Obituary: KEZERIAN, NEPHI

Published: Thursday, July 31 2014 8:55 a.m. MDT

Nephi Khachig Kezerian 9/3/1916 ~ 2/1/2011

Nephi K. Kezerian passed away Tuesday at age 94 due to complications of heart disease. He was the second of eight children born to Armenag and Arick Kezerian in Murray, Utah. He attended schools in Utah obtaining his bachelor and masters degrees, then attended Johns Hopkins to earn his M.D. with a specialty in orthopedics. During World War II he was a chief orthopedic surgeon in the U.S. army and met Lt. Helen Gelder, an R.N. also serving in the army. They married in 1947 and raised six children. Helen passed away in 1986. In 1950, Nephi became the first orthopedist to establish a practice in Utah Valley. He was known as "The Polio Doc" because of his innovations for braces and healing treatments. He and his wife served as U.N. ambassadors to India to train them in polio care. Nephi was also actively engaged in serving the public as a speaker and representative for social causes. He was active in the LDS church and served in many capacities, especially enjoying his time in a BYU stake presidency. Nephi married LaPreal Jones, a mother of two, in 1987 and together they traveled to the Middle East to negotiate with political leaders in order to collect genealogical records. Together they authored an instructional manual on how to do Armenian genealogy work. LaPreal died in 2003. Nephi will be lovingly remembered by his family for his determination to serve the Lord through diligent study and self sacrifice. He had an amazing knack for fixing things and invented all kinds of useful little gadgets. He was an adamant nutritionist and developed a vitamin product. He enjoyed gardening, fishing and vanilla ice cream. He was preceded in death by his wives, parents, siblings Paul, Norman and Lydia, sons Paul, Rory and John, and grandson Michael. He is survived by siblings Rachel, David, Joyce, and Reed; children Deborah (John) Baird, Becky (Ken) Pehrson, Kevin (Dianna), Anita (Ted) Rants, Kristen (Phil) Merrell; Jeremy Simmons; 21 grandchildren and 22 great-grand-children. A viewing will be held Monday evening from 6:30-8:30, Feb. 7, at the Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary (495 S State, Orem). Funeral services will be held in Provo at the Pleasant View 1st chapel, 650 East Stadium Ave, on Tuesday at 11:00 with a viewing for one hour prior. Interment will be at East Lawn Memorial Hills cemetery in Provo. Condolences may sent to the family at www.sundbergolpinmortuary.com