Cover photo for Cecil Dee Throckmorton's Obituary
Cecil Dee Throckmorton Profile Photo
1933 Cecil 2020

Cecil Dee Throckmorton

March 4, 1933 — November 23, 2020

Monday morning, November 23, 2020, Cecil Dee Throckmorton passed to the other side, after a brief medical episode, associated with age and health issues.

Born March 4, 1933, the oldest child of Joseph and Sally Throckmorton in Murray, Utah, Dee was raised by a mountain man, with old school rules of life. Hard work, dedication, yes sir, and no ma’am was the norm. He was an accomplished hunter, trapper, and shooter. He set his first trap at the age of 7, and spent a lifetime trapping muskrat, beaver, coyote and later in life worked for the Utah Division of Wildlife and live trapped over 150 black bears, over the course of twenty years.

He attended South High School, where he excelled at baseball. He was a pitcher on the varsity team, where his team always performed well. April 1, 1952 Dad joined the US Navy, he was assigned to the USS St. Paul (CA-73), a heavy cruiser, nicknamed “The Fighting Saints.” He was the fire control director for the 5-inch secondary guns. Homeported at Long Beach Naval Yard, his ship was attached to Task Force 77, which included the world-famous battleship USS Wisconsin. Task Force 77 was assigned live combat gun fire missions during the Korean War, mostly along the eastern coast of North Korean, specifically blockading the Wonsan Harbor. Having served with distinction he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, Korean Service Medal (2 stars), Korean Presidential Unit Citation, China Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal. He served four years in the Navy, with well over a year in direct combat operations. During his Navy days he also boxed, with a record of 9 wins and 7 loses. He left the service of his country March 30 of 1956.

In May of 1952 Dee married the former Gail Kathleen Chapman. They had eight children, leading to 31 grandchildren, and over two dozen great-grandchildren. Their marriage was a work in progress, as they divorced January of 1977, then they remarried each other in May of 1997. The period in between was one of longing for all members of the family, with not as much contact as any would like. The second marriage was to help bring the family together and allow the kids and grandkids to build relationships with Grandpa, as well.

Shortly after leaving the Navy, Dee working in the gilsonite mines out in the Roosevelt, Utah area. Hard, dirty work, it was a transition into his life calling, which was as a Salt Lake City Police Officer. Hired personally by the famous speaker, author and former FBI leader under J. Edgar Hoover, Cleon Skousen who was the Chief of Police for Salt Lake City, and he provided the final interview for every hire. This interview with Dee was the beginning of a lifelong friendship with Cleon Skousen that lasted right up until Cleon’s passing.

Dad’s time as a police officer was both memorable, and impactful. His 29-years was spent as a ‘beat officer,’ choosing to work on the streets, passing up opportunities for promotion that would have seen more paperwork and desk time. Dee was famous for being very tough, and fair. It was a different time, when police officers had more scuffles, and the common theme among all officers was that if you ever got into a scrap, you wanted SGT. Throckmorton there to bail you out. Most of Dee’s children have stories of being pulled over for speeding, and upon presenting their driver’s license to a SLC PD officer, would be asked if they were related to “C.D. Throckmorton.” When the answer was, “that’s my Dad” no ticket would be given, and instead we would enjoy hearing stories about tough situations Dee handled.

During his time as a police officer, he spent one short period as a K-9 officer, and an even shorter time with a motorcycle. He developed a skill and knowledge with accident reconstruction, where he was deemed an expert. He could take any accident, evaluate skid marks, road surface conditions, impact of vehicles and produce perfectly accurate estimates of speed, direction, and ultimately liability. His knowledge was sought after by many, with the FBI recruiting him to provide such services for them, as well as a prominent Salt Lake law firm wanting to hire Dee, pay his way through law school, then provide that expert knowledge for them. In all such cases, Dee turned them down to work with his fellow officers on streets, as a beat officer. SGT Throckmorton was beloved and highly respected by those who worked with him. It was also during his police service that he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Utah.

His passion for shooting turned into becoming a formal expert marksman. He was frequently ranked among the best pistol shots in Utah, and for a period was ranked in the top-50 shots nationally. Several years in a row he traveled to Camp Perry, Ohio to shoot in the national championships. While he never won the championship, he was always competitive and respected. He was recognized for his shooting by being designated on “The Governor’s Shooting Team.” That was an honor he carried with him. In his later years John Huntsman Senior started “The Senior Games,” which included shooting. For several years Dee held the State record for the .45 caliber slow fire.

His trapping and hunting were both a passion and necessity of the Throckmorton family. As you can imagine, having a family of ten was not inexpensive. Dad hunted for both enjoyment, though more importantly for subsistence. It was the norm for every Throckmorton meal to have deer, rabbit, fish, elk, moose, even black bear as the staple. Trapping also provided additional revenue. It was the norm during certain seasons for the Throckmorton home to have a certain odd odor, associated with hundreds of muskrats, dozens of beaver or coyote pelts. A great family story was of Dad making his own coyote scent, which entailed random parts of various animals, coyote urine, which was then buried in an old-fashioned steel milk jug to ferment over several months. While Dad struggled to smell the final product, no one else had that same struggle. Of course, coyotes loved it, though Mom insisted he find another place to cook the concoction. The culmination of Dad’s life spent trapping was to be recognized by the Utah Trappers Association in their lifetime Hall of Fame. A distinction he received in 2009. He was one of the first Utahns to receive a fur trapping license, we believe his license was 0010 issued in the State, so the Hall of Fame was fitting.

In 1985 Dee retired from the Salt Lake City Police Department, and purchased 20 acres out in Myton, Utah. He selected that area to get him closer to prime coyote trapping land, which was a success. This is where he worked for the Utah Division of Wildlife, as a part-time, seasonal trapper. Dee’s latter years of life were spent building relationships with his kids and grandkids. It was a challenge, and one that took effort on all parts. There were so many great experiences and rewarding memories, had by all kids and grandkids. At some point Dad stopped trapping and hunting and mentioned many times he felt bad for all the animals he had taken. He reached a point where he would literally feed dozens of birds directly from his hand. And, eventually a small herd of Mule Deer allowed Dad to feed them by hand as well. It was quite the transition from hunter and trapper, to feeding wild animals as a naturalist. His passion for wildlife remained true. His faith in God and Jesus became a huge part of his latter years. Daily he would study the Bible, with the help of various Bible study guides he purchased. His faith in God was real, and deep. His younger years were spent without a strong passion for faith, then scripture study became a very intentional focus until his eyesight failed him. The evolution of Dee was complete, sincere, and humble. He became deeply concerned with the nature of God and his relationship with Jesus Christ was particularly important, something he began to share with his children and grandchildren. One of his final requests was to share his testimony of Jesus Christ.

Dee is preceded in death by both of his parents, Joseph Cecil and Gertrude “Sally” Throckmorton, as well by his younger sister Joan (Lynne) Reading, and his grandson Jordon Burton and his brother in law, also a Salt Lake City Police Officer, Jim Ferrin.

He is survived by his wife Gail; and all of his children and their spouses: Kathleen Ann and Kenneth Jackman (children Kenny 2nd , Jedidiah, Kristine, Jessica, Sabrina, Deborah, Kimberley), Charlene Jo and Jefferson Burton (children Jordan, Judson, Lauren), Michael Dee and Jill Throckmorton (sons Ryan, Robbi Dee, Rhett), Stephanie “Fuff” Alane DeGraw (children Jennifer, Allen, Rachael, Stephen, Justin, Katie, Sarah), Elizabeth Gail Smith (children MacKenzie, David “Smudge”, Benjamin, Samantha) , Allison Jill Olson (children, Hayley “Bop” and Mitchell), Jacqueline Dee O’Shaughnessy (daughters Jannelle, Hillary, Sidni) and Joseph Matthew and Valerie Throckmorton (daughters Madilyne and Hannah Gail). He is also survived by his younger brother Ted Throckmorton (Lynn); and “the twins”, Bonnie and Jim Ferrin and Connie and Steve Smith. He has thirty-one grandchildren, over two dozen great-grandchildren, and dozens of loving nephews and nieces.

He was beloved by all and will be painfully missed. While he lived a full life of 87 years, it was still too soon!

Funeral services will be held Monday, November 30, 2020, 11:00 a.m. at Sunrise Chapel, Camp Williams, 17800 South Camp Williams Road, Bluffdale, Utah, where a viewing will be held prior from 10-10:55 a.m. Interment, Utah Veterans Memorial Park.

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