On July 2, 2008, Green River lost it’s oldest citizen, great storyteller and “rare” character. Joseph Alma Scovill passed away at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born Sept. 8, 1909 in Orangeville, Utah, the second of 10 children, to Alma Ashel Scovill and Artemissia Burnett. This is where he spent his childhood before coming to Green River, when he was about 18 years old.
He met the love of his life, Leona May Bigelow when she was only about thirteen or fifteen years of age, so he waited for her to turn eighteen so he could marry her. This took place June 22, 1932 at the Bigelow Farm in Green River. The marriage was later solemnized in the Manti LDS Temple.
They had five sons and one daughter: Christopher Duane (deceased), Jolene (Glen) Dalton of Green River, Lyle (Kerry) Scovill of Mesquite, Nev., Loyd Scovill of Grand Junction, Colo., Gary Jo Scovill of Grand Junction, Colo., and Van Ray (Denise) Scovill of Idaho Falls, Idaho. He is survived also by one brother, Claude (Jeanne) Scovill of Orangeville, Utah, and one sister Emma Jean Chidester of Price, Utah. He has 17 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and seven great-great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Leona, son, Duane, brothers, Amasa, Orien, Elmer and Van, and sisters, Leola, Sarah and Helen.
After coming to Green River he worked as a barber, shaving Zane Grey many times. He tells of his memories of Butch Cassidy and recalls gunfights on Main Street. He was also friends with Jack Dempsey. He worked for the railroad for many years, ran a gas station, drove gas truck, and after retirement worked at the Missile Base as water plant operator.
Our loss is Heaven’s gain!
Mom and Dad traveled all over and loved camping in their trailer. They were also part-owners in a drive-in theater in Green River for many years and every night after the show he would say “turn off your speaker, turn to the right and good night!”
Funeral services were Monday, July 7 at the Green River LDS Chapel. Interment was at Price City Cemetery in Price, UT. Services were in the care of Fausett Mortuary.