Dean Wignall Averett was born April 1, 1926, in Springville, Utah, the youngest of seven children born to Birt Ruel Averett and Grace Darling Wignall. He passed away gracefully on April 21, 2023, in Lehi, Utah, from causes incident to age. Dean lived in Springville most of his life, graduated from Springville High School, then one year of study at BYU.
He was drafted into the US Army on August 12, 1944. There he served as a POW camp guard for German soldiers. He spoke about them fondly, saying, “The prisoners we guarded belonged to Rommel’s North Africa Corps and were highly educated. The cream of the crop. I liked the German POWs. They were a big improvement over the American guards who I was working with. They were more decent, and had more scruples. I had more friends on the ‘inside’ than on the ‘outside.’” His unpretentious Christ-like example of befriending the “the one” was an inherent part of his personality, as he demonstrated time and time again throughout his life.
On October 3, 1951, Dean married Norma Jean Schultz in the Manti LDS Temple. Their young family has hundreds of memories of “getting off the beaten path” using two-wheel drive Ramblers, Jeeps, Volkswagens, vans, station wagons, and anything that could be repaired quickly with a minimal number of tools in “them thar hills.” Dad would say, “We don’t need no stink-in four by four.” These adventures, unwavering faith, a strong belief in the power of prayer, and raising their children in a Christ-centered home helped solidify a loving and close family relationship even to this day.
Over the years Dean worked for Arden Dairy as a “milkman,” for Cream O’ Weber, he owned his own asphalt business, drove truck for Clark Tank Lines, IML Trucking and Consolidated Freightways (“Chicken Feathers”). There he received the coveted Three Million Accident-free Miles Award. In addition to these accolades, he was a Grandpa, Great Grandpa, Step Dad, comedian, mechanic, carpenter, mechanical engineer, welder, inventor, electrician, animal relocation officer, hunter, veterinarian, bus driver, and foreign car enthusiast.
Dean and Norma served an LDS Mission to the Germany Frankfurt Mission from 1995-1996. They were loved by all they served and became lifelong friends to many. Dean had a solid testimony of Jesus Christ and was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He loved the gospel and taught his family through example and counsel. He understood the Plan of Salvation and testified of his faith and excitement of once again being with his “Nor-Jane,” his “perfect parents,” whom he idolized, and his dear daughter Marcy, whom he has waited to hold in his arms for the last 61 years.
Living to the ripe old age of 97 was no small feat, and Dad was in the 1% of all Americans who did so. When his beloved brother Gene died in 2017 at 93 (being close in age, they were very competitive), he said, “I don’t care how old I live, just as long as it’s more than one day longer than 93.” Dean loved all of his siblings and visited and supported them often. He was deeply interested in Genealogy and frequently relayed stories to the children of his experiences and memories with his parents and siblings in Springville. Springville had only been a city for 75 years before his birth, creating many adventure opportunities. He has memories as a young child sitting on the lap of his maternal Grandfather, James Wignall, an original pioneer with the Martin Handcart Co. of 1856 and one of the first to reside in Hobble Creek City, later to be named Springville.
He is preceded in death by his wife Norma, daughter Marcy, daughter-in-law Candice Averett, and almost everyone he loved who was born before him. He is survived by his children Kim C (Cindy), Cary Dean (Karrie Ann), Valan Lee (Merilee), Amy (David) Garner, Audra (Kendall)Beatty, twenty-seven grandchildren, and forty-nine great-grandchildren. The entire Averett family extends our love and admiration to those who have become a part of our family, the Jennifer Allan Scruggs family, Gloria Price, and the Seschillie family. We love you all!
We also want to extend our gratitude and love to Dad’s healthcare aide and friend Trevor Spotten. He has assisted our family with helping take care of Dad (and our mom) for many years, and has also listened to us vent our frustrations and concerns with a loving, listening ear; and then would say something like “your dad loves you very much…he always talks about how grateful he is for you.” On those “difficult mood days” with Dad, he was always so patient and kind. Trevor is a “good soul,” and we can’t thank him enough for his genuine friendship, devotion, and service.
Dean’s funeral will be on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. 475 North 1600 West, Mapleton, Utah
For those unable to attend in person, you may view the services HERE