EAST CARBON-Ivan Donald McCourt, beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on March 27, 2011, the day after he celebrated his 93rd birthday.
Ivan was born March 26, 1918, in a small log cabin in Antelope, Duchesne County, Utah, on the Ute Indian Reservation. He was the fourth of six children born to Thomas Henry McCourt and Goldia Celeste Bromley McCourt.
In the Spring of 1923, when Ivan was five years old, his family moved to Carbon County. The family packed all their things in a covered wagon pulled by a team of horses with a third horse tied to the back of the wagon and the journey began. They lived in Price and Beaver Creek that summer and then moved to East Carbon where Thomas found work building the dugway leading to Columbia. The family moved to Columbia where they lived in two tents that first winter. He started school at Christmas time. Eight grades were housed in two tents. The family moved back and forth from Sunnyside to Columbia several times.
At age 11, he was baptized in the L.D.S. Church in Sunnyside. After his father's death in 1930, he worked odd jobs to help his mother. He delivered newspapers and became the town crier, announcing movies at the Columbia theatre. He helped his mother clean the Columbia school and did whatever he could to help around the house. He quit school after the ninth grade in order to work full-time. He took night classes and graduated with his son in 1965.
Ivan spent a lot of time with family in Lawrence, Utah, helping farm and herd cattle. Attending church in Lawrence, he made eye contact with a beautiful blonde girl and it was love at first sight. He and Lois Staker were married Dec. 24, 1937, in Lawrence. They were sealed in the Manti Temple on May 18, 1951. They were married 66 years. To this union were born two children. Lois passed away Aug. 9, 2004.
Ivan was a cowboy from the start. He loved everything about horses. He was a charter member of the Grassy Trail Riding Club and helped build the Sunnyside Arena. He loved his gardens and his yard was his pride and joy.
He worked for the U. S. Steel Corporation for 42 years. He loved his job and the people he worked with. His motto was to treat people like he wanted to be treated. He instilled this in his family. He believed in hard work, honesty, and looking on the bright side of life. Ivan was a member of U.M.W.A. for more than 70 years, serving for a time as local president.
On April 16, 1957, he was set apart as the Branch President of the Columbia Branch, serving until the branch closed Jan. 1, 1966.
Ivan served on the governing board for Carbon Medical Association for 36 years, most of that time as president. He retired from the board in 2010 at the age of 92. He was instrumental in preserving the East Carbon Clinic and purchasing the Helper Clinic. He was happy to help the residents obtain medical care in their own community.
He had an amazing love for his family and was a good father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was always there to share his boundless wisdom, advice and humor. Family was always most important in his life. He had a long list of songs he would sing and poems he would recite to his family.
Ivan is survived by daughter Connie (Bill) Webb, son Donald (Connie) McCourt, grandchildren: John, Daniel, Ron, Anna, Tammy, James, Amy, and Wayne, and 22 great-grandchildren. Also survived by sister Nora Bunch and brothers Edward "Ned" and Patrick McCourt. Preceded in death by parents, wife, brother Thomas McCourt, and sister Mabel Peterson.
Funeral service, Friday, April 1, 2011, 11 a.m., East Carbon Ward, 145 Grassy Trail, East Carbon, where friends and family may call between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. prior to services. A viewing will be held Thursday, March 31, 2011, from 6-8:00 p.m. at Fausett Mortuary, 680 E. 100 S., Price. Interment at Cliffview Cemetery in Price at 2 p.m.
Friends and family may sign the guest book and share memories of Ivan at www.fausettmortuary.com.