Rodney Lee Dalton, 86, died peacefully in his home on Sept. 1, 2020, surrounded by his wife and loving family. He was born on Jan. 18, 1934, in Moab, Utah, to Orson Ezra and Margaret E. Loveridge Dalton. He attended Grand County High School, graduating in 1952. He met his sweetheart Dixie Bea Stewart in 1954 and their love story began, leading to their marriage on April 14, 1956. Their marriage was solemnized in the Manti LDS Temple on June 25, 1966. To their union was born one daughter, Kathy Lynn, and two sons, Rodney Kevin (Pug) and Robert Orson Dalton.
From the time Rodney was young, he was fascinated with the great outdoors. His early years were spent enjoying the river and deserts surrounding Moab, and the never-ending adventures he created in the La Sal and Blue mountains. Cowboying with his much-loved Grandpa Corky Loveridge made things more exciting and became his favorite pastime and formed his deep love of horses, cattle, and the cowboy life. Animals of every kind were much-loved members of his family from a dog named Puddles to a calf named Buddy and a horse named Sugar, to name just a few.
Rodney participated in various high school sports, excelling in basketball and baseball. His love of baseball led to many years of coaching young boys in Little League and Pony League. It was there that many friendships began and lasted a lifetime.
In 1953, Rod attended the Utah State University College of Agriculture and Radio Teletype School before enlisting in the U.S. Army at Fort MacArthur in California from 1956 through 1958. Rodney spent eight years in the U.S. National Guard.
In 1958, Rodney secured work driving ore trucks from the nearby uranium mines to the Atlas Minerals Mill during the uranium boom. Ten years later, he transferred to a position with Garrett Freightlines. In 1971, Rodney went to work for Utah Power & Light as a meter reader and later as a planner, a position he loved. He would remain there until his retirement in 1991.
After his retirement, he enjoyed horseback riding, motorcycling on the desert, and spending time with family and friends. He continued coaching Little League and women’s softball as well as getting involved in the Toastmasters and becoming president of the Lions Club. He was a committed member of the Canyonlands Rodeo Club, where his hard work was recognized by the Rodeo Committee who nominated him to receive the John Justin Standard of the West Award for his contribution to the sport of rodeo. Rodney received one of his biggest surprises when his hometown honored him as Grand Marshal of the town’s Canyonlands Rodeo celebration! The smiles from well-wishers along the parade route as they waved at their favorite cowboy made Rodney’s wide contagious smile just that: contagious!
Rodney was a warm-hearted man with a smile that brought joy to everyone around him. He was very social and never knew a stranger but rather he greeted most people with a tight hug.
He was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served as a father figure for many young men in the youth programs of the church. In his golden years, his most exciting trip was a day with his sweetheart Dixie to the Monticello LDS Temple then lunch at the local Subway!
Of all the accomplishments rendered to Rodney in his lifetime, bearing the titles of Sweetheart, Dad, Grandpa, Brother, Uncle and Friend were the most important reflections of this unique and caring man, who will be missed and loved every day until our “forever together” comes!
Rodney is survived by his wife, Dixie; their three children, Pug, Kathy and Robert; his seven grandchildren, Danielle, Ann Emily, Macey, Rodney, Karrlee, Kevin and Samantha; his 15 great-grandchildren; his sister, Norma Beaman; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother Robert.
Graveside services were held at the Grand Valley Cemetery in Moab on Sept. 8. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.spanishvalleymortuary.com