Our gentle friend, teacher, brother, father, grandfather and so much more to so many, Everett Blair Maxfield, passed away on December 23, 2017, after 96 amazing years of living.
The oldest of five boys, Blair was born June 13, 1921 in Delta, UT to Archelaus Hans Maxfield and Lella Stapley. Growing up in the Delta area with his four brothers, there was no shortage of excitement, adventure and even, sometimes, a little trouble. Blair’s recollections of his youth were entrancing and always such a joy to hear. His participation in the band, orchestra, choir, dance band, football and baseball teams, working with his father in the mines and countless other retellings of his early years, during such a wonderful era, made for captivating discussion. Blair was an astonishing storyteller.
Shortly after graduating high school and a brief stint at Dixie Jr. College, Blair served his country proudly during World War II, as a teletype supervisor with the Army Air Force 390th bomb squad, stationed in Framingham, England. Blair was a model war veteran thereafter, honored to have served and happy to shake hands with countless strangers, wishing to thank him for his service.
Post war, Blair was again called to serve, this time for an LDS British Mission. After a bit of “straightening up”, Blair left for his mission on March 7, 1947. Blair recounted to many that this mission calling saved his life, owing all of his future successes and prosperity to having served.
Returning home, Blair utilized his GI bill and signed up for college courses at BAC (now SUU) in Cedar City, UT, thus commencing a lifetime in the post high school education environment. Blair eventually graduated with a BS in Geology from BYU on June 2, 1955, and on the same day he married his sweetheart, Eda Theobald, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. Blair not only became a college graduate and husband that day, but a father to Eda’s son Russell.
After graduation, Blair accepted a position with Shell Oil Co as an exploration geologist. While moving his family around the country for the next 10 years with Shell, Blair and Eda completed their family with the addition of two lovely daughters. In 1965, Blair took a gamble and left Shell to work on his PhD at BYU, while awaiting a geology teaching position at SUSC (now SUU) in Cedar City, UT. In 1969, the position at SUSC opened up, and the family finally settled down in Cedar City and Blair became a professor and found his true calling in life, teaching. In 1975, Blair completed his PhD at BYU in Micropaleontology. Blair was instrumental in SUSC’s expansion of their geology department and the ability to offer a BS degree in geology. Blair was extremely proud of the national recognition that SUSC’s geology department has received over the years.
Blair thoroughly enjoyed spending time with family, friends, students and loved ones in classrooms, churches, homes, on summer road and field trips, teaching what he knew and sharing what he could with anyone that cared to listen. Blair knew no strangers, everyone was his friend. Blair was an active member of the LDS church and served many callings throughout his life, including Bishopric Counselor, Sunday School President, High Priest Leader and many others.
Retiring in 1987, Blair and Eda served a mission in Perth, Australia for 18 months and numerous more LDS callings for several years, including temple ordinance worker at the St George LDS Temple, until Eda’s battle with Alzheimer’s would no longer allow for it. After almost 54 years of marriage, with Blair lovingly by her side, Eda passed away in March of 2009.
Always the independent, Blair continued to travel, study genealogy and drop in for visits with friends and family every chance he could. Keeping himself busy with his daughters, grandchildren, brothers, in-laws and immeasurable group of friends, Blair was always around and such a joyful presence. With his booming voice, soft smile and intoxicating laugh, he rarely went unnoticed and was always loved. He will be dearly missed.
Blair is survived by his daughters: LaDaun and Anita Rae (Jim); brothers: Garff, Dwight (Beth), Thayne (Erma); 8 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, parents, son: Russell, brother: Kean, and grandson: Steve.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Dec 30, at 11:00 am, at the Oakridge Ward LDS Chapel, 1533 N 1075 W, Farmington, UT. A Viewing will be held Saturday morning, 9:00-10:40 am, prior to the service. Burial with Military Rites will follow at 3:30 PM at the Hinckley UT Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family has created The E. Blair Maxfield Geology Scholarship Fund at Southern Utah University to honor his lifetime of teaching. Donations to this scholarship fund may be made at any Mountain America Credit Union.