On October 8, 2023 Gordon Arnold Pace was reunited with his beloved Laura Mae as he passed from mortality at the age of 92 at the Creekside Senior Living Center. He was the first son of Gordon Bennett Pace and Elizabeth Ann James Pace, born April 2, 1931 in Woods Cross, Utah. He attended Stoker Elementary in Bountiful where several of his school reports were published in the local newspaper. He developed a heart condition that required major surgery, which inspired him to become as healthy as possible. He ran track in high school and at the age of 18, he participated in a weight lifting contest. In the two-arm snatch, he lifted 500 pounds. He won best abdominals in the Mr. Utah contest that year. Raised in a family of hunters, he became a crack shot. As a 16 year old, he won the Davis County Trap shooting championship by hitting 24 of 25 targets. When the Korean War broke out, Arnie enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to the aircraft carrier named The Philippine Sea. He served there from 1951-1954. He became an Aircraft Mechanic and ran the officer's gym on the ship. When he returned from the service, he continued to hunt: deer, elk, moose, antelope, ducks, geese, chukars, pheasants and fish. He also helped his dad capture live mountain lions. For a while, he served as a game warden. He was a member of the Bountiful Archery club. In 1954, he worked as a cement finisher until he enrolled in barber school and began a career he continued into his late 80s. He worked at Lee's Barber shop in Bountiful, where he first met Laura Mae. She brought her son Buddy into the barbershop to see if Arn could salvage the terrible haircut she had given him at home. In 1988, he opened his own shop in Farmington, where he was THE town barber for many years. He also drove a school bus for the Davis County School District for 24 years. He was always working on some construction project whether pouring concrete walls or pads, digging an additional basement room by hand, adding on to the house, hanging fences, remodeling the house or building another shed somewhere.
Arnold and Laura Mae courted and were married in the Logan Temple in 1962. Driving home, the radio announced that a mountain lion had escaped from a cage in Grandpa Pace's backyard. The lion was seen wandering the streets of Bountiful. Arnold immediately drove directly to grandpa's and learned that the large cat had been discovered behind a pile of rocks at a neighbor's house. He went after it, grabbed the cat by the tail while grandpa put the metal noose around its neck and returned it to a new cage. All this time his new wife was waiting in the car, worrying that she was about to become his widow before she had hardly been his wife. Laura Mae had three children from a previous marriage and adopting a ready-made family was a major change from the life he had known. He stepped up to the challenge and became a conscientious and loving father. Two more sons were added to his family. He loved the mountains and his quiet getaway in Island Park, Idaho. We had hunting dogs for many years and he loved them like children. For a number of years, he took Buddy to Idaho for the annual pheasant hunt.
A faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served in numerous callings over the years. He was a stake missionary for several years and led the music in sacrament meetings for many years. He loved music and performed in all types of settings. He played the acoustic and steel guitar and was an accomplished yodeler. His new wife had sung in the Tabernacle Choir and they soon began singing together. They sang in dozens of funerals and church functions. In 1968 they both joined the Tabernacle Choir and sang in it together until 1988. They traveled to Europe and throughout the nation with the Choir. Music was always a central part of their home. With Laura Mae, he served as an ordinance worker in the temple for many years. He would signal it was time to go home by saying, "Four o'clock comes early, you know." He was not a fan of long meetings or anything that took long. As a barber he could discuss almost any topic, but he left that skill in his shop and remained pretty quiet at home.
Arnold is survived by 5 children: Rebecca Richards Stallings (Richard), A. LeGrand (Buddy) Richards, Anita Richards Todd (Gordon), Gordon Arnold Pace Jr. (Jana), Shane Pace (Stephanie), 25 grandchildren and 66 great grandchildren and 8 great, great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, October 14, 2023 at the Bountiful 4th Ward Chapel, 102 East 1400 South, Bountiful. A viewing will be held Friday evening from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Russon Mortuary, 295 North Main, Bountiful and Saturday morning 11:30 - 12:45 p.m. at the church prior to services.
Services will be streamed live on Russon Brothers Mortuary Facebook page and this obituary page.