Ivins, UT – Wallace Alan Raynor, 93, passed on March 27, 2022, from natural causes, at the Southern Utah Veterans Home, surrounded by his family. He was born October 26, 1928, in Hayward, California, the only son of Cora Isis Johnson and Clayton Ashley Raynor. He deeply loved and fiercely protected his only sister, Patricia Whittemore. He spent 93 remarkable years on this Earth and left a legacy of honor and love that will not be forgotten.
His childhood and teenage years were spent in Ogden, Utah, where he graduated from Ogden High School in 1946. He joined the US Air Force, and served his country honorably during the Korean War, working as a radar operator on an island off the coast of Japan. During his free time in Japan, and throughout his life, he loved to read and learn. During his wartime years alone, he read countless books on a wide variety of subjects.
Following the war, Wallace continued his education and met the love of his life, Jo Ann Armstrong, on a blind date, and the rest was history. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on March 15, 1956, and from this union came four children. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from BYU in 1957, and then a Master of History degree from BYU in 1959. His Master’s thesis was on the construction of the Salt Lake Temple and was published by Deseret Book as a book The Everlasting Spires.
Wallace and Jo Ann next brought their growing family to Anaheim, California where he pursued his Ph.D. in Higher Education from USC. Wallace was always passionate about education, and he tirelessly dedicated his life to it. After completing his Ph.D., he became a beloved honors history teacher and assistant principal at Orange High School. He eventually transitioned his talents from the classroom to administration as the Assistant Superintendent at Orange Unified School District. One of his favorite accomplishments was founding the Little Yellow School House, the first public school in the country that provided opportunities for teenage, expectant mothers to complete high school.
Because of his educational successes in Southern California, he was hired in Northern California as the Superintendent of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District in Santa Cruz County, where he served for the next seven years. This was his dream job. He loved his years in Santa Cruz, where he and his family worked and played on their beautiful Enos Lane property.
Upon retirement, Wallace and his family moved to Provo Utah, where he became involved in community affairs. He served as the director of the Academy Square Preservation Committee, becoming a champion for the preservation and restoration of Academy Square, the original Brigham Young Academy. Now a beautiful library, it owes its very existence to his extraordinary efforts to prevent its demolition. Wallace also found great satisfaction serving in the Rotary Club, and working out at the Ridge Athletic Club, lifting weights. While living in Provo, you could find Wallace working at his desk running his real estate business, skiing at Sundance, and lifting weights at the club.
As a devoted and lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he loved to serve. He particularly loved working with the youth and teaching gospel doctrine. He and Jo Ann served in the Provo Utah Temple before they served two missions together, one at the BYU Center in Nauvoo, Illinois, and the other as education missionaries at the University of Petroleum in Dongying, China.
If you knew him, you know one of his greatest accomplishments was his victorious 40-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Whether you called him Darlin’, Dad, Super Dad, Daddy, Papa, WR, Uncle Wally, or a friend, all who encountered him felt his adoration, love, power, and strength. Wallace Alan Raynor is survived by his eternal companion, Jo Ann Armstrong Raynor, daughters Cynthia (Greg) Nohrden, Nina (Keith) Barnes, Sabrina (Eric) Petersen, daughter-in-law, Victoria Parker Raynor, 17 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren, all of whom are loved by their favorite monkey, Papa Wally. Preceded in death by his son, Thales, his mother, Cora Isis Johnson Raynor, his father, Clayton Ashley Raynor, and his sister and brother-in-law, Patricia and Byron Whittemore.
The world has lost a beautiful soul, but heaven has also gained one. We love you, Papa.
In lieu of flowers and in memory of Wallace, donations can be made to the Southern Utah Veterans Home Nurse Scholarship Program. The family wishes to thank those at the Veterans Home that have selflessly loved and cared for both Wallace and Jo Ann.
Memorial Services with Military Honors will be held Saturday, April 2, 2022, at 11:30 PM at the Morningside Stake Center, 881 South River Road, St. George, Utah. A gathering will be held prior to the services, April 2, 2022, 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM at the Morningside Stake Center.
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Arrangements entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, (435) 673-4221. Please visit our website at www.metcalfmortuary.com for condolences, complete obituary and funeral listings.