Obituaries » Jerry Franklin Twitchell
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August 24, 1931 - July 30, 2021
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Bountiful
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Jerry Franklin Twitchell, 89, of Centerville, Utah, returned to his heavenly home on Friday, July 30, 2021, surrounded by family. The life of our beloved husband, dad, and grandpa can be summed up perfectly by the words in 2 Timothy 4:6-7, “The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
Jerry was born in a small four-room home in Lyman, Wyoming, on August 24, 1931, to Franklin Potter and Myrtle Bradshaw Twitchell. He was the first boy after six girls, followed by a younger brother and sister. He was raised on a ranch where he grew up learning to work hard. Hard work was an ethic he carried throughout his life.
Jerry met Patty Lynne Grover at Brigham Young University. It was the perfect country boy meets city girl love story. They were sealed on October 15, 1954, in the Idaho Falls Temple. Being very athletic, Jerry hoped for a son, but he couldn’t have been a better dad to his five daughters. Family meant everything to Jerry and his sweetheart. He came from a large, close family and together with Patty Lynne, they built their own strong family based on gospel principles both lived and taught in the home. Jerry worked and played alongside his girls, teaching them first and foremost by example.
Music was an integral part of Jerry’s life. He grew up singing around the piano with his family and carried that tradition on with his own family. He had a beautiful tenor voice and sang many solos and in quartets through the years. He encouraged his daughters to develop their own musical talents and they began accompanying him at early ages. A special memory for his daughters is the songs he would sing to them at bedtime. He made each of them feel important as he sang them “Daddy’s Little Girl.”
Education, learning, and teaching were very important to Jerry. He attended BYU before and after his mission to Brazil. Patty Lynne was a senior at BYU when they got engaged and by the time they made wedding plans, she had already signed a contract to teach in St. Anthony, Idaho, so Jerry transferred to Ricks College and was in its last four-year graduating class. Before he graduated, Jerry was asked to teach in the Seminary program and thought he would like that. He started teaching the fall after his graduation in 1956 in Sugar City, Idaho. He taught there for six years with a short break to return to BYU for his master’s degree. In 1962, he transferred to Brigham City, Utah. Teaching seminary was a perfect occupation for Jerry. The scriptures were a never-ending source of learning, and he was a master teacher. His love for the Savior, the gospel and the scriptures came through in his teaching. In 1976, while still teaching seminary in Brigham City, Jerry completed a Doctor of Education degree at BYU. He completed it by driving to night classes in Provo and attending summer school. Jerry retired after 40 years with the Church Educational System in 1996.
Missionary work was another defining aspect of Jerry’s life. Jerry received a call to serve a mission to Brazil in 1951. At that time Brazil was one large mission. He learned Portuguese in the mission field as there was no MTC and he ended up serving just shy of three years. In 1983, Jerry was called to be a mission president in Curitiba, Brazil. Jerry was thrilled to return to the country and people he learned to love earlier in his life. In 1997, following his retirement from CES, he was called to be the Missionary Training Center (MTC) president at the new MTC in São Paulo, Brazil, where he and Patty Lynne served for two more years. Many lives have been touched and changed through his service.
Jerry’s love of the gospel and his deep, abiding testimony of the Savior are the things he would most want to be remembered for. He spent a great portion of his life serving faithfully in the church and at home. His big, strong, yet soft hands worked, blessed, and served tirelessly. Although his final years battling Parkinson’s disease were hard, and he could no longer physically do all the things he loved, one of his final sentiments to his grandchildren was “I can still live the gospel, and I will until my time is done.” He was a believer—that is his legacy.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Patty Lynne; five daughters, Sherrie (Terry) Dillon, Brenda (Steve) Baker, Carolee (Daken) Tanner, Julie (Mike) Schouten, and Annette (Tony) Benjamin; 24 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, and two sisters, Jean (Ivan) Bluemel and Ann Turner. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his siblings, Marcelle Carter, Valeene Field, Thelma Wall, Rebecca Micheli, Duella Rollins and Rulon Twitchell.
A viewing will be held Friday, August 6, 2021, from 6 to 7:30 pm at Russon Brothers Mortuary, (295 N. Main Street, Bountiful, Utah).
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 7, 2021, at 11 a.m. at the Centerville 3rd Ward, (900 South 400 East, Centerville, Utah). A viewing will be held immediately preceding the funeral from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Interment will be at the Bountiful City Cemetery (2224 South 200 West, Bountiful, Utah) immediately following the funeral.
The funeral can be viewed below or on the Russon Brothers Mortuary Facebook page for those unable or choosing not to attend in-person.
Heartfelt appreciation is extended to the staff and workers at Legacy House Park Lane, and Encompass Home Health and Hospice. In lieu of flowers you may donate to the Temple Fund or General Missionary Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.