Robert “John” Reber

April 21, 1936 – Jan. 26, 2019

Robert “John” Reber was born to Robert Mervin and Mary Wadsworth Reber in St. George, Utah, on April 21, 1936, in the McGregor Hospital. He passed on Jan. 26, 2019, from a heart that became just too tired to give him another beat. He was married for many years to Jonette Seare Reber whom he dearly loved.

John lived his entire life in St George, the city he adored and watched grow and helped develop from a very small town to the current thriving community it is today. He joined his father at Reber Investment Insurance and Finance when he was 19 and continued the legacy for the next 60 years.

After the office was closed a year ago, he still enjoyed his daily drive through City Center, checking on the bowlers, getting his meds at Stapley Pharmacy and taking his little sack of trash to the dumpster. Even on the weekends, he still needed to make his run to check the mail and occasionally delight in a bowling alley burger.

Dixie Theater, Gaiety Theater and the Starlight Drive-in were also a huge part of his early life. He was proud to call himself a St. George Lion, an Elks Lodge member and a volunteer fireman for many years. He had also been an officer in the Utah National Guard.

His greatest love in his life was his family. When the kids were young, they enjoyed ski trips, riding horses at the 700 South corral, and lake trips in the flashy Baker jet boats that he helped to design and build. How proud he was to go speeding down Lake Mead and Lake Powell. There were many weekends spent at his parent’s cabin in Pine Valley. It was a Reber tradition to share the garden harvest grown there.

He was an avid supporter of his grandchildren’s sports. He loved a weekend when Degan had a motocross race or Bear had a barrel race. He also looked forward to driving to Pine Valley to visit David at his home talking about the “good old days,” and leisure time spent on Teri’s porch with her family catching up on the news of the week.

He was known for his warm, engaging personality and vibrant smile. He was always spreading love with his “Howdy’s!” or “Hello young lady or young man!” He generated so much love, light and true joy through his daily path, leaving people feeling like a thousand bucks.

He is survived by his wife Jonette; three children: Teri Vernlund, David Reber, and Michon (Judd) Palmer; four grandchildren: Tyler Vernlund and Shane (Mischa) Vernlund, and Dakotah (Sam) Salisbury and Degan Palmer; two great-grandchildren: Kayden and Hazel; and sister MaryAnn Horlacher. He was preceded in death by his parents Merv and Mary; daughter Robin; son Curtis; sister Lovina; and brother-in-law Chuck.

Funeral services

  • Funeral services will be held Friday, Feb. 1, at the Spilsbury Mortuary with the viewing from 9-11:30 a.m. and services following at noon.
  • Interment will take place at the St. George City Cemetery with full military honors.

We would like to acknowledge Dr. Brad Thompson and John’s other physicians and caregivers who all treated him with tender loving care.  

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be given to the Wounded Warrior Foundation or Intermountain Healthcare Foundation.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Spilsbury Mortuary, 435-673-2454.

For condolences, full obituary and funeral listings please visit Spilsbury Mortuary online.

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