Terry W. Bleak, our Dad, was born in St. George, Utah, to Evelyn Terry Bleak and Willard Bleak on January 2, 1934. The Dixie Sun was the Lord’s gift to Dad since “Terry” and “cold weather” were mutually exclusive. Dad’s early years were spent riding horses, raising sheep and working for his parents.
In 1955, he met and married a Hurricane Utah woman who held his heart for 60 years, Mary Jane Sullivan Bleak. “Sixty Years of Marital Bliss and not a cross word between ‘em” … okay, maybe one or two.
After marrying, Mom and Dad moved to California for a short amount of time. Then Terry threw caution to the wind moving to the Midwest planting deep roots in South Bend, Indiana, for the next 35 years. They had three daughters, Kimberly Ann Orndorff (Chris Orndorff) Mapleton, Utah, Tammy Bleak, Cottonwood Heights, Utah, and Jamie Lynn Bentley (Jay Bentley), West Jordan, Utah.
Shortly after marrying, Dad became involved in the health spa business, to which he dedicated his professional life. He was a man of integrity and optimism. He retired in 1996.
Terry was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many capacities: Sunday School Teacher, Stake Missionary, Bishop, High Councilman, and Stake President. All those he served loved him.
If there’s anything that sums Terry up, it was that he could do anything – and do it well. At the age of 13, he was the youngest scout in Utah to earn his Eagle. He didn’t just ride horses; he rode the horses nobody else could ride. He was a self-taught carpenter who could build anything and it was in this area that Terry enjoyed spending a great deal of his time. Dad was an exceptional pilot of small planes, smart businessman, and a wonderful provider, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was fiercely proud and protective of his family.
Mom and Dad finally moved back to Toquerville, Utah, in 2002 to stay warm, while Dad built their current home in Silver Reef (Leeds). Dad spent his last years building a beautiful home where his beloved desert was his back yard, and Pine Valley and the southern Utah red rock were the views out his windows.
We are comforted because we know he’s finally warm without his Carhartts, he’s riding ol’ Skid (and Danni – thanks for shaping her up Dad), hugging Bill and Evelyn, and watching over his sweetheart Mary Jane and the rest of us We love and miss you more than we can say Dad.
He is preceded in death by his parents Bill and Evelyn Bleak.
Terry is survived by his wife Mary Jane, his sister Billie Frei, seven grandchildren, Connor and Jason (Erika) Orndorff, Bailee, Blade and Keaton Bentley, Mariah and Jordan Fielding, six beautiful great-grandchildren, a niece and nephews.
Our love and thanks to Dixie Home Rehab and Hospice, who respectfully and tenderly cared for Terry. A special thanks to Kathy Swenson, Leana Engle and the Leeds 2nd Ward for their support at a most difficult time.
- Funeral services will be on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Leeds Chapel, 75 North Main, Leeds.
- A viewing will be held on Saturday, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. prior to services at the chapel, and on Friday, Feb. 20 from 5-7 p.m. at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George.
Friends and family are invited to sign Terry’s guest book at the Spilsbury Mortuary website.