Robert “John” Reber was born to Robert Mervin and Mary Wadsworth Reber in St. George, Utah on April 21, 1936 in the McGregor Hospital. He passed on January 26, 2019 from a heart that became just too tired to give him another beat. He was married to Jonette Seare Reber for many years whom he dearly loved.
John lived his entire life in St George, the city he adored and watched grow and helped develop from a very small town to the current thriving community it is today. He joined his father at Reber Investment Insurance and Finance when he was 19 and continued the legacy for the next 60 years. After the office was closed a year ago, he still enjoyed his daily drive through City Center, checking on the bowlers, getting his meds at Stapley Pharmacy and taking his little sack of trash to the dumpster. Even on the weekends, he still needed to make his run to check the mail and occasionally delight in a bowling alley burger. Dixie Theater, Gaiety Theater and the Starlight Drive-in were also a huge part of his early life. He was proud to call himself a St. George Lion, an Elks Lodge member and a Volunteer Fireman for many years. He had also been an officer in the Utah National Guard.
His greatest love in his life was his family. When the kids were young, they enjoyed ski trips, riding horses at the 700 South corral, and lake trips in the flashy Baker jet boats that he helped to design and build. How proud he was to go speeding down Lake Mead and Lake Powell. There were many weekends spent at his parent’s cabin in Pine Valley. It was a Reber tradition to share the garden harvest grown there.
He was an avid supporter of his grandchildren’s sports. He loved a weekend when Degan had a motocross race or Bear had a barrel race. He also looked forward to driving to Pine Valley to visit David at his home talking about the “Good Old Days”, and leisure time spent on Teri’s porch with her family catching up on the news of the week.
He was known for his warm, engaging personality and vibrant smile. He was always spreading love with his “Howdy’s!” or “Hello young lady or young man!”. He generated so much love, light and true joy through his daily path, leaving people feeling like a thousand bucks.
He is survived by his wife, Jonette; 3 children, Teri Vernlund, David Reber, and Michon (Judd) Palmer; 4 Grandchildren, Tyler Vernlund and Shane (Mischa) Vernlund, and Dakotah (Sam) Salisbury and Degan Palmer; 2 Great-Grandchildren, Kayden & Hazel; and sister, MaryAnn Horlacher. He was preceded in death by his parents, Merv and Mary; daughter, Robin; son, Curtis; sister, Lovina; and brother-in-law, Chuck.
Funeral services will be held Friday, February 1st at the Spilsbury Mortuary with the viewing from 9-11:30 AM with services following at Noon. Interment will take place at the St. George City Cemetery with full military honors. Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff, St. George, UT.
We would like to acknowledge Dr. Brad Thompson and John’s other physicians and caregivers who all treated him with tender loving care.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be given to the Wounded Warrior Foundation or Intermountain Healthcare Foundation.
Friends and family are invited to sign John’s online guest book at www.spilsburymortuary.com