Lee's Grandfather Lloyd Frank Gunther passed away after living an exceptional life. He was a famous paleontologist with several fossils named after him . He outlived 3 wives and was an extraordinary example of hard work, financial security, and devotion to the Lord. I hope that his countenance will be felt in our home and our children will inherit his qualities.
He attended Utah State Agricultural College in Logan, Utah and graduated with a BS degree in Wildlife Management. Lloyd was recently honored as the oldest graduate alumni of that college. He served an LDS mission to Germany which was interrupted by WWII. He finished in the Southern States Mission. Lloyd married his lifelong sweetheart, Metta Christensen on September 8, 1941. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.
He took a job with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Lloyd was drafted in the army and served two years in the South Pacific. Following his discharge, he returned to work with the Fish and Wildlife Service which included work in Utah, Missouri, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Washington DC.
They raised six children and along the way developed a family hobby of rock collecting. In 1965 the family returned to Utah and settled in Brigham City where Lloyd became manager of the Bear River Bird Refuge. He expanded his interest in rock hunting and amassed a huge collection of fossils and minerals. He shared information with many college professors and donated many valuable specimens. He published articles and even authored books.
His collection drew attention worldwide and he was honored as the first recipient of the Strimple Award by the Paleontological Society of America, which honors extraordinary contributions to science from a non-academic. The majority of his collection has been donated to many museums and universities around the world. In return, about twenty new species of fossils have been named in his family's honor.
Lloyd was an active member of the LDS Church, serving in many callings, including Bishop of the Brigham City Third Ward. Metta passed away 29 years ago. He was then married to Frieda Taylor for 13 years. Following her death he married DeEsta Young. They were also married for 13 years until her death. He considered it an accomplishment to have survived three wives and counts all children from the three marriages: 18 children, 98 grandchildren, and 218 great grandchildren.
Lloyd is survived by one sister, Marcille, 98, Santa Barbara, CA and six children: Larry (Marie) Gunther, Orem, UT; Metta Marie Fife (Dennis)Brigham City, UT; David (Margo)Gunther, Boston MA; Val (Jo Ellen) Gunther, Brigham City, UT; Jared (Donna) Gunther, Brigham City, UT; Jay (Vickie) Gunther, Redlands, CA. He was preceded in death by his parents, five siblings, and all three wives.