My sweetheart and devoted husband passed away on May 31, 2023, with our daughter Tera and I at his side. Tera tenderly commented, “There was no kinder or more loving dad. He was my best friend.” Throughout his life, George exemplified patience in suffering, witty insights, tenderness, strength to overcome, and a love for his Heavenly Father and his Savior that was deep and sustaining.
George O. Horrocks was born in Ogden, Utah, to George Owen Horrocks Sr., and Mary Bringard Horrocks. His favorite childhood memories were made in Ogden enjoying his friends and the freedom to be a child. George’s father was severely injured in WWII, and because of his father’s ill health, his family later moved to Layton. It was a miracle he had the health to be able to work, marry, and have a family of seven children. Starting at the age of nine, George, being the oldest son, was put under a lot of stress due to what was expected of him. He always worked at small jobs to make a few extra dollars. He worked summers during his elementary years, and in junior high he worked nights at Hill Air Force Base. During high school, he worked after school and on weekends, leaving no time for school sports, which he so wanted to play.
George’s father passed away at the age of 49 leaving George’s young mom with two daughters and five boys. Memories of his sweet mother, her love, and delicious homemade meals were always a comfort for him. There was always lots of michief, love and fun. He delighted in watching his younger siblings grow up. He was so proud of his brothers and sisters as they became amazing adults with wonderful families. One brother, David, has sadly passed away.
George graduated from Davis High School in 1964. When we met, I knew Susan Leak of Centerville would someday become Susan Leak Horrocks of Centerville. We dated for almost three years, and after I graduated, we were married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on July 28, 1967. My contractor father, Orval Leak, along with George’s brothers, built our ‘cottage’ style Centerville home. Living close to family and church, among amazing friends and great neighbors, our small but cozy new home was the perfect place for us, and we never left.
Our most precious blessing was the birth of our daughter, Tera, on August 3, 1979. She brought such happiness into our lives. Thank you, our precious Tera, for staying by your mom and dad’s side even while you were ill yourself. Exhausted, I never could have made it without you. You were always there for us.
Not being able to have a larger family, we opened our home and hearts to a total of seven children who came to live with us for various reasons and at various times. Now as adults, we hope each one knows that a special place was engraved on our hearts as you brought joy to the three of us!
George was known for his backyard parties in the summer, gathering around our fireplace in the winter, and celebrating birthdays and New Year’s Eve. With no fences between backyard neighbors, it felt like a park for the kids.
He joined the Utah National Guard where he served for seven years. George started working for Utah Power & Light in 1969. He gained the reputation of being a very hard worker and for being meticulous in every position he held. He eventually worked with highline crews. He became the inspector for many power lines built and repaired in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. Many of the jobs required the men to work 10–12-hour days / two weeks on and two days off.
A few of the many highlights of his work history are:
● Repairs due to the Teton Dam collapse and flooding in 1976 in Rexburg and southeastern Idaho.
● Repairs due to the east winds in Davis County in 1983, which severely damaged 67 large steel transmission towers. The double circuit 138-kv line carrying 345,000 volts was twisted and brought down through an 8-mile stretch of the Farmington Bay and west Centerville area. Gusts of up to 104 mph were registered.
● New lines built between Evanston and Pinedale, Wyoming, a nine-year project.
● Repairs due to an ice storm in Evanston, WY, with temperatures 20 below zero and high winds.
● Driving daily between Snow Basin, Provo Canyon, and Heber City to rebuild structures and lines preparing for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
George was taught to hunt and fish by his father and his uncles. He was ever grateful for his fishing pole when out of town. He gained his love of baseball from his father and continued as an L.A. Dodgers fan throughout his life. He was on the UP&L company baseball team and participated in the company’s annual golfing tournaments in St. George. These activities helped relieve the tension of hard-working days. Music blessed his life. Driving from job to job he listened to Country Western, Fleetwood Mac, and The Beatles, but he enjoyed music from any genre.
He was blessed with a sharp mind. After high school, he taught himself advanced math and used it in his career. Because of the effect WWII had on his father and family, he had an unquenchable interest in world wars and world leaders. He also enjoyed studying World and U.S. History. George first gained his knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ as we studied together. Also, my father, George’s future father-in-law, became a huge influence in his spiritual growth. He loved studying the gospel and doing family genealogy. He was grateful to be an Elder in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had a beautiful and generous heart that spilled over as he went out of his way to help others. It seemed his silent motto was, “What is mine is meant to be shared.”
George found out he had chronic fatigue syndrome due to pushing himself beyond his limits from the time he was a young boy. For years, he battled severe back pain from difficult work conditions requiring that he take an early retirement after 30 years with Utah Power & Light.
Thank you, Georgie, for all your love and for spoiling your two girls. I will always remember our 55 years of loving marriage.
George wanted to thank everyone who called to talk or stopped by to visit and say, ‘Goodbye.’ You made his last 5 months beautiful! Thank you to those in our family who were able to spend extra time with George. Also, thank you to his wonderful hospice nurse, Ann, who became a special friend.
George’s wish was for everyone to listen to the song sung by Annie Lennox, “Into the West,” from Lord of the Rings. Here are a few lines that he listened to over and over…
Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You have come to journey’s end
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across the distant shore…
What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home
And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass
Into the West…
You and I will meet again
You will be here in my arms
I always knew George loved me completely, and we both loved our sweet daughter Tera H. Hansen. We honor ‘the ones who came before’ as well as George’s sisters Frankie Monroe and Ruth (Tracy) Argyle, brothers Oliver “Pete” (Lauralee) Horrocks, Tracy (Kerry) Horrocks, Jim (Rani) Horrocks, and my sister Louise Garrett, and many nieces and nephews/great nieces and nephews who have all said goodbye for now. We love each one of you. Thank you for loving us.
We also thank our good friends for all your kindnesses, love, and support throughout our journey.
A small family service will be held at a future time.