Cover photo for Keith Mortensen's Obituary
Keith Mortensen Profile Photo
1933 Keith 2023

Keith Mortensen

September 12, 1933 — October 23, 2023

Keith is the Patriarch of a loving family.  He is a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He has an unshakable testimony of God and Jesus Christ, is quick to serve others, loves to sing, enjoys a good physics puzzle, and loves a good joke – especially if it’s “dry” humor.  He recently celebrated his 90th birthday surrounded by 4 generations of family, fun, laughter, and love.  He died in his home in Syracuse Utah, surrounded by his wife and family, on Monday, October 23, 2023.

William Keith Mortensen was born in Delta Utah on September 12, 1933, to William (Bill) Alonzo Mortensen and Rachel Leah Allen Mortensen.  He was a strength to his parents and a loving older brother to his two sisters and two brothers.  He lived and worked on a family farm in Sutherland until the age of 8, when his parents moved the family into the City of Delta, to have better access to education; a life-changing decision for Keith.  He graduated from Delta High School, where he played the clarinet in the band, in 1951.  He then turned his eye toward higher learning and moved to Logan Utah to study Electronics Engineering at Utah State University.

It was in Logan, at a dance at a local church, where he first saw the love of his life, Ione Hunsaker, who was a Junior in high school in Logan.  They dated for a time and Keith asked her to marry him on the eve of her high school graduation.  Meanwhile, the US Military had relaxed the Draft, making it an option for Keith to serve a full-time Mission for the Church…  Keith served a Mission in Denmark for 2.5 years, then returned home and married Ione in the Logan Utah Temple on October 10, 1956.

Keith was drafted into the US Army shortly after their marriage and assigned to Redstone Arsenal Army Base in Huntsville Alabama where he studied rocket science under the tutelage of Wernher von Braun. Upon completing his service with the rank of Sergeant, he returned to Utah State University to complete his Bachelor’s Degree, followed by his Master’s Degree in Engineering.

He was hired by Sperry Corporation and moved Ione and their four children to Bountiful Utah.  He soon found a career opportunity in California and in June of 1964 moved his family there to begin a career with the (then titled) Lawrence Livermore Radiation Lab, where he worked on countless classified projects. In addition, he was assigned to projects in Washington DC in 1973 – 1975.  Upon returning to CA from that assignment, he expanded his resume and diversified his skills in computer programming, real estate mortgage activities and finally retired from a Nuclear Regulatory Commission assignment regarding the Y2K rollover, stationed again in Washington, DC.

After having their retirement home built in Syracuse Utah, they served together as a couple on a Mission for Jesus Christ in the Canada, Toronto West Mission.  Keith loves genealogy and tracking down relatives, histories and folklore regarding his Danish ancestry.  He always believed it a tremendous blessing to have served his first mission in Denmark to begin his family history research.  He remains fluent in Danish and taught himself Icelandic to augment his research into his ancestors.  He also loves to play his harmonica and gifted each of his grandchildren with a harmonica and instructions, hoping to pass along his fancy.

Spanning his 90 years, Keith enjoyed serving in numerous volunteer positions in his church congregations. He enjoys serving those in need, singing in choirs, working with the youth, but most of all loves meeting new faces and served countless years assisting with church Missionaries and strengthening new followers of Christ in their path.  He loves to take road trips – especially with his family. Together they traveled all about the United States in their 1965 Ford Station Wagon, often times towing a pop-up tent trailer as he took his family to see the historic places of the founding of the United States as well as the church History sites.

In retirement, Keith loved to go walking every morning around Jensen Nature Park. He loves the scenery, but most of all he loves to meet new people.  If you met him on the path and he engaged you in conversation, you would be regaled by tales and information of genealogy, nuclear physics, radio transmission, rocket science (truly), Reader’s Digest jokes, and his faith in Jesus Christ.  He made many friends along those paths.

Keith will always be remembered for the devotion he had to his wife – the love of his life, his six children and beloved nieces and nephews.  He was always strong, loving, and supportive in the way that they needed most.  We couldn’t have asked for a better example of true love, devotion, respect, faith, teaching, and fun.  He will be missed every moment of every day.

Keith and Ione have six children, 23 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren… and counting.  Keith is preceded in death by his parents, Bill & Leah Mortensen, grandson Aramis Mortensen and sister Brenda Workman.  He is survived by brother Craig (& Janice); sister Linda Findlay; brother Clark; his Soul Mate Ione Hunsaker Mortensen; daughter Karin (& Bryce) Randall; son Clair (& Sharon); son Steven (& Traci); daughter Annette (& Douglas) Beckstrand; son Bryan (& Judy); and daughter Janet (& Andrew) Fralick.  Also, by 22 grandchildren and his great-grandchildren. The memories of Keith will live on in the hearts of all those who know and love him.

 Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 11:00am in Syracuse Utah at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2228 South 1660 West, Syracuse.


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