Vance Greer Saxton, 95, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on June 19, at Evanston Regional Hospital.
He was born May 18, 1923, to William Solomon Saxton and Kathleen Saxton Pulsipher Saxton in Declo, Idaho. He spent his younger years there.
He joined the Navy in April of 1941, when he was still 17. He was on the USS Pennsylvania during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
He met and married Barbara Alfreeda Kiser on July 13, 1944, in Mt. Rainier, Maryland. After many years of trying, their first daughter Aleta Jo was born on April 2, 1954. Three years later, another daughter, Susan Alfreeda, was born on July 7, 1957. Alfreeda passed away a few days later. With help from family, he tried to do the best he could to raise his two small daughters.
He later married Johanna Covalo, and then later Mary Eastman, from whom he was divorced. He worked for the Union Pacific railroad for the majority of his life, ending as an engineer when he retired in 1985. He made a few dear and choice friends working there, most of whom have passed before him. His almost daily routine when not working was to go for coffee with those friends.
He taught himself how to play the guitar and played with friends and at bars when not working. He was very gifted on the guitar. Despite leaving school in the ninth grade, he went on to take classes and get a high school diploma at the age of 79! Education was very important to him.
He was also very proficient at crossword puzzles, coin collecting, and he loved reading history books. He loved planes and flying and was able to get his pilot’s license and buy a small plane and flew for several years.
He is preceded in death by parents, William Solomon Saxton and Kathleen Oasis Saxton; sister, Anna May Fowler; brothers, Bob, Max, and Glen Saxton; and brothers-in-law, Robert Angelo and Jim Johannsen.
Surviving family members include daughters, Aleta Jo Saxton Ellsworth (Rick) of Manila, Utah, and Susan Alfreeda Saxton Nordahl (Ted) of West Jordan, Utah; sisters, Donna V. Angelo of Evanston, Lois Johannsen of Salt Lake City, and Bonnie Humphrey, also of Salt Lake City. He had seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Graveside services and interment will be held Monday, June 25 at 11 a.m. at Evanston cemetery.
Condolences may be made at www.crandallfhevanston.com.