Home / Empty Saddles / Don E Torgerson 1949 - 2020
Posted on Nov 5, 2020
Empty Saddles

Don E Torgerson 1949 - 2020

 Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother and friend passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his beloved wife and family early on October 27, 2020.

Don was born in Richfield, Utah, January 10, 1949 to Neldon and Muriel Madge Hickman Torgerson. He was the oldest of four kids and was a great example to them growing up. He spent a lot of time with his grandparents, Jody and Honey, on their ranch in Wayne County. He had a lot of stories about his time spent with his granddad. Don graduated from Richfield High School in 1967.

He married his sweetheart Shirley Robison on June 8, 1967. Their marriage was solemnized in the Manti Temple April 3, 1992. They were blessed with 3 children, 9 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren. They made their home in Richfield where he worked for the department of transportation. He began working for the Highway Patrol as a State Trooper and was assigned to Salt Lake County. He was later transferred to Utah and Juab Counties. They lived in Santaquin for the next 7 years and made many great friends.

In 1983, he received a coveted transfer to Wayne County where they have lived ever since. He got elected as Wayne County Sheriff in 1995 and served two terms before retiring in 2003. In 1989, he got called out on a car accident, where the victim was his 17 year old daughter Tera, and losing his daughter was one of his biggest trials. In 1995 he suffered a heart attack and was life flighted to Utah Valley Hospital and later to LDS Hospital where he was one of the first in the nation to be put on a left ventricle assist device to keep him alive until he could receive a heart transplant. He did really well with his new heart until about 2008 when he got a vascular disease and the only cure was another transplant. He received his second heart transplant in November of 2011, he never let anything slow him down. In 2018 Don was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and with radiation and chemotherapy he thought he had it beat, unfortunately it came back with a vengeance 25 years to the date of his first heart transplant. Don fought a very valiant battle, his motto was “ I’m going to die living, not live dying”

Don was an active member of his community and church. He was also involved with basketball and enjoyed coaching for over 30 years. He held many church callings and to which he served to his greatest capacity. Don loved team roping and has roped his whole life. Up until the end, he never missed a rodeo of his kids or grandkids and was always there to video every run. His family always knew where they were ranked at the rodeo from grandpa. He was the most supportive grandpa, going to every single game, dance recital, rodeo, pageant, and any other activity his grandkids were involved in. They always knew he was there for them because he answered his phone no matter what- even in the dentist chair or while backing in the box to rope.

Don touched countless lives during his 71 years and there wasn’t a place he went that he didn’t run into an old or new friend.

Don is survived by his wife of 53 years Shirley R. Torgerson of Torrey, his daughter Lori (Rich)
Cropper of Tropic, his son Tyler (April) Torgerson of Torrey, 9 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. his brothers Layne (Kim) Torgerson, Dusty (Jeanette) Torgerson, all of Richfield.

He was preceded in death by his daughter Tera Lee Torgerson, his parents Neldon and Muriel
Torgerson and his sister Joanna Gunderson.

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