Joel Garrett Sedgwick

Beloved patriarch, Joel Garrett Sedgwick, 95, peacefully passed away Friday, November 6, 1998 at his home in Provo, Utah.

He was born May 5, 1903, to Richard Hall Sedgwick and Dora Belle Garrett in their Bountiful home, the log cabin portion of which now stands as a pioneer memorial in Bountiful City Park. His mother died when he was three and he was raised by his stepmother, Emma Almyra Dibble. His life almost spanned a century that started with the horse and buggy and ended with space travel. His formal education in Davis county concluded at age 17, when, as he liked to say, "I entered the school of hard knocks." Striking out on his own, he supported himself working on cattle ranches in Nevada and California for three years, ultimately settling in Southern California. In 1923 he moved to Long Beach, where he obtained work and commenced a long and unwavering record of service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, service that he always gratefully acknowledged gave him the equivalent of a college education.

While in Long Beach he met Lola Mae Hansen of Salt Lake City, whom he married on February 9, 1928, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. Lola, at 92, preceded him in death on August 9, 1996. They are the parents of seven children: Joel W. Sedgwick (Virginia) Kooskia, ID; infant, Allan Sedgwick, deceased; Karen S. Stone (Douglas, deceased) Salt Lake City, UT; Claudia S. Monson (Calvin) Provo, UT; Donald H. Sedgwick, deceased, (Virginia) San Juan Capistrano, CA; Steven G. Sedgwick (Patty, deceased) Danville, CA; Lola (Lolly) S. Osguthorpe (Russell) Provo, UT; along with 40 grandchildren (one deceased); 97 great-grandchildren, and two great great-grandchildren, a progeny of whom he was very proud. Joel is also survived by his brother, Philo, and was preceded in death by brothers: Richard, Howard, and David, and sisters Marie and infant sister, Emily Dora.

In 1927 he operated his own service station in Huntington Park. In 1931 he moved to Riverside to become manager and part owner of a new oil business, the Riverside Petroleum Co. After 14 years he established his own gas and oil distribution business, Petroleum Supply Co., ultimately building and operating six stations for 25 years until retirement. After 40 years in Riverside, Joel and Lola moved to Provo. There he supervised and helped build their home at 2185 North 1450 East. When many of their grandchildren attended BYU it brought them special joy in their later years to live in Provo where they could have a closer association with them and other family members.

Joel's life was always devoted to the LDS Church where he was a dynamic, faithful leader. In 1926 he was president of the Los Angeles Stake M Men, consisting of 16 wards and branches, and was a Master M Man. He served as bishop of the Riverside Ward for seven years, president of the San Bernadino Stake for seven years, and in 1956 was ordained a patriarch. He was known as a welfare-minded stake president, purchasing the first orange grove in Riverside for the church's Welfare Program. Joel and Lola were called as missionaries to the Bristol England Mission from 1972-73. In 1973 they were called as workers in the Provo Temple. They completed a temple mission to Washington D.C. where Joel was set apart as a sealer. Upon returning to Provo, he served in the Provo Temple until last year. Temple work and genealogy were pursued with complete devotion and enthusiasm, especially as it pertained to his English forebearers. Joel and Lola took great delight in using their means to do genealogy work, and help support the missions, college, and temple marriages of their children and grandchildren. He especially rejoiced whenever he was asked to marry a grandchild in one of the temples of the church, and also when he was able to give a patriarchal blessing to one of his own posterity.

Joel had an ingenious mind, and invented and built many useful items. Because of popular demand he made 3,500 bread mixers of his own design in his garage workshop in Provo. He built four homes, three of which his family occupied. Not only was he gifted with his hands (he could envision and build almost anything) but while serving in the Washington D.C. Temple he saw a need and devised a unique phonetic guide for the accurate pronunciation of names in many languages which has been used by many grateful temple workers. He was a prodigious worker all his years.

He always grew a bounteous garden. Joel especially loved to fish, pursuing that favorite sport successfully from his earliest days. He was known for his absolute integrity, was always a man of his word, and ever a gentleman. Of a practical bent, he was a self-made man whose life was an exemplary one of honor and service.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, November 10, 1998 at 1 p.m. in the Oak Hills Ninth Ward (Hillside Chapel) 1960 North 1500 East in Provo. Friends may call at Berg Mortuary Monday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. and at the chapel one hour prior to services on Tuesday. Interment will be in the Bountiful Cemetery.

Source: Deseret News Sunday, November 8, 1998