Oct. 3, 1925-Jan. 25, 2024

On Sunday, Jan. 25, 2024, Jay Morrill Smith went on one last “Adventure Sunday” in sight of the Red Mountain he loved. Jay was born Oct. 3, 1925, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to J. Morrill and Ivy Marie Mellen Smith. He had two older sisters: Yvonne and Shirley. He was raised in the Avenues area and graduated from West High School at 16.

World War II was in full swing and at age 17 he enlisted in the Navy where he was promoted to the rank of ensign and later full lieutenant. He served during the war as a bombardier/navigator. After the war, he graduated from the University of Utah in engineering and later undertook additional education to become a licensed professional engineer and general contractor. He worked in these fields until his retirement.

He married Della (Peggy) Baldwin in 1948 and they became the parents of three children: Jennifer, Roger and Steven. They raised their family in Bountiful, Utah. Jay, Peggy and their children were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple in 1962. Peggy became ill in 1982. Jay retired and cared for her until her passing in early 1986.

In November of that year, he married Reneé Schlehuber and gained three stepchildren: Terra, Kent and Tonja and seven step-grandchildren. On their honeymoon trip, they discovered the Big Red Mountain in Ivins, Utah. They fell in love with the area and subsequently moved there. They were very active in the Ivins 2nd Ward. Two of his favorite callings were as Single Adult Activity Coordinator and as a counselor in the Bishopric.

Jay and Reneé served two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The first mission was to Armenia where he assisted with humanitarian rebuilding efforts. He and Reneé also spent many hours sharing the gospel in their apartment with their beloved Armenian members. Between this mission and their second mission, they purchased property in Pine Valley, Utah, and built a beautiful cabin. This became a favorite place to escape the summer heat. He enjoyed working on and improving the cabin for much of the rest of his life. It also became a place for friends, church groups and family members to gather. Their second mission was in Alaska where Jay managed mission-wide vehicle maintenance. During their time in Alaska, Reneé became ill and passed away in 1999. Jay returned to Ivins where he assisted in the construction of his son Roger’s home.

Jay met and married Vicky Fletcher in 2000 and gained two more stepchildren: Ann and Wayne, along with 10 more step-grandchildren. Jay and Vicky moved to the St. George Sun River community. They were very busy spending time at the cabin, traveling, doing temple work and church service, being with family and doing hospice care. They remained in Sun River until Vicky’s passing in 2021. 

Jay then moved to Roger’s home and later to the veteran’s facility in Ivins, where he resided at the time of his passing. He received wonderful care and participated in many activities including singing in the choir. He also went on weekly “Adventure Saturday/Sunday” trips around Washington County in Roger’s Hummer. Jay would be the first to say he had a very full life, traveling, dancing, always building something, listening to Big Band music and serving others. When he could no longer build buildings, he designed and constructed a fleet of model airplanes. 

He is survived by his three children Jennifer (Sabrina), Roger (Janet) and Steven (Kathy), seven grandchildren (Laura, Anita, Jason, Roger, Heidi, Alisa and Jonathan), 15 great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, three stepchildren and numerous step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters, wives and stepsons Kent and Wayne. Family members wish to thank the wonderful staff at Southern Utah Veterans Home for their loving care of our father.

Funeral services will be held Feb. 10, in the Bountiful, Utah, Orchard Stake Center Chapel, 3599 South Orchard Drive at 1:30 p.m. Family members are invited to arrive at 1 p.m. for a private viewing and family prayer. Click here to access the Zoom link to view the service online te day of the service.

Internment will be held at the Bountiful City Cemetery, 2224 S 200 W, Bountiful, Utah.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Southern Utah Veterans Home Nurse Education fund.

Arrangements are under the care of Pine View Mortuary, 435-986-4222. Click here to visit the Pine View Mortuary website for full obituary and funeral service listing.