Arnold Ambrose Thayer, beloved father of 5, passed away Monday, April 3, 2023. He valued his autonomy, and in spite of severe coronary artery disease which ultimately claimed his life, he not only survived, but thrived for nearly 20 years after his first heart attack and open heart surgery and at least two other heart attacks, maintaining an active lifestyle until the day he was relieved of his mortal coil.
Arnold was born at the family home in Binghamton, New York on October 25, 1933, the second of two children born to Howard Ambrose Thayer and Rajahia Elmassian Peters. His family was led by his stalwart and strong mother when his father left the family. His mother, his sister, and he were baptized July 8, 1942, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Susquehanna River when he was 8 years old. After his mother remarried to his step-father, Claude Newton, he moved with his parents to Utah in 1951, where Claude worked at Hill Air Force Base as a mechanic.
Arnold's two greatest passions in his youth were music and basketball. He was willing to sacrifice all to serve a mission in 1954 and was called to the Australia Adelaide Mission, where he served faithfully for two years. Much to his delight, he was able to join the mission basketball team, the Mormon Yankees, who, led by team captain Loren C Dunn, won multiple competitions including a league and state title and became famous around Australia. They became so well known, that they went on to play the Australia national team multiple times and teams from other countries as they prepared for the 1956 Olympics. It couldn't have possibly gotten better for Arnold than when during the second half of his mission, he joined a quartet group that sang all around their mission and became well-known, often appearing on local radio programs in Australia.
After his mission, he completed a degree at Utah State University in Photography and Journalism in 1958. During college he was an active Air Force ROTC member and served in the United States Air Force, serving as Assistant Base Information Officer at Forbes Air Force Base near Topeka, Kansas, and earned an Honorable Discharge after completeing 2 years of active service and 11 years in the Air Force Rseserves.
He married Karen Bouwhuis, June 21, 1963, and welcomed his first three children, Kevin, Tiffany and Holli. After their divorce, he subsequently married Ilene Ward in 1976 and became a stepfather to her three sons, Lee, Paul, and Dale. Arnold and Ilene then welcomed his youngest two children, Laurie, and David.
Arnold had many jobs throughout his lifetime, ranging from entrepreneur developing medical devices, to sales, and finally as a customer service representative for Wells Fargo Bank, where he worked for the last nearly 13 years of his career. After his retirement, he maintained an active lifestyle fishing, walking, doing photography, being socially active, dancing, and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He loved music, dancing, fishing, photography, crosswords, and jigsaw puzzles. He had a great sense of humor and was the king of puns, plays on words, and dad jokes. He maintained his faith in Jesus Christ and stayed an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout his life. Towards the end of his life, he frequently spoke of the myriad blessings he had received from God and for his gratitude for a Savior. Among his favorite quotes were "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" and "Don't go to pieces before the bomb bursts". His life serves as an example of humility, faith, service, and determination to align his life with truth and be a disciple of Jesus Christ. He fought a good fight, conquered his Goliaths, and kept the faith.
Arnold is survived by his older sister, Evelyn; his children: Kevin, Tiffany, Holli, Laurie, and David; his three step-sons: Lee, Paul, and Dale; as well as 27 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A viewing will be held in his honor on Friday, April 14, 2023, at 6:00 PM at McDougal Funeral Home located at 4330 S Redwood Rd; Taylorsville, Utah. Funeral services will be held at the LDS chapel at 1510 Parliament Avenue, West Valley City, Utah, on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at 11:00 AM. There will be another viewing preceding the funeral at the Chapel starting at 10:00 AM. His burial will follow the funeral at 12:45 PM at the Ogden City Cemetery, where he will be laid to rest next to his mother, Rajahia, his step-father, Claude, and his maternal grandmother, Betsy Jane Adams.