Cover photo for Daniel Marsing's Obituary
1932 Daniel 2023

Daniel Marsing

February 29, 1932 — July 10, 2023

Today, July 10, 2023, the family and friends of Dan Marsing are saddened by his passing. He lived for 91+ years and died peacefully after taking a turn for the worse about a week ago. He lived the last six years of his life in Green River, Utah - the little southern Utah town where he was born - with Jolene Dalton, a lifelong family friend who he married after Bonnie died in 2017. Jolene and some of his grandchildren were with him when he died. Other loved ones got to spend quality time with him recently and connected via video calls many times in the last few weeks, taking away the sting of not being there, at least a little bit. Daniel Norman Marsing, Sr. outlived most of his friends and loved ones, including his three siblings, Wanda, Leon, and Lamar. He often said, “Everyone I know is dead or dying.” In addition to his beloved wife Bonnie, he lost an infant son, Roy Glen, in 1959, another son, Bob in 1977 (he was just 21), and just a few months ago, his oldest son, Norm (67 years old). He is survived by Jolene Winters-Dalton, his son Mark (and Monica), his eight grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and several of his in-laws. Additionally, he will be fondly remembered and sorely missed by so many nieces and nephews as the loving de facto patriarch of the Marsing Clan for the past twenty-some years. Most everyone thinks their mom or dad was pretty great, and we all think Dan was pretty great too. A great brother. A great son. A great husband, father and grandfather. A great friend too. Stated simply, he was a great man, a great human. He had some faults, as we all do, but they will barely be remembered soon enough. But Dan was genuinely extraordinary. To describe him as rare, like precious metal or a gemstone is fitting (definitely a diamond in the rough). So much of his life was rare and unique and out of the ordinary, beginning with his birth…. He was born on Leap Day, February 29, 1932. We teased him that he actually only celebrated 22 “real” birthdays in his lifetime. He was Lon and Lavern’s (Tidwell) third child, born in Green River, Utah in what dad described as a “hogan” with a dirt floor. It was The Great Depression and his family was desperately poor. So many of his early memories were about survival and keeping food on the table and a roof overhead. He learned to be resourceful and by age 14 or so, was pretty much an independent “adult.” If there was a dollar to be earned through labor, craft, or ingenuity, he was doing it, including the occasional purloined loaf of bread, watermelon, or gallon of gas. By the time he was 18 he had lived and worked in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming, including a four-month cross country “migrant labor” trip to Florida and back with his two life-long buddies, Gilbert and Lee. He developed a wanderlust from an early age and he never lost it. Around that time was the Uranium Boom in the Four Corners region. His dad and some partners prospected for uranium and one of his favorite memories was spending two months “sinking a drift on a claim” in the middle of the desert 30 miles south of Hanksville near the Dirty Devil River. Today, it is still in the middle-of-nowhere and takes easily two hours in a good 4WD to reach. Back then it was so much more remote and isolated. Soon after that he worked for a couple of years at White Canyon in a uranium processing mill on the Colorado River near Hite Crossing - another location at or near the middle of nowhere. Though raised and baptized in the LDS faith, it wasn’t until White Canyon that he became active in the church and developed a testimony. Then the Korean War broke out and he was eventually drafted in 1953. He was sent to Camp Polk in central Louisiana. The closest LDS church was an hour away in Many, Louisiana (pronounced “manny”). He took a bus one Sunday morning to attend meetings. Before church he went to a matinee movie where he first laid eyes on Bonnie, who was selling tickets. A few hours later he saw her again in Church. One thing quickly led to another and less than a year later they were married. Imagine a young LDS man finding a young LDS woman - and the love of his life - so far from Utah. Luckily, he never shipped out to Korea. When his enlistment ended they moved west where he returned to work in the uranium industry in Colorado and Arizona, where Dan and Bonnie had their four boys: Norm (Dan Jr.), Bob (Robert), Roy Glen (died shortly after birth), and Mark. The family moved to Moab, Utah in 1964, where they lived until 1976. Dan and Bonnie made certain their family did not struggle the way they were raised during The Depression and WWII. Both of them ALWAYS worked at least two jobs or some side-hustle. From 1972-1975 they owned the “Egg Ranch.” Three-thousand laying hens in a huge blasted out sandstone cave that became full-time for Bonnie and 60 hours a week for Dan after his full-time job at TexasGulf Potash. In spite of all this work they took time to travel and recreate, and they passed their wanderlust onto their boys. They left Moab in 1976 and transferred with TG to Green River, Wyoming. Barely a year later Bob was killed in an airplane crash. It took a while, but they rebounded. Just when it seemed their life would start to slow down a bit, they decide to move to Lyman, Wyoming where they opened a 7-Eleven franchise store a couple of years later. Another full-time job for Bonnie and a second full-time job for Dan after his work at TG. By this time their sons were married and grandkids were arriving every year or two. In their late 50s they sold the 7-Eleven and turned their attention to their grandkids. In the spring of 1992, Dan came home from work and shocked Bonnie, “I retired today!” He was infamous for such spontaneous decisions. He did the same thing with the Egg Ranch while Bonnie and Mark were in Louisiana: “Bonnie, I sold the Egg Ranch today and bought a house in town!” He was always bringing home a new vehicle, different RV, motorcycle or ATV, or maybe a new idea to make money. She would trust him and follow him anywhere, doing anything. With Dan, everyday had the potential for “dinner with a show.” You seldom knew what the show would be, but it was always entertaining. They moved to Salt Lake City and hit the road during retirement, living out of their RVs (he went through so many) much of the time. The refrigerator magnets started to pile up: Louisiana, Alaska, California, Arizona and Mexico, and all points in between. Every time they could, they would haul along the grandkids. Those kids have so many fond memories of camping in the mountains or desert and long summer trips to Louisiana or winter breaks in Arizona. You will find their stories and memories in the “comments” section that follows. Retirement was good for Dan and Bonnie for more than 20 years, until Bonnie got sick and died in 2017. They spent 63 years together. During these retirement years we really saw the complete, unfiltered Dan. He had so many great stories and he was so funny without even knowing he was funny. He was masterful at fixing, repairing, or installing almost anything. We called it Marsing Engineering and the phrase, “He Marsinged the sh*t out of that” became ubiquitous with Dan. Yet he could never work a computer mouse or a smartphone. He also drove Bonnie (and all of us) crazy with his whimsical decisions to buy this or that, sell or buy a car, or attempt to buy some property somewhere. Dan left Salt Lake and returned to his small town roots when he married Jolene and moved to Green River. His health improved, they traveled a little bit, and he found his niche messing around in his little shop and riding around Green River in his side-by-side. The love between Dan and Jolene was obvious, but she also grew to appreciate what Bonnie had to deal with for all those years; he could be a handful! As with all stories, time is the eventual victor, and Dan’s health and time began to run out. Jolene took great care of him and family visited often, but we knew the end was near. He had a wonderful legacy to reflect on and we all felt so proud and lucky to have him in our lives for so many years. Dan, enjoy your reunion with mom and your sons! Arrangements are in care of Fausett Mortuary of Price and Castle Dale. Please share memories of Daniel online at fausettmortuary.com.
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