9/1/1921 ~ 4/7/2020
Milton Henry Tew, cherished husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend, passed peacefully from this life on April 7, 2020 in Orem, Utah at the age of 98.
Milton was born in Spring Lake, Utah on September 1, 1921 to John Ivan Tew and Ellen La Velle Ockey. He and his family lived for several years in Salt Lake City when he was very young, but when he was five years old they moved to Nephi, Utah, where he spent the remaining years of his childhood and adolescence.
Some of Milton’s most vivid childhood memories center on his family’s unified efforts to take care of each other during the Great Depression. He worked alongside his family to raise meat, grow food, and make ends meet. He deeply admired the industrious efforts of his parents to keep their family safe and nourished during those difficult years, and through those challenges he learned the sustaining value of hard work, which served him well throughout his life.
Though Milton struggled with school during his elementary school years, he never gave up, and he became a dedicated student and committed educator. Following his graduation from Juab High School, he attended Snow College for two years before serving in the Army for four years. Following his army service, he received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his master’s degree from Purdue University.
During his time at Snow College, Milton was blessed to meet Fern Amelia Larsen, whom he was immediately smitten with because of her beautiful and lively eyes that seemed to communicate more than her words. He grew to love her gentle nature, her deep faith, and her intelligent mind, and on July 30, 1942, he and Fern were sealed in the Manti Utah Temple.
Shortly after their marriage, Milton began his service in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II, which took him to postings in Salt Lake City, Wisconsin, Georgia, New Jersey, and finally to Europe. He served in England, France, Germany, and Austria until the war ended. Some of his life’s most sacred experiences happened during the war, including a strong witness that through his faithfulness he would live to see the end of the war and return home.
After arriving home in 1946, he continued his education, and he and Fern were blessed to start their family, welcoming David, Susan, Melanie, and Paul over subsequent years. After finishing his education at Purdue, Milton and Fern moved their family to Riverside, California, where he spent the rest of his career as a teacher and administrator in Riverside Public Schools before retiring and returning to Ephraim in 1981.
After his retirement, Milton and Fern were blessed to continue their lifetime of service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They served a mission together to Davao, Philippines and were greatly loved. Following their return from their mission, they served together in the Manti Utah Temple presidency, where Milton was the first counselor and Fern was an assistant temple matron. He also served as a temple sealer for many years, where he was blessed to unite in marriage not only many patrons of the Manti Temple district but also many of his own grandchildren and their spouses. Milton also served as a Snow College Stake Patriarch, with Fern at his side helping him transcribe hundreds of blessings, again including many of his own grandchildren’s.
Milton will long be remembered for his giving heart, his deep faith, and his playful spirit. Well into his 90s, he enjoyed running and playing with his great-grandchildren. He loved to joke and laugh, and he responded with warmth and love to friends and family until the very end. His family will miss his steady presence in their lives, even as they are comforted by the thoughts of his joyful reunion with Fern, whom he deeply missed.
Milton is survived by his sisters; Mary Johnson and Erma Baker; his sisters-in-law LaRue Larsen and Norma Tew; four children, David (Judith) Tew, Susan (Paul) Welton, Melanie (Glen) Moore, and Paul (Rhonda) Tew; 25 grandchildren; 95 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Fern; his siblings, John Lorraine Tew, Joyce Daniels, Deon Olsen, and David Ivan Tew; his granddaughter, Megan Welton; and his great-grandson, Samuel Bryson.
Milton’s immediate family will honor him in a small graveside service in the Ephraim City Park Cemetery in Ephraim, Utah, on April 11, 2020, with burial preparations arranged by Rasmussen Mortuary. Milton’s family looks forward to gathering with friends and loved ones in celebration of his wonderful life on September 12, 2020, when current restrictions are lifted following the resolution of the global coronavirus pandemic.