wet it would have to be shoveled into the mixer in big large chunks of frozen sand. We also would have to build a fire under the mixer before we could get it started and running. So many mornings it may be noon before we could get to putting plaster on the walls and that was not easy for me to see men standing around eating up all the profits of some of our jobs while waiting for mud for them to go to work on. It was really hard to keep my cool, while I and everything else was freezing. Then when we would plaster inside some of the houses we would have to cover all of the windows and doors with plastic as windows and doors are never installed before plastering, So we had to buy heaters to keep the plaster from freezing on the walls and especially around the windows. When plaster freezes it never hardens and has to be scraped off and replaced and we had to do that many times on extra cold nights. Well you may think I make it sound extra bad, but truthfully I could never make it sound as bad as it really was.

Life History continued: I would like mention a few things about your wonderful mother and some of the sacrifices she had to make for each of you and for me. I know that all mothers have to go through a lot to bring children into the world, and some more than others. LaRue I think was one of those as she would be extra bad during the first three months and then during the whole time, it was extra hard for her as when Carolyn was born the Dr. was a really impatient and unfeeling person and in his bringing Carolyn and forcing her to come before she was ready, he really did a lot of damage and we almost lost LaRue. She was hemorrhaging terribly for several months. This made it even more difficult for LaRue for the birth of Eilene and then Jerry, who was born breach, and we then were told by the doctor, that we should never have any more children. When we moved to Utah, as mentioned before, Heavenly Father decided to send Julie to our family. Mom had a really terrible 3 months and it was really hard for the whole 9 months, Julie was such a wonderful blessing to our whole family, and as I said before we all had to take turns showering our love on her. Julie came to us April 14th l958. Then about 3 years later, Mom went through the same terrible 9 months for another beautiful Baby girl, Leesa Jean and what a prize daughter she has been and is to our family, and we also had to take turns loving this new blessing to our family.