1928 Warren 2024

Warren Phister

January 28, 1928 — March 4, 2024

A cool breeze blew off the Portland, Oregon coast when a sweet boy was born to Leonard Joseph Phister and Elizabeth Joy Cheney on January 28, 1928.

Warren quickly found he had a talent for art and music and was encouraged by his schoolteachers to pursue it. However, in 1946, at 18 years old, world events would put him on a Navy ship where he would witness the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Island. Though Warren appreciated his military service, he was anxious to exit the Navy and pursue his art.

He was admitted to Brigham Young University and the Art Institute in Oakland, California. His skills were soon recognized when he was hired by the Electrical Products Corporation in San Fransisco as a 'Neon Sign Designer' in 1952. By 1957, he had become the Art Director for EPCON Sign Company in Salt Lake City. Warren loved his career and often said, "Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life."

Salt Lake City was to be the birthplace of Warren's great romance when he met Diane Butler at a church dance. After a whirlwind courtship they married on August 22, 1959.

Following his ambition to enhance his art profession, he joined the Federal Sign & Signal Company in Los Angeles in 1970. Having found his passion, he won several National Electric Sign Association design awards throughout his career. While in California, his spare time was spent completing his degree from Cerritos College and serving in the Bishopric of the Lakewood 2nd Ward. After a career transfer to the Phoenix, Arizona Division, he and Diane longed to return 'home' to Utah. The opportunity finally presented itself in 1973, when he was offered a position as Corporate Art Director with Young Electric Sign Company. He landed in their Salt Lake location where he would stay for the next 25 years until retirement. Warren went to work every day with a smile on his face, he loved his profession and often reminisced about it in his later years.

Warren was always interested in developing his talents and pursuing his business interests. He could sit down at the piano and play by ear to entertain himself. Those around him were amazed that he could not read a note of music and yet played beautifully. Throughout his art career, he was a member of several art clubs and associations. He served two terms as President of the Salt Lake Chapter of Toastmasters International and tried his hand at several businesses. His dream to own and manage rental investments as a preparation for retirement, was a constant throughout his life. His children recall with fondness working side by side with Dad and Mom when he opened an ice cream restaurant in Bountiful, called the 'Sugar Tree'. Diane supported every dream Warren had and when their 8-5 workday was done, they would both start working again to make the 'Sugar Tree' a success.

After retirement, those workday hours were replaced with service. He spent twelve years serving at the Bountiful Temple and thirty months as a Church Service Missionary in the Graphics Department. In between, he could be found helping family whenever he could. When children's homes were built or remodeled, Dad would jump in and help. Even at 95, when he was no longer steady on his feet, he would grab a broom and balance with his walker to sweep up construction debris. He would design personalized birthday cards for family members, create school 'run for office' posters, do letter exchanges with his grandsons, decorate Valentine cookies, and play competition ping pong or pool with his visiting grandkids. He offered the lowest rent in town to the needy and did grandkid 'goal' luncheons. One day he drove from Bountiful to Centerville just to teach a grandson how to tie his tie. This grandpa has carried a very sad grand-daughter into the hospital after falling off her bike and has cleaned up the dishes after every Sunday (and weekdays too!) dinner held in their home.

Warren loved the Lord, Jesus Christ and His gospel and was loyal to it. As a child, he was a tender-hearted boy, and he grew up to be a tender-hearted man. Always the romantic, he totally enjoyed a good 'chick' flick and was never too prideful to shed a tear. Warren always found ways to compliment those around him all throughout his day. He told us all often how much we were loved, never missing to add how much love Diane had brought to him and how grateful he was to her. He loved her deeply.

Warren peacefully returned home at the age of 96 on the morning of March 4, 2024. He was amazed and often remarked with awe about how long he had lived.

He is now rejoicing in his reunion with his sweet mother, father and siblings that have preceded him through the veil. Dad was eager to see them again and just days before his death wondered if they were waiting as eagerly to see him.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff provided by Canyon Care Hospice and their angel 'Carly Sotelo', who gently guided Warren through the last days of his life. He would half tease Carly that if she was a real healthcare professional she would be able to give him the exact date of his passing ??.

Warren is survived by his sweetheart of 64 years, Diane. His daughters; Valerie (Val) Jones and Holly (Bob) Snyder and his sons; Brad (Laurie), Dennis (Sue) and Neal (Aunran) Phister and brothers; Leonard D. and David Phister. He has been blessed with 26 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild!

Warren lived to love. He treated those around him with love and compassion, he treated his family with love and forgiveness, and his Lord with his love and commitment. We eagerly await our joyful reunion with Warren. It wouldn't sting if he hadn't loved so well but as our prophet has said…

We can't fully appreciate the joyful reunion later, without the tearful separation now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take the love out of life.
Russell M. Nelson

So, we will hold your memory close to our hearts until that magnificent day!

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, March 11, 2024, at the Canyon Estates Ward, 965 Oakwood Dr, Bountiful, Utah, where a viewing opportunity will be held just prior to services from 11:45-12:45 p.m. Interment- Bountiful City Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations to be given to your favorite charity.

​Services will be broadcast on ZOOM https://zoom.us/j/93983994334

Services will also be streamed live on the Russon Mortuary Live Facebook page and on this obituary page. The live stream will begin 10-15 minutes prior to the services and will be posted below.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, March 11, 2024

11:45am - 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, March 11, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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