Earl Dennis Tolman Profile Photo
1942 Dennis 2023

Earl Dennis Tolman

February 15, 1942 — February 10, 2023

Earl Dennis Tolman passed away peacefully on Friday, February 10, 2023, at his home in Idaho Falls, Idaho, at the age of 80. Dennis was born February 15, 1942, in Ogden, Utah, to Dale Richards Tolman and Dorothy Robins Tolman. He was raised and educated in Bountiful, Utah, where his father and grandfathers were educators. He graduated from Bountiful High School in 1960. Throughout his life he was a dedicated teacher, father, and husband and a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dennis served a 2 ½ year mission to the Brazil, Sao Paulo Mission from 1961 to 1963. Shortly after he returned home, he met and fell in love with Joyce Bjornn. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on September 2, 1964.

Dennis served in the Utah Army National Guard where he was a helicopter (H-23 dual-rotator) repairman. He later transferred to Fort Douglas to work in the intelligence group as a linguist.

When he returned home from Brazil, his mission president, Grant Bangerter, asked him to help establish the Language Training Mission in Provo, Utah, (precursor to the MTC) for Portuguese. Prior to this time, there was only training for Spanish. Dennis loved teaching Portuguese and changed his major to Portuguese. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts in Portuguese and received a graduate fellowship to the University of Wisconsin in Linguistics. Dennis received his Ph.D. from Wisconsin in 1970.

Dennis's first career was as an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University where he represented all of the junior faculty on the Executive Committee. At the time, he was the only Professor of Portuguese in the Department of Romance Languages. Three of his first five years at Ohio State he was nominated for the Distinguished Teaching Award.

While in Columbus, Dennis became interested in Hospital Administration. He decided to return to school to receive a Master of Hospital Administration from Ohio State. At the end of the MHA program, he completed an internship at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City and was offered a job as the Associate Administrator (COO of Clinical Operations) at LDS Hospital, a position he held for seven years. He later served as COO of Medirec (a hospital equipment company) and managed national accounts for KCI. In 1995, he co-founded Associate Resource Management (ARMS) to help companies across the country negotiate hospital contracts.

In 2002, Dennis and Joyce, moved to Idaho Falls to accept a position managing the building of Mountain View Hospital and he was the first CEO of the new hospital. During this time Kim Clark, President of BYU-Idaho, asked Dennis to establish a Healthcare Administration Program at the university. He was glad to do so because it combined his love of teaching with his love for healthcare. He developed the program into one that is very successful and he taught full-time at BYU-Idaho for nearly fifteen years, retiring at the age of 77. Dennis loved his students and was thrilled to see them succeed. In 2010, Dennis was a devotional speaker at BYU-Idaho. He chose to speak on "Being True and Faithful" which was always important to him, and something he instilled in his children and everyone he taught.

Dennis and Joyce have six children: Andrea Smith of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Kris Tolman (Tiffany Hiltbrand) of Layton, Utah, Adam Tolman (Michelle Jones) of Layton, Utah, Jordan Tolman (Kelleen Harris) of Rexburg, Idaho, Ashley McLane (Brent) of Shelley, Idaho, and Jonathan Tolman (Sara Kauer) of Rexburg, Idaho. Dennis and Joyce have been married for 58 years and have twenty-eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Throughout his life, Dennis loved nature, fishing, hunting and scouting, and he was an accomplished wildlife artist. He spent many years as a scoutmaster in Wisconsin, Ohio and Utah, and loved teaching young men to value the world around them, to be faithful and to work hard. He served as a bishop at BYU-Idaho and a temple worker in the Bountiful Temple. He was devoted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to being true and faithful throughout his life. He was especially a caring husband, father and friend.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Richard Tolman (Bonnie Bjornn) of Orem, Utah. He is survived by his wife, his children and grandchildren, and his brothers, Russell Tolman (Lizbeth Sexton) of Draper, Utah, and Larry Tolman (JoAnn Hinrichsen) of Alpine, Utah.

Friends may visit with the family from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5255 S. 5th West, Idaho Falls. A graveside service will be held at the Bountiful Cemetery, 2224 S. 200 West, Bountiful, Utah, on Friday, February 17, 2023, at 1:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Brigham Young University-Idaho or the Missionary Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Earl Dennis Tolman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, February 17, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

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