Daniel Leigh Wade of Washington, Utah, age 88, passed away peacefully at 2:32 pm on Friday, January 14, 2000 at Dixie Medical Center in St. George, Utah from complications of influenza and congestive heart failure. He had been admitted late Wednesday night when he had trouble breathing. He was alert and in control to the end. His close family was with him.
Dan was born in Cedar City, Utah on Friday, April 15, 1911 to Thomas James Wade (b 10 Dec 1880) of Fillmore, Utah and Mary Jane Leigh (b 29 September 1876) of Enoch in Iron County. (Married 11 May 1904 in Fillmore.) Dan was the sixth of seven children. He married Theresa Henrie of Panguitch, Utah on June 24, 1935 in Parowan. (The marriage was solemnized in the St. George Temple 20 June 1950.) Theresa passed away on January 30, 1984 in St. George and buried 3 Feb 1984 in Washington City Cemetery. Dan then met and married Mary Grace Smith Allen of Sunnyvale, California on November 24, 1984 in the Jordan River Temple in West Jordan, Utah. Dan lived the remainder of his life in Washington City.
Dan was preceded in death by his daughter Venis Kay Wade Allred, his granddaughter Kari Danette A. Puckering and his great grandson Desert Lovell Puckering and by five of his six brothers and sisters. Dan was survived by his wife Mary Grace Smith Allen, his older brother Gerald T. (Bud) Wade of Cedar City, his son-in-law V. Dale (Elaine Hawke Mayfield) Allred of Orem, two grandchildren, Todd Dale (Jennifer Dugas) Allred of Bishop, California and Pamela Deon (Domingo) Flores of Spanish Fork, ten great grandchildren, four stepchildren, Kenneth R. (Susan) Allen of Palo Alto, California, Kathryn A. (John) Bright of Lewiston, Utah, Venette A. (Gary) Kragenbrink of Central City, Colorado, and Scott E. (Terry) Allen of Occidental, California, 19 stepgrandchildren and 2 stepgreatgrandchildren.
[Dan had two sisters and four brothers: Jetta L. (Arthur Frances Colton) Louis (b Cedar City 5 March 1897-6 December 1955, md 10 July 1918), Leland (Golda Corry) Leigh (b Cedar City 8 September 1899-6 September 1931, md 17 Apr 1920), James “Leigh” (Dora Robinson) Wade (b Fillmore 29 October 1904-15 September 1994, md 23 Apr 1928), Afton W. (John Holland) Middleton (b Fillmore 11 Sep 1906-2 Sep 1978, md 22 Oct 1924), Gerald Thomas “Buck” (Della Dalton) Wade (b Cedar City 16 September 1908-Living, md 3 July 1931) and Thomas (Maurine Lowder) Wade (b Cedar City 6 January 1915-19 September 1990), md 9 Apr 1938.]
Dan was named after his pioneer grandfather Daniel Trehorne Leigh who was born in 1852 at North Platte on the plains of Nebraska. Dan was born in Cedar City in a three-room house built by his father on Leigh Hill, just north of the gap of Lund Highway about one mile west of the center of town. (Interstate 15 now skirts the hill). Dan’s father died on January 4, 1915 at age 34 of pneumonia when Dan was 3 years and 8 months old, a little over a day before Thomas was born.
Dan, his mother, brothers and sisters struggled after his father’s death, moving many times. During the flu epidemic of 1918-19, while still living at home all his friends were suffering and missing school, Dan and his family never became ill, and he was able to finish school. They attributed their good health to the raw honey they ate from the honey house near their home. When Dan was ten, his mother found a job managing the Log Cabin Inn, a restaurant, store and motel with a few cabins in Leeds. Since Leeds had nothing but a one-room schoolhouse, Dan, his brothers and sisters stayed home or lived with relatives to attend school and to work.
During the first year that his mother was away, Dan stayed at home with his brother Buck (Gerald) and sister Afton who kept house, and Dan finished sixth grade. In 1923, his mother took Tom and Dan to Long Beach to stay with Jetta and her husband Arthur Louis. Afton went to live with Leland and Golda. Dan and Buck stayed for Dan’s seventh grade year with them, and Afton married Jack Middleton. In eighth grade, Dan lived with Bud and Zill Leigh and became fast friends with his cousin Jack. Dan got his first job at age 13 as a farm hand at Hamilton’s Fort working for his brother-in-law Jack Middleton.
Dan and Jack Leigh were the same age, and they seem to do everything together, getting around on Dan’s donkey and Jack’s horse or getting into mischief in an old Model T. Dan like almost all the boys was a country boy and lived a raucous youth. He loved hunting and fishing and having fun. Dan was a great dancer and seemed always to win the hearts of the prettiest girls in Cedar City and in St. George. He and his girlfriend “Thresa” Henrie were frequent dance contestants. Other good friends were Jack Pace, Dee Arthur, Jack Cox, Claude Dix and Rex Harris. Favorite teachers were Zo Robinson and Arthur Fife. Dan attended Cedar City Junior High School and B.A.C. High School in Cedar City, graduating in 1929.
After high school, Dan, his mother and Tom moved to Long Beach to stay with Jetta and Arthur Louis in their two-bedroom house. Art helped Dan find work at $20 a week at the Central Garage, an Oakland and Pontiac automobile agency, where he washed and greased cars, cleaned floors and ran errands while Tom attended junior high school. Dan returned to Cedar City in April 1930, missing his girlfriend Theresa. He stayed at Hamblin Fort, helping his brother-in-law Jack Middleton over the winter of 1931 with lambing and herding sheep for Pete Bullock. Not able to find other work, he found a job as driver of his brother Leland’s truck, then belonging to Leland’s widow Golda. Leland had been fatally injured in an automobile accident on September 6, 1931 enroute to the Grand Canyon to pick up his truck. In 1932 Dan, Buck and the truck went to Caliente, Nevada, where Dan and Buck alternated shifts, driving the truck on the construction of U.S. 93, the Great Basin Highway. Working for the Utah Construction Company, they went on to Contact, Nevada, where Dan stayed with Buck and Della, sleeping on a cot at the foot of their bed. They moved on to Currie, Nevada, then on to McDermitt, Nevada north of Winnemucca on the Oregon border.
In 1933 Dan returned to Long Beach to try to find work. After two winter months he returned to McDermitt to drive Leland’s truck again on shifts with Buck. Through 1934, Dan worked the roads, bunking in a tent with Rodney Truman, who also owned his own truck. In the spring of 1935, Buck took the truck to Utah to work the roads, while Dan went on to Winnemucca to work roads alone.
In June, he caught a ride back to Panguitch, Utah to visit Theresa, his off and on girlfriend of seven years. Although Dan had not been thinking about marriage, Theresa told him to think about it or to quit seeing her. So on June 24, 1935, Dan and Theresa went to Bishop William L. Adams in Parowan, Utah, got their marriage license and eloped. His mother first learned of the marriage in a newspaper report.
Dan went to work for Utah Construction, spending the fall in Cataldo, Idaho. In February 1936, Dan had an appendicitis attack in Cedar City and had an apendectomy. While recuperating he learned welding while working for Harry J. Brahen. Dan and Theresa had rented the basement of the J.G. Price house, while Aunt Mary Ann Leigh rented the upstairs apartment. On June 5, 1936, their only daughter Venis Kay Wade was born in Cedar City.
From 1937 to January of 1940, Dan found work driving trucks for a mining company, living in Mercur, Utah, south of Bingham between Lehi and Tooele. Theresa and Venis lived in nearby Sandy. From January to July 1940 he worked at the Provo foundry.
In July 1940 Dan found work at the East Los Angeles Steel Company, living in Monte Bello while Theresa and Venis stayed in Panguitch with her family. Six months later he applied for a job as a welder for Bethlehem Steel Company, but he had to get eyeglasses to pass the welding exams. He stayed there just six months. California Shipyard was hiring welders when the war broke out. It was much better work than with Bethlehem, where welders often burned their arms welding overhead beams. He filled out an application and was shortly called to work at Cal Ship, hired by Pat Doyle, an LDS man who became a fast friend. Shortly later he was offered the job of lead welder. He at first turned it down, thinking he was not qualified. Another less qualified man accepted the job. Dan learned his lesson and accepted the next offered position as lead welder. He stayed four and one-half years, becoming a master welder and a master machinist. The navy shipyards in Long Beach were busy. At one time 40,000 workers were building ships. Dan was one of the first to be hired and one of the very last to leave. He was never laid off. He quit to accept a job as a machinist at Rheem’s Manufacturing Company, where he stayed for three and one-half years.
His friend Pat Doyle invited Dan to follow him to work as a machinist and welder at the Texaco refinery near Long Beach. Dan started in 1949 and stayed for 23 years. He retired officially in 1971 at the age of 60, following a year of rehabilitation from a welding accident in which his lungs were severely damaged from hydrogen sulfide fumes, and from which he never fully recovered.
Dan had his share of memorable experiences. Once at St. John near Tooele he found himself shoving a truck pushing a railroad car when the motor killed and the battery died. Later in Long Beach he saved a women by pulling from her burning house her through a window. At Panguitch Lake he once waded through the moss to free Jack Pace’s boat. He and a co-worker with their pregnant wives drove in a snowstorm from Cataldo, Idaho near the Canadian border to Cedar City in a truck with no heater and no windshield wipers. Following his lung injury, he tried running on the beach in California and even living in the clean air of Twin Falls, Idaho.
Dan became a devoted convert to the Gospel of Jesus Christ during his life in Long Beach. Ordained a Deacon at age 12, he found little to keep him close to the Church until about 1943 in Long Beach, when he realized how important his faith was to himself and his family. He gave up all his bad habits and was ordained a Teacher on July 18, 1943 and then an Elder on December 19, 1943. He served as secretary of the Long Beach Stake Adult Aaronic Priesthood program from 1943 until 1945. In the new Long Beach 6th Ward, he was called by Bishop Carl Ward to serve as counselor, then in 1949 President of the Elders Quorum of the Long Beach 6th Ward and 9th Ward. Theresa served as Relief Society President.
Dan and Thresa were sealed to each other and Venis in the St. George Temple on June 20, 1950. Dan’s mother passed away on August 10, 1954 in Cedar City. Dan continued his diligent work in the Church, serving in the MIA for about ten years, as MIA counselor to Morrell Snowball, then MIA President. He helped build the Stake Center on Ximeno Street in Long Beach. He was ordained a High Priest on October 15, 1958 in Long Beach by Elder Henry D. Taylor. He served as Second Counselor in the Bishopric of Long Beach 9th Ward for three years. He served as a stake missionary for two years after moving to the Long Beach 1st Ward, around 1960-62. He was counselor in the Sunday School Presidency, President of the Long Beach 1st Ward Sunday School, and Stake Sunday School Counselor from 1963-1970.
Dan and his family lived in several homes in Long Beach, including 1284 Silva and 1865 Olive Street. Dan and Theresa toured Mexico and the Bahamas in 1967 and took a Church History and U.S. tour in 1970.
After an active career of service in the church and upon retirement, Dan and Theresa came to St. George in 1972. On November 24, 1972 they moved into their new home at 135 East 100 South in Washington, when there were only 5000 people in the entire region and but a few hundred in Washington City. They continued to lead an active life serving the Church. Dan was the Financial Clerk in the Washington Second Ward and from 1972-76 in the Washington Third Ward of the St. George East Stake. Dan and Theresa were called to serve in the temple, which they did from 1972-82. From August 1976 to February 1978, Dan and Theresa served a mission for eighteen months as guides and directors of the Visitor’s Center at the Idaho Falls Temple. From 1979 to 1982 Dan was the Statistical Clerk of the new Washington Stake. From 1982-1983 Dan was High Priests Group Leader of the Washington Fourth Ward. In 1983 Dan and Theresa toured Nauvoo, saw the Hill Cumorah Pageant and toured the Canadian provinces and Nova Scotia. He was serving as High Priests Group Leader when Theresa became ill. Theresa passed away on January 24, 1984. He continued to serve, and in 1984, he became High Priests Group Secretary of the Washington Seventh Ward and in 1985 served as Counselor to the High Priests Group Leader.
In October 1984, Dan met Mary Grace Allen, a widow living in Sunnyvale, California, through his home teaching family and her mother Ethel Smith Midgley. They met while Mary Grace was visiting her mother and stepfather Thomas Cordon Midgley at their winter home at 133 East 100 North in Washington, just east of the town park. After a ten-day daily courtship, Mary Grace agreed to marry Dan, as he proposed in a St. George jewelry store. She left town sporting a diamond ring, shocking friends and family. She sold her home in Sunnyvale, California and moved to Washington.
Dan and Mary Grace were married for time in the Jordan River Temple on November 24, 1984. From that day on, they were happy together, enjoying many good times, fishing, golfing, swimming, traveling, attending the temple and doing church work, and enjoying good friends and family.
On April 13, 1991 Dan was honored on the occasion of his eightieth birthday by his families and friends with a grand party and commemoration. It was of Dan at that party which is most vivid in memory. Trim, quiet, happy and at peace with all. That is how Dan is remembered.
Tragedy struck the family more than once. On Aug 30, 1993, Dan’s daughter Venis was killed in a head-on collision on U.S. 95 between Beatty and Goldfield, Nevada while returning to Bishop, California from a visit with Dan. Dale her husband was severely injured, but he recovered to be a strength and a comfort to Dan, Mary Grace and his children.
Tragedy struck again on January 3, 1998 when Dan’s oldest granddaughter Kari Puckering and her oldest son Desert were killed in a freak traffic jam on foggy and icy Interstate 80 at mile marker 389 east of Oasis, Nevada, while returning to Utah. David and the twins survived.
Dan and Mary Grace have enjoyed an active retirement, traveling in their motor home and fishing, staying at their timeshare condo, caring for their small garden or visiting family and friends. During the last year he was largely housebound because of his health problems. Dan enjoyed the warmth of home playing games and relaxing in front of the computer while drawing oxygen to salve his failing lungs and heart. He cared for Mary Grace with her crippling rheumatoid arthritis, and she cared for him.
Dan had just nursed Mary Grace through a bout of the flu when he was struck by the same virulent bug. On Wednesday night January 12, 2000, while struggling for breath and a collapsed lung, he asked Mary Grace to call for an ambulance. They were taken to St. George, where he went into intensive care. He made it through the night struggling to breathe against the flu and his congestive heart, breathing with the help of forced oxygen. Dale Allred and Mary Grace were with him, as were Kathy and Becky Bright. Early Friday morning January 14, he took a turn for the worse. When he realized it would be a hopeless and painful struggle to breathe, he requested that the oxygen mask be removed, and he said his goodbyes. Previously to his brother-in-law David Smith, Dan said, “You take good take care of Mary Grace.”
About 2:00 pm in the afternoon, Mary Grace gave him a hug and said, “I love you, Dan.”
Struggling for breath, he replied,
“I love you, too, Mary Grace.” He then sank slowly and peacefully
into a deep sleep from which he did not awake.