Gilbert Ray Horrocks of Provo, Utah, passed away peacefully on December 29, 2018, surrounded by his family. Gil led an extraordinary life. He was raised during the Great Depression in a two-room log cabin with a leaky clay roof and no electricity or plumbing in the tiny farming community of Arcadia in Duchesne County, Utah. Through hard work and determination, he went on to get his civil engineering degree at the age of forty-one and together with his wife Lois founded Horrocks Engineers—a company that he was immensely proud of.
Gil was born on May 31, 1925, to Melna Beatrice Gilbert and Franklin Ray Horrocks. As the eldest of six children, Gil’s incredible work ethic began in childhood. He loved telling the story of how at the young age of 5 he was responsible for driving the family’s herd of cows a mile from home and staying with them all day while they grazed. After Gil’s mother tragically passed away when he was thirteen years old, his father had to leave town to find work and Gil was left to tend house, raise his younger siblings, take care of the farm chores, and work in the post office and little store that was run out of their home. This made it difficult for Gil to attend school, which was so important to him.
Despite these challenges, Gil was able to complete high school, graduating from Roosevelt High in 1943. It was during this year that he met his eternal companion, Lois Marie Hatch. On December 18, 1944, the two of them made a day trip to Salt Lake City where they were married in the temple and then returned back to Duchesne by public bus. It was an exceptionally happy partnership of fifty-five years, during which time they raised 4 children while living in Duchesne, Brigham City, and Salt Lake.
After Lois’ death, Gil found a second love and companion in Delores Iseli Last, who he married on January 30, 2000. With this union came the welcome addition of 4 stepchildren and their families. Together, Gil and Delores have had many wonderful years of companionship.
A lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Gil had a strong testimony. He served in many callings, including Bishop of the Provo Edgemont 9th Ward. Also, along with Lois he served two church service missions; one working on water rights for church properties in Utah County and one overseeing the design and construction of the Heber Valley Camp.
Gil’s greatest source of happiness was his family, who he loved to spend time with and who loved spending time with him. Over the years, there were many memorable family hunting and camping trips and too many Lake Powell adventures to count. Gil’s favorite place was the log cabin that he designed and built in order to provide a wonderful gathering place for the entire family. These are cherished memories that we will always hold in our hearts.
Gil is survived by his wife, Delores Horrocks, his children, Connie (Lee) Wimmer, Linda (Jeff) Smith, Jim (Cindy) Horrocks, and Shelley (Michael) Mann, step-children, Mary Ann Young, Connie (Richard) Nuttall, Mike (Nancy) Last, Craig (Chaunte) Last, nineteen grandchildren, and fifty-seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Lois, his parents, and his five siblings.
Please join us in honoring the life and legacy of Gil. A public viewing will be held on Friday, January 4, 2019, at Nelson Mortuary, 4780 N. University Ave., Provo, Utah, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held on January 5, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at the Sharon East Stake Center, 2400 N. 1060 East, Provo, Utah (no public viewing will be held prior to Saturday services). Interment will follow at the East Lawn Memorial Hills Cemetery. To send condolences, visit www.NelsonMortuary.com.
In the spirit of Gil’s generosity, the family would like to request that in lieu of flowers you donate to your favorite charity.