Garry C. Prisbrey

Garry was born November 1, 1935 to Harold and LaRue Connell Prisbrey. He was born in a little adobe home in Washington Utah, just a block from where he raised his family. He passed away February 7, 2021 at his home.

He grew up mostly in Washington Utah but lived in Imperial, California & Lyman, Wyoming for a short period of time when he was a toddler. He talked a lot about growing up in Washington. As a young boy he would work on the  farm with his dad during the summer. He would ride horse back down to the farm and spend all day. Lunch would consist of a slice of bread with jam or jelly. The days were long, hot, and exhausting. He took his bathes in a #3 wash tub. As a teenager, Garry and his buddies would hitch a ride to St. George. Back in those days, the road went from Washington through Middleton and up through the tunnel. They would start out walking and then jump on the back of a truck as it went by.

In 1950, Garry moved to Las Vegas to work at the Desert Inn where he helped construction the golf course. After the golf course was built, he stayed on as a gardener and grounds keeper.  In 1955, he met Gwen Kern at a 1950’s Drive In, just like we saw in the show “Happy Days.” The waitresses were taking orders and serving food wearing roller skates. There’s a little variation in how they met. She told the story one way and Garry told it another. But one thing for sure, he was driving a classic 1952 Chevy Coupe with “loud pipes.” He loved his cars, and he loved them “loud.” He always had a nice car and later in life, he always had an antique car or 2 in the garage.

About 1955 or 1956 he joined the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local Union 525. He was the first apprentice to join the 525. He made lifelong friends with the men he apprenticed under and the men who apprenticed under him. They were always playing jokes and pranks on each other. Someone was hassling him about getting the toilets set in a hotel they were working on. There were no complete walls or floors, just scaffolding & minor floors, and Garry hug a toilet on one of the upper floors. We have a picture and all you can see are pipes, a toilet, blue sky, and Garry standing there grinning. Several years later, while working on the Laughlin powerhouse, he fell 40 feet and broke his back. George Nicewonder said, “Hey Pard, does this mean I get your lunch?”  They worked hard, played hard, and respected each other like nothing you have ever seen. As an elected Officer, he helped write and establish the pension plan for the 525. He was very proud to be a part of this great organization.

Garry was very skilled, talented, and kindhearted. He could weld, plumb, lay brick, pour cement, run electrical wire, fix automobiles, garden, raise sheep & cows, bake bread, cook, hunt, cut and polish rocks, and the list goes on and on. He loved to restore old cars and create beautiful, hand crafted silver jewelry. I personally believe he could fix just about anything, a skill he passed down to his sons, grandsons, and “anyone” who wanted to learn how, and he taught “us” by example. Rolling up his sleeves and doing whatever it was, with us. He freely gave of himself to help others. He would give you the shirt off his back and food out of his cupboard if you needed it.

Out of all the gifts and talents he possessed, I believe he would say his greatest treasure was his family. All of his family, from grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, to his wife, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. In 1970, he moved his family back to Washington Utah from Las Vegas. He built their home next door to his grandmother, Susan Prisbrey. He looked after and cared for his Mother and Grandmother until their passing.

Garry broke his back about 40 years ago. He lived in constant pain for years, but he never complained. He worked clear up until he could retire. We would ask him how he was doing, and he would say, “Good as New.”

Two years ago, Gwen’s  Alzheimer’s came on very strong. Garry was determined to take care of her himself. It wasn’t easy, but he did it. He took over the cooking, cleaning, the laundry, and the paying the bills.

He is survived by his children: Kevin Whitney, Brian & Sarah Prisbrey, Bruce & Nanette Prisbrey, Brenda & Chris Veit. Grandchildren: Kristy & Andy Leany, Brandin & Taiylor Prisbrey, Ben & Shakota Prisbrey, Cason & Sierra Prisbrey, Sydney & Jacob Gonterman, Makena Prisbrey, and Cole Veit. Great grandchildren: Katelyn & Colten Leany, Mailey & Lennie Prisbrey, and Kennadi Prisbrey. Sisters: Shirley & Bob McCauley, & Beverly & Mike Dalton. Brother-in-law: James Hopkins.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Gwen Prisbrey, Baby daughter Peggy, daughter Becky Whitney, Sister Dorene Hopkins, Father & Mother Harold &  LaRue Connell Prisbrey, Grand Parents, Hyrum & Susan Prince Prisbrey,  Robert & Annie Iverson Connell,  and Mother & Father-in-law, William & Mabel Herrington Kern.

Graveside services will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2021, 2:00 pm at the Washington City cemetery for Family and close Friends. Please social distance and wear a mask.

Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George, Utah. Friends and family are invited to sign his online guestbook at





Second Visitation




2:00 p.m.
Washington City Cemetery
300 Park View Dr, Washington, UT 84780

Guest Book

11 Responses

  1. We are deeply saddened to know that our dear friend and neighbor has left us. He and his wife and his children welcomed us into their home when we moved here when we built our home across the street .Garry we will miss you hollering across the street to us always a friendly hi and an answer “just like brand new” It won’t be the same. You left wonderful children and grandchildren and a legacy of such beautiful silver jewelry we all wear with pride today. Love you always and love and prayers to all the family and friends .

  2. What an Amazing Man!
    Im so Proud to be related to this great man. When I was a kid and When we would stop over at Grand Ma Susan Prisbreys either comming or going between Utah and Nevada, we would roll out our bed rolls on Grandmas lawn and have a sleep over and we would wake up very early to the most amazing smells of Gary cooking us up some Camp Dutch Oven Breakfast next door just because he was so kind and wanted us to feel at home. What an Example of Goodness. I always looked up to this fine man as what a Prisbrey Man should and could be. Till we meet again!

  3. So sad to hear of Garry’s passing. He was our friend and neighbor for over 30 years. I enjoyed listening to his stories and his plumbing experiences. Quite the man. Washington has lost yet another great one.

  4. You will be truly missed. You were a great friend and mentor all our years working together in our silversmithing days.

  5. I am so sorry for the loss of Garry. He was truly one of the good guys. He was the best man at our wedding and we loved him and sweet Gwen and their family. He could always make you laugh. We enjoyed hunting outings when all our boys were younger. He took silversmithing from Robert at the college. He had a wonderful gift. His jewelry was beautiful and he shared it with many people.He and Gwen taught their children well. They are some of the nicest people I know. His family has recently had more than their share of sorrow. My prayers are with you all..

  6. Garry my special nephew. Always calling and caring how I was doing.
    Had that great smile whenever I stopped by. Yes , no matter how bad
    his pain, his answer if ask how he was ,
    “Just brand new.” I’ll miss you Garry , So glad I had the special visits with you.
    I can see all those smiles and our family greeting you home.
    Love your aunt Irene .

  7. We wish to express our sadness knowing that Garry has left us. We also wish to express our love and appreciation for him. We loved his humor, his big warm smiles. His welcome into his home or wherever we ran into him. He was a special and wonderful cousin and we will miss him.

  8. Garry;
    I’m so sorry to learn of your passing. I hoped to get down your way for a visit but didn’t make it. which I deeply regret. You and Gwen were always so welcoming when we were down that way., we couldn’t leave town without stopping by. I’m sure you enjoyed a grand reunion with departed loved ones (including Blaine) when you departed this life. Memories are precious and I have a black lamb to remember Gwen by and one of your beautiful silver bracelets to remember you each time I wear it. My love, thoughts and prayers are with all of the family at this time.
    Karen Prisbrey

  9. My cousin Garry

    When I was 6 or 7 we lived in Henderson and some times Garry would drop by for a quick shower after work before going out on the town. Garry being much older and wiser would give me a piece of advise that I needed a hair cut and he would be happy to cut it with his pocket knife. After hearing his offer, I would hide behind my mother ( his aunt Maudie) until he left. That was the Garry that always teased.

    When I was 13 my father passed and it was Garry that put his arm around me and told me everything would be alright. He also told me that when I got older, if I went to Vegas, he would teach me to be a plumber. That is the Garry I remember; the Garry that never complained and always had a laugh. The Garry I will miss.

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