Former St. George mayor dies in car accident

Former St. George Mayor Grey Larkin died in a car accident in Beaver County, Utah | Background image by Nick Christensen; foreground image courtesy of Brian Tenney, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Former St. George Mayor Grey Larkin, 77, was killed in a car accident on state Route 130 near Minersville Wednesday.

At about 1:25 p.m., Larkin was traveling northbound in a Lincoln Town Car, according to information from the Utah Highway Patrol, when his vehicle drifted to the right of the road for an unknown reason and struck a traffic delineator.

Former St. George Mayor James Grey Larkin, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Brian Tenney, St. George News
Former St. George Mayor James Grey Larkin, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Brian Tenney, St. George News

“The driver (Larkin) over corrected back to the left and slid out of control across the southbound lane and off the west side,” a press release from UHP said. “The vehicle continued sliding through sage brush and rock and then rolled coming to rest on its top on a large rock.”

Larkin died “doing one of the things he loved most, driving the back roads of Utah,” his obituary, released Thursday, said.

St. George Mayor Jon Pike and members of the St. George City Council paid their respects to Larkin at Thursday night’s St. George City Council meeting.

“This is tough,” Pike said. “Tough for us as a community and tough for his family.”

“He will be missed,” Councilwoman Michele Randall said.

St. George City Manager Gary Esplin, who was originally hired for his position when Larkin was serving on the St. George City Council, kept his head down as Larkin’s death was discussed at the meeting. (See ed. note) When Pike asked if he’d like to comment about Larkin’s passing, Esplin quietly declined.

Larkin, the father of five children, was preceded in death by his wife, Marlene Wright Larkin, who died in December 2014.

“In life they spent very little time apart. For Grey to follow her so closely in death is only fitting,” Larkin’s obituary said.

An active businessman in the St. George community, Larkin served on the St. George City Council before becoming mayor of St. George. He was actively involved in the banking community and the Utah Department of Transportation Commission.

Larkin was additionally an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, along with his wife, served various missions for the church. Later in life, he served as an Area Authority Seventy for the church and also served in the St. George Temple presidency and as director of the St. George Family History Center.

Funeral services for Larkin will take place Monday at 11 a.m. at the Morningside LDS Stake Center, 879 S. River Road in St. George. A viewing will take place Sunday from 6-9 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Blvd. in St. George, and again Monday prior to the funeral services from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Morningside Stake Center. Interment will take place at the St. George City Cemetery.

St. George News Senior Reporter Mori Kessler contributed to this report.

Ed. note: Clarification made regarding the time period.

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