Feb. 20, 1929-June 3, 2020
Albert (Abe) Ray Potter DDS, age 93, quietly passed from this life on Friday, June 3, 2022, at the St. George Regional Hospital. He died from pneumonia and joined his brother Brink, who died earlier that day. It was like Brink stopped by and said, “Let’s head out together.”
Abe was born in Loa, Utah, on Feb. 20, 1929, to Mabel Brinkerhoff and William C. Potter. He was raised on the family farm in Loa and was the sixth of 11 children. As a young boy Abe helped on the family farm raising cattle, turkeys, horses, pigs and alfalfa.
He graduated from Wayne High School in 1947 and attended BAC college in Cedar City before serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Texas/Louisiana Mission. He married Marilyn Foutz on Aug. 14, 1952, and together they had four children: Martha Fae, Edwin Albert, William Clayton and Anastasia. From 1952 to 1954 Abe served in the Korean War in the U.S. Army 24th Infantry, Taro Division, based out of Hawaii.
Abe graduated from Brigham Young University and worked as a metallurgist/chemist for US Steel in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and then as a gold plater for Western Electric. At the age of 36, with three young children, Abe started dental school in St Louis, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Missouri in Kansas City in 1967. He practiced dentistry for two years in Sugar Creek, Missouri, before moving his family to Carson City, Nevada, in 1969 where he was a dentist for 20 years. In 1976 Gov. O’Callaghan appointed him to be the chairman of the Nevada Bicentennial Commission and he traveled all over the state. In 1979 he and Marilyn divorced.
Carson City friends introduced him to Vivian Canty, and they were married in 1982 and sealed in the St. George Temple together with Vivian’s children, Jessica and Joe Sferrazza. Vivian worked in the dental office for 10 years until Abe wanted to retire and return to Loa to ranch in 1989. The plan was to summer in Loa and winter in St. George, but he loved the cows and Wayne County, so for eight years Vivian commuted back and forth. Abe happily built fences, raised cattle, moved irrigation pipes, rode on cattle drives and helped his brothers and sisters when he was there. He took up woodworking and cabinet making and built the kids’ and grandkids’ furniture and cabinets, always “branding” every piece of his work several times. In 2004 he had a new home built in St. George and did the cabinets, baseboards, library and many pieces of furniture.
Abe was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in many callings serving a second mission for many years after retiring in the St. George Member Locator Mission. He was a son, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, husband, cowboy and friend. He was famous for saying, “Remember who you are.”
Abe is survived by Vivian, his wife of 40 years, and sons Edwin Albert Potter, William Clayton Potter, Donald Edmund Slater, Joe Sferrazza, daughters Martha Fae Jensen, Jessica Sferrazza and his sister Mignon Cooley. He has 20 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings: Cleo, Arla, DWaldo, Zurrell, Bonita, Viola, Brink, George, Virgie, and his daughter, Anastasia.
Funeral services will be Saturday, June 11 at 11 a.m. at the Eagles Landing Ward Chapel located at 1095 E St. James Lane, St. George, Utah. A visitation will be 10-10:45 a.m. prior to services. Interment will be in the St. George City Cemetery with military honors.
Click here to view the services via zoom.
In lieu of flowers, Abe requests that you “do something good.” Hug your children, take your family to dinner, support your veterans or a missionary, help a neighbor, speak kind words or donate to your favorite charity.
Arrangements are under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff St., St. George, 435-673-2454. Family and friends are invited to sign Abe’s online guest book.