Irvin J Ence , age 96, passed away August 22, 2021, at his home in Ivins, Utah surrounded by his family. He was born February 8, 1925, in Santa Clara, Utah to Milo John Ence and Lillie Tobler Ence. He married Betty Lou Horsley in Oakland, California on July 9, 1945, while serving in the navy during World War II. Their marriage was later solemnized on December 20, 1946, in the St. George Temple.
His parents were among the original settlers on the Ivins Bench, moving here in 1924. Other than his military service and a mission, he spent his entire life in Ivins. He attended school in Santa Clara through 6th grade and then to St George for Jr High and High School. He graduated in 1943. He was drafted into the Navy in December 1943 and spent his time on a LST. His ship was involved in four invasions in the Pacific Ocean. On December 22, 1945, he was honorably discharged from the Navy. He has a great love for this country and was honored to have served.
He loved the Town of Ivins. He was involved in maintaining and improving the irrigation system that brought the water to town. He served for a time as the President of Ivins Irrigation Company. He loved farming and farmed his whole life until his body was too old. With his father and brother, they raised turkeys, farmed, and raised cattle. This he did while working a full-time job. He worked at OK Tire, where he made life-long friends. He drove the school bus for the Washington County School District and later became a custodian, retiring after 28 years of service. Upon retiring, he and his brother, Kay, bought a ranch in Pinto. Dad and Mom loved spending the summers there, irrigating the pastures and tending to the cattle.
He has a strong testimony of his Savior and was a very active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had many opportunities to serve in various callings including Bishop and serving in the Native American Branch. Together Dad and Mom served in the Illinois Peoria Mission, laboring in the city of Pontiac, Illinois from 1989-1990. They also served as ordinance workers in the St. George Temple.
He loved his family so very much. He was a quiet giant who taught by example and love. Some of his greatest challenges in life was the loss of their four-year-old daughter in 1960 and also his beautiful wife in 2019. He lovingly took care of her until her passing and has missed her every day since.
Irvin is survived by six children: Lee (Brenda) Ence, Toni Ence, Teddi (Randy) Jones, Kerry (Barrie) Ence, Brent (Kim) Ence, and Lisa (Ron) Stewart. He has 23 grandchildren, 72 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-grandchildren, and more to come. His sister-in-law, Ellen Ence, and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Betty; his daughter, Linda Gail; a granddaughter, Erin; two great-grandchildren; his parents; and his brothers, Vendon, Afton, and Kay.
The family wishes to thank Dixie Hospice for their loving care of our father, especially Britni, Gehse, Kason, and all other staff members who have assisted.
A visitation will be held on Friday, August 27, 2021, 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff Street, St. George, Utah.
The Funeral service will be held Saturday, August 28, 2021, at 11:00 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Ivins 5th Ward), 15 N Main Street, Ivins, Utah.
Interment will be in the Ivins City Cemetery.
Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff Street, St. George, Utah. 435-673-2454. Family and friends are invited to sign Irvin’s online guest book at www.spilsburymortuary.com