Montell Seely, 74, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008, during a handcart expedition in Fairview, Utah. He was born Feb. 5, 1934, in Castle Dale, Utah, the fourth of six children born to Karl A. Seely and Cora Guymon Seely.
He married Kathryn Pincock, Aug. 27, 1963, in the Idaho Falls Temple, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
He grew up and attended school in Castle Dale and Ferron, where he was active in athletics and leadership of FFA and served as studentbody president at South Emery High School, class of 1952. He lived in Emery County all his life, except for a few years in Logan and Provo to attend college, and in North Carolina 1954-56 to serve an LDS Mission in the Central Atlantic States.
In 1965 he graduated from BYU with a BS degree in Animal Science. While at BYU, he was a member of the ballroom dance team and enjoyed ballroom and square dancing for many years. For four years the family lived in Orangeville. In 1970 they returned to Provo, where Montell earned a Masters degree in 1972 and was employed in the counseling department at Provo High for three years.
In June, 1975, while moving the family back to Castle Dale, Montell was involved in a serious accident beneath a mobile home. The family returned to Provo during his hospitalization and recovery which lasted through the summer. Kind friends assisted with the farming until he was fully recovered.
Montell was engaged in farming and livestock ranching all his life. He enjoyed running his farm that was originally homesteaded by his grandfather, Justus Wellington Seely II. An early interest in pioneers and the westward movement of the Saints in 1847 prompted him to acquire wagons and buggies and the work horses to pull them. He became friends with several Amish families and enjoyed their association as he worked with them in their fields with horses and old-fashioned equipment.
In 1977 he organized a ward/community trek over the mountain from Fairview to Castle Dale. In 1978 he formed a committee to produce a pageant to tell the story of the first settlers who came to Castle Valley. Performed annually, the Castle Valley Pageant completed its 31st season on Aug. 9.
After Montell wrote the script for the pageant, he pursued other writing ventures, including a large Emery County History in 1981, Seely history books in 1988 and 1996, and Castle Valley Pageant history in 2003. He kept a daily personal journal from 1976 until the day of his passing.
Montell is survived by his wife Kathryn; son-in-law, Brant James, Adams, Ore.; children: Karla (Thane) Thalman, Surprise, Ariz,; Fawn (Tim) Miller, Manti; LeAnne Seely, Castle Dale; Mark (Brenda) Seely, West Valley City; and Janell (Kyle) Beagley, Price; sisters, Betty Jane Poulsen, Provo, and Dorothy (Gary) Barlow, Bountiful; brothers, Guy Seely, Clawson, and James (Joyce) Seely, Centerville; 19 grandchildren: Brandon, Emilie, and Ryan James; KariElle, Edison, Audrey, and Peyton Thalman; Dakota, Hunter, Cassidy, Ridge, and Brooke Miller; Hannah, Jonathan, Matthew, and Luke Seely; Jannika, Kirsten, and Clarissa Beagley; and Aadopted@ family, Mani and Lippa Grewal and daughter Shehnoor, Fairview.
He is preceded in death by his parents; brother Thomas; daughter Valerie Seely James; and daughter Monette Seely, who died as an infant.
Funeral services: Saturday, Aug. 16, at 11 a.m. at Castle Dale Stake Center. Visitation on Friday, Aug. 15, from 6-8 p.m. at Fausett Mortuary, 720 North Center, Castle Dale and Saturday from 9:30-10:45 at Castle Dale Stake Center. Interment in the Castle Dale cemetery, under the direction of Fausett Mortuary.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Justus Azel Seely Family Organization, c/o Dal Seely, 4253 South 2785 West, West Valley City, UT 84119; or Sons of Utah Pioneers, 3301 East 2920 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84109.