Bert D Sheffer
January 22, 1928 - April 12, 2023
Viewing: 6-8 p.m., Friday, April 21, 2023. McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 South Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Funeral: 11 a.m., Saturday, April 22, 2023, Bennion 19th Ward, 6250 South 2200 West, Taylorsville, Utah. A second viewing will be held 9:30-10:30 a.m., at the church, prior to services.
Bert D Sheffer was born January 22, 1928, in Cedarview, Duchesne County, Utah, to Vernee Sheffer and Berenice Elva Turner Sheffer. He was the third son of eight boys. His brothers were Klin, Ivan, Don, Jack, Gene, Dan, and Rulon.
The first 13 years of his life were spent growing up with his brothers in a small rented home next to the Ute Indian Reservation, where his father raised cattle and grain on 160 acres in Tridell and LaPoint, Utah. At age 3½, he lost his left eye in an accident. The boys could hike the nearby hills, finding arrowheads, swimming and fishing in the canals, pole vaulting, walking on stilts, and in the winter, ice skating to the small four-room school. They lived without electricity and indoor plumbing, but he often talks about this being a wonderful time. Many of his fond memories involve a dog they owned named Cub. His mother was a great influence on him, teaching him honesty and many values that helped him throughout his life. Bert was responsible to make eight loaves of bread each week to help with the chores, and he remembers helping his mother tie quilts. He would get under the quilt and when she stabbed the needle down through the layers, he would send it back up. He also worked very hard on the cattle ranch. He was baptized in a canal in Tridell in 1938.
At around age 13, the family moved to southern Utah in hopes of helping his mother's failing health. They lived in Hurricane, Utah, where Bert went to Hurricane High School. He had three great friends, Jerald Squires, Deon Bringhurst, and LaVon Church, who were members of the Church and were a good influence on him. Bert's father was disaffected from the Church, so he did not attend Church. While leaving the high school, the Seminary Teacher, Ivan J. Barrett, told Bert to go to the office and get signed up for his Seminary class, which he did. Two weeks later, Bert was teaching Sunday School. He developed a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and never looked back.
Bert graduated from Dixie College in St. George, where he lettered in athletics. He loved sports. Bert pitched for the baseball team, high jumped, ran track, and pole vaulted in college. He also played basketball and was a champion boxer, although he did not enjoy boxing. His family moved back to the Duchesne area because his mother's health was failing, and she wanted to be near family when she died. Bert was left alone in St. George, going to school, and had to support himself. His mother died in 1949, the summer he and Eldeane were married.
At Hurricane High School, he met the love of his life, Eldeane Merrill. They dated during the time he attended college, and were married July 12, 1949, in the St. George Temple. They are the parents of eight children, six sons and two daughters -- Dean Bert (Angeli Tebbs) Sheffer, Dale Merrill (Pamela Dawson) Sheffer, Linda (Scott) Woodfield, David Alan (Gaile Duncan) Sheffer, Robert Harris (Jill Weight) Sheffer, Sandra (Barry) Carstensen, Don Rulon (Sharon Heck) Sheffer, Darren Scott (Sonja Taylor) Sheffer . All six sons served missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They have 48 grandchildren, 113 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren.
Bert completed his Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education at BYU and was immediately hired. He taught school for 31½ years, mostly at the fourth grade level, at Holladay and Hillsdale Elementary Schools. He was a talented teacher, and even earned the Teacher Feature Award for the State of Utah. Because it was difficult to raise eight children on a teacher's salary, Bert would go to the mountains near Fruitland in the summer to get fireplace logs, which he would sell during the fall and winter months to get more income. He averaged 100 tons of pinion pine logs each summer.
Bert was talented in carpentry. He built several buildings, furniture, and even two campers, which his family enjoyed. He loved the outdoors, especially hunting, fishing, boating, and playing golf.
Bert and Eldeane bought their first home on Pugsley Street, then as the family expanded, they bought a 1-1/2 acre lot in Bennion, where they built a home in 1960. At that time, Bennion was a small farming community, much different than what it is now.
Bert wanted to serve a mission when he turned of age, but he had no monetary support. Eldeane offered to fund his mission, but being a girlfriend was not a sure thing for support, so although his Patriarchal Blessing said he would serve a mission, he didn't see how that was possible. That blessing was fulfilled when Bert and Eldeane served a Senior Mission to the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Mission, where they made a tremendous difference for good and had several memorable experiences.
Bert served in the Church in several callings, many in scouting, teaching Primary, and served as a Temple worker in the Jordan River Temple. He was ordained a Deacon, Priest, Elder, and in 1978 was ordained a High Priest.
Eldeane loved to travel, so they went on several trips to places like New York, Guam, Japan, Hawaii, and Mexico. Several trips were made to Flaming Gorge and Lake Powell.
Eldeane passed away July 10, 2016, and Bert missed her very much. He wanted to spend his remaining life at home, so his children would take turns spending time with him.
Bert passed away peacefully on April 12, 2023. He was a man of integrity and had an influence on countless people, especially his posterity, and will be greatly missed. We are grateful for the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and Temple ordinances, which will allow us to be an eternal family and enjoy his company again.