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1931 Derle 2023

Derle Thorpe

June 7, 1931 — October 20, 2023

Logan, Utah

J. Derle Thorpe died on October 20, 2023 in American Fork, Utah. Derle was born on June 7, 1931 in Logan, Utah to J. Derle and Elizabeth Baugh Thorpe. Derle enjoyed growing up in Logan surrounded by extended family and many great friends. 

 
Derle served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Central States Mission. Derle also spent time in the Army, working as an intelligence officer stationed in Europe. During this time, he visited most of the European countries and developed a love of traveling.
 
 
Derle attended Utah State University where he served as the student body president. He graduated from Utah State in June 1959 alongside his mother, Elizabeth, and fiance, Margene.
 
 
Derle married the love of his life, Margene Isom, on June 12, 1959 in the St. George, Utah temple. Derle adored Margene and never spoke an unkind word to her during their entire marriage. His children consider the love he showed for their mother one of his greatest gifts to them.
 
 
Derle and Margene lived in Salt Lake City where Derle worked for the Utah Highway Department and Margene worked as a medical technologist. They settled back in Logan after two years. They resided in Logan until two years ago, when they moved to American Fork to be closer to their children. Derle and Margene are the parents of four children: Scott, David, Mark, and Susan, who were all born and raised in Logan.
 
 
Derle was a professor for 40 years at Utah State University, teaching in the Engineering Department. He loved teaching Statics and Dynamics. Over the years he wrote thousands of letters of recommendation for students to help them secure internships and jobs. Many times over the years, former students told of the influence Derle had on helping them succeed in the Engineering program. He was also influential in starting Engineering State which introduced high school students to the Engineering field and pioneered the bridge building program in junior highs and high schools throughout Utah. He researched ways to make concrete stronger and started an admixture business where he supplied additives to concrete companies.
 
 
Derle’s greatest love, next to his family, was being outdoors. He spent as much time as possible camping, hiking, canoeing, and climbing throughout the west. He took many friends and family members on trips to the Tetons, Lake Shoshone, the Wind Rivers, and Lake Powell. All of his grandchildren have memories with grandpa at Leigh Lake in the Tetons. They remember the wonderful campfire meals he prepared, the pickin’ bags after lunch, and fun campfire songs.
 
 
Derle was a master gardener. He spent countless hours working in the quarter acre family garden in Logan. He was an organic gardener before the term organic gardener had been coined. Many people have benefited from the delicious produce he grew with love every year. 
 
 
Derle and Margene traveled throughout the world together. One of Derle’s favorite things to talk about after coming home from an adventure was the amazing food. He loved to recreate the most memorable dishes.
 
 
Derle was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints his whole life. He served as a long-time scoutmaster where he instilled his love of the outdoors in the young men. He was a Young Single Adult ward bishop and  bishop in his home ward as well as a counselor in a Young Single Adult stake. He and Margene served two full-time missions, one as the directors of the Liberty Jail Visitors Center and one in Perth, Scotland as the Branch President. His testimony of the Savior and the Gospel was strong to the end.
 
 
Derle was unfailingly kind and patient with everyone in his life. He always had time to help no matter what the project was and could make or fix anything.
 
 
Derle is survived by his loving wife, Margene. Children: Scott (Vicki) Thorpe, David (LaDawn) Thorpe, Mark (Debi) Thorpe, and Susan Thorpe Lundahl. Grandchildren: Rebecca (Brian), Jason, Sam (Jenalyn), Ann (Alex), Kate (Nick), Brian (Lauren), Steven, Collin, Brandon, Justin, Dallin, Emma, Sarah, and Laura. Great grandchildren: Brooklyn, Jack, Stockton, Amanda, and Issac. Siblings: Carolyn (Dennis) Simmons, Alice (Lyle) Hillyard, and Lear (Lonni - deceased) Thorpe.
 
 
Derle is preceded in death by his parents, Derle and Elizabeth, nephews Jeffrey Simmons and Matthew Hillyard, and sister-in-law Lonni Thorpe.
 
 
Derle’s family is grateful for the care he received at Bel Aire Senior Living during the last months of his life. 
 
 
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 25 at 2:00 p.m. at Allen-Hall Mortuary, 34 E. Center Street, Logan, Utah 84321. A viewing will be held prior to the funeral services from 12 - 1:30 p.m. at Allen-Hall mortuary.
 
 
 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Derle Thorpe, please visit our flower store.
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