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1930 Devon 2024

Devon J Roper

November 24, 1930 — January 1, 2024

Oak City

Our kind and beloved father, husband, grandfather and great grandfather, Devon J. Roper passed away peacefully in his sleep early the morning of January 1, 2024.

Devon was born to Bert and Nellie Roper on November 24, 1930 during the Great Depression and was the youngest of nine children, all who (and their spouses) have preceded him in death.

Although, Devon was born in rural Utah, and grew up during the Great Depression, we never heard him say that he thought he was poor, or had limited opportunities.  Quite the opposite; our dad told us stories or the rich pioneer heritage that he enjoyed while growing up in Oak City, surrounded by many family members, relatives, and friends.  Later in life Devon developed a great interest in genealogy, he and Birdie severed for several years in the Mesa, AZ, Tempe, Family History Center.

Devon’s youth was spent in Oak City, where it seems that many children, especially boys, early on somehow pick up a nickname. The name that stuck with D. J. was “Goose”, short for Gooseberry, which is a small greenish berry that is known for being a bit sour, yet has many health benefits.   Oddly; one being “a superfood” that can balance women’s hormones. He was married for over 73 years, so possibly there was something more to that nickname.

Devon attended and graduated Delta High School, where participated and excelled in track, football, and boxing.  He must have developed a love for sports as he loved to go to and watch ASU sporting events where he was a professor for 30 years. 

At Delta High School, Devon met Birdie Terry, whom he fell in love with and married July 22, 1950.  Shortly after getting married Devon joined the Air Force, which was the means by which he was able to see other parts of the world and get an education and degree in Aeronautical Technology from
Utah State University. 

Devon said that, since he wasn’t a farmer, he knew he would have to leave Oak City and go where ever his career took him. After a few years working in the Aeronautical Technology Industry, an opportunity came available to
teach at Arizona State University, so in the very hot August of 1966 the family move was made to Tempe, AZ and they resided there 41 years. During this time DJ received his master’s degree from ASU and was also very active in the Air National Guard and rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel before retirement.

After retiring, Devon and Birdie served many years in the Mesa, AZ temple and Family History Center, something they both very much enjoyed. They were also able to travel extensively to many parts of the world together, yet still maintain the frequent trips to Utah to visit family.

Possibly the yearning to get back to Oak City was always in Devon’s heart, so when his childhood home became available in 2007, the decision was made to move back to Oak City and enjoy many years surrounded by
extended family and friends. Devon loved gardening and maintaining the house. As he aged it became more difficult for him to do these things he loved so much and he was very grateful for the many people who
stepped in to help.

DJ loved attending and watching sporting events and was a loyal fan of both ASU and Utah State. He also enjoyed traveling, wood working, making homemade root beer and popcorn.  He decided to stop making root beer after several of his bottles exploded in the house and made a terrible sicky mess.

DJ was a not an arrogant, flashy, or flamboyant man; he was a humble, self-reliant, soft spoken, hard-working family man, dedicated to his faith, family, and country, who liked to do things right, and keep his word.

DJ is survived by his wife of 73 years, Birdie, his 2 children - Michael (Marina) Roper and Michelle Blake (Eddie Goitia), 5 grandchildren – Susan (Steven) Roach, Michael and Andrew Roper, Nathan Blake (Chris Hanson), McCall (Jeff) Harris and 4 great grandchildren – Maggie, Henry, Liam and Luke. All of whom he loved dearly.

As a family we recognize that the ability for our parents to live as long as they have in their home together was only made possible because of incredible loving family, friends and neighbors. Oak City has been a
wonderful place for dad to begin and end his life, where he has been able to feel a bit of heaven on earth.

We also want to express our appreciation to those at Millard County Care and Rehab for their loving care over the past several months and to those who spent time visiting.

In Lieu of Flowers for DJ Roper

Donations are suggested for the Veterans Memorial in Oak City, Utah made to: Town of Oak City Cemetery c/o Military Memorial Fund The PO Box is 217, Oak City, Utah   84649

Funeral service will be held Saturday, January 6, 2024 at 11:00 AM in the Oak City 1st Ward Chapel.  The viewing will be from 9:30 to 10:30 AM prior to the funeral.  Interment will be at the Oak City Cemetery under the care of Olpin Stevens Funeral Home.  Online condolences can be offered at www.olpinstevensfunerahome.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Devon J Roper, please visit our flower store.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Viewing

Saturday, January 6, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

Oak City 1st & 2nd Ward Chapel

35 E Center St, Oak City, UT 84649

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Funeral Service

Saturday, January 6, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Oak City 1st & 2nd Ward Chapel

35 E Center St, Oak City, UT 84649

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Burial

Saturday, January 6, 2024

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