Obituary: A. Thomas Challis

Published: Friday, July 27 2001 4:48 p.m. MDT

Arthur Thomas Challis, age 76, passed away at 10:53 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25, 2001 at home where he longed to be.

He was born February 20, 1925 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Arthur Daniel and Winifred Jane Wood Challis. He attended South High School in Salt Lake City and upon graduation, was called into the service of his country, serving in the Air Force in the Pacific, completing over 50 missions and received the Air Medal. Upon returning from his service in World War II, he married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Mitchell in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They had five children.

Tom received his BA in Journalism and his MA in Library Science from the University of Utah His school teaching took him to Nephi, Utah, Bountiful, Utah and then to Cedar City where he was Director of the Library for Southern Utah University and spent time there for 42 years. He was also appointed as University Historian (then CSU) by President Braithwaite in 1960. He directed the plans for the library which was constructed in 1969. He was President of the Utah Library Association and served for 12 years as a member of the Utah State Library Board.

Tom was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has served all of his life in various callings, including MIA (Young Men), Sunday School Superintendent, Elders Quorum president, High Priest Leader, and three High Councils. Scouting was also his love of service and he served in that capacity for 20 years receiving the Extra Miler Award, Order of the Arrow, and the Silver Beaver Award.

He was on the first board of the Southern Utah Historical Society, the Iron Mission State Park, and served both for many years. He helped organize the Southern Utah Poetry Society, winning awards for his poetry. He organized the Cedar City Birthday celebration and had the joy of directing the program for 23 years. Additionally, he was a cast member in the Utah Shakespearean Festival for the first three years. He loved history and loved to collect information about Southern Utah.

Tom is survived by his wife, Ruth, of Cedar City, and his children: Arthur T. Challis (Vicki), Cedar City; Paul M. Challis (Toni), Bountiful, Utah; Joy Challis of St. George; John K. Challis(Julie), Afton, Wyoming; Lee M. Challis of Salt Lake City; Brothers, James Wood Challis (Ruth), Dr. Donald W. Challis (Verna), Genevieve Millgate, all of Salt Lake City, Utah; 17 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Tom was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Lindon Millgate.

Funeral services will be held in the Cedar City 7th Ward chapel (256 South 900 West) on Saturday July 28, 2001 at 12 noon. Friends may call 6-8 p.m. Friday July 27, 2001 and Saturday morning from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. at Southern Utah Mortuary. Interment in the Cedar City Cemetery.

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