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1938 Dallan 2023

Dallan J Jessen

December 21, 1938 — July 14, 2023

New Harmony

Dallan J Jessen was born December 21, 1938 in Glenwood, Utah. He was the second child born to Ellis and Melba Jessen. Dallan has five sisters, Jean, Mary, Myrle, Gae, and Tina. He was a good brother to them and they have close relationships.  

With an idyllic childhood, Dallan grew up hunting and fishing in nearby streams, including one that ran through the middle of Glenwood that came from the fish hatchery. The family loved being outdoors hunting, going to Fish Lake, and picnicking with extended family. Dallan’s parents and sisters raised hundreds of chickens and sold eggs as a co-op with other families throughout the state. This co-op later became IFA. 

As a child, Dallan lost the sight in his right eye due to an accident with a sling shot. Still, later in life he could out-shoot others and was a crack shot, even being able to hit a running deer. Dallan had a good relationship with his parents, especially his dad. They loved teasing each other and would scour the house trying to find each other’s hidden stash of candy. When his dad had a construction accident, Dallan put college on hold so he could help support and care for his mother and sisters.

After graduating from Richfield High School, Dallan went to college for his building construction degree in Cedar City, Utah, attending what was then known as CSU. He decided to complete an associate’s degree simultaneously.

Dallan served a Spanish-American mission which covered all of Texas and part of two other states for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1959-1962.  He worked hard and grew to love the Spanish people. While district president, he got in a serious car accident. His father flew to be with him.  A top brain surgeon, who happened to be in the area at a conference, performed an intricate brain surgery. Dallan recovered and continued his missionary service.

After a “chance encounter,” Dallan gave Darrow Hall a ride to college in Cedar City and soon they started dating. Darrow’s mother, Wazel, liked Dallan. She said that he was “one of the nicest guys she had met.” One day, Darrow had a strong impression that Dallan would make a good husband and the couple began to date seriously, and later became engaged. When Dallan first introduced Darrow to his parents, it was June 1st, the first day of fishing season. They fished all day and Darrow should have learned how much Dallan loved to fish. Darrow said, “I knew Dallan liked to fish, I just didn’t know how much he loved it!” “Just one more cast” became one of Dallan’s trademark sayings.

Dallan and Darrow were sealed for time and all eternity in the St. George Temple on March 20, 1964. The newlyweds lived in Kanarraville while Dallan worked construction for Darrow’s father on a I-15 freeway overpass. Darrow learned she didn’t need to have a nice meal cooked each night; instead, she would pack a sandwich so they could zip up to Kolob Reservoir in their Volkswagen bug in order to be there just as the fish were biting at dusk.  

The couple then moved to Henderson, Nevada to earn money so Dallan could finish his teaching degree. He got hired as a 5th grade teacher at Maeser Elementary in Vernal, Utah. After two years, Dallan was asked to be the new teaching principal in Dutch John near Flaming Gorge Reservoir. While there, he served as Branch President. In the summer, he worked for the Forest Service and as a river guide on the Green River. He had his Granddaddy Boatman Permit which would allow him to guide on any river in the state of Utah. Darrow wondered if this occupation was really employment or enjoyment.

Darlene was the first child born to Dallan and Darrow. She came with her sparkling personality in November of 1965. Two more toe-headed children were born soon after – DeeAnn in 1967 and then a boy, David, in 1969. Each child added joy to the growing family. Another girl, Dana was born in 1971. After six years teaching in Dutch John, Dallan was offered the job as principal of Manila Elementary and so the family moved. Dallan built their first home and the family grew. By then, the pattern of “D” names was clearly established. Donald arrived in 1974, and finally, Daniel in 1978 to round out the “D Jessen” family. While Darrow handled responsibilities at home, taking care of the children and animals (including milking Goldie the cow morning and night), Dallan worked on his master’s degree in administration in the summer months at BYU in Provo.

Living in the High Uintah’s was paradise for Dallan. He loved adventuring in the mountains, but didn’t do it alone. He often took his children with him, whether hunting, fishing or floating the Green River. Feeling the wind rush past while riding on the back of the yellow Honda Trail 90 was one of the highlights of his children’s memories.

Dallan made everything fun. He had a special gift for working with the youth. He served as scout master in several wards and loved going on outings with youth groups. He was a good principal and beloved teacher. In the winter, Dallan would flood the nearby baseball field so the students could ice skate during lunch hour. Dallan had the opportunity of teaching Darlene and DeeAnn fifth-grade. They loved having him as a teacher but remember being a little conflicted as they didn't quite know how to address him in the classroom ("Teacher," "Dad," or "Mr. Jessen"). Many of his former students would call him “Mr. J” and said that he was their favorite teacher. 

After working for 14 years in Uintah and Daggett County School Districts, Dallan and Darrow felt it was time to move the family from Manila to New Harmony, Utah in 1979. They left behind many good friends they had made in the “land of the frozen chosen.” After arriving in Southern Utah, Dallan worked construction for his father-in-law, Keith Hall. These jobs often took him away from home. Dallan and Darrow didn’t like him being away from the family all week, so taking a huge cut in pay, Dallan decided to get back into teaching. Darrow, with frugal budgeting relied on “tithing blessings” to make the pennies stretch. They taught their children the value of a dollar and to be careful in spending.

With Darrow and all the children lending a hand, they built another home. Everyone pitched in to help unload the sheetrock and plywood. Dallan loved carpentry and even built some of the cupboards in the home. Always willing to offer his skills, Dallan helped his children with many of their home improvement projects. For Christmas, he would build shelves as gifts and his children always thought it was a good day when they could help their dad with one of his building projects. He thought it was more important to teach them how to work than to have a job done perfectly. Each child knew how to straighten nails and wield a hammer. Whether building a barn or re-shingling the roof, all the family (and a few friends) worked together.  

Dallan enjoyed playing horseshoes, kick the can and “no bears are out tonight.” His love of watching the best of T.V. westerns began when he was a child. He would rush home from school so he could listen to the radio program "The Lone Ranger." Another larger-than-life figure Dallan loved was Santa Claus. A loud “Ho, Ho, Ho!” would wake the household early each Christmas morning and the Christmas fest would begin.

Before the Black Ridge was developed, Keith Hall leased the land for ranching. Dallan and the family took the virgin land and turned it into a farm. They laid pipe, put together sprinkler lines, ran cattle, and raised alfalfa. When the lease was up, the ranching operation moved to the New Harmony area where changing sprinklers, picking up rocks, and hauling hay continued. For a time, Dallan and his boys summered the cows up on Kanarra Mountain. Whatever the job, Dallan made it fun (most of the time). He expected his children to “use their noggins” in figuring out how to get the job done. He was usually patient when they wrecked the cars or got stuck. Dallan would tell you he wasn’t in the business of raising alfalfa or cows; he was raising children. 

The “D Jessens” worked hard and played hard and had a good time doing it! Each summer the family went on a trip to Lake Powell. They caught stripers (bass) and water skied and had a glorious time together. Other memorable trips include hunting excursions, hiking, camping, visiting California and Hawaii, going to Samoa to see David and Amy, and a couple of fishing trips to Alaska. 

After teaching for 16 years in Iron County, Dallan retired in 1998 with a total of 30 years. A dream of Dallan's was to serve a mission with Darrow. They got called to serve as Employment Resource Service Missionaries and worked together in the Cedar City office for three years. It was very fulfilling for both of them to serve in this capacity.

Dallan’s grandchildren have also been blessed by his strong work ethic, good nature, faith, and quality of character. Each one is special to him – oh, how they love their grandpa! It was always fun for them to come work on the farm, see baby chicks, earn change for picking up peacock feathers, haul hay and take the four wheelers out for a ride. Dallan loved to cook breakfast and get everyone up and going. He would call down the stairs, “Come and get it or I’m throwing it out to the hogs!” Each year, the family looked forward to spending time together at a reunion. For Dallan, his family was his greatest treasure. He was a great protector and provider and always made sure his family had venison and fish, eggs, and fresh garden goodies to eat.

Darrow, his beautiful bride, has constantly been by his side. She supported and took care of him as he served in many church callings including several bishoprics, Bishop of the New Harmony Ward, and High Councilor. Dallan took joy in serving and supporting others. He was especially supportive of his sweetheart, Darrow and all of her endeavors.

Later in life, Dallan enjoyed serving Thursday afternoons at the recommend desk in the Cedar City Temple. He took that calling seriously and loved greeting people in the Lord’s House. Dallan never lost his zeal for fishing and would go all year round. Without Darrow’s love and support, he wouldn’t have had the quality of life he enjoyed. In 2000, Dallan had quadruple bypass heart surgery. It slowed him down for a few of the fall and winter months but soon he was back to changing sprinklers and working the farm.

He served in the temple the afternoon before he passed away, then came home, checked on the cows, and made sure the equipment was ready so he could bale hay first thing in the morning. Dallan passed away quickly while being held in the arms of his loving wife on the morning of Friday, July 14th. He was a good man and will be missed by all who knew him. Most certainly, it was a joyous reunion when he passed through the veil and was greeted by his father, mother and other loved ones. Surely Heavenly Father met Dallan with these words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” 

Dallan is survived by his wife, Darrow Hall, six children—Darlene (Sy) Prestwich, DeeAnn (Michael) Brinkerhoff, David (Amy) Jessen, Dana (David) Randall, Donald (Karen) Jessen, and Daniel (Wendy) Jessen—his five sisters, 26 grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. Dallan was preceded in death by his mother, father and two grandsons.

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Thursday, July 20, 2023

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New Harmony, UT 84757

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