Arnold Wilson, 90, of Mapleton, Utah, passed away Wednesday, October 4, 2023, after complications from a stroke earlier this year. He was born February 1, 1933, in Payson, Utah, to Robert L. Wilson and Luella Althea Tippetts. On September 2, 1952, he and his high school sweetheart, Joyce Hutchings, rode his Harley Davidson motorcycle to the Manti Utah Temple where they were married and sealed for time and all eternity. They recently celebrated their 71st anniversary together.
Arnold grew up in Springville, Utah and graduated from Springville High School in 1951. After graduation, he attended Brigham Young University (BYU) where he received a Bachelor of Engineering Science degree. Upon completion, he was hired as a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering. He continued his education and received both a master’s degree from BYU and a doctoral degree from Oklahoma State University in civil engineering. During his 40-year teaching career at BYU, Arnold published extensively and received many awards, including Professor of the Year in 1980. He was well known for his research and experience with concrete thin shell structures and domes. Some of his most notable local projects were the Reams Turtle (which was originally an ice-skating rink), and the Marriott Center at BYU. He was instrumental in bringing affordable housing to the less fortunate people around the world. His engineering projects span 45 foreign countries and most of the United States.
As an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Arnold served faithfully throughout his life in many callings, including as bishop, high councilor, counselor in the MTC branch presidency, and scoutmaster. He knew that God lives and that Jesus Christ is his Savior. This knowledge provided a spiritual foundation that would guide him throughout his life. His Christ-like example inspired all that knew him. He was a man of integrity. He was a man of conviction. He was humble and kind. He was always positive and his smile radiated love. “It takes less muscles to smile than to frown,” he would say.
He was involved in the Boy Scouts for many years and was proud to be an Eagle Scout. He loved taking the young men on their 50-mile hike in the High Uintas. He was honored to receive the Silver Beaver award for his exceptional character and dedicated service. He loved his country and he tried to live the Scout Oath every day of his life.
Arnold was always up for an adventure. As a teenager, he learned to fly airplanes and race stock cars along with his dad and brothers. While attending BYU he began wrestling and later started and coached the Springville High School wrestling team. He liked to stay busy. Hiking, fishing, horseback riding, skiing, traveling, farming, and reading were just a few of his diverse interests. Arnold and Joyce loved the outdoors. They rarely missed their yearly trip to Yellowstone. Family camping trips were a favorite pastime, and “Ghost Riders in the Sky” sung by Arnold became a legendary campfire song. He taught his family to work and play hard and instilled his love of adventure in his children. Arnold would often say while referring to his family, “I’m the richest man on earth…”
Arnold is survived by his wife, Joyce, and his ten children: Dennis (Pam) Wilson of Sandy, Utah; Sharon (Randy) Hansen of Lindon, Utah; Diana (Brian) Eastman of Mapleton, Utah; Kerry (Linda) Wilson of Payson, Utah; Craig (Susan) Wilson, currently serving a mission in Anaheim, California; Christine (Eric) Weight of Salem, Utah; Kendall Wilson of Mapleton, Utah; Mark (Renae) Wilson of Elkridge, Utah; Annette (Rick) Darling of Lake Point, Utah; Michael (Susan) Wilson of Salem, Utah; 60 grandchildren; 133+ great-grandchildren; and 2 great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Keith (Leslie) Wilson, Hurricane, Utah and preceded in death by his parents Robert L. & Luella Wilson, siblings Wilbur Wilson, Arlea Nimer Tolboe, and Gene Wilson, as well as 3 grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, October 12, 2023, at 11:00 am at the Mapleton White Church at 31 West Maple Street, Mapleton, Utah. A viewing for friends and family will be held Wednesday evening from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Wheeler Mortuary located at 211 East 200 South in Springville, and on Thursday just prior to the service from 9:30 to 10:30 am at the church. Burial will be in the Springville Evergreen Cemetery.
Condolences for the family may be expressed on this page.
Arnold Wilson Service(After conversion).mp3