James Grey Larkin

LarkinJamesGrey 001 (October 20, 1937 – March 18, 2015)

Grey Larkin passed away March 18, 2015, while doing one of the things he loved most, driving the back roads of Utah.  Grey was born in St. George, Utah, October 20, 1937, to Herman and Montrue Larkin.  Grey met his future wife Marlene Wright at church on Christmas day, 1955.

Grey said he knew the minute he saw Marlene that she was the girl he wanted to marry.  It took him a year and a half to convince her.  They were married on June 28, 1957, in the St. George 5th ward chapel.  Their marriage was later solemnized in the St. George Temple on December 10, 1963.

Grey’s capacity to serve others was one of his defining characteristics, from his family to his community, in business, church, and society at large.  He would be the first to say that his family came first.  As the father of five children, Grey has been a hands-on family man both with his own children and with his grandchildren.  His wife Marlene, who passed December 9, 2014, has truly been his “other half”.  In life they spent very little time apart.  For Grey to follow her so closely in death is only fitting.

Grey has always been a contributing member of the community of St. George.  As co-owner of L&L Mechanical, he was known for his work ethic and honesty.  He served on the St. George City council and later as Mayor of St. George.  As the mayor, he also mentored many that followed him in community service.

He has also been heavily involved in the banking community, UDOT Commission, and as Development Chairman of the Thunder Ridge Boy Scout Camp near Brian Head.  Grey loved the Southern Utah Mountains and was truly happy at the family cabin on his beloved Kolob Mountain.

Grey and Marlene’s service to the Church covered many years.  It is said that he always wanted to be the 2nd Counselor in the Stake Sunday School, but nobody was listening.  Their service together began early in their married life with Church Building/Service Missions first in Tuba City, Arizona, followed by Minnesota and finally the British Isles for a period of three years where Grey was in charge of all heating and cooling systems in the British Isles church facilities.

Other assignments and callings included serving as Bishop, Stake President, Area Authority Seventy, and Mission President with Marlene in the Lubbock Texas Mission.  Grey said this time in the mission field was the highlight of his and Marlene’s lives.  Upon their return home, he was called to serve in the St. George Temple Presidency as well as Director of the St. George Family History Center.

Those that worked and served with him knew him as a kind and compassionate leader that always had time to listen and get to know everyone.  He continued to serve as a sealer in the temple each week and loved his time there.

His list of goods deeds is long and varied and he has touched the lives of so many in different areas.  It is hard to imagine how he found the time and energy to accomplish so much.  He did many things in a silent and even anonymous manner.  He lived a life of perpetual service without seeking any recognition or reward.  He is truly a living example of “Christ-like” service and a modern day pioneer.  His presence will be sorely missed.

Grey was preceded in death by the love of his life, Marlene Wright Larkin.  Survived by children Laurette L. Johnston (Monte-deceased), Darrin W. (Dannielle), Dennis G. (Rachel), Teri L. Dickert, Brandon J. (Shellie); 16 grandchildren; siblings Royden (deceased), Barbara L. Shakespeare (Stan), Dale (Dixie), Derrill (Lana), Katherine L. Neilson (deceased) (Ralph), Lynn (deceased).  Also preceded in death by his parents, Herman J. Larkin, and dear mother Montrue Grey.

Funeral Services

  • Funeral services will be held Monday, March 23, at 11 a.m. at the Morningside LDS Stake Center, 879 S. River Rd., St. George.
  • Visitations will be held Sunday, March 22, from 6-9 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Blvd, St. George, and Monday from 9-10:30 a.m. prior to services at the Stake Center.
  • Interment will be at the St. George City Cemetery.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221. Please visit the Metcalf Mortuary website for condolences, complete obituary and funeral listings.

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