ST. GEORGE — Following his death last week, friends and colleagues of St. George City Councilman Joe Bowcutt say he leaves behind a legacy of service, optimism and genuineness that will be sorely missed.
“He was one of the most genuine people I’ve ever known,” said Pastor Jimi Kestin of Solomon’s Porch Four Square Fellowship. “St. George will be lessened without him.”
Bowcutt died unexpectedly Saturday at age 76, according to a press release from the city of St. George.
Originally from Logan, where attended Utah State University, Bowcutt was a long-time resident of St. George and was in the middle of his second term as a member of the City Council. He also served on the city’s Planning Commission.
Outside of the council, Bowcutt worked as the marketing director for the Guild Mortgage Company where he was hired in 2013. Prior to that, he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with his wife, Rowdy, in the Philippines from 2010-12. He also worked for Southern Utah Title for a time and was a member of the Washington County Board of Realtors.
Steve Stout, Guild Mortgage branch director, said his company hired Bowcutt as soon as they heard he was looking for a job. He described Bowcutt as a great friend who was full of optimism and brought out the best in others.
“He was an incredible man,” Stout said. “Joe had an incredibly positive attitude – he was the epitome of positivity.”
Bowcutt would send funny, yet profound quotes to others over email every morning, Stout said, adding that he once said, “Life is great! Don’t forget it!”
Stout has since posted that Bowcutt quote on a wall at the Guild Mortgage office.
“It was an honor and a privilege to be his friend,” he said.
As the marketing director for Guild Mortgage, Bowcutt organized events benefiting the nonprofit Root for Kids — formerly The Learning Center for Families. Just last week, Bowcutt was at the office helping put together bags of food to be delivered to the nonprofit.
“He got Guild Mortgage heavily involved,” said Suzanne Leonelli, CEO of Root for Kids. “He was one of our champions.”
Bowcutt always seemed present at the nonprofit’s events and lit up the room wherever he went, she said.
“He only saw the good in everything,” Leonelli said. “He will always be a part of our family.”
Root for Kids will be honoring Bowcutt’s memory during its “The Secret Garden” gala this Saturday.
The late councilman was a great supporter of the Switchpoint Community Resource Center, director Carol Hollowell said.
“He was a huge supporter of the most vulnerable of populations and a big proponent for Switchpoint’s mission,” she said.
Bowcutt was also involved in the Rotary Club of Dixie Sunrise and Lions Club, particularly in regard to the annual Dixie Round Up Rodeo held at the Dixie Sunbowl.
The preservation of the Dixie Sunbowl in downtown St. George was a primary concern for Bowcutt when he chose to run for City Council in 2013.
“That was a big thing for him that year,” St. George City Councilman Jimmie Hughes said.
After joining the City Council, he continued to be involved with the Lions Club and the rodeo he loved, Hughes said.
The day before he died, Hughes said Bowcutt had called him asking where he could put signs promoting the rodeo. Still, he was so much more than the rodeo and the Sunbowl, Hughes said.
“He made everybody feel like he was their best friend,” he said. “He was very, very friendly.”
Bowcutt also had a good sense of humor, often joking about his age in City Council meetings and taking good-natured prods from fellow council members. He made such wisecracks during the last council meeting, Hughes said.
In addition to the City Council, Bowcutt served as the council’s representative on the Planning Commission and sometimes joked about the commission meetings being too long.
During the meetings, however, when Hollowell had to attend for an item related to Switchpoint, she said she found Bowcutt to be “clearly engaged” in choosing what he felt was best for the city.
As for replacing Bowcutt on the City Council, Hughes said he was talking to his wife about it and said the council needed to find another person like him. In response, Hughes said his wife told him, “You’ll never find anyone like Joe Bowcutt.”
As for the council seat Bowcutt leaves vacant, Hughes said the council will tackle the matter following the late councilman’s funeral.
Arrangements regarding Bowcutt’s funeral were not released by the time of this report.
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