Rick Dean Wheadon, 59, beloved husband, son, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend died on October 19, 2016 in Alpine, Utah, surrounded by his family. Rick was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on April 1, 2016.
He was born on July 14, 1957, in Murray, Utah, to Dean Asial Wheadon and Sherrie Helen Fitzgerald. He was raised in Provo, Utah as the oldest of seven children. Growing up, he worked on his uncle Ferris’ farm, where he learned the value of hard work. He carried that work ethic with him throughout the rest of his life. He started his own sprinkler company while attending Provo High School (Class of 1975). He served a mission in Helsinki, Finland during 1976-1978, where he developed a great love for the Finnish people. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management at Brigham Young University.
Rick married his sweetheart Jana Fuhriman on September 12, 1979 in the Provo LDS Temple. They enjoyed 37 wonderful years together. They made their home in Provo, Orem, Antioch (CA), and Sandy, before settling in Alpine, where they have lived for the past 23 years. Their greatest joy has been their five children and nine grandchildren.
Rick’s career began at a small engineering firm, Community Consultants, which he ran with his father. Rick and his family moved to California in 1988 where Rick took a job at Carollo Engineers. During his 28 years at Carollo, he served in various leadership and technical roles for water/wastewater projects throughout the U.S. Rick's specialty was managing large water treatment and infrastructure projects. He served as a member of the Board of Directors, as a partner, the Chief Financial Officer, Office Manager, and most recently as the Managing Director of Client Services. Rick served in leadership positions in the American Water Works Association and was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was honored with the George Warren Fuller Award, the Charlie Wilson award, and was awarded the Outstanding Service Award from the American Water Resources Association. Rick and Jana treasure the friendships they made throughout Rick’s career with co-workers, clients, partners, and other members of these organizations. He is remembered professionally for his creativity, integrity, sensitivity, but most of all, his capacity to care for and build up others.
Rick was active in the LDS church where he served in many positions including two turns as a bishop’s counselor in Alpine and three years as bishop of the YSA 22nd ward in Provo. Most recently Rick and Jana worked with the young adults in the YSA Fort Canyon Ward in Alpine. He has spent decades working with the youth of the church, and loved the scouting program. Rick was an Eagle Scout and attended the Woodbadge Scouting Leadership Program.
Rick always took time to stop and enjoy the world around him. Rick loved the outdoors and had a great reverence for nature. He enjoyed boating, hunting, fishing, golf and skiing. Since Rick’s diagnosis in April, Rick and Jana enjoyed every day they had together. Many times Rick would say, “I can be sick at home or I can be sick while I’m fishing, so let’s go fishing.” Rick lived with passion and joy, and had great love for the people and places around him. He loved spending time in the mountains and canyons near his home, and the red rocks of St. George and Lake Powell. He especially loved sharing his favorite spots with people. Rick and Jana loved their date nights to watch BYU basketball and football. He also developed a great love for family history work. Rick was a handyman and loved to build, create, and renovate. He treasured time with his children and grandchildren. He always believed that his family was his greatest blessing, but also felt great love and support from his Carollo family, his church family, and his many other friends and colleagues throughout his life.
Rick was a strong, hard worker, but was always able to make those around him feel comfortable and confident. He was a master communicator, and was known for remembering each individual and expressed sincere interest in their challenges and aspirations. He was loyal and fiercely protective of his loved ones. Above all, though, he loved the Savior and never wavered in his faith. His love for Jesus Christ and the testimony of Him remains an example to all who knew Rick. His mantra was to never shrink, but to have faith in the plan that Our Heavenly Father has for us. He valiantly faced his battle with cancer with courage and optimism. His bright smile never faded and his strength inspired everyone that knew him.
He is survived by his wife, Jana, his five children, Jake (Erin) Wheadon, Whitney (Bill) De Groot, Kelsey (Evan) Shelley, Tanner (Marcia) Wheadon, Madison Wheadon, and nine grandchildren: Ava, Noah, Henry and Elodie Wheadon, Nina and Elin De Groot, Agnes, Emmerich and Edith Shelley. Rick was also survived by his mother, Sherrie (Dale) Howlett, and his siblings: Keri (David) Frampton, Mark (Ann) Wheadon, Kristie Gordon, Kate Wheadon, Kimberly Wheadon, and Joseph (Clare) Wheadon and his stepmother, Maureen Wheadon. He was preceded in death by his father, Dean Wheadon.
The Wheadon family would like to thank Dr. Ignacio Garrido Laguna and the pancreatic cancer team at Huntsman Cancer Institute. We appreciate the loving care you gave to our husband and father. #stronglikerick
Funeral services will be held Friday, October 28, 2016 at 11 a.m. in the Alpine Stake Center, 98 E Canyon Crest Rd., Alpine, Utah. A viewing will be held Thursday, October 27 from 6-8 p.m. in the Anderson & Sons Lone Peak Chapel, 6141 West 11000 North, Highland, Utah and Friday at the Stake Center from 9:45-10:45 a.m. prior to the funeral services. Please share a memory below.
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American Fork Chapel
49 East 100 North
American Fork, UT 84003
Lone Peak Chapel
6141 West 11000 North
Highland, UT 84003