GREENWICH — Tarval A. Torgersen was born Nov. 25, 1937, in Koosharem. He is the second of seven children born to Reuben and Opal Brindley Torgersen. He finished his mortal tasks and left his home and the loving arms of his eternal sweetheart, Louise Sorensen, March 19, 2020.
Dad met Mom at school in Cedar City and they were married Dec. 27, 1962. They are the parents of nine children, Alan and Melani Torgersen, Escalante; Joanne and Mike Savage, Panguitch; Charmian and Todd Robinson, Farr West; Chet and Coquette Torgersen, Greenwich; Russell and Jacie Torgersen, Hatch; Allison and Marcus Lewis, Wesley and Carrie Torgersen, all Greenwich; Megan and Daniel Guymon, Parowan; and Kimala and Cole Douglas, Cedar City. From this bunch he and Mom have been blessed with 38 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Dad’s was a life of Christ-like service. A lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served as missionary in the Great Lakes Mission, as the bishop of the Koosharem ward for seven years, as an ordinance worker with Mom in the Manti temple for six years and in the Bishop’s Storehouse for seven years, as well as a lifetime Scout leader. Dad was one of the first EMTs in Grass Valley and was on the Koosharem Volunteer Fire Department for many years. He was a big man with a huge heart and strong hands who shared everything he had with his fellow men. From making sure a young man got a new .22 for Christmas to selling a fat hog to a fellow who only had a dime, Dad was kind and thoughtful of those around him. He taught his family that Torgersen’s are built to serve and showed us how to do it.
Dad was the original “Mr. T.” (without gold chains or a mohawk). He began his teaching career at Maeser Elementary in the Uintah Basin in 1963, and after a couple years moved back home to Koosharem where he introduced many students to times tables, spelling tests, “Old Yeller” and Where the Red Fern Grows and many others (you pick your favorite story). Maybe Spadooka or the Peach pit story, Dad always said he could take literary liberty with his story telling. He could jump rope like no other and enjoyed recess along with the students. Dad was not just an instructor; he was a friend, a confidant, a cheerleader and went beyond what he was paid to do to make sure that the needs of his students were met. He retired from teaching in 1996 to focus full time on his livestock and farm.
As a farmer, Dad raised almost everything. From cattle and sheep, to goats, turkeys, chickens, guard geese, pigeons and even a llama—he tried it all. Through his experience he was often heard to say that his best crop was kids and rocks. Dad was taught the art of sheep shearing by his father and uncles and supplemented his teaching income by shearing every spring. Each of his kids have memories of going shearing with Dad, from Nephi to Orderville and Wayne County to Sevier County. His body was worn out from his lack of fear of hard work.
Dad was a Dutch oven master. His chicken is legendary and for those who liked mutton, he could cause them to founder. He was the only one who really knew how to cook Dutch oven potatoes. He experimented with desserts, but stayed with the favorites.
With the strange times we are experiencing related to the coronavirus, no funeral service will be held, (which probably doesn’t hurt Dad’s feelings). In lieu of flowers or donations and to honor Dad’s life, please find someone in need and share something you have with them, even if it is a roll of toilet paper.
Graveside services for Tarval took place Saturday, March 21, in the Koosharem Cemetery, with President Chet Torgersen (son) conducting.
A family prayer was shared by Alan Torgersen (son).
Vocal selections of “Be Thou Humble,” “I Belong To The Church of Jesus Christ/Love is Spoken Here” and “If The Savior Stood Beside Me” were given by the family.
A tribute was given by Wes Torgersen (son).
Closing remarks were provided by Pres. Chet Torgersen (son). Pallbearers included grandsons.
The dedicatory prayer was provided by Russ Torgersen (son).
Funeral directors, Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti.
Online guestbook at maglebymortuary.com.