Thomas Elwood Bladen, age 84, peacefully passed from this life on August 27, 2013, surrounded by family, at home in Delta, UT. Born September 2, 1928 in Cedar City, UT to Thomas Adams and Lottie Tobler Bladen, the oldest of five children. He grew up in Cedar City where he graduated from Cedar City High School, then studied auto mechanics at Branch Agricultural College (now Southern Utah University). Sgt. Bladen served in Korea with the Utah Army National Guard 213th Battalion from Southern Utah, which also included his brother, Ken, two cousins, and other friends. During a battle at Kapyong his battalion was miraculously preserved and all lived to return home.
Elwood married his sweetheart, Dorothy Jeffery, on June 4, 1952 in the St. George Temple. They spent their first summer together working at Bryce Canyon and always treasured and shared those memories. He resumed his studies in Chicago, studying TV repair at Coyne Electric. They then moved to Delta where Elwood was instrumental in erecting 100-foot towers needed to bring TV to the valley. After working as an appliance and TV repairman, he moved his growing family to Logan where he worked servicing TVs while attending Utah State University. The next move was to Salt Lake City where he worked for Sperry Rand before returning to Delta in 1965. He managed the Quality Market furniture and appliance store on Main Street for several years. Later, he and Dorothy operated a Sears Catalog Store. He became very interested in nutrition and together they ran a part-time home business selling nutritional and health products. After the Sears store closed, he drove bus for the Senior Citizens. Elwood often claimed that he was a “jack of all trades, master of none.”
Elwood was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout his life. He served in the Sunday School, as a bishop, as ward clerk, and on the high council. He fulfilled service missions, including Delta Deseret Industries manager.
Elwood loved people. He could strike up a conversation with anyone. He had a natural curiosity and was always interested in learning new things and wanting to know how things worked. He eagerly shared his knowledge with anyone who would listen. He had no desire to travel the world, but racked up many miles traveling to visit family. He was always there for family events and anytime something needed repairing. Being paralyzed from the effects of cancer, he lay in bed his final six months, but continued to entertain visitors with lively conversation, stories, laughter and even playing his harmonica. He remained cheerful, positive, and appreciative to the end. His faith in God never faltered. He told the Lord he wouldn’t stop praying, but he would need divine intervention if he was expected to kneel.
He is survived by his wife: Dorothy; children: LuAnn (David) Sroufe of Orem, UT; Tom (LuAnne) Bladen of Hyde Park, UT; Nancy (Tony) Stephenson of North Salt Lake, UT; and Linda (Brad) Lamb of Pleasant Grove, UT; brothers: Kenneth (Carolyn) Bladen of Logan, UT; Boyd (VaLaine) Bladen of St. George, UT; sister Marilyn Dalton of Prescott, AZ; brother-in-law Dan (Janet) Dix of Santa Clara, UT; 30 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren. Preceded in death by his parents, daughter-in-law: Wendy Bladen; sister: LaRue Dix; and brother-in-law: Edward Dalton.
Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 11:00 AM in the Delta LDS Stake Center 125 S. White Sage Ave. Viewings Monday, September 2, 6:30 to 8:00 PM at the Stake Center, and Tuesday 9:30 to 10:45 AM prior to services. Burial in the Delta City Cemetery.