Dan Jay Workman
1929 - 2020
The life of our husband, dad, grandfather and great-grandfather can be summed up in the promise he made to his sweetheart, Barbara Gibbons, in the days before they were sealed in the Logan, Temple on November 23, 1953. He said: "Bobbi, I may not always know what is right, but if I do, I'll do it." He kept that promise. He taught us to keep ours. He lived with honor and integrity. He loved and served our mother every day of their nearly 67 earthly years together until his peaceful passing on September 7, 2020. He was 91. "In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!" (D & C 135:3).
Dad was born in Vernal, Utah on May 3, 1929, the son of William Henry Workman and Jenny Oaks. He played, fished, learned how to work hard, and ate the amazing bread baked by his mother, alongside his treasured sisters Lluana, Enid, and Emma Jean. He earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees at Utah State University. He joined the United States Airforce in 1955 where he flew the F86-first supersonic fighter plane for the 456 Fighter Interceptor Squadron. His mission to protect the coast of California included being sent up to watch for Sputnik falling back to earth in 1957. After leaving the Air Force he began a career as a teacher in a seminary classroom in Cedar City. Dad chose his jobs by the opportunities for service they offered him. In fact, after accepting his first job and wanting to buy a house he called his future boss to say: "You don't have to tell me what you're paying me, but could you tell the bank?" He obtained his Doctorate of Education from Washington State University. His career would lead him to direct the LDS Institutes of Religion at the Universities of Idaho, Washington State, Utah State, and Utah Valley. In 1970, he was assigned as a Zone Administrator for the Church Education System, developing CES leaders across the globe. But whether his flight was touching down somewhere in Scandinavia, South Africa, New Zealand, or Tahiti, his first act was always to write a love letter home to his "My darling, beautiful Bobbi." He served many missions-the first as a missionary in the Central States Mission, then as a Mission President in the New Jersey Morristown Mission, and as an Area Director in the Mediterranean and Central Europe areas. He sought to be an instrument of peace in his roles as an ordained Patriarch, Bishop, Counselor in the Stake Presidency, Counselor to the president of the Missionary Training Center, and on the General Board of the Sunday School and the General Melchizedek Priesthood Committee. Perhaps he loved his Temple work most of all. He served as first counselor of the Mount Timpanogos Temple and President of The Vernal Temple. In describing his temple work he said: "Here the spirit of competition is swallowed up in love and cooperation, and here reverence replaces pride. Wealth and worldly glory are overshadowed by peace and the spirit of consecration."
His most cherished roles were husband and father. He leaves in the path of his love nine children, 49 grandchildren, and 72 great-children. Psalms 68:5 says "I will be a father to the fatherless" and in that spirit he held that place for many more. We find joy in the thought of his reunion with his beloved grandsons Michael and Gabriel, his great-grandson Maxwell, his daughter-in-law Sheila, and we imagine he has already had a long-awaited daddy-daughter date with his precious first child Laura. He is survived by his wife Barbara, His sister Emma Jean Johnston, and his children Lynette Butler (Tim), David Workman (Lela), Jeanne Hendrix (Bruce), Russell Workman (Becky), Eric Workman (Shirley), Bobbi Jo Tibbits (Doug), Julie Sessions (Travis), and Nanette Stevenson (Jared).
Dad was a quiet servant-leader. At home, at work, and at play. Though he spent countless hours in the air, he was most happy showing a grandchild how to pull a trout out of a lake, how to take down an old shed with an axe, or eat a bowl of ice cream with three scoops and the cherries from his trees.
And this was his legacy: When Dan touched your shoulder, gave you a soul-warming hug, or put his hands on your head to give a father's blessing, he was a floodgate of God's personal love. He sought the truth, he found what was right, and in his final days his words were these: "We are only here for one reason-to create love and put it into the world." We will miss your "I love yous," your "I'm sure proud of yous," and your gentle, generous, unfailing example of a perfectly lived life.
Services will be held by direction of Warenski Funeral Home on Saturday, September 12, 2020. Due to public health guidelines, the viewing and funeral service will be limited to immediate family, but will be streamed live and recorded. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the Cedar Hills West Stake Center. The zoom link for the service is https://churchofjesuschrist.zoom.us/j/7198982548 Meeting ID: 719 898 2548