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Darwin H Hall peacefully left the loving embrace of his wife, Shirlene, to enter into the waiting arms of his Heavenly Father on November 21, 2022. He passed away at his home in Virgin, Utah, after a courageous three year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Darwin was born in 1953 in St. George, Utah to Milton and Helen Hall of Hurricane, Utah. His first memory was planting grain on the Buckhorn Flat north of Cedar City. Because he wasn't tall enough to see over the front of the tractor, he stood up and looked off to the side. It felt like it took all day for him to make a single pass over the 1,060 acres. Even at this early age Darwin liked to ride horses. The family drove cattle, branded calves, and worked the cow herd on horses. He enjoyed the fact that each year his birthday was typically spent moving the herd off the Hurricane Hill, down to the Bench Lake, using the steep, rocky, dusty trail “lovingly” called the “B.S. Trail.”
In 1967, for his fourteenth birthday, his parents bought him a yearling baldy-faced colt for $75. Darwin's father snubbed the colt and Darwin got on. He said: “It felt like a rocket going up and like a crash-landing coming down.” Darwin trained “The Bally” colt and rode him for the next seven years. He’d say, “I’ve been on a lot of horses since then, none of them had the drive and heart of The Bally, and I’ve never had a horse that could buck so hard so often, yet never throw me off.”
In August of that year, Darwin started working at the Hall Brother’s Construction shop on 200 West in Hurricane. Most days a lot of horses were ridden up the road past the shop going to the rodeo grounds. After work one day, he walked up to the arena just in time to see Shirlene win the 4-H halter class. Darwin “sure liked the way she could handle a horse.” He started doing 4-H on The Bally!
While working for Hall Brothers, Darwin worked on multiple construction projects in Utah and Nevada. Some of the jobs he liked to talk about include the road in Canyonlands National Park, the bridge on SR 89 in Orderville, the overpasses on I-15 going up the Blackridge, the shale on Kolob Road, and the landing strip at Blue Springs Reservoir. Darwin became a master equipment operator, a carpenter, concrete layer, and foreman.
During high school, Darwin was also active in sports, lettering in basketball, track & field, and rodeo. He was the FFA Vice President and co-captain of the track and basketball teams. Darwin was President of the Hurricane High Rodeo Club and Shirlene was the secretary. He started dating Shirlene during their senior year. They continued dating into college at SUSC (SUU) where they were on the college rodeo team together. Darwin was the College Rodeo Club President while competing in the calf roping, bareback, bull riding, ribbon roping and bulldogging events.
Darwin went on to earn his pro-rodeo card but chose to give it up in order to focus on raising a family with Shirlene. Darwin, Shirlene, and their family continued to successfully compete in horse shows, rodeos, and horse sales together around the intermountain west. He loved taking trail rides and multi-day horse trips with friends and family over Pine Valley Mountain, down into Crystal Creek, and up to Canaan Ledges. He is also one of the few who has ridden a horse from Lava Point down the West Rim Trail. Until five days before his death, he would rise from bed to feed the horses and continued to watch horse-training videos to learn something new. He is known for his horse whispering skills and his well bred, well behaved, and well trained horses.
In 1974 Darwin and Shirlene were married in the Manti Temple. Darcey, Nathan, Heidi, Telton, Dayton, and Chancen were born. He loved his children and grandchildren without limitation. He forgave easily. He’d say: “I’ve made so many mistakes I wouldn’t want to be critical of others.” As a family: “We worked hard, we rode hard, we laughed hard, we prayed often, we went to church always… and we hunted a few mule deer along the way.” Darwin would say his greatest legacy is his children and grandchildren.
To support his young family, Darwin worked for Hall Brothers, Leland Holden, and Hurricane City. He was a self-taught and well-known horse trainer and farrier. He used these skills after work to earn extra money. Later in his career, he served for over two decades as Superintendent of the Ash Creek Special Service District. Darwin has also served on the Utah Farm Bureau Board, as the President of Utah State Rural Water Association Board, as Virgin Town Mayor, Planning and Zoning, and on the Virgin Town Council.
Darwin has a strong testimony of the Restored Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is evident in how he lived and raised his family. He served as Bishop of the Virgin Ward and in many other callings throughout his life. His favorite calling was teaching, especially in the Primary. Darwin and Shirlene served as full time missionaries at the Cove Fort visitor center in 2017, touching the lives of many people with their pioneer stories, barrel hoop game, and Cove Fort pioneer button spinners. In 2018 they were set apart as Temple Workers, serving in both the St. George and Cedar City temples. Darwin faithfully fulfilled his temple calling until a month before his death, and was still a set-apart worker when he passed away.
He believed that his talents, gifts, and abilities were God given, and he was especially grateful for his pioneer heritage. He still loves his Heavenly Father, his elder brother Jesus Christ, his eternal companion Shirlene, his children, his 28 grandchildren, his friends, and his horses.
Darwin is preceded in death by his parents, Milton and Helen Hall and his grandson, Michael Ammon Stout.
Darwin is Survived by his wife, Shirlene, his children Darcey Hall Spendlove, Nathan (Erin), Heidi Stout (Stuart), Telton (April), Dayton (Aubrey), Chancen (Abby), his siblings Mac J Hall (Peggy), KLynn Johnson (Virgil), Susan Brown (Bob), Sharlee Reeve (Brad), and 27 of his grandchildren.
A viewing will be held at the La Verkin Stake Center (481 N Main St, La Verkin, UT) on Friday, December 2nd, from 6:00-8:00 PM and on Saturday December 3rd from 9:30 to 11:00 AM. Darwin’s funeral will be held at the La Verkin Stake Center at 11:30 AM on Saturday December 3rd, with his interment at the Virgin City Cemetery following the funeral.
Friday, December 2, 2022
6:00 - 8:00pm (Mountain time)
Saturday, December 3, 2022
9:30 - 11:00am (Mountain time)
Saturday, December 3, 2022
11:30am - 12:30pm (Mountain time)
Saturday, December 3, 2022
1:00 - 2:00pm (Mountain time)
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