Keith Dahlmayne Dalton, 88, passed away August 12, 2021 in Elk Ridge, Utah. He was born October 7, 1932, in the family home in Circleville, Utah. At an early age Keith learned to work hard on the farm, cultivating potatoes, milking cows, cleaning eggs, baling and hauling hay, irrigating crops, and performing the mechanical repairs that came with owning and operating farm equipment. He loved the outdoors, mountains, and hunting.
Keith received an associate degree from Southern Utah State College in Cedar City. Although he attended BYU for a quarter, he eventually graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Marketing.
The one experience in his youth that shaped and defined him the most was serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Northwestern States Mission. He loved serving the Lord and helping people discover the light of the gospel. He had the opportunity to serve as the 2nd counselor in the mission presidency under President James A. McMurrin. His future wife, Mardene Godfrey, was among the missionaries who served in the mission. Keith and Mardene’s children were raised on stories and lessons from their parent’s missionary experiences.
Following marriage and graduation from college, Keith was drafted into military service and after basic training found himself serving as a private clerk and chauffeur in the chaplain section at Fort Benning, Georgia. There he continued championing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with missionary zeal. A warrant officer recently transferred to the chaplain section from the military police once told him he needed to stop debating religion with the ranking officer, a colonel, because it didn’t show proper respect for military rank. Ultimately, Keith was loved and admired by all he worked with there.
After military service Keith returned with his young family to his hometown, where he helped run the general store, Kenz, for a short time while transitioning into farming. When fully settled with a young family, he and his wife built a home next door to his parents. For most of his life he would sleep within 100 yards of where he was born. Circleville was his home, and he never wanted to be anywhere else.
Keith was a young bishop. First Timothy 3:1—7 describes the ideal bishop. Keith fit the description. Well, perhaps he was not fully patient on all occasions. In every activity he has been associated with, he expected people, including himself, to make things happen. Many of those who were youth while Keith was bishop would later express gratitude for the knowledge and appreciation for the gospel that he helped them gain. Keith later served on the high council and in the stake presidency of the Panguitch Stake. Eventually, he and Mardene served another mission at the Atlanta Georgia Temple.
Family togetherness and bonding was important. Most summers the family would become better acquainted with the western United States and each other by cramming into a camper and taking extended trips.
Keith and Mardene always emphasized the importance of education to their children, and they worked and sacrificed to give each of them post—high school opportunities for education.
In his twilight years Keith endured a long progressive degeneration of his mobility and manual dexterity. Losing his wife and beloved companion after more than 64 years of marriage was especially difficult. He has now received a well-deserved rest.
Keith is survived by his children: Julie (Michael) Willis, Lisa (Alan) Millet, Kendall (Robin) Dalton, Tonya (Donald) Brugger, Kris (Brent) Hale, Dahl (Melanie) Dalton, Wade (Cindy) Dalton; 35 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren soon to be 44; brother, Gary Dalton; and sisters: Sharon Whittaker Heiser and Marcea Nielsen. He is preceded in death by his wife Mardene Godfrey Dalton; parents, Charles Delbert and Ella Rhea Savage Dalton; brother, Charles Nordel Dalton; sister, Mona Reese Fullmer; infant son David; grandson, Jonathan Hale; and great-grandchildren: Austin and Daniel Zollinger, Jordan and Shelly Bohman, and Brody and Caitlin Gifford.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at 12:00 Noon in the Circleville 1st Ward Chapel where friends may call from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Burial will be in the Circleville Cemetery with military honors by the Sevier Valley American Legion Post #37 and Utah Honor Guard. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com