Gerald Swasey, 1937-2020

Gerald Swasey

Gerald (Jerry) Robert Swasey, 82, passed away peacefully with family by his side on Jan. 27, 2020.

Jerry was born in Ferron, Utah on Sept. 1, 1937 to Robert and Jane (Fish) Swasey. His childhood was spent in Mona, Ferron and Dragerton, all in Utah, with his parents and sisters, Mary Swasey Hunt and Kathleen Swasey Huggins. Before finishing his senior year of high school, Jerry went to work sheep herding.

He met the love of his life, Verla Lile, about a year later thanks to the matchmaking skills of Verla’s cousin, Pat. After three years of courting, the couple married on Dec. 23, 1958. They had four children, sons, Gerald Robert II (Bub), Michael D., and Harold Duane and daughter Terri L.

Jerry was a jack-of-all-trades and worked in various fields, including cooking and waiting tables at the Crescent Junction restaurant, was a pole climber and installed television line for Town TV, blasted the railroad cut for the line to Potash, and worked for Utah Gas for nearly 30 years. No matter what he did, his favorite job was mining uranium on Polar Mesa with his father-in-law, H.D. Lile.

In his seventies, he wrote and self-published “The Untold Story of Polar Mesa” that detailed the history of mining on Polar Mesa. It was important to Jerry that the history of the area and the importance of the industry’s beginnings not be lost. He very much enjoyed handing out the books to his nurses, patrons at The Moab Diner and anyone else he had a minute to talk to.

Jerry moved an old mine shack from Polar Mesa onto five acres on Willow Basin. After enlarging and renovating, the cabin that became a family retreat for weekends.

His wife, Verla Swasey; sons, Bub (Debbie) Swasey and Duane (Becky) Swasey; daughter, Terri (Art) Hines; daughter-in-law Susan Swasey; 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren; sisters, Mary Hunt and Kathleen Huggins; and numerous nieces and nephews survive Jerry.

His parents, Robert and Jane Swasey; in-laws H.D. and Lucile Lile; brothers-in-law, LeRoy Hunt and Fred Huggins; son, Michael D. Swasey; grandson, Carson Swasey; and great granddaughter, Zoey Sue Swasey preceded him in death.

We will greatly miss Jerry and the stories he enjoyed sharing with everyone.

A graveside service will be held at noon Saturday Feb. 1, at the Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Condolences may be sent to the family at