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Howard Coombs Stutz

Jul 25, 2010

Howard Coombs Stutz

1918 ~ 2010

Howard Coombs Stutz, age 91, retired professor of genetics at Brigham Young University, passed away on July 20, 2010 following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

He was born August 24, 1918 in Cardston, Alberta, Canada, the son of Joseph Reuben and Clara Coombs Stutz. While attending BYU in 1940, he met and married his sweetheart, Mildred Robison of Delta, Utah. They recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

After graduating with a Master’s degree in Botany from BYU, Howard was awarded a PH.D in genetics from the University of California, Berkeley. As a dedicated Scientist he spent a long and productive career studying plants throughout the world including those in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. He has published more than 80 scientific papers and recently completed a book on science and evolution.

Howard approached life with unbounded energy. In addition to raising his family of seven children on his beloved farm in the Riverbottoms of Edgemont, he was a popular instructor and lecturer at BYU for nearly 40 years. He was instrumental in arranging with the US Forest Service to establish a formal research laboratory adjacent to BYU for the study of desert shrubs of the Western United States. For many years he worked with Utah International in New Mexico providing research and resources for strip mining reclamation. In 1982, Dr. Stutz and his wife, Mildred, established a perpetual scholarship award at BYU for graduate students’ studies of desert shrubs. He reluctantly retired from teaching at the age of 65 but continued his research well into his 80s.

Howard was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in many capacities including Elders Quorum president, Bishop, High Counselor, and Stake Patriarch. He approached every assignment with the same enthusiasm that he exhibited in his professional work. He has a strong testimony of the gospel and of God’s love for his children.

Howard is survived by his wife, Mildred; four sons and two daughters: Craig (Priscilla); Tom (Annette); Joseph Lanny (Lorna); Ellen (Mark) Landeen; John (Nicole); and Susan (Todd) Atkin; and by a daughter-in-law, Janet; 42 grandchildren, 64 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son Kent, and by his grandsons, Mark, Carl and Boyd.

Funeral services will be held Monday, July 26, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at the Edgemont Stake Center, 303 West 3700 North, Provo. A viewing will be held Sunday, at the Berg Mortuary of Orem, 500 North State Street, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., or Monday morning, at the Stake Center, one hour prior to services. Interment, Orem City Cemetery. The family wishes to thank Aspen Home Care and Alpine Hospice for their compassionate care. Condolences may be sent to info@bergmortuary.com