Jack DeVon Brotherson


Jack DeVon Brotherson, 79, passed away on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, in Orem, Utah, due to effects of age and Parkinson’s disease. He was born September 18, 1938 in Castle Dale, Utah in the front room of his grandmother’s home, to William Napier Brotherson, Jr. and Karen Beth Cox Brotherson. He was the second son of six children. He married Karen Jeanne Earl on August 29, 1964 in the St. George LDS Temple in St. George, Utah.

Jack grew up on the family ranch in Boneta, Utah, where he loved being with his parents and siblings. He attended local public schools and graduated valedictorian from Altamont High School in 1956. He then went to college for two years at Brigham Young University. Jack received a call to serve as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints among the Native American peoples of the Southwest in 1958. He served there for two and a half years until 1961 and loved the people, as he sat with them in their hogans, learned Navajo, blessed their sick, and taught the gospel of Christ. Following his mission, he completed his studies at Brigham Young University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree (Botany) in 1964 and a master’s degree (Botany) in 1966. He and Karen moved to Ames, Iowa and Jack graduated with a PhD degree in Ecology and Natural Resource Management from Iowa State University in 1969.

He was hired as a professor and taught in the Department of Botany and Range Science at Brigham Young University from 1969 until his retirement in 2006. He loved teaching and taught thousands of students in his career, teaching 32 different classes in his field from ecology to range management. Over fifty graduate students completed their master’s or doctoral degrees under his direction, and he published over one hundred scientific papers in his field. He especially enjoyed his field trips with students and sharing his love and knowledge of the natural world.

Jack was a faithful and loving member of the LDS Church and served in many church responsibilities during his lifetime, including Bishop of the Orchard 2nd Ward (1988-1992), and President of the Orem Utah East Stake (1992-2002). He also served as an elders quorum president, bishop’s counselor, district and high councilor, high priest group leader, gospel doctrine teacher, and temple ordinance worker. He had a great love for youth and people of all backgrounds and labored in doing temple and family history work for the Navajo people and other native peoples for over 20 years. He was a common man of uncommon spirituality.

Jack was married to the love of his life, Karen Earl Brotherson, for 53 years, and together they raised a family, endured the hardships of life, and celebrated their eternal partnership. Together they raised six children, 21 grandchildren, and welcomed countless relatives and friends into their family circle. Jack was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and spiritual leader.

He is survived by his wife, Karen; children: Sean (Kristen) Brotherson, Fargo, ND; Eric (Marc) Brotherson, Salt Lake City, UT; Jeanne (Matt) Haslam, Prescott, AZ; Rachel (Mike) Adams, Orem, UT; Erin (Gordon) Jacobsen, Sandy, UT; and 21 grandchildren. Also, his brothers and sisters: Max (Deanne) Brotherson, Salt Lake City, UT; Brent (Donna) Brotherson, Boneta, UT; Karen Ann (Kim) Cartrette, Surprise, AZ; Genna Vee (Mel) Woolsey, Heber, UT. He was preceded in death by his father, Bill; mother, Beth; brother, Kirk; and son, Mark Earl Brotherson.

The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the staff and others at Orem Rehabilitation, Courtyard at Jamestown Assisted Living, Valeo Home Health and Hospice, and Visiting Angels (Ross) for the loving care and service that they provided during Jack’s illness over the past few years. Also, to the many relatives and friends who continued to visit him during his illness.

There will be an open house and sharing time for family and friends from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, February 9, at the Brotherson home (1165 East 1200 North, Orem, UT). There will be a viewing from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, February 9, at Walker Sanderson Funeral Home (646 East 800 North, Orem, UT), and on Saturday, February 10 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., at the Orem Canyon View Stake Center (530 East 878 North, Orem, UT). Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 10 at the Orem Canyon View Stake Center (530 East 878 North, Orem, UT). A luncheon for family members and close friends will be from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the same location. Interment will be at the Altamont-Mount Emmons Cemetery at 4 p.m. under the direction of Walker Sanderson Mortuary (3700 North 16500 West, Altamont, UT).

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Perpetual Education Fund of the LDS Church. The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our Memorial Guest Book at www.walkersanderson.com, or via email at jackbfuneral@outlook.com.

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