James William “Bill” Maddux, 76, passed away Sunday, May 7, 2017, in St. George, Utah, of complications from diabetes.
Bill was born in Devils Lake, North Dakota, on July 24, 1940, to George and Vivian Rathbun Maddux. He was the second of three children. He was raised in East Los Angeles, California, where he made many lifelong friends that became family. In February 1961, Bill served a proselyting mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Eastern Atlantic States Mission. That time was one of his fondest memories and he spoke of it often. In Nov. 1965, Bill was married to Sandra Adelaide Law in the Los Angeles LDS Temple. They later divorced. In 1987, Bill married Ellen Lorene Shunn, tragically losing her 11 months later in an automobile accident.
He was a hard-working man. Bill drove truck for Swift Transportation and at one point purchased his own truck and sub-contracted his work. He also started a business with his friend, Willy Bladh, called B & B Carpet, eventually going out on his own and making a living for his family, installing and cleaning carpets for more than 40 years. In the process, he taught his sons and a few nephews a solid career option for their future.
Bill was a very social man. He loved being involved in LDS ward and stake activities, especially if it involved the Young Men’s and Young Women’s programs. He truly loved serving the youth in the stake. Though he was never officially called to serve in the youth program, he could always be found with Dean Alger, Don Hall, Uncle Gordon and many others, taking them on river trips, beach outings, and Especially for Youth all the way up in Utah. The teenage boys loved to “gang up” on these same men to try to take them down. But, as at least one of his children remembers it, “our dad was always the victor,” though usually pretty winded by the end, laughing the entire time. The girls just thought he was cute and many of them called him Uncle Bill because they were his nieces’ friends.
Some of his favorite things to do were moments like the all important “Men’s Trip” in October to the Colorado River at Cottonwood Cove. The trip included a houseboat, only the best food, all the water toys a guy could need and some of the greatest men he would ever know. He could also be found looking for the next church dance or singles conference to attend. But we like to believe that his favorite thing to do was spend time with his children and grandchildren. He loved us and was always so proud to show us off.
Bill is survived by his children: Shelly (Michael) Hanson, Matthew (Jessica) Maddux, Stacy (Jeffrey) Benintendi, and Benjamin (Garine) Maddux; as well as 16 grandchildren: Brett, Nathan, Bethany, Morgan, Dylan, Alyssa, Wyatt, Tristan, Jenna, Tatum, Addie, Ashton, Ashley, Amber, Emma and Lily. His first great-grandchild is due in July. He also leaves behind his youngest sister, Susan Maddux Kronenfeld, and many nieces and nephews who loved him dearly.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Vivian; his sister, Marlene; brothers-in-law: Gordon Galewick and Jim Kronenfeld; his wife, Ellen; and grandson, Mason.
The family would like to thank all of their father’s friends and extended family who have loved him and shared in our sorrow at his passing. Your kindness is deeply appreciated.
A special thanks to the wonderful staff at Brookdale Southgate Assisted Living, Saint George Rehabilitation, and to all other dear friends and family who did so much to serve him with phone calls and trips to lunch, movies and the temple. Some drove long distances just to spend a few hours with him. He cherished those times.
- A memorial will be held Saturday, May 27, at 11 a.m. at the LDS Chapel located at 2079 E. 2450 South, St. George, Utah, 84790.
- There will be no viewing but if you would like to go to the cemetery after the memorial, we will have a map printed out so you can find him.