Joseph LeRoy Scharffs, who held many titles—including husband, father, son, grandfather, and simply “Joe”—passed away on January 17, 2024 at the age of 82.
Born August 15, 1941, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Fritz and Louise Scharffs, Joe was the youngest of four with siblings Gilbert, Donna, and Virginia. From an early age, it was clear that Joe loved two things; using his mind and anything to do with sports. One year in grade school, he completed all his math assignments for the entire year early, just so he could go to the gymnasium and shoot hoops while his classmates did their work.
After excelling academically and on the basketball team at West High School, Joe received a full scholarship to Columbia University in New York, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. Joe would go on to enjoy career stops at Thiokol, Hercules, Management Systems Corporation, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he worked for over 35 years.
He married the love of his life, Marjorie Buttle, in 1967 in the Salt Lake Temple. His first priority was always her and her well-being. The two had three children; Kirsten, Scott, and Emily.
Throughout his life, Joe’s thoughtful and sometimes extremely meticulous nature was his signature trait. He was highly skilled in budgeting, math, travel planning, computers, real estate, and researching every purchase with great detail. Consumer Reports (vehicle edition) was never more than an arm’s length away at Joe and Marge’s home.
Joe was also known by friends and family for his quiet generosity. He was financially generous but knew his time and attention was his greatest gift. He took great care of his mother in the twilight of her life, visiting her every day at lunchtime and in the evening after she moved to a care center.
He enjoyed traveling with family and made use of his attention to detail and planning to take his family on many memorable trips. The one that stands out most was a 5-week trip across the United States in which nearly every second and every stop was planned well in advance. After his retirement, Joe and Marge traveled together to China, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama, the British Isles, Guatemala, New York City, Canada, and Mexico. They enjoyed every moment, except for the time Marge left her phone in an Uber in New York.
At home, Joe never lost his passion for a great game. It seemed the television was always tuned to some kind of sporting event at his home. He was most passionate about the BYU Cougars and the Utah Jazz. An avid snacker, Joe loved having a Coke, some popcorn, or a candy bar—his favorite was Snickers—while watching the game or lounging around at home. He and Marge enjoyed attending musicals, playing Pinocle or Hot Dice with their friends, or just sitting on the couch together with their pocket Solitaire and Yahtzee. He stayed in shape by walking, especially in his older years. His family guesses he must have walked millions of steps in the last few years up and down the street by his home in Bountiful.
Joe’s faith in his Savior, Jesus Christ, anchored the way he lived his life. He held many church callings over the years, including membership clerk, financial clerk, executive secretary, high council member, basketball coach, temple worker, and Primary teacher - his favorite. He frequently shared his strong testimony of the Gospel with his family, especially during difficult times.
Near the end of his life, Joe battled Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia. He found great difficulty dealing with the confusion and changes he felt in his brain. He recently moved with Marge to Legacy House Park Lane in Farmington, where he received loving care. Later, workers at Lakeview Hospital continued to show Joe great dignity and concern in his final days.
Joe is survived by his wife of 57 years, Marge, and his children; Kirsten Facer, Scott, and Emily (Jason) Hansen, grandchildren; Austin, Sammy, Porter, Allie, Miranda, Lauren, Noah, Molly, and great-grandchild, Kevin. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Gilbert, sister Virginia, and son-in-law Dirk Facer.
A viewing will be held at Russon Mortuary, 295 N. Main St., Bountiful, Utah on Sunday, January 21st from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am, Monday January 22nd at the Bountiful 53rd Ward Meeting House, 1350 N. 650 E. with a viewing prior to the services from 9:30 am to 10:30 am. Interment will be at the Bountiful City Cemetery.
Services will be streamed live on Russon Brothers Mortuary Facebook page and this obituary page.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Parkinsons Foundation.