Oct. 6, 1917 – April 8, 2013
Daniel Gordon Despain died on April 8, 2013. He was born Oct. 6, 1917, in Lovell. He was the 11th of 12 children of Julia Thomas and Robert Henry Despain. As a youth he worked hard on the family farm working in the sugar beet fields. He and his father ran a nursery and provided trees for the park, cemetery and many other areas around Lovell.
After graduating from Lovell High School he attended Brigham Young University and the University of Wyoming where he met Lillian Gardner from Star Valley. They were married on Jan. 3, 1940, in the Salt Lake Temple. They settled on the farm near Lovell and raised five children: Don, Carvel, Varian, Ronna and Paula.
Gordon worked at various jobs and spent most of his career working for the Soil Conservation Service. He loved working with young people and with the Scouting program. He helped many young men meet their Scouting goals. He was awarded a Silver Beaver medal for his work with the Scouts. He was also active in the 4-H program and spent 45 years as a leader, teaching, chaperoning and supervising his own children and many others.
He was very community minded. He saw the need for a golf course in the area so he donated a portion of his farm and began designing and building a golf course. With the help of friends and hard work the nine-hole Foster Gulch Golf Course was completed. Gordon enjoyed picking up lost golf balls. Thanks to all the golfers who helped Gordon when stalled and rescued him.
Gordon was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and Lillian spent many winters working in the Mesa, Ariz., Temple and enjoying the southern sunshine.
He enjoyed nature. He went hunting with friends and family and enjoyed fishing in Devil’s Canyon and other nearby streams. He was also an avid gardener and very generously shared his vegetables with others. Many a golfer enjoyed produce from Gordon’s garden.
Gordon is survived by his brother David Wayne Despain of Salt Lake City, his children Don Gardner Despain (Almira) of Bozeman, currently of the Freiberg German Temple Mission, Carvel Gardner Despain (Patty) of Lovell, Varian (Curtis) Talbot of Worland, Ronna (Chuck) Shugart of Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan, Canada and Paula (Royce) Hoopes of Star Valley, 30 grandchildren and 99 great-grandchildren.
To send one of our special floral arrangements, please call Valley Flowers & Gifts in Lovell, 307-548-7101