Our dear father Keith Averett, age 90, passed away peacefully June 26 at his home surrounded by his family. Dad was born to Charles W. and Nellene Turner Averett March 19, 1928 at the Historical Relief Society Hall in Washington, Utah. He was their youngest child and followed his sister Norma A. Scow and Alpine C. .Averett. Dad was raised and attended schools mostly in Washington and St. George but lived in Cedar City during the summers where his father worked on the roads up Cedar Canyon and Orderville. They spent a couple of long cold winters in Central Idaho building roads around Swan Valley, the Galena Summit and Stanley Basin.
They were a close-knit family and had many adventures along the way as well as making lifelong friends.
Although he was too young at the time, he found a way to join the U.S. Navy and served toward the end of WWII in the Hawaiian Islands as a supply sergeant, cook, handyman and barber. He finished high school there and has a diploma from Honolulu High and one from Dixie High.
Upon his return from the service he met and married Elaine Hirschi Oct. 4, 1945 in the St. George Temple. They were married 64 years. Our sweet mother passed away in November of 2012, which left a huge void in his life.
Dad and Mom have 6 children: Penny Kaye (Roger Stratton) Orem, Utah, Alan Keith (Kathy Cox) St. George, Utah, Annette (John Murray) Cedar City, Utah, Charmaine (deceased) (Rick Excel) (Wendy), Washington, Utah, Kevin Charles, Washington, Utah, and Ashley Hirschi (Michelle Stucki) LaVerkin, Utah, 12, grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.
Dad and Mom moved to Cedar City in 1949 to work at Bradshaw Auto Parts and Southwest Distributing; he also worked at the VFW Club, Cox Motors and with the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, he was a member of the JC’s, Hey Cedar Square Dance Club and served in the Lions Club for 53 years.
In 1953, Dad and his partner Bud Chamberlain started Cedar Glass. Over the years they added Dixie Glass, Kanab Glass, Page Glass and had smaller stores in Beaver, Richfield, Panquitch and Panaca, Nev.
Dad traveled the roads as the major salesman for the company and worked the area from Southeastern Nevada to Page, Ariz. They supplied almost all of the materials for the Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Ariz. He also supplied materials for churches, schools, homes and businesses throughout the Tri-State area. Dad’s stores would sell anything from pianos to vacuums, paint, hardware, appliances, carpet, electronics and more. Dad’s first love was the Auto Parts business, and he opened ABC Auto Parts in Cedar City, Hurricane, St. George and Beaver. His sons managed them. Dad also had a love for car–his 1931 Model A Ford and his 1958 Edsel. He entered them in the Hurricane Easter Car Show every year and brought home several trophies.
In the spring of 1973 Dad purchased a building in Springdale, Utah and had it remodeled into a grocery and curio store named the Big Chief Trading Post, along with the Canyon Ranch Motel. Mom and Charmaine managed the store, and the boys worked there in the summers. Dad’s cousin Jimmy Reber came up from Las Vegas to paint the side of the building with a Big Chief; it was a beautiful work of art, enjoyed by millions of tourists traveling to Zion National Park.
Other businesses he owned were the Frostop in Cedar City, Heritage Valley Laundromat in Hurricane, and Mr. Auto Glass in St George. He employed hundreds of people over the 40 plus years he was in business.
Dad and Mom were able to see many things around the world. They enjoyed traveling across the U.S., into Canada and to islands and countries abroad. Our family enjoyed the beauty of Navajo Lake, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the mountains of Iron, Kane and Washington Counties. There were several trips to California and Wyoming. The trips with SUU’s Quarterback Club organized by Keith Workman to Southern California were grand adventures for Dad, his sons and grandsons.
Dad never met a stranger. He would engage everyone he met in conversation making fast friends he enjoyed finding out if they might be related or what they had in common.
He truly loved all of his children and would do anything to help them succeed. He was our rock, we are grateful we were able to serve him the last few years. We will miss him more than words can express.
Dad is preceded in death by his loving wife Elaine, his parents, brother Alpine, sister Norma, daughter Charmaine and grandson Travis Excell.
Friends called Friday evening, June 1, between 6-8 p.m., and Saturday, June 2 between 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Funeral was at 1 p.m. at the Washington City Main Street Chapel. Interment took place in the Washington City Cemetery.
The family wishes to express our gratitude to the staff at Red Cliffs Health and Rehab, Dixie Home Health and Hospice along with Kristal Dutson, Lilly Jessop and Lori Bistline for the compassionate care they provided for Dad which made it possible for him to remain at home until his passing.
Family and friends are invited to sign his online guestbook at www.spilsburymortuary.com