St. George, UT- Bruce De Young, age 70, returned to his Heavenly Father peacefully on May 9, 2019 with family by his side while he held the hand of his sweetheart. After years of pain and suffering due to exposure to Agent Orange, he is finally at rest. He was born in Evanston, WY on February 3, 1949 to Carl and Aloha Welker De Young. He married the love of his life Jacquie (Smith) on March 15, 1969, and they were sealed on December 13, 1969 in the Oakland LDS Temple.
Bruce grew up in Ogden, Utah with his three sisters. He was full of life, energy, and excitement and as a child could often be found in the top of a tree. He was always a hard worker and got his first job at 10 years old in a grocery store. He later graduated from Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, CA. Just days after his graduation, in 1967, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and left home to serve his country.
During the 13 months he spent in Vietnam as part of the 3rd Recon Division, he had many near-death experiences that would shape the rest of his life. He earned a Bronze Star as part of his service there and was also exposed to Agent Orange which would claim his life 50 years later. In total, Bruce spent 12 years as a Marine, and left with the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. He served 13 additional years as a Green Beret in the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He retired from the Army as a Master Sergeant. He was deployed many times in the service of his country. His family is proud of his sacrifice and dedication. Bruce is a true hero in their eyes.
A week after he returned from Vietnam, he married his high school sweetheart, Jacquie. Together, they raised 4 children. He was a good and kind husband and father. Always willing to share a story, he will be remembered by many for his tales of adventure, bravery, and humorous antics. He was a mountain man, runner, golfer, hunter, fisherman, scuba diver, skier, and rock climber. He used any excuse he could to spend time in the great outdoors and passed the love of nature onto his children and grandchildren. He was an example of persistence and dedication to whatever adventure, hobby, or cause caught his interest, truly living life to the fullest.
After 25 years of military service, it only seemed natural for him to start a detective agency. Nine years later, at the age of 53, he devoted himself to a new passion and graduated from BYU with a BS in Elementary Education. As a teacher, he was passionate about mentoring his students and in particular loved teaching science. He enjoyed his years teaching at Bloomington Hills Elementary, Desert Hills Middle School, and Sunrise Ridge Intermediate.
Bruce had a deep testimony of Jesus Christ and was a strong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In addition to many callings which included Stake Mission President, he spent time in service as a Bishop and Branch President. As a true follower of Christ, he was always willing to lend a hand, serve where needed, and help anyone in need.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Jacquie; his children Rick, Mindy (Mark) Silvia, Shelley (Ryan) Cottam and John (Alicia); 10 adoring grandchildren; and 3 sisters, Jan Skuppin, Sandra Johannessen, and Debbie Stickley. He is preceded in death by his loving parents, 3 brothers-in-law, and many beloved brothers in arms.
Funeral services will be held Friday, May 17, 2019 at 11 am in the Westridge Chapel, 415 Westridge Dr., St. George, Utah, with a viewing from 9:30-10:30 am. A viewing will also be held at Spilsbury Mortuary on Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 6-8 pm. Interment will take place in Tonaquint Cemetery, St. George, UT.
The family would like to extend special thanks and gratitude to the nurses and staff at the Southern Utah Veterans Home and CNS Hospice. You loved our Dad, and it means the world to us!
Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George, Utah, (435)673-2454. Friends and family are invited to sign Bruce’s online guest book at www.spilsburymortuary.com.