Dirk Kenneth Facer, a universally-loved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend, passed away from an accidental fall and complications related to kidney disease on Wednesday, March 15, 2023.
Dirk was born on March 9, 1964, in St. George, Utah. In his youth, he and his family moved several times around the Western United States, including stops in Seattle and Ocean Shores, Washington, Las Vegas, Nevada, and West Yellowstone, Wyoming. He found his greatest supply of friendships and lasting relationships in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was delighted to return as a teenager after moving away in his elementary school years.
After graduating from East High School in 1982 and returning from a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Canada Calgary Mission in 1985, Dirk worked as a member of the landscaping crew at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. A sports fanatic, Dirk was encouraged by friends to pursue sports writing at the University of Utah’s student newspaper, the Daily Utah Chronicle.
The rest is history.
Finding a knack for honest reporting, Dirk ascended the ranks to become Sports Editor and then Editor-in-Chief at The Chrony. Following graduation, he worked as the Sports Editor at the Davis County Clipper before being hired as a Prep Sports Editor at the Deseret News. There, he spent 26 years as one of the area’s most respected sports writers among readers, colleagues, and those in the local sports circle. Dirk is best known for his reporting on football and basketball at the University of Utah, a beat he covered for nearly two decades.
Apart from his accomplishments in his profession, which included winning Utah Sportswriter of the Year five times, Dirk was a tireless volunteer and supporter of his family’s interests. He served for six years as the trustee of the Viewmont High School hockey team, during which he also served as the President of Utah High School Hockey for two years. Dirk also gave his time and love for sports as coach of his children’s baseball and basketball teams. He was also one of the most consistent reading and field trip volunteers at his kids’ elementary school. Dirk also maintained strong ties to lifelong friends through weekly trips to his favorite restaurant, Crown Burger, and their participation in a fantasy baseball league for over 40 years.
He is beloved and remembered fondly not only for his professionalism and passion for his job but also for his ability to bring a smile and shine a light everywhere he went. Family and friends adored Dirk’s sense of humor and selfless concern for others. He optimized kindness and thoughtfulness. News of Dirk’s passing was met with a tremendous outpouring of love, gratitude, and remembrance by many.
Fellow sportswriters and friends wrote; “The only thing that outshined his humor was his decency and kindness”, “Through it all, he never lost his talent to make people laugh”, “If a sense of humor could be a form of currency, Facer would have been rich beyond his wildest dreams,” and “No one, and I mean no one, could tell a story better than Dirk Facer.”
Towards the end of his time on earth, Dirk was diagnosed with total kidney failure, which severely impacted his ability to live the busy life he had enjoyed. Still, he remained a beacon of positivity, especially to those who offered him care in his final months. The birth of his first grandson, Kevin, was the highlight of Dirk’s last year with his family. He treasured their brief but happy time together.
While overwhelmed by the loss of their provider and hero, Dirk’s family takes comfort in his last gesture of kindness. After his death, his organs were donated to another family in need.
His family’s “minor celebrity,” Dirk is survived by his wife, Kirsten, children, Austin and Sammy (Nick), and grandson, Kevin. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews who loved their uncle deeply as well as his siblings, Jack, David, and Bobbi and two bonus grandchildren, Bentley and Cruise. He is preceded in death by his father, Leland, and mother, Barbara.
The Facer family wishes to extend its gratitude to the healthcare providers who gave Dirk such thoughtful and loving care, including the ICU trauma team at Intermountain Medical Center and Fresenius Medical Care where he received dialysis treatment three days a week for over a year. A heartfelt appreciation is also extended to Russon Mortuary, Glenn Seninger, and the many, many friends, family members, and fans of his work who shared their love for Dirk.
The family will be hosting a Celebration of Life on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Yale Ward Building at 1431 E. Gilmer Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah. There will be a more formal viewing on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023, from 9 to noon at the same location.
Anyone who would like to share a happy memory or story about Dirk is invited to email such at email@example.com.