Morris “Roger” Pickett, 93, joined his sweetheart Lucille on Jan. 8, 2018. He was born Nov. 16, 1924, in St. George, Utah, to Ellis J. and Ruth Morris Pickett.
Roger was the fourth of five children. He grew up in St. George with the Red Hill as his playground. We all grew up hearing the stories about his pet hawk that he took to school for show and tell, and his pet owl, his homing pigeons, his snakes, (at one time he had 16 … four of which were rattlers!), his pet squirrel and of course his favorite dog, Waddy. He was active in 4-H and always loved nature and the outdoors.
At age 16, Roger and his Explorer Scout Troop built the cave on the Red Hill by the Sugar Loaf. It was a Boy Scout project. There was already a cave there, but it was open on the top. They had to frame it in to pour concrete for a roof, then they built the front walls. The floor was very uneven, so Roger helped drill holes and the scout leaders tamped down some dynamite and lit the fuses to level the floor. They enclosed the cave and built a fireplace in the back. It was a lot of work! When it was all finished they had a big party. Over 200 people in the community attended. That became the place where they had all their Scout meetings. Many people today are familiar with that cave and wonder how it came to be.
He served in the army during World War II. Later, Roger also served in the Korean War with the Southern Utah 213th Armored Field Artillery. Their battalion was awarded a Presidential Citation for aggressive and courageous action in the face of an unexpected enemy attack. After eight hours of fighting they were responsible for breaking up the attack, inflicting hundreds of casualties and finally capturing a total of 831 prisoners without losing a single man in their battalion. It is referred to as the Miracle at Kapyong.
On May 21, 1947, he married his best friend and sweetheart, Lucille Pickett. They had three children, Sherri, Michael and Julie. The family spent their early years living in St. George, then moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1962. Roger and Lucille raised not only their three children but welcomed over 30 foster children into their home.
Dad was always looking out for and taking care of others. Doing things for his neighbors and friends. He could literally fix anything. We never had to call a repairman for anything. He was hardworking, creative and he loved to cook. After he and Lucille retired to St. George you could often find them in the kitchen together and later on he would spend hours cooking meals and treats that he would take to his widowed sister and his two widowed sisters-in-law as well as his kids.
He loved working with his hands. He never complained. If you ever asked him how he was feeling he would quickly reply with a smile, “With my fingers.”
Roger worked as a senior scientist for E.G.&G. in Las Vegas for over 26 years.
He loved spending time with his family. In 1973, Roger and Lucille began building their summer home in Pine Valley. Like most aspects of their marriage, they enjoyed working side by side during the construction of their home. The Pine Valley home became a favorite gathering spot for family activities. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren have wonderful memories of these special times and of many other adventures with grandpa. After retiring, Roger and Lucille returned home to St. George where Roger spent his remaining years serving his family and friends as well as caring for his beloved wife until her passing in 2005.
Roger was preceded in death by his sweetheart Lucille, his parents, his brothers Charlie and Evan, and his sisters Norma Covington and Marie Poehlmann.
He is survived by his children: Sherri (Robert) Hamilton of Diamond Valley, Michael (LuAnn) Pickett of Pine Valley and Julie (Jeff) Stewart of Washington, 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Saturday, Jan. 13, at 1 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel, 1095 E. St. James Lane, St. George.
- There will be a visitation prior to the service from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Burial will take place in the St. George City Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Spilsbury Mortuary, 435-673-2454.
For condolences, full obituary and funeral listings please visit Spilsbury Mortuary online.