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Tom Smart, Deseret News
Dan Eastman

BOUNTIFUL — The office of the Utah State Senate confirmed Wednesday that former Sen. Dan Eastman, R-Bountiful, died Tuesday evening from heart failure. He was 64 years old.

Eastman won election to the Utah State Senate in 2000 and served two consecutive terms. From 2004 to 2008, he was the Senate Majority Whip.

"Anyone who knew Dan will always remember that smile and the twinkle in his eye as he rolled with laughter," former Utah Senate president John Valentine, R-Orem, said. "He will be especially missed as a dear friend and a friend of the state of Utah."

Prior to his time in the state Senate, Eastman served as president of a number of organizations, including the Davis District School Board, the Utah Auto Dealers Association and the Utah Transportation Commission.

"Dan loved public service, but not the politics," Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, said. "He loved solving problems and making things work, and he inspired all of us to be better, smarter legislators."

Eastman, who spent six years in the National Guard as a young man, founded the Dan Eastman Chrysler/Plymouth/Jeep/Suzuki dealership in Bountiful and later sold it to developers.

"I don't know of a nicer, better man," said Craig Bickmore, executive director of New Car Dealers of Utah. "I talked to him three weeks or a month ago. Everybody who knew him is saddened. He touched so many lives, and so many people knew him."

When Eastmamn was 22 years old, the Bunkerville Town Council, in Clark County, Nev., elected him as its chairman of the board.

He is survived by his wife, Claudette Crawford Eastman, and their five children.

Eastman's funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m., on Monday, at the LDS Bountiful Utah Central Stake Center, 640 S. 750 East.

Contributing: Rebecca Palmer. E-mail: jaskar@desnews.com