Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Former West Valley City Mayor, Dennis Nordfelt, answering questions on a panel discussion at a Utah Government Transportation Summit in Layton in 2005. Nordfelt died Aug. 30, 2014, at the age of 71. Ashley Franscell/Salt Lake Tribune
Dennis Nordfelt dies at 71; led UHP and West Valley City

As superintendent of the Utah Highway Patrol, Dennis Nordfelt attracted national recognition.

First Published Aug 30 2014 05:34 pm • Last Updated Aug 30 2014 09:19 pm

Dennis Nordfelt, the former superintendent of the Utah Highway Patrol and the former police chief and mayor in West Valley City, died Saturday. He was 71.

Nordfelt died at his home in West Valley City, likely due to complications from pneumonia, said his son, Dennis Junior Nordfelt.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Nordfelt was serving on the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission at the time of his death. He was the West Valley City police chief from 1987 to 1998, then its mayor from 2002 to 2010. Upon Nordfelt’s decision to not run for re-election, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker hailed him as "a model public servant."

Nordfelt’s efforts helped shape and strengthen the city, and his influence was felt "in the lives of many people in our state," said current West Valley City Mayor Ron Bigelow in a statement.

"He leaves a tremendous legacy for all of us. On behalf of the city, I want to offer our condolences to his family and express our support to them during this time," Bigelow said.

Earlier, Nordfelt worked for UHP for 20 years and was appointed superintendent of the agency in 1981.

Despite Nordfelt’s many achievements, "family was the most important thing to him," his son said. "He showed it not just by what he said but how he lived. … He wanted to bless the community so that his children and grandchildren and other families would be blessed."

During his time with the highway patrol, he was "an outstanding police executive and [served] as a model of integrity for those in the law enforcement profession," according to the UHP website.

UHP also received national recognition for innovative programs during Nordfelt’s tenure, the website adds. For one, the UHP was presented with a special U.S. Senate Award for Achievement in 1984 for its efforts in opening the nation’s first joint-state port of entry with Arizona the year before.

Nordfelt was also the president of the Utah Peace Officers Association from 1986 to 1987. More recently, in 2013, Gov. Gary Herbert recommended him to the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.


story continues below
story continues below

A Mormon, Nordfelt’s upbringing in rural southern Utah "was marked by an ingrained respect for the importance of obedience to the gospel," according to a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints magazine article about him in 1986.

"I have never regretted either my choice of career or my activity in the Church," Nordfelt told the magazine. "I have found a great deal of satisfaction in serving and helping people. To avoid heartache and pain, we all need to live in accordance with our country’s laws. That is even more true for the laws of the gospel, because our eternal lives depend on how well we follow the Lord’s laws."

He is survived by his wife, Glenda, his nine children and 32 grandchildren.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

Twitter: @mikeypanda



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.