One man helped desegregate Ogden with a saxophone. Another man diversified America with a basketball.
One woman trained women for jobs held by men. Another woman was a leader in Utah’s technology industry.
A whistleblower warned of infectious diseases in Chinese blood centers. A mother tried to free her son from a jail in Venezuela.
The biographies of some of Utah’s celebrated deceased also bear mention of some of those things that make the state the place it is: skiing, Latter-day Saints, polygamy.
These are the notable Utah deaths of 2019. Click the links to learn more about each person.
Woody Anderson • The Salt Lake City native had a hand in every aspect of skiing — from competing as a racer to owning a resort. Anderson died Oct. 6 at his home in Idaho at age 87.
Archie Archuleta • The civil rights leader and educator who was an icon in Utah’s Latino community died Jan. 25 at age 88.
Heather Bennett • A Salt Lake City school board member from 2005 until her death on March 18 from a sudden cardiovascular problem. Bennett was 61.
Don Cash • The Sandy sales executive and mountaineer died May 22 descending the summit of Mount Everest. Cash was 55.
Mac Christensen • The retailer behind the Mr. Mac clothing stores that have dressed generations of Latter-day Saint missionaries died Oct. 11. Christensen was 85.
Aileen Clyde • This determined, energetic, progressive Utahn served as a counselor in the general presidency of the women’s Relief Society for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for much of the 1990s. Clyde, called a “champion of women,” died Dec. 24. She was 93.
Roger Day • Appointed Utah’s insurance commissioner when he was 29 years old, Day supervised changes to the state’s insurance regulations. Day died July 18 at age 71.
LaMar Farnsworth • The Hogle Zoo director for 33 years, Farnsworth died Oct. 17 at his home in Sandy. Farnsworth was 86.
Sue Ferry • One of the state’s first contract lobbyists and the matriarch of Utah’s lobbying industry, Ferry died April 28. She was 86.
Tom Guinney • The co-founder of Market Street Grill and Oyster Bar and other Salt Lake City restaurants died Sept. 6 at his daughter’s home in Oregon City, Ore. Guinney was 71.
Mark Havnes • A longtime Salt Lake Tribune editor and reporter, including a stint heading up the paper’s southern Utah bureau, Havnes died Oct. 25 of natural causes. He was 65.
Patty Henetz • A longtime journalist who worked at both of Salt Lake City’s daily newspapers and The Associated Press, Henetz died March 23 from a neurological disease. Henetz was 69.
Boyer Jarvis • The University of Utah speech professor and civic activist died March 28 at age 95.
Roy Jeffs • He was the first of Warren Jeffs’ sons to say the polygamous sect leader molested him as Warren Jeffs had done to other children in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Roy Jeffs died by suicide May 29 in Salt Lake City. He was 26.
Virginia Kelson • Known as “Jinnah,” Kelson helped train women for jobs traditionally held by men and pushed for legislation supporting those women. Kelson died July 14 in Salt Lake City at age 90.
Ron Lafferty • In 1984, Lafferty and his younger brother murdered their sister-in-law Brenda Lafferty and her baby daughter Erica in American Fork. Ron Lafferty spent 34 years on Utah’s death row before dying of natural causes Nov. 11 at age 78.
Dean Larsen • The official historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1985 to 1997 died Oct. 28. Larsen was 92.
Don LeFevre • A longtime spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LeFevre fielded questions on everything from religious affairs to document forgeries and the Equal Rights Amendment. He died Feb. 20 at age 85.
Blaine Lindgren • The silver medalist in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, and later a figure in the Utah sports community, died Oct. 5. Lingren was 80.
Judy Magid • For 31 years, Magid wrote about Utah’s high society and her own family for The Tribune. Magid died Dec. 5 at age 81.
James O. Mason • The Salt Lake City native directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1983 to 1989 and navigated the agency through the AIDS crisis. Mason died Oct. 9 at age 89.
Norma Matheson • The wife of a governor, mother of a congressman and the matriarch of the Utah Democratic Party died July 28 after suffering from leukemia. She was 89.
Wendy Nelson Maxfield • A daughter of Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Maxfield died Jan. 11 of cancer at age 67.
Joe McQueen • A saxophonist in Ogden’s jazz scene, McQueen used his music to desegregate the city’s nightclubs. McQueen died Dec. 7 at age 100.
Wat Misaka • The Ogden native played guard on the University of Utah’s 1944 national champion men’s basketball team and became the first person of color to play in the NBA. Misaka died Nov. 20 at age 95.
Ronald Nehring • Nehring was a justice on the Utah Supreme Court from 2003 to 2014 and was one of the few who served without being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nehring died May 24 of complications from radiation treatments. He was 71.
Dianne Nielson • The retired director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Nielson was among the first and longest-serving female leaders in state government. Nielson died Nov. 7 at age 71.
Tom Nissalke • The Utah Jazz’s first head coach after the franchise moved from New Orleans in 1979 died Aug. 22. Nissalke was 87.
Gene Pack • In 40 years on the air for KUER, Pack introduced generations of listeners to classical music. Pack died March 3 at age 86.
Abraham Reinhardt • A linebacker on the Dixie State University football team, Reinhardt died March 22 after injuring his leg in a practice and then suffering what his family described as a drop in his sodium levels. Reinhardt was 23.
Elliott J. Robbins • A military medic from Ogden, Sgt. 1st Class Robbins died June 30 in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province from “noncombat-related” injuries. He was 31.
Eric Samuelsen • A playwright, Samuelsen created Latter-day Saint characters and advocated for equality for the LGBTQ community. Samuelsen died Sept. 20 after suffering for years from polymyositis. Samuelsen was 63.
Joseph Shinners • The Provo police officer was shot and killed Jan. 5 while trying to apprehend a fugitive in Orem. Shinners was 29.
Hyrum W. Smith • The Utah entrepreneur who created the Franklin Planner and named it after Benjamin Franklin died Nov. 18 in Gunlock in southern Utah. He was 76.
Mark Smith • For 20 years, Smith was the sexton of the Salt Lake City Cemetery and wrote a book about the burial grounds. Smith died July 30 from multiple myeloma at age 55.
Jonathan Grant Thompson • Known as the “King of Random” on his YouTube channel, where millions of followers watched him try unique experiments, Thompson died July 29 in a paraglider crash near Hurricane. Thompson was 38.
Erin Valenti • The founder and CEO of Tinker Ventures was one of the highest-ranking women in Utah’s technology industry. Valenti, 33, was reported missing Oct. 7 in San Jose, Calif., where she was attending a conference, and was found dead in a car five days later. No cause of death has been disclosed.
Nate Wade • As the country’s oldest Subaru dealer, Wade’s name was synonymous with the Japanese automaker. Wade died Aug. 24 at age 91.
Shuping Wang • The whistleblower who exposed the spread of HIV and hepatitis in blood centers in rural China died Sept. 21 of an apparent heart attack while hiking in Millcreek Canyon. Wang was 59.
Bob Welti • The longtime weather forecaster on KSL-TV died June 4. Welti was 94.
Wally Wright • A real estate developer whose projects included converting Trolley Square into a shopping center, Wright died March 24 after suffering from Alzheimer’s. He was 84.